07Feb

Tyto Care Brings the Doctor’s Visit to Home: Interview with Ophir Lotan

Tyto Care is an on-demand telehealth provider based in Israel that hopes to bring all aspects of a doctor’s visit to the home. Beyond the limits of traditional telemedicine, the platform also allows patients to conduct their own physical exam using a device that combines a camera, stethoscope, otoscope, thermometer, and tongue depressor.

The idea began after Co-Founder and CEO Dedi Gilad, whose daughter had recurrent ear infections as a child, figured there was a better way to receive medical care than repeated visits to a doctor. “He couldn’t understand why he needed to go into these flu clinics or get out of work in order to take his daughter, day after day, into a clinic,” recalls Ophir Lotan, VP of Product and Implementation at Tyto Care. “As an engineer, he started thinking about a potential solution to this issue.”

Ophir Lotan

That solution was TytoCare. Since the company’s launch in 2012, it has raised over $56 million and evolved to become a mobile platform with a sleek physical exam kit. TytoCare works by connecting patient and physician through the TytoApp on a smartphone or tablet. Once the video call is connected, the physician assesses symptoms and guides the patient through a basic physical exam using the toolkit. Patients can measure heart rate and body temperature, capture heart and lung sounds, and obtain images and videos of the ears, throat, and skin. Based on symptoms and physical exam findings, the physician can make recommendations and prescribe appropriate medications. Alternatively, the patient can conduct an independent physical exam guided solely by the mobile app.

Making the patient-conducted exam accurate is a key part of the technology, says Lotan. “We have built-in guidance technology so we not only guide the user on how to capture the right data, we also in real time analyze the data and determine whether the data captured is of good quality.” And it works, he says, citing a study done at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center, a leading children’s hospital in Israel, which “confirmed that Tyto’s capability to perform a physical examination is on par with conventional in-clinic examination tools.”

Since validating its tools and platform, TytoCare has expanded rapidly. The company launched in the US after receiving FDA clearance in 2017, and plans to expand further into Europe and Canada after receiving the CE Mark and Health Canada approval in 2018. The company is also looking to move into Asian markets such as China and Japan.

Although not currently available directly to consumers, TytoCare partners with a variety of health providers. “We’ve partnered with 50 health organizations,” says Lotan, “including a wide range of the leading US health systems, top telehealth companies, retailers, large private practices, and some self-insured employers.”

In the end, the team behind TytoCare sees itself as more than just a telehealth platform with a highly accurate physical exam kit. “We’re very excited about what we’re doing,” says Lotan, “and the fact that we could potentially positively impact the way consumers utilize healthcare.”

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