NBA Legend Pau Gasol Invests in AI Cardiology Company Idoven

NBA Legend Pau Gasol Invests in AI Cardiology Company Idoven

Former NBA star and LA Lakers legend Pau Gasol has invested in an AI cardiology company that is developing AI-powered solutions to improve cardiovascular disease diagnosis and care.

Los Angeles Lakers and Spain’s basketball legend Pau Gasol is investing in artificial intelligence (AI) company Idoven, which is developing an AI-powered cardiology service platform.

The platform is designed to support cardiologists and other clinicians in the identification, triage and diagnosis of patients. The company’s goal is to develop an AI-based cardiology platform that has increased the ability to identify and diagnose cardiovascular diseases on a large scale.

The Spain-based company is backed by big pharma and med tech investors including the likes of AstraZeneca, Abbott and GE Healthcare, along with other big business stalwarts such as Google, FIFPRO, Santander and the Real Madrid Foundation through Gasol’s entity Gasol 16 Ventures.

“As a former elite athlete, I know first-hand how important early detection and prevention can be to maintaining optimal health, especially when it comes to cardiovascular issues,” Gasol said on his recent investment. “I am thrilled to contribute with my expertise and knowledge, building a strong and successful team culture in a company which has the potential to save thousands of lives, as well as my network and reach to help Idoven scale at such a crucial phase of its growth.”

The latest investment round is led by Northzone and includes follow-on funding from Insight Partners, and contributions from previous investors, such as venture firm Hambro Perks, Spring Health co-founder Adam Chekroud and Carto CEO Luis Sanz.

Gasol joins Iker Casillas, Spain’s winning World Cup goalkeeper, as the second athlete to invest in the AI cardiology company. Casillas’ investment came after he suffered a heart attack in 2021 at the age of 37 while training with FC Porto.

Related: ‘No Time to Wait’ Ad Campaign from BMS-Pfizer Features Basketball Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for AFib Awareness

In a statement, Manuel Marina Breysse, CEO and co-founder of Idoven, said, “It is an honor to have Pau Gasol, a world-renowned athlete, as an investor in Idoven. In everything we do, we seek excellence, and we feel that our vision is fully aligned with Pau’s career as an athlete and his mission as an investor. His participation in this new round could not have come at a better time.”

Breysse said Idoven will be using Gasol’s investment “to double down on product innovation and development, to expand into new markets and to continue to attract team players among the most talented people we can find across the globe.”

The new capital will be used to drive the development and application of new solutions that build on Indoven’s core AI technology.

The Madrid-based company’s Platform as a Medical Device (PaMD) can analyze various-sized electrocardiograms (ECGs) from multiple sources.

Idoven says its AI-based algorithms integrate into existing clinical workflows and provide insights to assess and act on.

Cardiovascular health has been in the spotlight in sports in recent years. This year, the world witnessed NFL Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin’s collapse due to a cardiac arrest during a football game in January 2023. It occurred due to commotio cordis, a rare cardiac arrest following a blow to the chest, which induces the potentially fatal heart arrhythmia ventricular fibrillation. And in July, NBA superstar Lebron James’ son Bronny James suffered a cardiac arrest during a workout due to a congenital heart defect.

Athletes have been stepping up to help increase awareness around heart conditions. Earlier this year, basketball hall of famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar teamed up with BMS-Pfizer for atrial fibrillation (AFib) awareness and the importance of seeking medical attention early for heart-related symptoms. The basketball legend was diagnosed with AFib in 2021.

Washington Wizards’ point guard Jared Butler also partnered with BMS back in 2021 to raise awareness around hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a condition he was diagnosed with several years ago at the age of 18. According to health experts, HCM is the most common cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. Handfuls of athletes have experienced heart-related problems over the years, some of them being fatal.