It’s mHealth Jim, but not as you know it – Part II…

A year or so ago I wrote a blog about Qualcomm’s $10 million X Prize, a competition to replicate the Star Trek Tricorder (used by Leonard McCoy as a miracle body scanner in the original Star Trek series, remember). Whether Scanadu, set up in 2011 to compete for the prize will win or not, only time will tell, however it is impressive in both what it delivers and in what it has achieved in terms of funding.

Scanadu is a personalised health electronics company. Scanadu has developed products to measure temperature, respiratory rate, oximetry, ECG and blood pressure- in 10 seconds and altogether using a smartphone attachment placed on the temple. The company is also creating a disposable urine analysis testing platform, ScanaFlo, which works with smartphones to offer urine analysis test in minutes. The positive implications for avoiding pregnancy complications, pre-eclampisa, gestational diabetes, heart-related kidney problems and urinary tract infections are wide ranging.

The company’s funding history is no less impressive. The company has received $10.5 million in Series A funding from Relay Ventures, Tony Hsieh’s VegasTechFund, Ame Cloud Ventures, Broe Group, Mindful Investors and Redmile Group. Funds will be used to take Scanadu’s products to market, achieve FDA approval and build the team. In July last year the company broke records by achieving $1.6 million in crowd funding from investors using the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.  The company also announced that it has formed a Medical Advisory Board and will conduct its first clinical trials at the Scripps Translational Science Institute.

So what does this tell us about digital healthcare? Two things. First, that next-gen medicine will place more power in the hands (literally in this case) of the consumer of healthcare services, and second, that there is appetite for the right projects. All of this will be explored at length in a future report on digital healthcare due later this year.