Scanwell Health, maker of a smartphone-based platform for home urinary tract infection screening, has raised $3.5 million in seed funding. Founders Fund, Mayfield, DCM, Version One, Y Combinator and Liquid 2 Ventures all participated in the round.
The startup paired this announcement with the reveal of a new partnership with telehealth service Lemonaid Health that will bring its UTI platform to patients in all 50 states.
“Our partnership with Lemonaid is only the beginning,” Stephen Chen, founder and CEO of Scanwell Health, said in a statement. “We have a number of additional diagnostic tests in the pipeline that have the potential to change the way we diagnose and treat infections and monitor chronic diseases. We look forward to working with additional partners to bring these tests to people across the country.”
WHAT THEY DO
Scanwell Health’s claim to fame is its FDA-cleared home urine testing app. Consumers urinate on the low-cost, mail-order test kit and take a photo of the results with the Scanwell app. If the test comes up positive, the company connects users to an in-house physician at low cost who can any necessary antibiotics within a single day. Additional testing strips are available for purchase online at a cost of $15 per pack of three.
"Before Scanwell Health, virtual visits for UTIs relied on patient-reported symptoms for diagnosis," Dr. Jack Jeng, chief medical officer at Scanwell Health, said in a statement. "Recent studies suggest that this approach results in 30% to 50% of cases being treated inappropriately with antibiotics. With the growing threat of antibiotic resistance and the call for improved antibiotic stewardship, clinicians are now more judicious in how we treat common infections like UTIs."
In addition to the new partnership with Lemonaid, earlier this year the startup began a collaboration with Kaiser Permanente and the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study, an ongoing, multicenter investigation of chronic kidney disease and other comorbid chronic conditions sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.
WHAT IT’S FOR
Scanwell said in its announcement that the new funds would support the national launch of its platform, and help the company hire more staff and develop new diagnostics capabilities for its platform.
Scanwell has no shortage of competition when it comes to smartphone-based home screening, with several other players securing funding or FDA clearances for their own technologies. healthy.io, TestCard, Mira and inui Health are also targeting the urine testing market with their own platforms, while 1Drop Diagnostics, Thriva, EverlyWell and even LabCorp are offering blood-based home screens to consumers and partners as well.
ON THE RECORD
“UTIs are a common, painful medical condition prompting 10 million doctor visits in the United States each year,” Dr. Davis Liu, chief clinical officer at Lemonaid Health, said in a statement. “We are committed to providing the very best in patient care. Scanwell Health’s innovative at-home UTI test will help our clinicians treat more people by providing patients a convenient, fast way to provide clinically reliable diagnostic information to their online doctor.”