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Scouting Report-TytoCare Remote Medical Examination Device Maker Raises $50M

Event: On March 5th, MobiHealthNews reported that TytoCare raised an additional $50 million in Series D funding this year .TytoCare innovated a handheld comprehensive exam kit; making telehealth more accessible and reliable. Ten days later, West Michigan’s Spectrum Health, announced its partnership with TytoCare. TytoCare aims to use the funding to update their AI functionality and expand its platform to more markets in Europe, Asia, and the U.S.

Lessons Learned Along the Way:

  • Telehealth has still not fulfilled its promise, there's more to be done in remote and virtual care

  • Convenience and access are key, patients will transform healthcare just as they've changed ever other industry

  • Increases in technology have realistically reached the point where they can increase the nature of procedures done outside of hospitals/physician offices.

  • AI and ML will allow providers to leverage clinicians in areas where doctors/specialists are in short supply

Description: Founded in Israel in 2012, TytoCare markets telehealth-enabled/connecting medical devices through a kit that includes a stethoscope, a high-definition camera, an infrared thermometer, an otoscope-device to examine the ears, and a tongue depressor adapter for examining the throat. By using the kit, patients can enhance a traditional telemedicine visit enabling doctors to remotely measure blood pressure and examine a patient’s ears, heart, lungs, and skin (among other things). As TytoCare describes it on their website, their innovation delivers care “just like visiting the doctor in person”. We spoke with David Bardan, VP and Head of U.S. Commercial at TytoCare who noted that the COVID pandemic had increased the demand for telehealth services generally resulting in a 2.5x increase in demand for the company recently. Bardan also noted that approximately 90% of the company’s business is in the U.S, where they have partnerships with over 120 health systems and are in over 300 Best Buy retail stores. TytoCare said they will use the funds to expand its platform into additional markets in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. In addition to expanding their platform, TytoCare will introduce more machine learning capabilities to their examination kit making these telehealth visits even more personalized and accessible. For example, Venture Beat noted that 9 out of 10 seniors prefer receiving at-home health care; increasing a demand for remote health monitoring innovations, long before the pandemic. Barden also pointed out the TytoCare devices enable the ability to perform more health management and monitoring at home which should help greatly with improving diagnosis and outcomes and even allow the company to extend the reach of care in rural communities where the number of doctors and specialists may be limited (ex: by having patients visit a clinic staffed by a PA or LPN who could then transmit the data to a doctor at another location). The company also plans to use the AI and Machine Learning capabilities incorporated into its products to broaden and deepen its clinical services. Barden noted that the company’s products can already detect a wheeze in a patient’s lungs.

Implications: TytoCare has created a product that has the potential to dramatically change the way telehealth is being practiced; allowing for patients to perform clinical tests at home. In addition to reducing the burden on healthcare providers and systems, TytoCare will allow patients to be more hands-on with their health, allowing for wellness and preventive checks even when they aren’t sick. TytoCare is already updating its practices and closing the information gap by allowing TytoCare providers to “transfer data into the EHR” via Epic’s App Orchard. Additionally, TytoCare is working on improving its AI functionality; allowing for patients to detect heart murmurs simply, without the use of ECG. The ability to gain series of vital measurements cheaply, cost-effectively, and with better quality can alleviate much of the burden currently placed on strained healthcare resources while simultaneously lowering costs. Bardan noted that as telehealth and TytoCare’s digital health devices improve, the company envisions a model where clinics equipped with the company’s devices can function as a hub for patients who may not have access to care or broadband services that allow them to take advantage of its products. This hub and spoke model has great potential to bring affordable healthcare to many who are geographically isolated or technologically deficient. TytoCare is hoping to change the way people perceive healthcare to one focused on wellness and preventive care all the while taking advantage of the shift in the way people acquire healthcare as a result of COVID.

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