Managing a Clinical Trial with a Small Team and Lessons Learned Raising Money for an Early Stage Medtech Startup: Interview with Dr. Marie Johnson, Founder of AUM Cardiovascular

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Medsider Interview with Dr. Marie Johnson of AUM Cardiovascular

More than a decade ago, AUM Cardiovascular founder Dr. Marie Johnson was a doctoral student when tragedy struck her and her family. Her husband, Rob, passed away suddenly at the age of 41. He had blockages in his coronary arteries including a ruptured plaque in the left anterior descending artery supplying a large part of the heart muscle.

At that time, Dr. Johnson had been working on a prototype device to listen to heart sounds as a part of her doctoral degree. Her husband’s coronary artery disease had been present, but went silent and undetected. Inspired and motivated by her loss, Dr. Johnson decided to apply the principles of frequency analysis to create an acoustic device to identify obstructive coronary artery disease, which is now called the CADence System.

Marie has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and as the Founder of AUM Cardiovascular, she’s successfully raised over $10 million in angel investment from individual investors, small funds, and physicians.  Before becoming CEO of AUM, Dr. Johnson designed and launched the University of Minnesota Medical Devices Innovation Fellowship Program.

Interview Highlights with Dr. Marie Johnson

  • The time when Dr. Johnson realized she had a “winner” on her hands with the CADense System.
  • The origin story of the CADense System.
  • How Dr. Johnson went from initial idea, to prototype, to eventual production.
  • What she has learned raising money from a wide variety of investors.
  • In an era of consumer-centric wearables, how Dr. Johnson landed on a business model for the CADense System.
  • Her approach to managing clinical trials with a small team.
  • The biggest lessons Dr. Johnson has learned through the process of building AUM Cardiovascular form scratch.
  • Johnson’s favorite business book, the CEO that most inspires her, and the advice she’d give to her 25-year old self.

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