|iHealth VP Steve Monnier|
CEO: Yi Liu
Based: Mountain View, CA
The scoop: iHealth Lab is a subsidiary of Andon Health, a Chinese home health product manufacturer that typically functions as an original equipment manufacturer that makes products marketed under other brands. iHealth's connected health products are a step beyond the traditional devices made by the Andon parent company. The iHealth business is slated to function, ultimately, as an independent company. Last year, the unit nabbed a $25 million infusion from Xiaomi Ventures, the venture arm of China's largest electronics company.
What makes iHealth Lab Fierce: The startup has been fast to roll out a line of at least 9 devices, which it's working to integrate into indication-focused apps for patients with heart disease, diabetes or both. It's aiming to push down the price-point of these devices, thereby eventually making them more accessible to consumers around the globe.
Admittedly, it's taking on competitors, including healthcare and consumer giant Philips ($PHG), which just rolled out a quintuplet of connected health devices as well as an initiative to start programs dedicated to common chronic conditions including diabetes and heart disease that integrate that data with EMR information to guide care and self-care.
The iHealth connected product lineup includes a wireless blood pressure cuff, a wireless blood pressure wrist monitor, a finger-worn pulse oximeter, wrist-worn activity and sleep tracker, a wireless blood glucose meter and a tiny plug-in blood glucose meter as well as a trio of scales with varying features.
Still coming up this year, iHealth will release a new iteration of the wrist-worn blood pressure monitor. It will also launch what it's dubbed the Wave Tracker, a waterproof combination swim activity and sleep tracker. Next year, iHealth aims to debut a couple more undisclosed professional-grade hospital devices.
That joint enterprise and consumer focus has proven a tough one for many health device companies given the precise regulatory standards necessary for a device for use in a healthcare setting. The company is currently in the midst of several clinical trials intended to demonstrate the clinical value of its devices.
In addition, iHealth is not just targeting use in the hospital or clinic; it also hopes that these businesses will offer them to patients who are transitioning home and that insurers and employers will be sufficiently motivated by the potential for improved care and reduced cost to provide them to covered patients or employees as well.
Thus far, iHealth has shown an eye for innovative, convenient design with a low price point that looks and feels more like a traditional consumer product than most medical devices.
"Our goal is to teach everyone that we are a one-stop solution. It's to make sure that devices across the platform are easy to use with one app to manage multiple devices," iHealth VP Steve Monnier told FierceMedicalDevices in an interview. "We are doing a lot of marketing this year toward an overall wellness solution."
The company plans in the long term to migrate its devices from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi connectivity, since the latter is easier for consumers to use and requires a one-time setup.
Monnier sees that ongoing commitment to innovation and ease of use as core to iHealth's success. Having products that are made by and access to an established home healthcare company doesn't hurt either. And, once the U.S. market is saturated, iHealth seems poised to take advantage of the massification of consumer medical devices around the globe.
What to look for: World domination. A few decades ago, it may have been unimaginable to see the global proliferation of cell phones. iHealth is among the companies poised to profit from one of the next waves--the massification of medical devices that work with in conjunction with an app on all those smart phones. iHealth has got a good start on getting a line-up of inexpensive, basic medical devices that all integrate into a single app oriented to manage a patient's particular condition.
-- Stacy Lawrence (email | Twitter)
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