Monday, 2 May 2016

Health Tech: At-Home Blood Test Startup By Former Apple Exec

Have you heard of Bob Messerschmidt? Probably. Probably not. I hadn't until now. But you certainly have heard about Apple Inc. Yeah? Well, Bob happens to be a former Apple executive who spent three years of his time there, helping to design the Apple Watch platform after Apple acquired his spectroscopy company, Rare Light. The acquisition was in 2010.
Bob knew when he left Apple that the new company he was founding would again involve smartphones, considering the fact that smartphones are beginning to help us put a check on our general wellness and responses to medicine and other treatments.

Cor is the startup that helps you measure heart health, all with just a tiny drop of blood. You could have heard of Theranos and what the company does, but don't think Cor is like it. Cor allows people to test themselves in their own homes, using an appliance that is the size of an electric toothbrush and disposable cartridges.

The blood chemistry of the individual is then sent into the cloud, analyzed and then the results sent back to users within few minutes, about five, along with useful tips on how to make it better. Note that Cor is not trying to tell its users anything definitive. Theranos on the other hand, tries to provide diagnostic numbers.

"We're not a medical device company. We're providing lifestyle guidance. Theranos is trying to provide diagnostic numbers" says Bob.
The company is trying to be as transparent as possible. Cor's product has validated the model and methods in a clinical trial run by a third-party clinical research organization. Cor is now publishing those results in order to allow peer review and promote understanding of its approach. Interesting!

The device goes for $299, plus another $10 per month for cartridges. Now, the question is, how often would I check, or want to check my state of wellness and how willing would I be to draw blood on a weekly or monthly basis? It requires a certain level of commitment.
Cor's product features a very fine needle that gets poked in one's arm, and Bob says it's similar to what is used for glucose testing. It doesn't hurt at all.

Bob admits that there's an issue of uncertainty of some persons about their health, but for those who wish to keep at it and want to know their health status, the company provides support. That support includes feedback of Cor's customers who will be asked to answer occasional survey questions about their results and ways they are improving on them. Such insights provided, would then be used to help inform the lifestyle choices of its other users.

Customers would make use of this device for purposes ranging from, those who would want to keep track of signs of heart disease, especially for those who may have early signs of such, to those must-stay-fit kinda people who want to derive as much performance from themselves as possible.

Cor gives users a fibrinogen number. A fibrinogen is a protein produced by the liver, which helps stop bleeding by means of formation of blood clots. Fibrinogen only helps in blood clots but is not what causes the blood to clot. A blood test therefore, can be done in order to inform an individual on the amount of fibrinogen available in his or her blood. The normal range of fibrinogen presence in the blood is about 200 to 400 mg/dL.
Cor, however does not reveal this number to users but gives them insight based on its analysis, so as to enable them make better choices in terms of diet and exercise.

Cor also processes the HDL and LDL (good and bad) cholesterol levels.
Works for me. This way one can have an idea of how much our health is affected by our lifestyle choices, and what changes to make in order to lead healthier lifestyles.
Life In A Jet Age is easier. *loving this age*.