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Beam Brush brings dental hygiene to the world of the quantified self (video)

October 25, 2012 9:28 pm by | 0 Comments


Beam Technologies is bringing the toothbrush into the world of digital health and representing Louisville, Kentucky in the San Francisco Bay Area as the startup joins RockHealth’s latest class.

Beam Technologies is taking pre-orders for a toothbrush that connects to an app to record brushing habits. There are many toothbrush timers in app stores but none that track how long you actually brush. The brush handle contains a sensor and Bluetooth radio. The app can track several toothbrushes, so you can set up a friendly competition among your family members.

Beam Tech co-founder and CEO Alex Frommeyer, and his two co-founders — Daniel Dykes and Alex Curry — started developing the idea at the University of Louisville. When startups started focusing on digital health, Frommeyer noticed that there was nothing that addressed dental or oral care.

“We didn’t want to be one of a dozen companies chasing after helping people finding a doctor,” Frommeyer said.

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Research has linked unhealthy gums to everything from cancer to heart disease to premature birth. Doctors and payers could become more interested in tracking brushing data as preventive care becomes important and more reimbursed.

The company closed a series B funding round in mid-September with support from the Yearling Fund, a Louisville-based venture capital fund that invests almost exclusively in early stage companies in and around Kentucky. The total amount of the round was not disclosed by the company.

“We’ve been putting that to work in a great effort to launch the Beam brush,” Frommeyer said. “We’ll do a larger raise at the turn of the year.”

Frommeyer said he stopped by RockHealth’s San Francisco office in June to meet companies in the last class as well as some of the mentors that work with the startups.

Beam Technologies is joining as a member company, which means it won’t take the $100,000 that other startups will get or give up any equity.

“We’ll be pitching at demo day and we’ll have access to all the mentors,” he said.

Some digital health devices are using crowdfunding to raise money. Neumitra just completed RockHealth’s Boston accelerator class and has a campaign on Indiegogo to fund its stress-tracking device bandu.

Beam Tech explored crowdfunding earlier in the year, but decided not to pursue it.

“There can be some advantages for certain hardware projects, but it can be an exclusive club and the whole movement may ultimately be bubbling,” he said.

Frommeyer said the company is in the final stages of scaling up for launch. He hopes to start shipping at the end of November or early December to take advantage of online shopping traffic around the holidays. Reserve yours now for $34.99.

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Veronica Combs

By Veronica Combs

I am the editor in chief at MedCityNews.com. I started writing and editing in the print world and joined a dotcom right before the 2000 crash. I was at TechRepublic/CNET/BNET for 7 years. Health was more interesting to me than the latest version of Windows, so I left for a startup tracking prescription drug news. A year later, MedTrackAlert was acquired by HealthCentral, so I shifted to audience research. The fun of daily news and interviewing smart people brought me to MedCity News in February 2012.
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