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The company's mission to bring health equity to underserved markets
Healthcare is frequently siloed between the diagnostic test itself, lab processing, and follow-up care, which makes access to tests can be challenging. Test results often get lost in the shuffle, and often not getting the treatment they need, resulting in communities, most often those already underserved, suffering even more.
This is something Dr. Sheena Menezes saw as an immigrant, coming from Goa, India and being raised in Kuwait before moving to the U.S. for college. And it's what inspired her to co-found Simple HealthKit, an end-to-end healthcare platform that builds and delivers diagnostics, treatment and follow-up care for all, which announced a $8 million Series A funding on Monday.
"Coming from less developed countries where there are a lot of health disparities. I was shocked at the amount of healthcare disparity here and experienced the struggle from access and surprise bills that I could not afford," Menezes told VatorNews.
The mission at Simple HealthKit is healthcare from anywhere rebuilt for everyone, she explained.
"We believe in health equity and serve all communities, especially the underserved by building a system that works for all. Our team reflects the communities we serve – Simple HealthKit is 70% women and 80% people of color."
Simple HealthKit works with educational institutions, employers, public health organizations, state and local government, pharmacies, and FQHCs to deliver tests for sexual wellness, respiratory health, and chronic conditions such as diabetes, into the communities they serve. Simple HealthKit develops its patented tests and runs its own labs, and saw test volume increased by 42% between 2021 and 2022.
The physician-ordered tests can be offered over the counter for sample collection at home and return via USPS, in-clinic, and at the pharmacy, after which it also provides connections to follow-up care to make sure patients get the treatment they need.
"Too many people, especially in underserved populations, fall through the cracks while waiting for days or weeks for test results. If a person tests positive for chlamydia, for instance, we immediately connect them with a telehealth provider for a consult and medication. Otherwise, people may not get follow-up care, and a condition like chlamydia can lead to PID, ectopic pregnancies and infertility and other severe problems if left untreated," Menezes explained.
The company's platform allows enterprises to plug in their provider infrastructure for ordering tests and follow-up care via an open-ended API/ HL7 connection. If that organization doesn’t have those capabilities, the company also has an out-of-the-box infrastructure that will take an individual from sample connection through connection to follow-up care.
"We are the first and only human-centric, end-to-end healthcare platform. We believe in making high-quality tests affordable, accessible, and most of all helpful for all by building our tests, and owning our labs and digital health platform," said Menezes.
The new funding round was by Initialized Capital, with participation from seed investors Kleiner Perkins, Kapor Capital and Quest Venture Partners, and it brings the company's total funding to date to $12 million.
With this new funding, Simple HealthKit plans to add new products to its portfolio to advance initiatives to get more people to access PrEP (preventive HIV treatment) and help manage chronic conditions like heart health and chronic kidney disease.
"At Simple HealthKit, our mission is to provide healthcare from anywhere, rebuilt for everyone. We believe in health equity and serving all communities, especially the underserved by building a system that works for all," said Menezes.
(Image source: store.simplehealthkit.com)
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