Sudbury med-tech company Verv Technologies has received $140,000 from the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC) to help in the development of its in-home blood-testing device, Vi.
Announced on Oct. 29, the funding comes from NRCC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, which provides advice, connections, and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity and take ideas to market.
The funds will go toward further advancing the technological aspects of the Verv Vi prototype, a first of its kind.
“We are pleased to receive this support from NRC IRAP which will allow us to further develop and bring to market our Vi prototype,” said Victoria Coleman, Verv’s vice-president of business development, in a news release.
“Research and development are an essential part of any new product and today’s funding will further assist our company as we look to transform blood testing and enable people to take control of their health.”
Conceptualized more than a decade ago by founder Jeff Sutton, the Verv Vi enables users to test their blood for a number of health markers, including vitamin D, glucose, and cholesterol.
After pricking their finger, a user places a drop of blood onto a disposable test strip, which is then inserted into Verv’s analyzing device, called Vi.
The user then runs the Verv app through their smartphone, which activates the device to perform the analysis. Results are delivered minutes later.
The startup's target market is health-conscious consumers who trend toward preventive health measures – the same demographic that uses Fitbits and other electronic devices to track indicators like heart rate, exercise, weight, steps, and more.
In September, Verv was the recipient of $500,000 in provincial funds from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund.
Earlier this year, Verv announced it has engaged the Toronto-based firm Cortex Design to assist in the design of the device.