The demand for triaging technologies like conversational bots has risen sharply as the pandemic reaches new peaks. Millions of patients wait at least two hours to see a health care provider, according to a study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Tech giants like IBM, Facebook, and Microsoft have partnered with governments and private industry to roll out chatbot-based solutions in response, as have a number of startups. Companies like Current Health and Twistle have teamed up with Providence and other health care providers to pilot at-home health-tracking platforms. Even before the pandemic, nine in 10 seniors said they would prefer to stay in their homes over the next 10 years, highlighting the need for remote health monitoring solutions.
TytoCare is among the many startups vying for a slice of the growing telehealth and remote health monitoring market, which is projected to reach $559.52 billion by 2027. The New York-based company was created after cofounder and CEO Dedi Gilad spent hours taking his daughter to and from the doctor for chronic ear infections. The inconvenience of taking time off from work and school, driving to see the doctor, and waiting for appointments, combined with the risk of contracting illnesses in the waiting room, inspired Dedi to develop a solution that would make the experience more convenient and accessible.
TytoCare guides patients to use devices that collect real-time heart, lung, skin, ear, throat, abdomen, and body temperature data. The devices employ AI engines that are regularly retrained from hundreds of thousands of remote examinations to ensure a baseline level of accuracy.
Gilad says TytoCare’s platform, which was developed by training an AI system for over two years on a dataset of tens of thousands of clinical exam videos, sounds, and images, can alert clinicians and patients to the presence of these abnormalities. “Analysis of this robust big data, in combination with clinical literature, fuels the decision support algorithms. The machine learning algorithms required testing on the large number of exam recordings unique to TytoCare and are also equipped to handle lower-quality data collected during user intake exams and to remove any interfering sounds,” he told VentureBeat via email.
Levels of patient satisfaction with telehealth services are among the highest of all health care, insurance, and financial service industries, thanks in part to the accelerating adoption of AI-powered services. In early 2019, the Food and Drug Administration noted the potential for AI to reduce treatment variability. And in 2017, Accenture analysts demonstrated the potential of AI in health care to realize $150 billion in annual savings by 2026.
TytoCare, which today announced it has raised $50 million more in equity funding, recently introduced an AI-powered diagnostic support solution that provides clinicians with insights for remote diagnoses. Using machine learning algorithms, the solution was initially deployed to detect abnormalities in lung exams, such as wheezing, stridor, and crackles. It also is being expanded to detect symptoms in throat exams, such as exudates, throat redness, and swollen tonsils.
Insight Partners led TytoCare’s oversubscribed series D extension round announced today, with participation from new investors Tiger Global Management and Qumra Capital and existing backers Qualcomm Ventures LLC, Olive Tree Ventures, and Shenzhen Capital Group Company. The round doubles the company’s valuation and brings its total funding to $155 million.