Breathometer is a Mark Cuban-backed startup in digital health. Which makes an oral health sensor that is connected to a smartphone. And has settled a lawsuit before the Federal Trade Commission over its first product, a mobile-connected breathalyzer. In accordance with the agreement, Breathometer must offer the full amount of refund to those who purchased the device.
The FTC states that it found significant accuracy issues with the breathalyzer machine. Since that it advertised itself as a police-grade device. And consumers were instructed to use it in order to assess whether or not the vehicle was safe. The Commission was able to take accuracy issues serious.
“People relied on the defendant’s products to decide whether it was safe to get behind the wheel. Jessica Rich head of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, declared in an announcement. “Overstating the accuracy of the devices was deceptive — and dangerous.”
Alongside the initial problems with accuracy as well as the initial accuracy issues, the. FTC was more concerned about Breathometer’s response when it became aware of them in the year 2014. Breathometer first attempted to correct the issue by making changes to the app that would overestimate results. However after the issue could not fixed, they ceased using the device without informing the retailers or customers why. FTC Senior Attorney Lesley Fair wrote in a blog article about the decision. It wasn’t until the end of October when the application was change to make it impossible to use the breathalyzer.
Breathometer has moved off from Breathalyzer space for some time currently, focussing on Mint it’s oral health monitoring device. In a message to its Breathometer’s users on its website, the company’s investor as well as. “Shark Tank” shark Kevin O’Leary explained that the company decided to concentrate exclusively on the digital health initiative.
“We feel it is important to clarify that this settlement does not undermine our achievements in creating quality consumer health devices,” O’Leary said in his. “We proactively stopped manufacturing Original and Breeze in 2015 prior to the FTC’s inquiry. Stand behind our current product, Mint, and its quality and pioneering technology.”
Mint measures the amount of volatile sulfur compounds present in breath that are create by anaerobic bacterial strains in the mouth. As per the manufacturer the bacteria are associate with poor oral hygiene and health issues like gum decay as well as bad breath. Recently, they signed an agreement to market Mint in a package along with Philips Sonicare electronic toothbrushes.
In the remainder of his blog. O’Leary sought to distance the company from its past and strengthen its image as a serious, mature business.
“When Breathometer was found in 2012, our goal was to harness cutting-edge technology to deliver meaningful information about your body to you, immediately,” the founder wrote. “Since then, we’ve evolved from a. SharkTank sensation to a more mature company with a dedicated and talented leadership team with decades of collective experience in the medical device industry. We are firmly unite in our effort to deliver best-in-class connected products that help everyday consumers monitor their body in meaningful ways.”
An interview was conduct by TechCrunch, Breathometer CEO Charles Michael. Yim blamed Mint, the manufacturer of the company, for the inaccurate errors and promised to collaborate with a more reliable partner to improve the accuracy of Mint.
Breathometer has seen a rise in popularity after a great appearance on the investment reality. TV program Shark Tank and ultimately did more than $5 million in salesthat means that the business could be liable to lose up to. 5 million dollars in refunds should customers decide to opt in to the offer. In reality, the decision will probably cost the company less.
In the case of the FTC agency, it offered a few lessons for other businesses can learn from Breathometer’s risky mistake. Fair stated that businesses should be cautious when claiming which affect safety. They should ensure they test their products outside of the laboratory, in the same way that the public uses them in; and must ensure that the tests they conduct are consistent with their claims in advertising. In addition, businesses should respond faster and more efficiently to problems.
“According to the FTC, the defendants’ failure to take appropriate action after learning that the device posed. A public health and safety risk caused or was likely to cause substantial injury to consumers,” she stated. “That includes people who relied on the device in deciding to drive after drinking – and the rest of us on the road.”