Telemedicine provider American Well has teamed up with Israel-based medical device maker TytoCare to combine video telehealth visits with remote examinations.
With the partnership, TytoCare’s examination platform will be integrated into American Well’s telehealth platform. In turn, TytoCare’s customers will have access to the network of healthcare providers who use American Well’s platform. Patients will be able to replicate an in-office visit at home by using TytoCare’s platform to examine the skin, heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, throat and skin. Then, they can share the examination with a clinician prior to or during a telemedicine visit.
TytoCare, which recently received FDA clearance for its digital stethoscope, offers several FDA Class 1 devices: a connected otoscope for ear examinations, a high-resolution camera, and a thermometer that is placed on the forehead for a reading. The devices pair with smartphones to capture, store and share data via a cloud-based telehealth platform with video conferencing.
“This is a really logical evolution for us,” TytoCare CEO Dedi Gilad told MobiHealthNews in an interview. “We are very happy to part of the strategy to extend a doctor’s visit and provide a comprehensive telemedicine experience. As a tech company, we are service agnostic and are not planning to do any services ourselves on the clinical side, so integrating with networks like American Well is a really an important milestone."
Gilad explained that the integration will be gradually offered to customers, starting with patients through health systems and employers. Eventually, there will be more of an effort to reach out to individual providers or clinics that use American Well.
“The healthcare providers are not the end user – they will start offering to their population and work with Tyto to elevate or improve their offering, particularly for those who want more meaningful use cases and better chronic disease management,” he said.
Both companies said the partnership represents the growing capabilities and use of telemedicine.
“Our partnership with Tyto Care arms remote telehealth physicians with the physical examination they traditionally needed to safely diagnose, treat and follow medical conditions while the patient remains in their home,” American Well CEO Dr. Roy Schoenberg said in a statement. “This is a significant step forward for the telemedicine industry and further extends the scope and reach of safe digital healthcare delivery.”
For Gilad, the partnership also shows the expanded demand and expectations for telemedicine, as well as future possibilities.
“What is really nice is seeing telemedicine growing from this niche product a few years ago, where there were just a few pilots here and there and a few providers using it, to this big aspect of healthcare that still has so much potential,” he said. “I think this partnership represents what is still just the tip of the iceberg to what could happen in telemedicine.”