When Pleasanton tech executive Mark Lewis went to buy a thermometer after news of the COVID-19 broke, he was amazed at the lack of sophistication. He did some reading and consulted with some other people and they were convinced it could be done better.
So, they formed Solos Health Analytics in February and did so entirely on Zoom. That included 15 presentations to seed round investors—14 came on board. He has his engineering team in Bulgaria with a firm that he’s used in the past as well as. He joked he has employees (about 25 total) working for him that he’s never met.
Since February, they have designed and proved their wearable monitor (it is like a watch with a band that goes around your upper arm), conducted the alpha test with 72 people and now are preparing to launch the beta test to about 1,000 people. They’ve already signed up 10 companies ranging from cruise lines to manufacturers and two major universities.
He said the device, FeverGuard, is targeted for release to consumers in late September or early October. It will be priced at less than $50, he said.
The key to the technology is the Bluetooth wireless built into the device that uploads data to your wireless phone and then to a cloud-based machine learning system. That machine learning will track the data and establish the normal body temperature range. It then will report any anomalies.
Lewis said that the real-time monitoring is particularly important for essential workers who routinely encounter fellow workers and the public. Understanding how your body temperature varies over the course of the day with the alarm if it varies out of normal allows people to stay home, get checked much sooner and stop the virus from spreading. The app will pick up the anomaly much more quickly and allow action sooner.
Significantly, each user owns their own data so they can decide whether to share it with a health care provider or another person. FeverGuard is the first product to marry real-time monitoring for a variety of vital signals with data to analyze it. Currently apps exist for heart rate, pulse and blood oxygen and temperature, but they are all separate and have their own data base.
The vision for Solos includes their app with all that capability. Lewis and his team are building the app with consumer health and wellness in mind, not as a medical device. With its health monitoring focus, it’s different than the wearable devices that are focused on fitness.
“Whenever something is changing, we view that as a great early stage detector so you know when you’re starting to get high blood pressure or you’re seeing your resting heart rate increase, you can take steps instead of waiting for your annual medical checkup,” Lewis said.
The process with a healthcare startup is new for Lewis who spent his career in tech. So, he’s pulled in others with experience and expertise in this area. As Solos increases the functions on the wearable, he thinks there’s a natural connection with telemedicine as well as applications such as monitoring a surgical patient after they return home so any temperature change can be dealt with antibiotics instead of a return to the hospital.
We also touched on digital health records with Lewis pointing out that the average individual has less than 20 megabytes of data. For comparison, he said his Tesla downloads 250 megabytes daily.