Apparently, lots of people have dreams of being just like Spock. On Wednesday, health electronics startup Scanadu launched an Indieogo campaign for its Scout “tricorder” that, much like the medical hand-held device in Star Trek, can determine a person’s vital signs from a simple scan. And according to the crowdfunding site, Scanadu set a new record for the fastest funding velocity on the platform.
The campaign reached its goal of $100,000 in two hours (and doubled the goal within five hours), making it the fastest campaign to reach its goal on Indiegogo (of campaigns with a goal size greater than $20,000). Through Indiegogo, supporters could contribute at various levels for a range of perks, including early access to features and visits to NASA for a space medicine workshop. Early funders were able to pre-order a device for $149, while the amount went up to $199 for subsequent contributors. As of Friday, the campaign has raised more than $350,000 from funders in 65 countries.
While Indiegogo declined to share the average funding velocity of campaigns on its site or the last campaign to set a record of this type, back in August, The Oatmeal’s campaign for a Tesla museum grabbed headlines for raising $27,000 an hour.
Scanadu, which is participating in the Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE competition, first revealed a prototype of its device six months ago. By holding the small hockey puck-shaped device to a person’s head, this slightly updated version can determine a user’s heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate and oxygen levels in the blood. It can then send the information to an iOS or Android smartphone, via Bluetooth.
Scanadu founder and CEO Walter de Brouwer said he believes interest in the device stems from a desire know more about our own health and the health of the people we care about.
“It’s the sense of empowerment and the sense that we are data and some how we have to measure that data,” he told me. “And if we are data, we can change because we can set goals to improve that data.”
In addition to providing market validation for the Scanadu, Indiegogo supporters will be able to offer feedback on the devices through usability studies, which the company will use as part of its submission for FDA clearance.