According to McKinsey, telehealth usage has increased 38-fold in the pandemic. Although most of the focus has been on the companies involved in building the communication layer between clinicians and consumers, there is a growing number of companies creating devices that can expand the scope of what can be monitored and dealt with in a telehealth environment.
Bisu, a Tokyo-based healthcare startup that has developed a laboratory-grade testing device that can easily be used at home to provide diagnostics that translate into actionable data for patients, has raised $3.2 Million. Bisu Body Coach will launch its portable home lab, Bisu Body Coach. This mobile health laboratory provides nutritional and lifestyle advice via easy, accurate saliva and urine testing. Its total funding has now reached $4.3 million.
QUAD led the latest funding, along with ASICS Ventures Corporation and Pacifico Investments. ASICS, the athletic shoe company, is a strategic backer and plans to work with Bisu on fitness and health service initiatives. TechCrunch's CEO Daniel Maggs, cofounder of Bisu, said that Bisu is currently in talks with other companies in the health, pet care, and bathroom sectors to form additional partnerships.
Bisu was established in 2015 and began business in 2017. It entered the HAX accelerator in 2017.
Bisu Body Coach is based on disposable test sticks and a reader which syncs with a smartphone app. The disposable test stick allows users to measure a variety of biomarkers in as little as two minutes using microfluidic labs-on-a chip technology.
Microfluidic labs-on-achip technology makes it possible to use spectrometry and end-to-end real-time measurement. This eliminates the timing issues that can be associated with traditional test strips. The microfluidic lab-on-a-chip technology can also manipulate blood, urine or saliva in a small channel to perform chemical or biological processes.
Bisu answered a question about the company's differentiation from competitors using the lab-on a chip technology. He said that it focuses on simultaneous testing multiple biomarkers to enable users to understand and make positive lifestyle changes without visiting a doctor. Other biomarkers, such as COVID-19 or influenza, are often detected by others and may be used to guide the user to seek medical attention.
Bisus app gives feedback on key nutrition indicators like hydration, minerals and vitamins, pH, acidity, uric acids, ketones, and pH. Bisu Body Coach makes recommendations based on the user's goals, preferences, sleep, activity, and weight. Bisu hopes to include zinc and Vitamin B measurements in future. Bisu also plans to create a pet health kit for dogs and cats.
Bisu Body Coach is currently being beta tested in the U.S.A and European Union. Maggs stated that the company plans to make it available in these markets by 2022. He also said that it is preparing to enter Asian markets like Japan and Korea in 2023.
Tokyo is the home of its core R&D and production teams, while Tokyo is home to Bisus software and the marketing team.
Maggs stated that the market for conventional at-home diagnostics, which is dominated by patients, was valued at $5 billion and growing.
The Bisus at-home diagnostic test is also available to non-patients. This means that people who aren't under the care of doctors or other medical professionals but want to know more about their bodies could use Bisus. Maggs stated that the market for at-home, non-patient diagnostics is estimated to be about $10 billion.