As most of you know, I’m a big fan and deep supporter of Vegas Startup companies. In fact, I’m an adviser to a healthcare focused secure healthcare messaging startup called docBeat. As such, I’m extremely interested in any healthcare related startup company becomes part of the Vegas family.
The latest entrant is a company called Scanadu that was just funded by the Vegas Tech Fund and others in a $10.5 Series A round of financing. This comes after raising $1,664,574 on Indiegogo. Here’s a description of what they’re trying to accomplish with Scanadu:
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.
I think it’s ambitious of them to go after the FDA clearance, but it probably necessary. There’s a lot of money and time involved in getting FDA clearance. However, once you do it, your competition has to deal with those barriers in the future.
I hope Scanadu uses the money they’re getting to bring on someone who’s very good at getting through the FDA clearance process. It’s a beast and it’s a real advantage to work with someone who’s done it before.
On a broader level, Scanadu is just one of MANY devices that are coming out like this. It’s an exciting time for these types of devices. In the next couple years there are going to be a wave of these devices that help us better track our health. This is just the start.