Impact on the Healthcare Market
Healthcare is currently undergoing tremendous change across the US. The lockdown has put the spotlight on the healthcare system as an essential service. Investors and startup founders alike have started to weigh in on the pandemic and dive into the impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare market.
There’s a trend toward passive and less invasive healthcare. One of the main goals in the market is to move toward simpler, preventive care. For example, Steve Shapiro of eHealthVentures notes that one of his portfolio companies, called Olive Diagnostics, is close to having a prototype of a device that goes underneath the rim of a toilet seat. The device uses AI and through a smart spectrometer will analyze urine as an individual is using the bathroom. The goal of the device is to be totally passive. The individual just uses the toilet and the device is able to detect the molecular composition of the urine.
Another portfolio company that Steve notes is EFA (Engineering For All). EFA currently has a home-laboratory testing kit. The idea behind the testing kit is that it’s a point-of-care diagnostic that initially would go into your primary care center or an urgent care center where they can do an immediate, complete blood count test, from the prick of your finger into a handheld device. You’ll get the blood, it will go into a slide and that slide will go into a handheld device. Within about 8 minutes, the device will give you the complete blood count. Initially, this type of device would work really well in a pharmacy where they have urgent care and they can analyze the results on the spot and then give a prescription if needed. This is seen as a win-win for everybody involved, however, the ultimate goal of the device is in-home use so that the patient can do their own test without ever having to visit a doctor’s office.
The above are just two examples of a major shift taking place. With the onset of COVID, passive and less invasive care is becoming more popular, and as some would argue, needed within the healthcare space at this time.