Introducing Cue, the DIY Lab Analyzer

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San Diego, CA-based health IT startup Cue unveils a new at-home lab analyzer that can test blood and saliva and detect a variety of biomarkers. Cue is a Rubik’s Cube-sized device that can measure Vitamin D, Fertility, Testosterone, Inflammation, and Influenza. The cube comes with a variety of different cartridges which contain the necessary sensors to process blood, mucus, or saliva samples. Prior to Cue, most patient’s would need to visit a hospital or clinic to have this level of detailed analysis done on themselves, but researchers with Cue have managed to shrink the technology, and reduce the cost enough that an effective home-based system is now possible. The Cue system relies on microfluidics technology to break down samples and test them for the presence of the targeted individual components.

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After Cue finishes analyzing the sample, the resulting clinical information is translated into transmittable data, and is then pushed to a synched smartphone app via a BlueTooth connection. Once the reading has been sent, Cue’s cartridge can be discarded. Depending on the results, Cue’s app will coach users on ways of improving their health. If the user is low on Vitamin D, Cue will send reminders to take a walk on sunny days. Dietary recommendations and other relevant health advice is also presented. Cue’s app also stores patient readings indefinitely, which allows users to trend their data over an extended period of time, and share the results with their doctors during their next check up.

A significant amount of time, money, and effort is being invested in brining medical grade analysis into the patient home. The potential to drive down medical costs by reducing ED or office visits makes this a compelling target for entrepreneurs and VCs alike. Scanadu is working to introduce its own device that it claims is capable of taking a full set of vital signs and a 2-lead EKG. Another device by the same company will be able to detect influenza, and a third device will be able to process a urinalysis and detect a UTI.

Cue does not yet have 510(k) clearance from the FDA, and customers that pre-order the device will be invited to submit usage data that will support the team’s FDA application. Until then, Cue is being marketed as a consumer-based investigational device, like FitBit or any other activity tracker, with no claim that it would help diagnose, monitor, or treat a medical condition.

Cue is selling for $149 during pre-ordering, but will go up to $199 once all pre-order units are sold. Cue is expecting to begin shipping units in Spring 2015.


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