Drawbridge Health wants to facilitate the collection of small blood samples by doctors' offices and clinics for on-site testing with the aid of a hand-held device.
The device uses patented technology to collect and stabilize a few drops of blood for various tests such as hormonal levels, genetic testing, disease surveillance and other tasks normally performed by an external laboratory such as Quest Diagnostics or Lab Corp.
Instead, the device can stay in the clinic and the Drawbridge trademark cartridge containing your blood will be sent to the third party lab to get results.
Of course, any blood test startup claiming to collect only a few drops of blood for testing on a small device will be compared to Theranos, who promised to provide results for hundreds of diseases on one only drop of blood. It's a euphemism to say that things have not gone very well for this startup and it seems like it's running out of money.
However, GE Ventures partner Risa Stack, who played a key role in Drawbridge's idea, says that unlike Theranos, Drawbridge is just collecting blood. He does not do the tests.
"The partners will test our stabilized samples and our responsibility is to give them a quality sample," Stack told TechCrunch.
GE Ventures started the business through an old VC method, which consisted in proposing this idea internally, with the promise of launching and financing the startup as and when as it progresses.
The idea seems probably fantastic to anyone who hates going to the doctor, and then going to a laboratory for blood tests. The device also promises a minimum of discomfort for those who hate the needles because just a few drops of your arm. I am told that it is less than a pinch.
But the first Drawbridge has to overcome some obstacles. It is early for Drawbridge and is currently exploring partnerships with clinics and doctors' offices.
She will also have to go through the FDA's approval, which she requested as a medical device.
This summer GE Ventures hired Lee McCracken to lead the ship as CEO of Drawbridge and the start-up is planning a commercial launch next year, pending FDA approval.
There are also other approaches to eliminating blood collection intermediates – One Medical and Forward have internal labs where patients can do blood tests.
There are also other diagnoses of blood bites but, as McCracken points out, those, like Theranos, present a potential risk.
"The current sample testing process is inconvenient and difficult for patients and medical providers," McCracken said in a statement. "It requires clinical treatment equipment, often a technician specially trained to draw blood, plus a trip to the doctor's office or hospital, combining world-class technology developed by GE Healthcare with a talented founding team. to meet a significant market need, Drawbridge Health is well positioned to transform diagnostic testing for health sector stakeholders, testing laboratories, patients and consumers. "
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