Israel-based smartphone urinalysis and wound-care startup Healthy.io is purchasing fellow home-diagnostics company Inui Health in a roughly $9 million cash deal, CNBC reports.
The agreement also involves milestones that Inui Health will need to meet, and sees CEO Dr. Jaime Tenedorio take on a new role within Healthy.io's team.
MobiHealthNews has reached out to both companies for confirmation of the news, and will update this story with any additional comments.
Inui Health has a long history within the digital health space, although most of it was spent under its previous name, Scanadu.
While it had a urine analysis project on the books as far back as 2012, the Silicon Valley company was best known for its 2013 Indiegogo smash hit and Tricorder X-Prize competitor called the Scanadu Scout. This device was described by the company as a multifunction home health-scanner.
However, the crowdfunding campaign ran into controversy: Following significant delays, the product was delivered to backers ahead of FDA clearance as an investigative device, and was shut down for all users at the conclusion of the study.
In 2018 the company reemerged with a new name and an FDA clearance for a smartphone-enabled home urine-testing platform. The product kicked off with five different test types and support for more than a dozen different phones, but looked to distinguish itself with AI and data architecture that allowed users to instantly review their own test results.
To date, Inui has raised about $56 million in financing.
Healthy.io is a much younger company, having received its first FDA 510(k) clearance for urinary analysis about two years ago. Its Dip.io testing kit similarly uses a smartphone camera to photograph disposable urinary test strips and generate a reading. The company also announced launch plans for a new wound management and tracking product at the top of 2020.
Healthy.io closed a $60 million Series C funding round in September, which brought the company's fundraising total to $90 million.
WHY IT MATTERS
The acquisition is a consolidation of two of the better-known startups in the smartphone urine-testing markets (the other star player in the conversation being Scanwell Health).
Per CNBC, Healthy.io's investment will have a short-term benefit of helping the international company secure a greater foothold in the U.S. market. Further, the ongoing impact of COVID-19 is making a strong case for the companies' smartphone diagnostics platforms, as well as for other at-home testing services.
Finally, as Tenodorio mentioned to MobiHealthNews a few years ago, Inui Health has a deep bench of intellectual property from its Scanadu days which could substantially increase the value of the company for Healthy.io.
THE LARGER TREND
Prior to the rise of COVID-19, Healthy.io had announced launch plans for a new wound management and tracking product. Unlike the urinary-testing product, this offering was designed for nurses and other professionals to use at the point of care.
Scanwell, meanwhile, announced a $3.5 million seed funding round, a partnership with Lemonaid Health to distribute its home UTI tests and participation in a nationwide study of chronic kidney disease. More recently, the company turned its focus to the development of a consumer COVID-19 serology test that, as of an update on June 11, is still seeking an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.