GraphWear Technologies is revolutionizing healthcare with their wearable sensor, using sweat as a major indicator of disease. The company recently made a bold move to transfer their headquarters to San Francisco, California. The wearables business belonged to the University City Science Center’s Digital Health Accelerator in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and participated in the DreamIt Ventures program. Having just moved to the Bay Area, a tech hub filled with startups just like theirs, what does this mean for GraphWear?
Beyond Sweat: Hydration, Glucose, and More
Similar to the technologies of 23andMe Cancer Home Test, K’Track glucose monitor, and other clinical wearables Bold Business has featured before, GraphWear’s tech allows people to simply wear a patch to detect the need to hydrate and subsequently alerts wearers to replenish their fluids.
Initially, the company only tracked electrolyte and glucose levels through their technology’s sweat analysis. However, their greater goal was to let people know of these micro detections and what they should do about it. Naturally, athletes would be their target market. Thus, NFL players participated in testing earlier this year.
Ultimately, they want this technology to become a standard wearable device. Such tech can help diabetic patients track their glucose levels more easily, turning it into a Class 2 medical device. Co-founder and CEO Rajatesh Gudibande revealed this young startup’s long-term goal. That is, for their product to be ready for the market by 2019, specifically in the third quarter.
Why that amount of time? “Athletic teams will help us validate the technology, but we also need to gather more robust data,” Guidbande explained. He also noted that they have partnered with big names, thus moving the entire company to San Francisco—participating in Johnson & Johnson’s collaboration with the Plug and Play Tech Center incubator that was located there.
Not Just Another Health Startup
Relocating everything to the West Coast means only positive things for GraphWear. Since their bold move, the startup, led by two top venture capitalists Bio Innovation Capital and Mission Bay Capital, has raised an astonishing $4.2 million Series A.
Co-founder Saurabh Radhakrishnan mentioned this move to the Bay Area as significant. It provided the support they needed, although Philly’s ecosystem was “key” to the startup’s early stages. “We needed to stabilize in an area that fostered a long-winded vision,” he said. “We couldn’t find that on the East Coast.”
Gudibande concurred, “We lived in a hacker house and worked odd hours out of lab space a former Penn professor let us use. We had to work on this like crazy, in the lab from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. because that’s the time we had, and then the business side of things started at 9 a.m.”
Companies like GraphWear have found their beginnings in the booming startup world, and groups like DreamIt support such causes. GraphWear is not the first in medical technology to create tech using sweat analysis. However, it proved it has become significant in the industry. Eccrine Systems, Neumitra, and Electrozyme are just a few that have established themselves in the same manner.
If anything, GraphWear’s invention may create a very positive disruption to the healthcare industry. In addition, they serve as inspiration for other brilliant minds who wants to succeed in making their bold ideas a reality.