- Telehealth startup Tyto Care won federal clearance from the FDA to market a digital stethoscope in the U.S.
- The Israel-based company is launching the device as part of a set of digital tools for examining the ears, throat, skin, heart, lungs, and temperature.
- With these tools, Tyto Care aims to take telehealth beyond video conferencing to replicate a face-to-face doctor visit from a patient’s home.
The remote exams can be conducted in real-time during a live video chat or ahead of a telehealth session, Tyto Care said. The cost of the tool is about $300, according to Modern Healthcare.
In addition to the in-home product, the company is rolling out a professional version, TytoPro, that allows doctors to capture remote examination data and share it with other clinicians.
Tyto Care, which has raised more than $19 million in venture funds, is introducing its solution via large U.S. health systems, telehealth firms, and physician groups. The company calls itself "the missing link in telehealth" as its tools can allow for a complete examination in the patient's home.
Telehealth is increasingly seen as a convenient, less costly way to treat patients and expand access to care. The MACRA final rule specifically mentions telemedicine and remote patient monitoring as services that alternative payment models may cover, even when those services aren’t reimbursed under traditional Medicare.
Private insurers have also embraced telemedicine. Nine in ten employers plan to offer telehealth services to their employees in 2017, and the group predicts 100% coverage by 2020, according to a recent National Business Group on Health survey. Yet patients have been slow to utilize telehealth services.