Tyto Care Ltd. nabbed $50 million in an oversubscribed round of funding the company will use to expand commercialization of its integrated telehealth platform and remote device with examination tools, which has seen a surge in demand with COVID-19. The new cash nearly doubles the New York-based company's total funding, bringing it to $105 million. Insight Partners, Olive Tree Ventures, and Qualcomm Ventures LLC led the latest round.

Tyto reported a 300% increase in sales in 2019, which has accelerated since the beginning of the year. In the first quarter of 2020, the company saw “more than half of what we saw in the entire previous year. There’s been a huge amount of demand driven by COVID-19,” said Tyto Care vice president of provider solutions David Bardan.

The company plans to use the new funds to “ increase investment in the product, focus on ramping up manufacturing, and conduct a slew of hiring in the U.S. and internationally,” Bardan told BioWorld.

“This new funding comes at a pivotal moment in the evolution of telehealth and will enable us to continue to transform the global health care industry with the best virtual care solutions. We look forward to further expanding the reach of telehealth and introducing new solutions as demand for remote care continues to soar,” said Dedi Gilad, the company’s co-founder and CEO.

Previous investors including Orbimed, Echo Health, Qure, Teuza participated in the latest fundraising round.

“The on-demand era has finally reached health care,” said Jeff Horing, co-founder and managing director of Insight Partners. “Adoption of telehealth is at an all-time high and as the only solution on the market with diagnostic capabilities that can deliver clinic-quality remote care, Tyto Care is significantly disrupting the health ecosystem.

Tyto’s difference

The integrated device comes loaded with a telehealth app, camera, thermometer, stethoscope, otoscope and tongue depressor, allowing patients or parents to provide video documenting health concerns to telemedicine providers on a store and forward or real-time basis. The hand-held tool can examine the heart, lungs, skin, ears, throat and abdomen.

The device connects to a platform that transmits data to clinicians and includes a cloud-based data repository with analytics and machine learning algorithms to ensure accuracy and help patients use the device at home (Tytohome) or in settings such as clinics, schools, prisons, and workplaces (Tytoclinic, Tytopro).

In 2019, the system was used to conduct more than 200,000 telehealth exams. “Naturally, with the number of examinations we’re conducting and completing, we’re picking up on certain abnormalities. We are creating a structure to help clinicians with decision support, so they can better understand the data presented to them,” Bardan said. “We’re looking to invest into that to further what we can pick up on rather than just offer video of the mouth or ear, to identify abnormalities.”

Nationally, Tyto has partnered with Livehealth Online to “ensure we empowered anyone in all 50 states to have an opportunity to connect with a health care provider,” Bardan said. In addition, the company has partnered with health care systems such as Oxford Health in Louisiana and Sanford Health in South Dakota to provide patients in their regions with telehealth access to local providers. The company has more than 100 partners providing care in local areas now, up from about 65 in 2019.

Patients who use the device for a telehealth appointment will pay $49 if they connect to Livehealth and no more than $59 for a visit with any other provider.

While initially targeted to families with children, some participating providers have created chronic disease bundles that work with the system to monitor chronic diseases. The device enables partners to add third party instruments such as pulse oximeters or blood pressure monitoring. For those applications, the system could alert a provider and the patient if the monitor indicates something out of the ordinary and they can have a real-time visit to see if a severe issue can be identified or averted.

“Today’s elders are different; 65-year-olds are accustomed to technology and video solutions thanks to Alexa and Google Home and other devices,” Bardan noted. “This kind of technology is not as complicated as expected for them.”

Naturally conservative clinicians have also embraced the system, he said, as the integrated tools look and work like those in their offices and give them a unique ability to examine a patient almost to the same extent as an in-person visit but with greater efficiency. Telehealth visits typically last 5.5 to 6 minutes.

Transformed future

COVID-19 has driven more patients and providers to adopt virtual care solutions for their own protection. To make that possible, regulators and payers have taken steps to improve access, increase reimbursement, and reduce barriers to interstate provision of care.

With the pandemic, “changes that might have taken years have happened in days or weeks,” Bardan said. “While some will be temporary, many of the changes will remain after the pandemic recedes. The health care system is very much maturing and becoming more accepting of virtual care.”