A company that makes a home-based urine analysis kit that utilizes a test strip and a user's smartphone has raised $18 million in Series B funding. Digital urinalysis is the latest example of a trend toward home diagnostics driving a surging medical technology market. The first at-home pregnancy test appeared in the late 1970s, paving the way for a home-based medical test market. More recently, the internet, IoT, smartphones, and advances in areas like genetic testing have driven sharp growth in a home testing market that will soon surpass $300 million. UK citizens should be able to provide their own data to their personal health records in the next two years.
Two new artificial intelligence apps use your smartphone camera to screen for urinary tract infections (UTIs) or possible signs of chronic kidney disease. Designed to cater for people in lockdown, the apps from Israel-based health technology company Healthy.io With the UTI app, called Velieve, users order a UTI test kit to be delivered to their home, submit their results through the app, and then receive an in-app diagnosis within 30 minutes. The kidney disease app, meanwhile, will be'prescribed' by GPs to patients who are at high risk of chronic kidney disease. This test, which detects albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) – a key marker of kidney disease – in urine samples, will also be delivered via post and analysed through the app, with the result delivered to directly to the GP.
As the smartphone falls in price while its capabilities improve, it is becoming a valuable tool in the diagnosis of a growing number of diseases and ailments around the world. When Yonatan Adiri's mother fell down a bank and briefly lost consciousness when travelling in China, an initial diagnosis suggested she had a few broken ribs, but nothing more serious. Doctors were keen to fly her to Hong Kong for treatment. But Yonatan's father was worried and took photos of the CT [computerised tomography] scans of the injuries, emailing them to his son. Yonatan showed the images to a trauma doctor, who instantly diagnosed a punctured lung.
Before getting into this report, we have to inform readers that none of the companies discussed below claim to offer software that provides diagnostics, except Cognoa, which has FDA approval to call itself a diagnostic tool. We suspect this is because these companies are not legally allowed to do so. We usually don't refer to a dictionary to determine what constitutes a concept, preferring to create our own informed definitions, such as in our What is Machine Learning? The companies listed in this report seem to provide diagnostics based on that definition, but again, readers should be informed that these companies do not technically provide diagnoses for illnesses and conditions, except Cognoa. Rather, they provide information to users on their symptoms (for legal reasons).
FirstWord MedTech's Digital Ten is a fortnightly round-up of the 10 most read and noteworthy headlines related to digital health, including industry deals, alliances, collaborations, innovations and R&D news. The biggest M&A deal inked this year so far comes from the telemedicine field with Teladoc Health agreeing to fork out $600 million to acquire InTouch Health, a provider of cloud-based telemedicine software and physician services for hospitals and health systems. Teladoc's existing telehealth service platform targets consumers and with this deal, it will gain a complementary business that is expected to generate revenue of $80 million in 2019, representing 35% year-over year growth, and a new facility-based virtual care platform. Mojo Vision's smart contact lens receives FDA breakthrough device designation In yet another first for 2020, Mojo Vision's Mojo smart contact lens is the first ophthalmic product to get FDA breakthrough device designation this year. The lens incorporates what the company describes as the "smallest and densest dynamic display ever made," along with a power-efficient image sensor optimised for computer vision, a custom wireless radio, and motion sensors for eye-tracking and image stabilisation.