CliniCloud raises $5M for smartphone-connected medical kits

By Aditi Pai
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CliniCloudCliniCloud, which started taking preorders for a smartphone connected medical kit in February, has raised $5 million in a round led by Tencent and Ping An Ventures, the investment arm of a China-based insurance, finance, and banking conglomerate. The company also announced that Best Buy will carry its offerings in US- and Canada-based stores starting this holiday season.

“This funding round is an important boost to help us transform the way we think about healthcare in the home," CliniCloud CEO Dr. Andrew Lin said in a statement. "The stethoscope and thermometer are gateways to critical information that helps physicians diagnose illness in patients. By digitizing them and connecting them to a powerful apps and network of medical professionals...we are empowering every parent and carer to play an active role in healthcare."

The company, which was founded by two Australian doctors, has offices in San Francisco and Melbourne. CliniCloud offers a wireless non-contact thermometer and a digital stethoscope that plugs into a smartphone via the headphone jack. Customers can use the devices just to track and record their stethoscope recordings and temperature readings, but they can also transmit them to a doctor in the course of a video visit via Doctor on Demand.

The non-contact thermometer scans temperature via the superficial temporal artery on the forehead, which CliniCloud claims is as accurate as an in-ear thermometer. The stethoscope, meanwhile, uses a cord in the headphone jack rather than a Bluetooth connection to ensure high-quality lossless audio. Both devices “adhere to the calibration standards set forth by CE and FDA for Class II medical devices” according to the company’s FAQ. CliniCloud told MobiHealthNews that the devices are exempt from pre-approval because of recent FDA changes.

The kit costs $149, and the website says preorders will ship October 23.

The company's investors, Tencent and Ping An, are not strangers to the digital health space. Just a month ago, Tencent invested in Practo, which has developed a doctor search engine that shows consumers’ local doctor’s availability and a practice management tool, called Practo Ray, designed primarily for health clinics that collects patient health data. And in April, Tencent Holdings Limited contributed to a $35 million round in Scanadu.

Meanwhile, in June, Ping An Insurance partnered with Samsung to create a digital health platform. Samsung and Ping An will combine the payor’s health services with Samsung digital health offerings, including the company’s heart rate sensing smartphones and smartwatches, as well as Samsung’s S Health app.