A pair of University of Wisconsin researchers came up with a concept for “the Netflix of blood collection” in 2011. In the midst of their doctoral research, they had a difficult time collecting blood samples. But the Netflix shipping model—DVDs delivered and returned by mail—gave them the idea of developing a simple way for people to draw blood samples and return them to the lab.
Since then, the business that has grown from that concept—Tasso—has received funding from DARPA and multiple grants from other governmental agencies. Its OnDemand product, which makes it easy (and purportedly almost painless) for people to draw a sample using an injection-molded plastic device on their upper arm, enables users to collect a tube of blood and send it off to the lab via Tasso’s prepaid packaging.