It’s an exciting day for us around the Clearwater Clinical office. If you haven’t seen the news, we announced $6M in Series A funding led by Whitecap Venture Partners. This brings the total amount invested in our company to $9.5 million to date, so we are taking a moment to celebrate.
Clearwater Clinical was founded by Dr. Matthew Bromwich over 10 years ago. However, it wasn’t until 2014 that we raised our first round of financing and started building the team we have today. Great things have happened in these last few years. We launched a revolutionary, new way to test hearing called SHOEBOX Audiometry that is poised to truly change the future of hearing health. Everyone on the planet should have easy and affordable access to a hearing test. We want to be the company that makes that possible.
To make this vision a reality, we need some fundamental shifts in the hearing health industry. We need to enable more healthcare professionals to test for hearing – not just specialists. We need technology that is truly portable so that it can be carried into every corner of the earth. And we need to be able to accurately conduct testing outside of a traditional sound booth – in the workplace, in classrooms, clinics and even occasionally while perched under the shade of a tree.
Don’t get me wrong – we are not trying to replace audiologists. We just know that the demand far exceeds the supply of specialists. If we’re going to address this shortage, we need more people in more places doing hearing testing. So, what if we could help to shorten wait times by ensuring that only those who need to be treated by specialists move quickly to the front of the line? We want to make it possible for more people to participate in the hearing testing process, then refer those in need to see an audiologist or an otolaryngologist.
We started this journey by completely rethinking the audiometer. SHOEBOX Audiometry is a tablet-based audiometer and it is revolutionizing how we test for hearing. Comprised of just an iPad, software, and calibrated headphones, ours is the true definition of a mobile audiometer. But it is also “smart”. It offers ambient background noise monitoring which is helping to usher in a new era of boothless technology. It does not require an external power source to function, making it an ideal option in low resource areas. SHOEBOX can be used manually, like a traditional audiometer. However, its automated mode is what sets the system apart. SHOEBOX’s self-testing mode enables the patient to test themselves under the supervision of a healthcare professional. With its breakthrough simplicity, non-hearing professionals such as teachers, nurses, family physicians, and therapists can administer the hearing test. This new way of conducting tests is opening doors for hearing evaluations, reducing potentially long wait times to see a specialist, and thus getting people the help they need sooner.
So what’s next? Well, another benefit of the tablet audiometer is that because they are Wifi connected, the data captured on the iPad can be organized and stored in meaningful ways. We built a cloud-based data management system where the information can be backed up to a compliant storage service, shared among healthcare providers, and easily moved to other reporting systems. Tests can happen in one location and be instantly viewable from anywhere in the world through our portal. The data can be gathered, stored, reported, and analyzed for hearing health research or for managing historical records.
I’ll sign off by saying “Thank You” to our customers and investors who have supported us in this journey. Of course, I would also like to thank our growing Clearwater team for all their passion and hard work. We plan to double our team over the next 24 months so please check our careers site often.
Now back to work – we have a few billion more patients to test before reaching our vision.