Goleta-based InTouch Health, a telemedicine robot maker, has received an investment of $6 million from iRobot.
InTouch’s telemedicine robots allow doctors to examine patients and prescribe drugs remotely. The company, which has signaled that it intends to go public, received its last round of funding in a $10 million private placement in 2010.
In July, InTouch announced that it had struck a joint development and licensing agreement with iRobot, a Massachusetts firm that is popularly known for its Roomba home vacuuming robot but also makes industrial and military robots.
“It turns out we have very complementary technology experiences and very complementary intellectual property,” InTouch CEO Yulun Wang told the Business Times last year. “They have more experience in autonomous navigation and low-cost manufacturing. We have more experience with all the things it takes to make remote presence take place and more experience in this market.”
For InTouch, the robots themselves were only a small part of the equation. The company also had to create a secure, cloud-based system where doctors could log onto the robots from an Internet connection, and gain FDA approval for doctors to prescribe drugs and treatment through the system.
“With over 400 hospitals in the U.S. and around the world utilizing its remote presence products, InTouch Health is in a very unique position in the healthcare field with its FDA-cleared telemedicine devices,” Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot, said in a news release.