Telehealth took off during COVID. Here's how companies like Sprinter Health and TytoCare are trying to close the loop on remote care

As access to preventive care continues to remain a challenge for millions of adults, health tech companies are ramping up their focus on extending medical care services into people's homes.

TytoCare, maker of an at-home medical exam and telehealth device kit, is rolling out a remote primary care offering called Home Smart Clinic. The service includes an FDA-cleared hand-held solution for remote physician exams and diagnoses as well as AI-enabled diagnostic support and a suite of user engagement services like consulting services, the company said. It will also include a marketing engine customized to each program, support for multiple provider models and the ability to tailor each program to different patient populations.

"We are facing a pivotal moment in healthcare—after almost three years of dealing with COVID-19, it's become clear that traditional telehealth offerings face real challenges in delivering expected ROI and outcomes, but our solution changes that," Dedi Gilad, CEO and co-founder of TytoCare, said in a statement.

The company argues the drawback of traditional telehealth is its inability to support accurate remote diagnosis and a lack of user engagement. With the advent of many virtual care solutions since COVID-19, patients have begun to experience “point solution fatigue,” per the press release, while home care, while the most convenient option—in theory—is still lagging in quality behind in-person visits.

TytoCare says its new smart clinic will reduce the total cost of care for payers by an average of 10% to deliver 59% more accurate diagnoses than traditional telehealth solutions. The company also claims the smart clinic can resolve 98% of visits without the need for an in-person appointment.

Separately this week, Sprinter Health, a mobile health and diagnostics company, announced a partnership with primary care startup Firefly Health. Sprinter Health’s home health services will be integrated into Firefly Health’s virtual primary care. The goal is to “condense the time it takes to gather important data that a physician needs into just minutes of a patient’s time,” Max Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Sprinter Health, said in a statement. 

The companies argue the hybrid model facilitates compliance with recommended screenings for patients living with chronic conditions like diabetes. Through the partnership, patients will be able to get a variety of services ordered by Firefly providers—like lab draws, vital checks, electrocardiograms, diabetic eye exams and diabetic foot screenings—from home through Sprinter Health’s phlebotomists and nurses. After a home visit, the referring physician will get lab results and summaries electronically for follow-up care.

“We know that proactive, evidenced-based preventive care improves outcomes and lowers the total cost of care. Unfortunately, routine screenings are often the ones that patients skip or delay, leading to gaps in care that unravel into avoidable, costly outcomes," Jeff Greenberg, M.D., Firefly co-founder and chief networking officer, said. The partnership will strengthen the connection between providers and patients while also improving compliance with preventive care, he added.