Student Profiles

Startup Profile: Pareto Tree

Meet the Blackstone LaunchPad Fellows Shaping the Future of Home Medical Devices, Part 2

With COVID-19 pandemic changing the way the world operates, it’s no surprise that healthcare was the most common industry within this spring’s cohort of the Blackstone LaunchPad Fellowship.

Innovation within the healthcare industry is moving at an incredible pace. Many young entrepreneurs have either pivoted their business or identified problems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically in the home, new medical devices are being created to ensure safe, remote monitoring.

Thalansh Batra, UC San Diego student and founder of Pareto Tree, is one of three LaunchPad Fellows innovating in this space.

Pareto Tree

Roughly about 4 million people suffer from heart failure daily, according to Pareto Tree founder Thalansh Batra, but most patients take an average of 32 days from first experiencing symptoms before they go to the hospital to seek help.

“We wanted to bridge that gap. The patient should get to the hospital even before the onset of the first symptoms,” he says. “What we’ve essentially created is a wearable device that goes on your wrist accompanied with a patch that goes on your chest that monitors roughly about 22 parameters, majorly hemodynamic parameters, that were never possible before non-invasively.”

In addition to creating new hardware, which measures factors like blood pressure, stroke volumes, and cardiovascular resistance, Pareto Tree feeds the data to a machine-learning algorithm that cant predict risks for a heart failure decompensation event. Despite what people may think, building a safe and accurate prediction system is not an easy task: Thalansh and his team collected data from 14,000 patients over a course of two years to create their algorithm.

A Cause Close to Home

Without a background in qualitative economics and experience as a structural engineer at NASA, Thalansh’s motivation was more personal than academic.

“My grandfather suffered from heart failure himself and died because of it,” he says. “It was hard growing up and seeing him suffer through the illness with all of these bulky machines needed for him to just feel ok. I was so emotionally driven to solve this problem and it’s been there since childhood, so when I had the opportunity I wanted to do something about it.”

Thalansh joined forces with a team similarly lacking experience in biomedical engineering or biology but motivated by a desire to solve a pressing problem. “Eight months in, we already had three patents just on the technology itself,” he recalls. “For us, innovation is very simple – it’s never about the outcomes at all. I know that sounds lopsided from the business perspective, but we always focused more on the process.”

Blackstone LaunchPad Fellowship & Next Steps

With a small team of eleven, including seven interns, Thalansh turned to the Blackstone LaunchPad Fellowship as a way to build connections. “This is the point where we’re really starting to grow, and that means we need mentorship now more than ever. Also being able to talk with a community of individuals that are working on similar things is so valuable…We believe the mentorship we receive will be what takes us to the next level.”

With support of mentors and a growing network of peers, he hopes to connect with heart failure specialists and nephrologists (chronic kidney disease specialists) and plans to begin clinical validation once the fellowship ends. “We are looking for more clinical partners to do more clinical studies and collect more data as well. As a medical device company, that’s always a challenge but it’s important to ensure the safety of our device.”

Read more about the 50 Blackstone LaunchPad Fellows participating in this year’s cohort.