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Color began with genomic testing but has evolved to being a population health company
Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco interview Othman Laraki, CEO of Color, a company that is using its technology to help improve public health infrastructure for governments, employers, and other institutions that serve large populations. Color recently raised a $167 million funding round, bringing its total to $278 million, at a valuation of $1.5 billion.
For these digital health podcasts, our goal is to also understand these three high-level questions: How are we empowering the consumer? Are we creating productivity that also allows us to see overall economic costs go down? How is this advancement changing the role of the doctor?
Highlights from the interview:
- Color is building the technology infrastructure to deliver public health services, meaning the systems to be able to bring basic versions of healthcare, things like testing for COVID or vaccinations, to people in the context of their daily lives.
- The company accounts for 70 percent of all the COVID testing in San Francisco. The company works with state and local agencies, including the California Department of Public Health, to provide access to the largest lab in the state.
- The US is very good at doing acute care for people who have insurance and can afford it. It's optimized around expensive events, but there's a lot of friction that minimizes utilization. Color wants to maximize use and access.
- Color has been involved with providing COVID testing programs to employers, universities and city governments. The company runs a lab in the Bay Area and is also integrated with some of the biggest labs in the country, to makes testing highly accessible. On the consumer end, people sign up with their phone, get registered and get the test.
- Color makes money by sponsoring institutions that have a direct stake in the health of a large population, providing a software infrastructure, and a set of services to deliver access for different protocols that they are installing for their communities.
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