Startup raises money to monitor temperature of lab samples in transit using sensors, smartphones

By Jonah Comstock
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San Francisco-based Lab Sensor Solutions has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Launchpad Digital Health. The funding is less than $1 million, the company told MobiHealthNews.

This is the company’s first institutional round, but the company previously raised a $425,000 friends and family round, which included contributions from early stage venture fund and accelerator 500 Startups.

Lab Sensor offers a “sensors as a service” system for labs and hospitals that tracks the temperature and location of clinical samples while they’re being transported from draw centers, to storage, to labs for analysis.

“We directly impact patient welfare and safety because we make sure that every clinical sample — you know, your blood, tissue, urine — that gets collected from you, that it doesn’t spoil,” COO Jarie Bolander told MobiHealthNews. “If you look at the healthcare market in general, the number three cause of death is preventable medical errors. In the US, it’s just a fact. No one likes to talk about it, it’s just reality. And if you look at where a diagnosis gets its most bang for your buck it’s in the lab. Seventy-five percent of diagnoses rely on a laboratory test. If the lab test is bad, your diagnosis is bad, and that can lead to a medical error and things go south pretty quick.”

There are already regulations that require the temperature of samples to be continuously monitored while they’re in storage, Bolander said, but not while they’re in transit. Lab Sensor’s system does this and allows couriers to monitor the temperature and location of samples via a smartphone app. Lab Sensor helps labs set up the system and integrate it, via APIs, with the lab’s information system. When they transition from labs to hospitals, they’ll do the same with hospital information systems.

Currently, Lab Sensor has six customers and eight ongoing field trials, Bolander said. The funding will help the startup, which currently has seven employees, expand and scale to more deployments.