More and more mobile health and wellness upstarts are turning to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to get projects off the ground. As Scanadu gears up to send out its first devices to backers, it's a good time to check in and see who else is in crowdfunding mode.
When we last rounded up crowdfunding projects a month ago, we found 12 projects. Just four of them made their funding goals: mobile health app Pocket Physician, sun exposure tracker SunSprite, food analyzing sensor MyDX, and connected air quality monitor Alima.
Below, find a range of projects from new kinds of wearable trackers and crowdsourced medicine to an app to help wheelchair users stay healthy.
Fitnotix is developing a web and mobile platform to help consumers incorporate fitness into their daily lives. Users will have access to "virtual trainers" on video and tracking software for runs and workouts. If a user misses a scheduled workout, the app generates a backup plan -- a way the user can work out the same muscle groups outside the gym. The platform also aims to help users eat healthier meals. It includes cooking videos for those who have time to cook. For those that don't, Fitnotix is partnering with Freshology to provide access to a healthy food delivery service. Early backers can get a lifetime membership to the service for $50. With 9 days remaining in its campaign, Fitnotix has raised just under $4,000 out of a $50,000 goal.
CureCrowd aims to crowdsource health information from patients. Visitors to the site will fill out surveys about their medical experiences -- their conditions, treatments, and results. The data from those surveys will be aggregated by doctors to create a medical search engine that will show patients different treatment options and how well they've worked for the site's users. CureCrowd is seeking $30,000 for server space, software tweaks, and promotional campaigns. It's raised $7,000 so far.
Gymwatch is a wearable tracker for workouts. It tracks a wide range of workout-specific metrics like speed strength, maximum strength, and time under tension. The $99 sensor connects to a smartphone app and can be used for workout feedback as well as just analyzing workouts after the fact. Either on the smartphone screen or through headphones, the app can instruct the user if they're moving wrong or help the user figure out the optimal amount of weight. The tracker works for free-weights, machines, or exercises like pushups, though it has to be worn on different parts of the body for different exercises. Gymwatch is nearing $10,000 out of an $85,000 goal.
iFocusBand is a wearable brain training system that fits into an existing hat or headband. It contains three EEG sensors and can connect to an app for brain training and neural feedback. Although the company suggests that the technology can improve all kinds of mental focus, the use case the campaign focuses on is golf -- according to the campaign page, eight US PGA pro tour golfers use the device. The band has built-in audio feedback even for users without an app, but the application includes an avatar. In the future, the company plans to release an SDK so others can develop iFocusBand applications. So far, iFocusBand has raised $49,000 of a $75,000 goal.
SmartMio is an app-connected electric muscle stimulator (EMS) -- a peel-and-stick wearable that stimulates users' muscles between workouts. The device is smaller and cheaper than other EMS devices on the market, and it connects via Bluetooth to an app that can be used to set and control a user's training regimen. The project is already overfunded, having raised $80,000 out of an original $50,000 goal with 35 days still to go in the campaign.
Another already overfunded project, Beta-Bioled from French startup Archimej Technology, aims to be a handheld blood spectrometer. The company is promising the same sort of blood analysis currently done in hospitals in a handheld, smartphone connected device. According to the campaign page, they already have a working prototype that performs better than non-handheld absorption spectrometers currently on the market. The creators envision the device being used to track health over time, and to optionally transmit data wirelessly to a clinician. With a modest goal of just $1,000, the campaign has already raised $18,200.
iTherm is a smartphone-connected thermometer for kids -- not a totally new idea at this point. But iTherm's thermometer is wearable, to allow for continuous monitoring of children with a fever or who need to have their temperature checked regularly for some reason. The $39 device will either allow parents to check their child's temperature remotely without waking the child or even let them set a temperature threshold the child has to reach before the app will alert them. The device does not appear to have FDA clearance yet. Still in the early stages of the campaign, it's raised $600 out of $29,000 so far.
Wheelchair users need to regularly relieve and manage pressure by adjusting their sitting position, to avoid complications like pressure ulcers. But they don't always remember to do so or receive the right signals from their bodies. Sensimat seeks to combine a pressure-sensor-filled seat cover with an app, to help wheelchair users adhere to a pressure management regimen. The company has tested Sensimat at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. So far, the company has raised just over $9,000 out of a $15,000 Canadian goal.
Life in the Moment is a web- and app-based software platform for caregivers of elders with Alzheimer's Disease. The software has several different modules. MemoryMeals provides guidelines and grocery lists to cook meals that are thought to help reduce or slow dementia and memory loss. Other modules include SeniorPartner, a legal planning tool; Healthshare, a communication tool; and Recess, a networking platform for families living with Alzheimer's to connect with one another. The team is just over $11,000 into a hoped-for $20,000 campaign.