Ex-Apple Exec Launches At-Home Blood Test Startup in San Francisco
March 24, 2016
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
SAN FRANCISCO – A former Apple executive who helped design the Apple Watch, has founded a blood-testing company that allows users to take their own blood samples and send the information to the cloud for analysis, Techcrunch reported.
Bob Messerschmidt founded Cor and the in-home blood testing device “as a transformative general wellness product, with the intention of making it easy to access vital and valuable health information through your blood.” Although it sounds like Cor may be trying to make inroads in areas where embattled blood-testing company Theranos once held a firm foothold, Messerschmidt told Techcrunch that Cor’s device is not providing diagnostic numbers.
“We’re not a medical device company. We’re providing life style guidance,” Messerschmidt told Techcrunch.
Another way that Cor is seeking to distance itself from the $9 billion Theranos is in the area of transparency. Theranos has been criticized for withholding information about the testing and efficacy of its blood-testing devices. Cor though has taken steps to be fairly open about its testing. The company validated its blood-testing model in a clinical trial run by a third-party clinical research organization, Techcrunch reported. The company plans to publish the data to allow peer review.
Cor’s blood testing device produce raw data that is very similar to the blood test data that your doctor orders once a year, the company said on its website. The data, which the company calls indicators, is used to provide customers with insights, or action plans to improve their life styles. The action plans could provide information related to diet, supplements, exercise, and relaxation insights and recommendations, the company said.
“Cor enables you to see inside your body, quickly and from the comfort of your own home. By providing personalized health insights and key indicator tracking, Cor empowers you to live a longer and healthier life,” the company said.
Cor, which has a handful of employees, has raised $1.03 million to fund its product, which is about the size of an electric toothbrush, Techcrunch said. Cor’s blood-testing product features a device with a small needle, about the size used by people checking their glucose levels. The company said it’s a fairly painless blood draw. The cartridge that draws the blood is inserted into a small device that reads the blood, the information is sent to the cloud, then users can access that information via their smartphones or other devices. The device measures cholesterol levels, both LDL and HDL, blood glucose and triglycerides. The device has a price of $299 plus a $10 monthly charge for the disposable cartridges.
“Using the power of big data, we are able to make our health recommendations even more effective over time,” Cor said.