PoopTech to AI and the microbiome: 10 Startups in Digital GI
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. While the GI world is busy educating patients about colonoscopy, the startup world is busy finding new ways to work with the gut.
With $3.3 billion in investor money, the gut indeed seems to be the next frontier in digital health. CB Insights called some of this technology as Poop Tech! Take a look at their market map of the fecal ecosystem.
Meanwhile, here are 10 startups that show you the spread of innovation in the digital gastroenterology space.
1/ Kallyope: A NY-based startup harnessing the gut-brain axis, the bi-directional information highway between the gut and our brain. They are combining technologies in sequencing, computational biology, neural imaging, cellular and molecular biology and human genetics to develop new therapeutics.
2/ DFree: A startup based in California created a wearable device for urinary incontinence. This device gives you a 10 minute heads-up (a notification) that it would be better for you to be near a toilet. It does so by tracking your daily bowel movements.
3/ BiomeSense: BiomeSense is a startup developing biosensors. These sensors can detect particular kinds of bacteria in patients’ feces. Basically, they collect, store and analyze data of daily human gut microbiome profiles. BiomeSense plans to help improve the efficacy of clinical trials.
4/ Docbot: An AI-enabled computer vision platform for gastroenterology practices to improve colonoscopy procedures. DocBot tracks withdrawal time, intubation rate, bowel prep, and adenoma detection rate. More than 2,000 procedures to date have used Docbot.
5/ Vivante Health: This company has made it to the list of Digital Health 150. The company makes GIThrive an all-in-one digital platform for digestive health. The app includes microbiome testing to uncover bacterial imbalance, a personal handheld digestion monitor to identify “trigger food” with a breath test, therapeutic nutrition and self-paced patient education.
6/ Geneoscopy: A life sciences startup that’s developing diagnostics that leverage RNA to prevent, detect and treat GI diseases. It has a stool-based, multi-target RNA biomarker panel that can identify colorectal cancer.
7/ auggi: This company is trying to create the world’s largest database of human stool photos! auggi hopes to build a poop tracker reliable enough to identify GI problems.
8/ AsiaBioBank: This Asian startup is collecting human gut microbiota. They want to provide safe access to fecal microbiota transplant.
9/ Viome: A microbiome analyzing startup. Viome’s ‘gut intelligence’ test kit gives a comprehensive analysis of your gut microbiome.
10/ Charmin (P&G’s toilet paper brand): They’ve created a roll bot that’ll bring you toilet paper when you need it and a smell sensor that tells you how smelly a bathroom is!
What does it all mean? Many advanced technologies are entering gastroenterology from different angles. They will multiply and accelerate the pace of digital GI. Simply put, it’s unlikely that the business of GI will stay the way it was a decade ago.
Do you agree or disagree? Are there other technologies you’ve come across that seem like digital GI. Leave a comment and let me know.