- Telehealth giant Amwell and Israel-based medical device maker Tyto Care are expanding their home healthcare device partnership to augment virtual visits, the two companies announced Wednesday.
- The two first partnered on remote exams in 2016, integrating Tyto devices for patients to check health and symptoms during an at-home primary or urgent care visit with Amwell's virtual care platform.
- Now, they're pairing the TytoHome handheld examination device with Amwell’s telehealth platform, with the goal of improving provider examinations and diagnoses of patients during virtual visits conducted on Amwell's platform, the companies said. As part of the expansion, Amwell will also become a reseller of eight-year-old Tyto's integrated devices.
Virtual care use has skyrocketed this year as the COVID-19 pandemic kept wary patients away from doctor's offices and hospitals for non-emergent needs. Though telehealth use has moderated somewhat from a peak in April, vendors are aggressively pursuing deals to build out their service and product lines in a bid to differentiate themselves.
The TytoHome handheld examination device allows patients to exam their heart, lungs, skin, ears, abdomen and throat at home, along with measuring body temperature. Providers can guide patients through the remote medical exam kit to get real-time data about the patient's health and symptoms, with the patient manipulating the kit's stethoscope, camera, thermometer, tongue depressor and otoscope.
It launched in the U.S. in 2017, post-FDA clearance.
Along with the handheld tool, Tyto's platform includes telehealth for sharing exam data; a cloud-based data repository; and AI algorithms to help with accuracy and ease of use. The platform can be integrated with EHRs, other third-party exam tools and other telehealth platforms.
The goal of such integrations is to make the virtual care experience more akin to a hands-on doctor's visit. Physicians continue to be concerned about the quality of digitally delivered care, viewing it as a poor replacement for an in-person exam. Most physicians think fewer than 10% of visits next year will be virtual, according to a July report from Sage Growth Partners.
And patients, after receiving the Tyto kit, need to set it up at home, including connecting to Wi-Fi, and manipulating the different devices. Operating and troubleshooting such equipment, in addition to participating in a video visit, can be difficult for some. An estimated 13 million seniors, or 38% of all older adults in the U.S., were not prepared for video visits, mostly due to inexperience with technology, according to an August JAMA study.
Late last year, Tyto inked a deal with Best Buy to sell its kit and telehealth offering, with the TytoHome retailing for $299.99. Each TytoHome virtual visit with a provider costs about $60, according to the company, and potentially less depending on the type of visit or the patient's insurance.
Tyto's revenue mostly comes from subscriptions, along with one-time payments for its devices, CEO Dedi Gilad said at CB Insight's Future of Health conference last week. It's active in the business-to-business and business-to-business-to-consumer space, with a target audience of at-home consumers, school-based telehealth, remote clinics and elderly population monitoring.
Revenue was up 200% in 2019 compared to 2018, and up 120% year to date over 2019, Gilad said.
Tyto raised $50 million in a growth round in April, bringing its total funding to more than $102 million since it launched in 2012.