our months after raising $1,664,574 on Indiegogo and breaking the site’s existing record, medical device developer Scanadu has closed $10.5 in Series A financing led by Relay Ventures, with participation from VegasTechFund and AME Cloud Ventures.
Embarking on the next stage in taking its first product to market, Scanadu has partnered with Dr. Eric Topol at the Scripps Translational Science Institute to conduct clinical testing on the Scout device, a medical tricorder that measures a host of metrics like blood pressure and heart rate. Those trials are set to begin in Q1 of 2014.
While Scanadu is equipping the Scout with off-the-shelf sensors, each needs a 501(k) clearance from the FDA, as do any groups of sensors working in conjunction with each other. That’s the whole point of the Scout: it combines existing trackers into one handy device.
“This is a device that comes out of nothing,” Scanadu CEO Walter De Brouwer said. “There was nothing that you could build on. You put all sorts of sensors together in a small package and make it do stuff that it hasn’t done before.”
The goal is to have the commercial device available to consumers by the winter of 2014 or Q1 of 2015. Before that, the Scout will ship to the 8,000 people who preordered through the Indiegogo campaign in March. Scanadu will be doing usability testing on volunteers from that cohort in order to glean how exactly consumers will use the Scout: how many times a day they check it and what metrics they are most interested in tracking, for instance.
The Scout will work with a companion app, which functions as a medical record populated by data taken by the device. As consumers are encouraged to take a more active role in their health — especially with regard to disease prevention — it’s a way to look at various metrics over time.
The app can also provide recommendations on what tests people might want to pay closer attention to. If one person is checking his blood pressure and cholesterol, Scanadu can inform him that people checking those metrics are also watching their heart rate, and perhaps he should look at that, too.
“Infection was one of our old enemies. We now have that under control,” De Brouwer said. “The 21st century enemy is cardiovascular disease. Replacing the thermometer with a device that tests blood pressure, diastolic pressure, your ECG, heartrate, and records and analyzes that, that will certainly be the new play and the new tool for American households.