Biobeats is a software start-up based on a technology able to turn the body’s vital signs into music through sophisticated sensors and mobile devices.
The team aims to collect heart beats from an app – using smartphone sensors or wearable devices – and fuses them with entertainment in a way that keeps people engaged with their health data.

“We build technologies that respond to physiologic data and learn from how you interact with them, to help people live more engaged and healthier lives” says Davide Morelli, musician and computer scientist, as well as co-founder and VP Engineering of Biobeats,. He explains: Biobeats Team: second left Davide Morelli, third David Plans, first right Nadeem Kassam“We are currently developing programs for entertainment, consumer health and wellness and clinical medicine.”
Although certainly music is a central starting point of the team, the primary focus of the start-up is on improving the users’health.
In its future, Biobeats will mainly focus on those sectors of healthcare and wellness, which could use recorded biologic data for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

At its first recent investment round, Biobeats raised $650 K – mainly among angel investors and individual artists, who use Biobeats technologies in their shows. But more professional investors – one from Asia and one from New York – also participated.
“Now that we grew up we will look for different kinds of investors during our next rounds”, Mr. Morelli explains.
A long lasting cooperation between Davide Morelli and David Plans – both musicians and researchers in the field of interaction between artificial intelligence and music – is at the heart of the company. Biobeats was established when the two musicians met the Californian investor Nadeem Kassam, the current CEO of Biobeats. Biobeats is definitely an international start-up: based in California for fund raising purposes and for the aspect of the research around entertainment; it has a London team focused on the development around healthcare purposes; and it has the software team based in Pisa (Italy), where the technology has been developed.
“Our team is based in Beverly Hills, London and Pisa, which allows us to understand the nuances of healthcare, both in the US and in Europe”, Mr. Morelli adds. “And, anyhow, software development will remain in Pisa”.
“American investors generally prefer to transfer in the US key researchers, but I am trying to convince them that this is not the right approach. We have to be where top scientists are formed, and our University is the ideal place. It is my opinion that our education has quite a high standard, even higher than the American one. We are able to train software developers more capable than the teams I met in California, and less expensive too. Italy is the ideal country for an investor: we are able to develop a project from A to Z, to find the solution and to implement it”, Davide concludes.
Universities can therefore play an important role for innovation and employment growth, favoring entrepreneurship and technological transfer. PhDplus2014, the new program at the University of Pisa for graduate, master and researchers has exactly these targets: to stimulate creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.

Picture: Biobeats Team: second left Davide Morelli, third David Plans, first right Nadeem Kassam

Elisabetta Bevilacqua