Scanadu Raises $10.5 Million For Its Medical Tricorder

11-12-2013 8-14-33 PM

Scanadu announces that it has raised a $10.5 million series A round to help bring its highly anticipated home diagnostics product line through FDA testing and onto the market. The round was led by Relay Ventures, with additional participation from VegasTechFund, and AME Cloud Ventures. This brings Scanadu’s total capital raised to $14.1 million.

In 2011, Scanadu raised a $2 million seed round to begin working on designs for a medical Tricorder. CEO Walter De Brouwer, says that he has been toying with the idea since 1999, but that the necessary technology was not mature enough to make a serious effort at that time. Like the Tricorder from Star Trek, he wanted his product to revolutionize healthcare and become a staple in every home. “Sci-fi stories are business plans in disguise,” De Brouwer says.

Prior to founding Scanadu, Brouwer earned a PhD in Semiotics from Tilburg University, in the Netherlands. In 1996, he and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte co-founded Starlab, a famous futurist lab that at its peak employed 130 scientists and had teams working on robotics, stem cell research, quantum computation, artificial intelligence, and even time travel. In 2008, he launched the One Laptop Per Child movement in Europe.  He is a founding member of TEDGlobal and a Knight with the Belgium Order of Leopold. He is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at Cambridge University.

In 2012, a year after receiving funding, De Brouwer unveiled not one, but three working prototypes. The  company’s flagship product was the Scanadu Scout, a hand-held device capable of capturing heart rate, body temperature, pulse oximetry, respiration rate, blood pressure, emotional stress, and an ECG waveform.

The company also unveiled Scanadu Flo, an at home urine test kit that will test levels of glucose, protein, leukocytes, nitrates, blood, bilirubin, urobilinogen, specific gravity, and pH. It will also test for pregnancy. The third product introduced was Scanadu Flu, a home-based saliva test that checks for flu and other upper respiratory conditions. All three products push information to a smartphone app that stores and analyzes the data.

In May 2013, Brouwer launched an Indiegogo campaign for the Scanadu Scout. Pre-sales of Scout units were being offered for $149, a discount of the planned $199 retail rate. The company broke Indiegogo’s record for highest funded project, netting a total of $1.6 million. The fresh funds were intended to bring Scout through the FDA pre-market approval process and ramp up production. The campaign also established the level of demand Brouwer would have to appease once the device hit markets. 

Brouwer says that he hopes to begin shipping units in 2014, but that 2015 is more probable. In the meantime, Scanadu is partnering with Scripps Translational Science Institute to do their clinical testing, a process that will start in January. Early users from the Indiegogo campaign will have the opportunity to act as product testers as part of the FDA approval process.

As though they don’t have enough on their plates, Scanadu was also just accepted as one of 34 teams competing for the $10 million Qualcomm X-Prize, an innovation challenge that asks entrepreneurs to bring the Tricorder into reality. Scanadu is considered by many to be a frontrunner in that contest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The concepts were all cutting edge and redefined the idea of empowering patients.

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