The Scanadu Scout, a new product in development about the size of a hockey puck, will take people’s vital sign readings. Although that doesn’t sound particularly revolutionary, what makes the Scanadu innovative is it reads your vitals after simply being pressed against the skin. After taking readings from your wrist or forehead, for example, the vital sign data is displayed on a smartphone. An article on McKnights.com reports that the Scout made its debut in late 2012, but is still in development by the company.
If the speed and level of crowdsourcing for a project is any indication of perceived value of a product, the Scanadu Scout became the highest funded product on the Indigogo website, which raises funds to develop new products and ideas. The Scout broke the site’s funding record and reached the initial goal of $100,000 in less than two hours. When a new idea for a product generates this much interest, it’s usually because there is a great need that isn’t being met.
What the article stressed is the noninvasive aspect of the Scanadu Scout. It takes the individual’s vital signs without needles, cuffs or uncomfortable straps. The speed with which the vitals are reported, within 10 seconds, makes it a fast and efficient system to deliver medical information to caregivers and medical personnel. Another important aspect of this small, self-contained device is that it’s user-friendly, allowing a person to take more control over how their medical information is obtained.
Indigogo reports that the Scout is scheduled to launch in March 2014. The next phase of production is developing the educational features of the device. The Scout’s creator, Walter De Brouwer believes for people to take a more active role in their health, they will require not just the data, but be able to understand it and how to act on the information. De Brouwer calls this “a consumer, rather than clinical, pathway to medicine.”
The good news for seniors and their caregivers is the Scanadu Scout will be affordable and portable. For professional caregivers working in assisted living communities this will make tracking residents’ health conditions much easier.