FierceBiotech | by Conor Hale | Apr 22, 2019
“Best Buy said the exclusive partnership is another example of the store’s “growing commitment to the health space.” (Wikimedia Commons)
Israel-based TytoCare is pairing up with big-box electronics retailer Best Buy to put its remote medical exam hardware directly into the hands of consumers.
Available nationwide through Best Buy’s website for $299.99, the handheld device will also be offered in stores, initially at planned locations in Minnesota, California, North Dakota, South Dakota and Ohio.
The TytoHome telehealth device comes with attachments to examine body temperature as well as the heart, lungs, ears, throat, abdomen and skin to allow for remote diagnoses of ear infections, sore throats, fevers, colds and the flu, as well as allergies, stomachaches, rashes and more.
The company set out to create a medical kit that could “really capture all of those diagnostic data and share it with a clinician as part of a primary care examination,” which it saw as a “missing link” in telehealth, TytoCare CEO Dedi Gilad said in an interview in Israel, as the country prepares to showcase its biopharma industry at next month’s MIXiii BIOMED Conference in Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, Best Buy said in a statement that the exclusive partnership is another example of the store’s “growing commitment to the health space.” Last year, the retailer acquired GreatCall, which provides connected health and personal emergency response services to the elderly.
TytoCare is also linking up with regional healthcare systems including Sanford Health, a large, not-for-profit system that will provide 24-hour, physician-guided remote exams to home users in Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota. TytoCare also works with telehealth provider LiveHealth Online, powered by American Well, to offer care in other locations.
Through LiveHealth Online, select employers can offer the service to their employees and provide them with coupons to purchase TytoHome at Best Buy, the companies said.
In January, TytoCare raised an additional $9 million in funding to bring its 2018 series C total up to $33.5 million.
The funding round was led by Ping An Global Voyager Fund—with new money from Sanford Health, Itochu and Shenzhen Capital Group and its affiliates—to help fuel strategic partnerships to expand its reach into remote and rural communities in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China.
In China, “it’s not for the mass population right now—Tyto is a bit expensive for that market today,” Gilad said. But the company is working on a cheaper version with a lower-cost electronic platform that “will allow us bigger expansion in China, often at the home level.”
FiercePharma’s Carly Helfand contributed to this story.