Healthcare startup Scanadu, based out of NASA’s Ames Research Center, touted a $10.5 million Series A funding round that precedes some big changes for the emerging company and its "tricorder" technology.
The new financing will support Scanadu’s efforts to further develop and market its Scanadu Scout sensor-packed hand-held scanner, which measures body temperature, respiratory rate, oximetry, ECG, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure with just 10 seconds of contact with the forehead.
"This new round of funding will be used to support Scanadu’s go-to market strategy and manufacturing, continue its path to FDA approval and add talent to the team," according to a company statement. "The company also announced that it has formed a Medical Advisory Board and will conduct its 1st clinical trials at the Scripps Translational Science Institute."
The 1st clinical trials for Scanadu Scout will include patients suffering from diabetes, hypertension and abnormal heart rhythms. The 1st baseline study will examine how best to utilize the technology for patients looking to optimize their blood pressure.
The company’s new advisory board includes former FDA Center for Devices & Radiological Health technology & innovation director Megan Moynahan, former DARPA defense sciences director Jon Mogford and others.
Investment was led by Relay Ventures, with participation from Tony Hsieh’s VegasTechFund, Jerry Yang’s Ame Cloud Ventures and others, according to the company. Scanadu has previously turned to crowd-funding to support its development, raising a record-setting $1.6 million through the online funding platform Indiegogo. Some of those funders have volunteered to participate in Scanadu’s usability study, which the company says is "a crucial part of the company’s road to FDA approval."
The young company was born from a tech contest, the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize, which offered $10 million to any company to can realize the "tricorder" technology made famous by the multi-generation Star Trek media powerhouse. The 3.5-year competition asked contestants to "develop a consumer-friendly device capable of diagnosing a set of 15 conditions and capturing metrics for health."
Scanadu is also developing its ScanaFlo technology, a consumer-friendly, disposable urine analysis test.