Interview | Sanguina & its Tech Innovations
Sanguina is at the forefront of developing tools through accessible science and technology, emphasizing anemia screening. The company has launched AnemoCheck app, the first-ever mobile app designed for instant, non-invasive hemoglobin estimation.
We spoke with Sanguina CTO Robert Mannino, who has directly experienced the impact of medical technology, making people more easily informed and proactive about health.
1) What factor motivated and formed Sanguina?
I’ve been chronically anemic my entire life to the point that I need blood transfusions every month due to beta-thalassemia.
While working on my doctorate at the Georgia Institute of Technology under the direction of Wilbur Lam, MD, Ph.D., now Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder of Sanguina, I met Erika Tyburski, Sanguina’s CEO & Co-Founder. She has also dealt with anemia her whole life and, just like me, felt the need to help others be able to track their hemoglobin levels with an at-home screening solution.
That’s when I started creating AnemoCheck app and joined Sanguina as their Chief Technology Officer. AnemoCheck app is the first smartphone app for completely non-invasive and instant hemoglobin estimation, provided through a fingernail selfie.
2) What is the prevalence of anemia in the United States?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 3 million people in the United States have anemia.
Anemia impacts over 1.6 billion people (25% of the world’s population) annually, with women, pregnant women, seniors, vegetarians/vegans, and athletes being some of the most vulnerable groups. It can co-exist with many conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease, and more.
3) Your upcoming work AnemoCheck Home is currently under FDA; could you elaborate on the new service?
AnemoCheck Home is the only over-the-counter product for anemia screening. All you need is a small drop of blood, and you will have your hemoglobin estimate in two minutes. This product is set to release in early 2023. To watch a video on the product, click here.
4) Since the launch of the AnemoCheck app, how is the response, and what has been your experience so far?
The AnemoCheck app was relaunched in December of 2021, and it just hit 100,000 users, most of which take an average of 3 tests per week. We will be launching a premium subscription soon.
5) Which new features are expected to be there in the new update of AnemoCheck app?
We are launching a premium subscription soon. Some of the main features include MyMobile, a personalized algorithm that will increase accuracy by 50%. One can also have unlimited access to tests and data insights like how hemoglobin levels have changed over time. Consumers can sign up for a free 30-day trial after launch.
6) Does Sanguina plan to explore and offer solutions to various health conditions? Where do you see yourself over the coming years?
Yes, hemoglobin is only our first target, and we plan to expand to other health conditions. Our goal is to get to a place where we can offer a product suite that improves access to health monitoring.
7) In the coming years, how does Sanguina plans to expand to other geographic locations? Which other markets do you plan to offer your solutions to?
We want to offer the app to people outside of the U.S. and are currently exploring the possibility of international growth. Sanguina has the potential to make a significant impact on improving the quality of life in global populations.