Startup Spotlight: LetsGetChecked plans home COVID-19 tests
Founded in 2015, LetsGetChecked is an at-home testing platform based in New York, with services available in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Offering a wide variety of tests in areas such as sexual health, men and women’s health and wellness, tests are delivered and returned to the lab with a prepaid shipping label, before confidential results are accessible via an online account within 2-5 days. The company says it has performed over 450,000 tests into areas such as diabetes, cholesterol, and thyroid testing; cancer screening, sexual health testing, fertility testing, and pharmacogenomic testing, and that it serves 28 markets.
The company’s approach has won it financial backing, with $113mn raised across three funding rounds. Its latest Series C round raised $71mn, led by Illumina Ventures and HLM Venture Partners, with other participants including Deerfield, CommonFund Capital, and Angeles Investments. Existing investors Transformation Capital, Optum Ventures, and Qiming Venture Partners USA.
The company is planning to bring its tests for COVID-19 to the public at some point, having already become available for frontline healthcare workers in the United States.
"We have been developing our platform for more than five years and have helped hundreds of thousands of individuals by enabling access to high-quality testing and telehealth services in the home, across many health conditions. With the onset of COVID-19, we realigned resources with a view to helping with this global pandemic and are currently delivering tens of thousands of tests per day to critical and frontline healthcare workers", said LetsGetChecked founder and CEO Peter Foley in a press release.
"We are working hard to deliver COVID-19 testing into the home and hope to have an answer soon. At-home testing has never been more important as consumers around the world look for new and trusted methods for managing their health."
NeuTigers: edge AI in healthcare
What is edge AI?
Edge AI is essentially a combination of edge computing and artificial intelligence. Algorithms are processed locally - directly on a mobile device or server - rather than in the cloud. This reduces cost, computing power and energy requirements. There are also claims that edge AI is so fast it is possible to reach near real-time analytics.
Edge AI devices include smart speakers, smart phones, laptops, robots, self-driven cars, drones, and surveillance cameras that use video analytics.
Who is NeuTigers?
NeuTigers is a spin-off company from Princeton University, formed in 2018 to apply edge AI and machine learning to solve challenges in healthcare, energy, productivity, and security.
With offices in Princeton, NJ, the company is based at one of the top AI accelerator programs of FutureLabs in New York, and has also established a subsidiary in Nice, France.
How is NeuTigers applying edge AI to healthcare?
The NeuTigers AI Technology Stack uses deep neural networks that mimic how the human brain perceives and interprets the world. The company has developed the StarDeepTM Smart Health Platform for health monitoring and biomedical imaging, to improve the accuracy and speed of diagnosing diseases.
NeuTigers say the platform has the potential to monitor and screen for thousands of conditions, when used in combination with medical devices and smart sensors already deployed in healthcare settings.
Are there any real world examples?
In January NeuTigers launched CovidDeep, a tool that predicts COVID-19 with more than 90% accuracy, using physiological data from a wristband along with blood pressure and blood oxygen readings. It then analyses the data and gives a prediction within two minutes.
This week NeuTigers announced a new study to detect the early signs of complications with sickle cell anaemia. Conducted at a hospital in Paris, the research will begin by looking at changes to skin response, heart beat, sleep and temperature to predict an acute episode of sickle cell anaemia, and how this impacts on the patients’ disease conditions and quality of life.
The second phase of the project is to expand with prospective studies across different sites in EU, Africa and the US to explore the models' accuracy and clinical effectiveness.
Adel Laoui, CEO and founder of NeuTigers, says: “The best way to deal with a crisis is to avoid it happening in the first place. We are now entering a new era where medical early warning systems have become a reality.
“We are excited at the possibility of deploying a technology that can save lives of patients dealing with sickle cell anaemia. The potential of the StarDeep platform to dramatically improve patient outcomes while slashing some of the highest costs of healthcare makes it one of the most exciting developments in preventative personal medicine.”