Indiegogo Campaign Roundup: Home Health Monitoring, Crowdfunding Legal Costs, Help Kids With Autism

The Scanadu Scout is a medical tricorder. What is a medical tricorder? If you have to ask you probably never watched Star Trek, where they were used as an all-in-one device to monitor vitals.

Flash forward to 2013 and an Indiegogo offering is promising to bring the functionality of those tricorders in Star Trek to the home via a wireless, bluetooth-enabled monitoring device.

In order to use it, you place the device on your forehead for 10 seconds. That’s it. The results of the test are beamed to your smartphone. The Scout supports both iOS and Android devices and uses Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy).

The Scanadu team is actually using this crowdfunding campaign as a means of crowdsourcing research in preparation for a filing with the FDA. They cannot claim this to be a medical device until that filing is approved. More on the process…

Before Scanadu Scout™ can become a medical device it will have to go through the  FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval process and this is where your help comes in. With the Scanadu Scout™ you will help us by Scouting yourself and giving us feedback to refine the Scanadu Scout™.

This will happen in the framework of official clinical studies in which you will be invited to partake, ONLY IF YOU OPT-IN. For each study, some of you will be contacted and will have to sign an Informed Consent form. With your help we can put Scanadu Scout™ through FDA to become an over-the-counter consumer-grade diagnostic tool.

When do I get to sign the Informed Consent document? At several moments. When you receive your Scanadu Scout™, you will also be receive the Informed Consent document which will enable you to take part in the community, participate in our usability study, and help us define the final properties of the device.

You may also opt-in during the course of subsequently specific clinical studies in which you might decide to take part.

The device is available for $199. is an online tool for testing the style of glasses and sunglasses using a real picture of your face. It’s a rather brilliant idea. However, they’re now claiming that patent trolls are sapping valuable resources from the company in court. They’ve taken to Indiegogo to seek help in paying their mounting legal costs.

Their explanation of the situation…

The first case is a patent infringement complaint filed by Lennon Image Technologies (Case 2:13-cv-00236). Lennon is a non-practicing entity based in the Eastern District of Texas – the most plaintiff friendly county in the country. They are a classic patent troll because they don’t create anything themselves but instead exist solely to buy patents and use them offensively.  Trolls knows it costs literally millions of dollars to defend a patent lawsuit, so they use the threat of litigation as a weapon to force companies into cutting them checks to go away. But unlike most of the large businesses, we simply can’t afford to do this!

The second case is a patent infringement complaint filed by a competitor who is using a recently purchased patent to seek an injunction on our 3D virtual try-on technology for eyewear. The lawsuit (Case No. 2:13-cv-00145) was filed in the District of Utah by 1-800-Contacts, whose division, directly competes with us for online sales of designer prescription glasses and sunglasses. 1-800-Contacts is a division of managed care giant, WellPoint (NYSE:WLP).

They’re also asking supporters to support the SHIELD Act. SHIELD stands for Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes. It would force plaintiffs in patent disputes to repay the legal fees of defendants in cases where the defendants won.

Autism is an increasingly common diagnosis here in the US. Now Bubble Tree Design has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for PETE, a puppet that can be used in autism therapy. From their campaign page…

Bubble Tree is a group of Stanford Product Design students designing toys for children with autism. We design toys that are tailored to the special needs of our users. We believe in human-centered design thinking that deep empathy will lead us to great insights about the needs. We connected with local pre-schools, special classrooms, parents, pediatricians, psychiatrists, therapists, scholars, and designers and did extensive user research. We learned that children with autism face unique challenges of looking people in the eye and recognizing their emotions.

To address this need, we designed PETE, Puppet for Expressing and Teaching Emotions. It is a smart puppet that engages children with eye features and teaches them emotions. Right now we have 4 emotions: happy, sad, angry and surprised.

PETE aims to help children with autism become comfortable with looking in people’s eyes, recognize different types of emotions and verbalize their feelings. It was inspired in part by co-founder Emily Song’s work as an ice skating instructor for children with autism.

The campaign is a fixed funding campaign, so they need all $50,000 to bring the product to market.

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