Walter De Brouwer has the mad scientist thing down: curly rumpled hair, lots of talking with his hands – the whole nine yards. After spending decades in the tech industry working on everything from publishing to telecom, time travel and interstellar flight, De Brouwer decided to jump into the health care industry after his son spent a year in the hospital after falling out of a window.
The much-publicized Scanadu Scout, which is slated to ship in the first quarter of 2014, is the result of his last two years of work. The puck-like device is a sleek vital-signs recorder – tracking everything from blood pressure, body temperature and heart rhythm via myriad sensors. The gizmo then beams your vital signs to an app loaded on your phone or tablet, where it’s yours to keep forever. De Brouwer designed the Scanadu Scout to be a DIY doctor’s office, minus the frustration, endless waiting, and lack of empowerment that’s often associated with the health care system.