Fast-growing home health testing company Everly Health has tapped physician entrepreneur Liz Kwo, M.D., to lead its clinical strategy as chief medical officer.
Kwo brings expertise and leadership in data science, automation and artificial intelligence in digital health. She most recently served as deputy chief clinical officer at insurance giant Anthem, where she worked on digital solutions and advanced data analytics.
Prior to Anthem, Kwo held positions at Medtronic and telehealth company Amwell (American Well).
Austin, Texas-based Everly Health, the parent company of Everlywell, which provides direct-to-consumer at-home lab testing kits, is striving to become a leader in the $300 billion diagnostics-driven digital health industry. The company also operates an enterprise arm called Everly Health Solutions working with payers and employers.
Kwo's hiring comes as Everly Health is reportedly gearing up to partner with a home cancer testing company to offer its early-detection home cancer test to members of employer health plans, Axios' Erin Brodwin reported in February. The deal would give the company a presence in clinical testing.
Kwo, a practicing physician in urgent and occupational medicine, said she was drawn to Everly Health based on the company's focus on utilizing technology to expand access to care into people's homes and developing health tests that are "very user friendly and easily accessible."
"I've always believed healthcare resources should be accessible and meet the patient where they are, wherever they are. So adequate healthcare access and coordination by doctors for the patients is essential to Everly Health's mission," she told Fierce Healthcare in an exclusive interview.
Home testing has become a crowded field with companies like Amazon, Ro, GoodRx and Labcorp all offering at-home diagnostics for common blood tests and health screenings.
Everly Health stands out in the market as a data-driven company that also offers a personal navigation tool for patients, Kwo said.
"I love that Everly Health has patented tests that are focused on good clinical outcomes with telehealth services and healthcare professionals on their staff," she said. "They also have strong strategic partnerships and I look forward to helping to scale a lot of these businesses."
As chief medical officer, Kwo will focus on clinical quality, improving care coordination and telehealth services along with expanding the company's portfolio of home health tests and diagnostic services, she said. The company is focused on bringing more value to its payer partners, she noted.
"The goal for Everly Health is to have a diagnostic-driven approach. We know that lab testing is used in about 70% of medical diagnoses, so I'm excited about early detection, early diagnosis and driving down total medical costs. I did that at Anthem and I'd like to continue to do that here," she said. "I'm excited about scaling the additional technologies, and how do we look at more personalized care? And what diagnostic tests are we looking at, and what are future ways to scale this? What are other areas to go after from chronic care management to urgent care to fertility to men's health to wellness?"
The company has been building up its C-suite leadership. In September, Everly Health added veteran finance executives including Chris Bishko, a chief financial officer from streaming video company Tubi, and Kristina Omari, an executive who helped shepherd ride-sharing company Lyft through its 2019 initial public offering.
The digital health company is growing rapidly with 100% year-over-year revenue growth with all of its core, non-COVID testing categories growing over 100% in volumes year over year— some as high as 300% or more, a company spokesperson told Fierce Healthcare.
Everly Health has raised over $325 million to date with backers including BlackRock, The Chernin Group, Foresite Capital, Greenspring Associates, Lux Capital, Morningside Ventures and Portfolia.
The startup, founded in 2015, also has grown through acquisitions deals. Last year, the company scooped up a pair of companies that offer lab testing services: PWNHealth, which operates a clinician network for diagnostic testing, and Home Access Health. At that time, Everlywell announced the formation of Everly Health.
The company says it now supports more than 20 million people in all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Those acquisitions significantly boosted Everly Health's headcount from 88 in February 2020 to nearly 600 people today.
Bloomberg reported that Everlywell's valuation soared to $2.9 billion after those deals.
Also last year, Everly Health picked up women's health company Natalist as it pushes deeper into women's health and retail products. Natalist’s products expand Everlywell’s existing women’s health offering that includes at-home collection lab tests for menopause, fertility hormones and sexual health, the companies said.
"We're always looking to grow, whether it's through other mergers and acquisitions that we're looking at to things that are more focused on the clinical outcomes and how can we drive better wraparound services for our strategic partners. We're also looking at additional home tests," Kwo said.
Kwo continues to practice medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. She also has an entrepreneurial background. She founded multiple venture-backed companies and oversaw the successful exits of educational platform New Pathway in 2014 and digital healthcare company InfiniteMD in 2020.
Everly Health is growing as consumer-driven healthcare drives a major shift in the industry, Kwo noted. She sees the startup among a new breed of companies that offer what she calls a "self-service model" that empowers consumers to proactively learn more about their health.
"Patients being able to ask questions and empowering them to be a strong advocate for their own patient journey, that's what I'm excited about. Our goal is to create more transparency, accessibility and affordability," she said.