Scanadu raises $10.5 million, set to conduct first clinical trials

Scanadu, the Moffett Field, Calif.-based mobile and sensor technology company, has secured $10.5 million in Series A funding and will start the first clinical trials of its Scout vital sign monitor at the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI), according to an announcement.

Scanadu's Scout analyzes, tracks and trends vitals, such as temperature, respiratory rate, oximetry, ECG, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure, in 10 seconds. The clinical trials for Scout at STSI will be conducted as part of the Wired for Health mobile trial, which includes patients who live with diabetes, hypertension and heart arrhythmia. This first baseline study will help design future controlled studies, and will be designed to empower adults via Scout to yield optimal blood pressure, states the announcement.

Relay Ventures led the latest round of funding with participation from Tony Hsieh's VegasTechFund and Jerry Yang's Ame Cloud Ventures. Other participating investors in the Series A round include Broe Group, Mindful Investors and Redmile Group.

To date, Scanadu has raised $14.7 million in funding. In July, the company closed a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo, the global crowdfunding platform, that became the most funded campaign in the platform's history, raising more than $1.6 million. 

"Those who participated in the campaign will be a crucial part of the company's road to FDA approval by taking part on a voluntary basis in a usability study for the Scanadu Scout in 2014," states the announcement, and then clinical studies as the company seeks regulatory clearance for the device.

"The era of digital healthcare has arrived," said Eric Topol, M.D., director of the STSI and chief academic officer for Scripps Health, in a written statement. "We are excited to bring Scanadu to Scripps to further the potential of this technology to improve lives."

In August, STSI launched the Wired for Health trial aimed at evaluating whether the integration of wireless technologies, online social networks and medicine can lower healthcare spending. STSI researchers are enrolling 200 study participants with chronic conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure or heart arrhythmias, who also have generated high healthcare costs over the past year. Researchers will evaluate the frequency, purpose and cost of health interventions, such as medical screenings and emergency room visits received by the participants during the study period.

Scanadu is also creating a disposable urine analysis testing platform called ScanaFlo, which works with a smartphone to offer a complete urine analysis test in minutes. With FDA approval, it could also measure for pregnancy complications, pre-eclampisa, gestational diabetes, heart-related kidney problems and urinary tract infections, according to the company.

In related work, researchers at UCLA and the California NanoSystems Institute have developed a smartphone device that accurately determines albumin (a protein) in urine. Detection of albumin is important because if kidney damage has occurred the protein will leak into a person's bloodstream and will be present in the urine. A patient can take a urine sample and the smartphone attachment images and "automatically analyzes fluorescent assays confined within disposable test tubes for sensitive and specific detection of albumin in urine."

To learn more:
- read the announcement