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Patients can test things like cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose without needing to see a doctor
Even before COVID, the act of going to a doctor's office or a hospital was fraught with risk; you might wind up coming home sicker than you were when you left. That fear has only intensified over the last 12 months, for obvious reasons, and that will no doubt lead to even more people wanting to their doctor appointments, and their tests, from the safety of their own home.
That's the idea behind Reperio Health, a developer of an at-home health assessment and biometric screening system. The company's technology allows individuals to measure their own levels of total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides and glucose, in addition to tests for blood pressure, resting heart rate, Body Mass Index (BMI) and Relative Fat Mass (RFM), without leaving the house.
The Portland, Oregon-based company announced on Monday that it raised $6 million in an oversubscribed seed round that was co-led by Caduceus Capital Partners and Rogue Venture Partners, with additional investment from Liquid 2 Ventures and G Ventures.
"We are all looking for ways to live longer, healthier lives. Yet, many people postpone health care, sometimes for years, putting them at an increased risk of developing underlying health conditions. There's a huge lack of focus and effort in making preventive care easy and frictionless," said Travis Rush, the company's co-founder and CEO, told me.
Here's how Reperio works: an employer signs up for the service, and a Reperio Health Kit then arrives at employees’ homes. Kits are opened when convenient, and individuals use the included QR code to download the Reperio app.
Next, employees sign into the app and are asked to answer a series of lifestyle questions to help the system better understand day-to-day trends. Once the wellness portion of the screening is complete, individuals are asked to turn on the Reperio Health Kit, and the app guides them through the tests. After that, all testing supplies are placed back into the Reperio Health Kit and returned via UPS, with a return label that is provided.
"The testing takes roughly 30 to 45 minutes in all and, once complete, the patient is presented with the results, initially as an overall health metric, but they will have the ability to drill down into deeper details and access data on an ongoing basis to identify trends," Rush explained.
While the company wants to make its tests available to health plans, retirement facilities, fitness and nutrition practitioners, as well as directly to individuals, the company is initially focusing on working with employers, which he said is "the best conduit for getting Reperio in your home." Right now, though, it doesn't yet have any customers, as the product is still in beta testing mode; the expectation is that it will be scaling this service to large groups, as well as finalizing contracts, later this summer.
While there are other companies that provide at-home testing, with the most well known probably being Everlywell and Livongo, Rush told me that he actually expects those companies to be more like partners that step in once Reperio has identified a concern that needs ongoing support.
"While there are a multitude of at-home services attempting to address or manage an already existing or suspected health problem, the market is missing a proactive at-home solution for prevention. I wanted to develop a solution that would better empower people to get out in front of potential healthcare risks," he said.
The company says it will use the funding to accelerate growth and expand proactive health monitoring to the employer market. That means building out its customer support team, which will include multiple tiers of support depending on the outcome of the patient's screening. That will also mean expanding its engineering team and supply chain departments.
It also plans to invest in Reperio Health Kit inventory and research into future sensors for additional testing as it expands its service to multiple industries within healthcare.
Reperio's goal is to make personal wellness and biometric screenings as convenient and frictionless as possible, so that more people will have effortless secure access and control over their own health data, said Rush. That's something that's only become more important now, thanks to COVID.
"Preventative wellness has been an industry priority for years, but we have largely missed the boat in terms of equipping people with the right tools. We need to put time, money and effort into making it easier for people to get in front of their health instead of constantly reacting to things that quietly creep up on us, when it’s too late," he said.
"If this pandemic has taught all of us anything, it's the importance of relieving strain on our health system by finding ways to address underlying health issues before they become an irreversible problem that we then have to manage for the rest of our lives."
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