Dedi Gilad was a young father of two dealing with fevers, fussy eaters and his daughter’s chronic ear infections when he did what few exhausted parents of young children do – he launched a startup.
Tytocare is a telehealth company bringing medical exams to the comfort of our homes. And like all good ideas, it was born out of necessity. Gilad was spending hours day and night at the emergency room with his daughter, getting exposed to germs in hospital waiting areas and losing countless hours of sleep, only to receive the same diagnosis every time.
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There had to be a better way, he thought.
Together with Ofer Tzadik, a friend with decades of experience in the fields of healthcare IT, semiconductors and communications, the two founded Tytocare in 2012 to better connect people with healthcare professionals through remote examinations for quicker diagnoses. Gilad tells NoCamels that the name comes from a type of owl known for its smarts, sharp hearing, and excellent vision – characteristics that he says guide the company.
Today, TytoCare has three FDA-compliant devices: the TytoHome, a personal, portable device with a stethoscope that can examine the ears, throat, heart, lung, abdomen, and skin, and measure heart rate and temperature; the TytoPro for clinicians which comes with a no-touch infrared basal thermometer, digital stethoscope, digital otoscope and tongue depressor adaptors, as well as a platform that records the data for specialist consultation; and the TytoClinic, similar to the TytoPro but with more features and an iPad stand, meant for remote use like in schools, nursing and home care facilities, clinics, work sites, urgent care and EMTs.
All the data collected goes into the TytoApp where physicians can conduct a live video exam or access at a later time for a diagnosis.
Gilad tells NoCamels that the company puts a premium on consumer experience, especially parents’ as they “should have the easiest and simplest experience when examining [their children].”
“Not only do we want the technology and its use to be of the highest quality, we’re also taking advanced data and translating it into comprehensible results for people who don’t necessarily have medical training,” he says.
And physicians, too, seem to approve. Tzadik, who serves as Tytocare’s COO, told an audience at a health conference last month in Tel Aviv that some doctors have reported that TytoCare products give readings that are more high-quality than those produced by the equipment available to doctors in conventional medical checkups.
Last year, a study with Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva and Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine gave Tytocare’s solutions a thumbs up. Professor Yehezkel Waisman, director of emergency medicine at Schneider and an associate professor at Sackler said the quality of the readings and the user experience were positively received in a study with 137 participants aged 2-18, which is “a great testament to the solution’s promise to provide accurate and confident diagnoses via telehealth technology.”
Gilad said in response at the time that “by providing reliable, remote examination data, TytoCare delivers ‘the missing link in telehealth,’ expanding the ability of physicians to reach confident diagnoses miles away from their patients.”
But Tytocare’s products come with a price-tag. The TytoHome is currently available on pre-order at $299, which may not deter young and first-time parents willing to spare no expense for at-home quick diagnoses, while the TytoPro can be bought for $999, and the cost for the TytoClinic has yet to be determined.
Last month, Tytocare raised $25 million in a Series C funding round led by China’s Ping An Group, bringing the total amount the company has raised in six years to over $45 million.
Gilad tells NoCamels that the new injection of funds will go toward expansion in the US, where it is already partnered with 25 health systems and working to cooperate with big American companies, and growing its sales, marketing, and engineering teams. He adds that the company will also focus on product offering and add more eventually add more features to enhance their devices and services.
Tytocare has received a lot of attention in the US and Europe but Gilad acknowledges the road has been challenging. If he has one piece of advice, it’s patience “because there will be a lot of Nos throughout the journey.” Also “choosing the right partner, making sure the people surrounding you are supporters, and always believing in yourself.”