December 11, 2023

six out of ten americans have a chronic diseasebut patients do not always have access to convenient and low-cost health testing, and current testing methods still have bottlenecks.

West Fox Health The hope is to change that with more advanced blood tests using silicon photonics chip technology, so that lab-grade health testing equipment can be installed in every home. This is the semiconductor technology that is changing internet connectivity.

MIT scientists Diedrik Vermeulen and Michael Dubrovsky founded the company in 2020 and were part of that year’s Y Combinator summer team. At the time, the Burlington, Mass., company was developing a circuit board for optical chips, with the goal of replacing refrigerator-sized diagnostic machines with microchips. Its first product is a $1 single-use COVID-19 test.

CEO Vermeulen explained that other at-home blood testing technologies focus on strips and other collection methods, which are less expensive components rather than testing devices. Instead, SiPhox Health started with the more expensive side — lab instruments.

“Our approach is to miniaturize all the components onto a silicon chip,” he told TechCrunch. “Silicon photonics keeps the instrument completely unchanged, so we inherit all the functionality, reusability, sensitivity, etc., and bring that to the consumer.”

And, instead of relying on an annual blood test to assess someone’s health, SiPhox Health is empowering patients and their doctors with a wealth of data points to better help make real-time health decisions.

The company offers a test kit and 17 biomarker tests, essentially a basic mix in the areas of inflammation, cardiovascular health, metabolic health, and hormone balance. Kits are sold as subscriptions for $95, with a $16 monthly membership that includes perks like access to a continuous glucose monitor and personalized biohacking tools.

It is currently being tested using mail-in samples and traditional techniques. Dubrovsky said in an interview that the company is working on a device for the home, but it is not yet on the market. Prices for its future products, including the SiPhox Home product, will be subscription-based at less than $100 per month, the company said.

SiPhox Health is working to get the SiPhox Home product approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration next year. The platform will perform protein and hormone tests from a finger prick blood sample and provide results in five minutes or less. The company is preparing case studies with thousands of people.

The diagnostics market has undergone a major shift toward the home, driven by companies like Everlywell, and complemented by startups around the world such as Oova, Simple HealthKit, Senzo, Healthtracka, TBD Health, Starling Medical, and Hormona, which have attracted venture Investing has gained attention in recent years.

SiPhox Health’s work has also been boosted by a $27 million funding round, including $10 million in seed funding and a new $17 million Series A round. The recently completed Series A round was led by Intel Capital, with participation from Khosla Ventures, Kortex Ventures, Alumni Ventures, Metaplanet, Shorewind Capital, LongeVC, Overlap Holdings, and Duke Capital Partners.

Khosla Ventures and Y Combinator co-led the seed round, with additional investors including Metaplanet, Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative, Rsquared, Vituity, Paul Buchheit, Balaji Srinivasan, Bob Lee, and Longevity Tech Fund.

SiPhox Home

This is what the SiPhox Home home testing kit looked like when it launched. Image Source: West Fox Health

The Series A funding will also help SiPhox Health expand its team of 30 in biology, scientists, engineers and mechanical engineers, and expand its current footprint.

“Since we first started understanding the market and blood testing, we are currently growing exponentially,” Dubrowski said. “We found that a lot of people had prediabetes and other similar conditions, and 20 percent of the tests we ran had at least one of those categories in addition to mental health and cardiovascular disease.”

Meanwhile, Intel Capital has remained a busy corporate VC of late with its investment in SiPhox Health, investing in Figure earlier this week and more recently in an AI sensing technology company. matrix space and data workflow automation company alchemy.

As part of the investment, Srini Ananth, managing director of Intel Capital, joined SiPhox Health’s board of directors.

“The rapid growth in telemedicine and home health requires new diagnostic paradigms. SiPhox Health’s rapid, accurate home testing has the potential to transform the patient journey for employers, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and health systems,” Ananth said in a written statement. “Investment in silicon photonics by the datacom and telecom industries over the past two decades has facilitated the massive expansion of the Internet and cloud computing. We were impressed with Opportunity’s technology and approach.”