Dublin, Ireland and New York City-based LetsGetChecked has raised $12 million in first round funding to support the development of its end-to-end at-home lab test business. Optum Ventures led the round, and Chinese VC firm Qiming Venture Partners also contributed.
“We started in the UK where everything’s free, you know?” founder Peter Foley told MobiHealthNews. “So we demonstrated that people will pay for convenience. Not having to go to their doctor, not having to take time off work, and then actually having the ability to manage things. So I have an uncle who has cystic fibrosis and needs to get his renal function done on a monthly basis just to manage his health. Having to go to a clinic and having to do this on a regular basis is cumbersome. We’re enabling patients to do that at home.”
LetsGetChecked, which was founded in 2014, offers a range of lab tests directly to consumers. The company sends users a test kit, which they use to collect samples, usually pinprick blood samples, following instructions in the kit or watching a tutorial video in the associated app.
When users send in the samples, they’re only identifiable by a bar-code, which helps to keep patients’ data safe throughout the process. The test gets sent to a lab partner and the results get sent first to a LetsGetChecked physician, who reviews the results and is available to counsel the patient or to reach out if results are out of an expected range. After that call, results appear on a dashboard in the patient’s app.
“We’ve integrated with all the shipping companies globally to make sure the sample is getting to the lab quickly,” Foley said. “And that’s not always for convenience, but also for sample validity to make sure our samples are stable. And then from there a physician in each state is reviewing these orders electronically, and then a patient can engage with a physician should they have an elevated result or should they just wish to have a conversation. So we’re bringing that entire flow or that entire focus just into a virtual setting. They’re still getting that same level of clinical input and touchpoints along the way [as they would at] a doctor’s office.”
Much of the funding will be used to scale the company, including growing that clinical support team. It will also be used to build out the APIs responsible for a smooth data flow between patients, labs, and providers.
In addition to offering the service directly to consumers, LetsGetChecked has created API tools to integrate with telemedicine services, allowing those visits to incorporate lab tests without the patient ever having to travel anywhere in person.
“When a provider is having a video visit with a patient … they’ll be having that conversation and it’s kind of a dead end,” Foley said. “For a virtual care provider to really become a primary care provider, they need to be able to do the testing.”