Medella Health, a Velocity Garage company that develops smart contact lenses to monitor glucose levels of patients via a smartphone, announced today that it has raised a seed round of $1.4M from 1517 Fund, Fifty Years Fund, Garage Capital, BDC Capital and other investors.
Their revolutionary contact lens will support a preventative model of care by continuously monitoring glucose levels and transmitting the information to a mobile device so patients can manage their diet, exercise and habits. The smart contact lens works by integrating a small sensor, chip, and micro-antenna into the structure of the contact lens. Unlike other lenses in development, Medella Health’s proprietary sensor lasts up to a month. This extended lifespan makes calibration simple and also significantly reduces the cost of continuous glucose monitoring.
Founded in early 2013, what began as a three-person team has now grown to a team of fifteen comprised of experts in nanotechnology, health IT, micro-electronics and micro-fabrication. Dr. Lyndon Jones, Director of the Centre for Contact Lens Research stated, “I’ve seen the Medella Health team grow since their early days in the labs – not only do they have the rigor and resilience to solve the hard problems facing this industry, but they weave together the balance between visionary purpose and practical implementation.”
Medella Health’s vision is reflected in a process that focuses on the patient. Today, users monitor their glucose levels by pricking their fingers, taking a drop of blood and putting it on a glucometer to be analyzed. This process draws unwanted attention to the user, and is often inconvenient. By having a smart contact lens, users can have a stream of data available at their fingertips without having to invasively monitor their glucose levels periodically throughout the day.
Co-founder and CEO, Harry Gandhi is excited for the year ahead. “There’s never been a better time to do this – our healthcare system is ripe for disruption, where the industry leaders and key opinion leaders are advocating to shift from a reactive model of care to a preventative model of care.” Medella Health will use the seed capital to focus on scaling their technology and to partner with micro-fabrication companies, contact lens manufacturers and healthcare providers.