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Scanadu, a Silicon Valley-based electronics startup founded in early 2011, is concerned about you – specifically, about your health. So it created the Scout, a medical ‘tricorder’ inspired by Star Trek. From the campaign page:
The strength of Scanadu Scout is in its algorithms, which will analyze measurements' data and interpret them in a way that has never been possible before. It is well known from medical practice that a certain sample size is required to achieve satisfactory performance. With your help and the large pool of devices ... we will have a device that serves you very well, and improve our algorithms by more than 20%. On the longer term, more Scanadu Scouts means better algorithms and a much better device for everyone. Health is us all.
Scanadu initially asked for $100,000 on Indiegogo, a goal it reached in just two hours. Currently, the campaign has raised over $750,000, with more than two weeks before its conclusion. The Scout starts at $199, and reward levels go up to over $4,000 – at $4,225, for instance, backers get 25 units they can order for the office. The creators have added stretch goals to keep momentum going, promising to mark each crowdfunded unit with ‘First Edition’ when they hit $800,000. Scanadu expects to ship the first units in March 2014.
With two weeks left in the campaign, the Scout is already the seventh most funded project on Indiegogo. It seems certain to become Indiegogo’s fourth million-dollar campaign, and could potentially overtake the Tesla Museum project as the most funded Indiegogo campaign.
Moreover, the campaign shows the potential of crowdfunding for medical devices. Kickstarter doesn’t allow medical projects to create fundraising pages on its platform, leading many health startups to go with Indiegogo. We’ve already seen one health-related gadget, the Misfit Shine, do well on Indiegogo, and the Scout is repeating that success. Indiegogo is capitalizing on a niche that falls outside of Kickstarter’s guidelines – can other platforms do the same?