Raising our Series A to Unlock Telehealth 2.0
There is a perfect storm forming right before our eyes. Although the promise of remote-first healthcare has been decades in the making, telehealth will soon be able to push the boundaries far beyond what we thought was possible. To make sense of why this is needed, let’s first understand the past.
In the 1930s, house calls with family doctors — the earliest precursor of telehealth — accounted for 40% of all medical appointments. Yet, by 1984, house calls plummeted to less than 0.6% of all medical appointments. The promise of convenience imploded.
In the years leading up to the 1980s, there was a shift toward assembly line-like cost cutting which transformed nearly every industry in its wake. Before we knew it, even house calls were replaced with patients needing to come to healthcare facilities instead.
The definition of convenience morphed from what was efficient for patients to what was efficient for providers.
Since then, we’ve been conditioned to accept labyrinthian phone trees, 40-minute waits in waiting rooms, 20-minute waits in examination rooms — all for visits that last seven minutes on average.
We spend hours of our time for minutes of care. Not surprisingly, over 42% of patients now skip scheduled medical appointments. The primary reason? Inconvenience.
By the early 2000s, new technology and faster broadband enabled new ways of delivering care and a partial solution to inconvenience. The first Telehealth 1.0 companies innovated by providing virtual care through video and text chats. Patients match with a clinician who can evaluate them, answer routine questions, and prescribe treatment for low-acuity conditions such as skin rashes and nausea.
By 2016, the next wave of telehealth companies began to emerge. Taking a page from the direct-to-consumer playbook, they pioneered by targeting specific niches rather than going broad. With sleek, friendly, quirky brands they represent the consumerization of healthcare. Patients typically discover these brands through online ads for acne, birth control, and ED medications. They complete text-based questionnaires and submit photos to confirm eligibility. Once approved, they receive medication as soon as the next day.
While this is convenient, there are significant limitations to Telehealth 1.0. Since 70% of all medical decisions require collecting lab tests, virtual care simply cannot reach or treat these patients remotely. Further, many conditions require additional medical information that can only be collected in-person.
More recently, the societal and cultural shifts with COVID-19 and technological advancements with services like GoPuff have created a breakthrough opportunity to fundamentally reimagine healthcare. We can finally create a remote-first healthcare system that greatly improves patient outcomes while simultaneously reducing costs.
That’s why today we’re thrilled to announce Getlabs raised $20MM in Series A financing. This new round of funding was led by Emerson Collective and the Minderoo Foundation, with participation from Tusk Venture Partners, Labcorp, Healthworx, Byers Capital, Anne Wojcicki (founder and CEO of 23andMe), Susan Wojcicki (CEO of YouTube), Eric Kinariwala (founder and CEO of Capsule), and Mattieu Gamache-Asselin (founder of Alto Pharmacy).
As our first service, Getlabs offers at-home lab appointments. Patients can pick a time that’s convenient and we send one of our full-time phlebotomists to collect their samples for any laboratory they choose. Once their lab results are ready, their providers receive them via their EHR just like normal.
Since launching a year ago, we’ve paved the way with the highest specimen quality and patient satisfaction in the mobile phlebotomy industry and served tens of thousands of patients across the country. In just the past three months, we’ve expanded our coverage from 6% of the US population to over 45%. Lab tests are the first line of defense for healthcare, but we recognize there is so much more we can do.
As the first generation of telehealth companies are reaching maturity, the next generation of telehealth is already beginning to form. The first Telehealth 2.0 companies provide digitally-native care paired with localized in-person medical professionals who act as their physical extension. Their vision is to provide longitudinal care for chronic conditions such as cardiology, diabetes, and even primary care. We are particularly excited by the fact that existing healthcare companies are also embracing this trend — from health systems to Telehealth 1.0 — and are themselves evolving to embrace Telehealth 2.0.
Like the highways we drive on which were created following the Highway Act of 1956, the infrastructure for tomorrow is being created today. With today’s launch of the Getlabs API, any healthcare company — from existing health systems to next generation telehealth services — is now able to expand their reach nationwide.
Although we started with lab tests, Getlabs is building the physical extension of Telehealth 2.0 services — performing vitals checks, immunizations, imaging, physical exams, and much more.
With the Getlabs API, instead of seeing one patient per hour on a house call, or three patients per hour at a doctor’s office, Telehealth 2.0 can see more patients, in more places while cutting costs and delivering higher quality care.
Untethering healthcare will be far more consequential than merely creating digital equivalents to in-person visits. We believe rather than providing care at snapshots in time when patients feel poorly, healthcare will become a continuum of care with regular labs, vitals checks, physical exams, and more.
To bring this vision into reality, we believe the infrastructure we create must be neutral, scalable, and affordable. Just like laying highways and power lines would not be economically viable for one company’s use alone, neither is scaling a nationwide workforce of tech-enabled medical professionals.
Getlabs is laying essential infrastructure which every healthcare company can use. In doing so, we are creating network effects and efficiencies of scale which dramatically bring costs down and unlock affordability for all. We are committed to building the most trusted brand for remote healthcare delivery.
The infrastructure for the next generation of healthcare — and those that follow — is finally here.
Learn more at getlabs.com/api
Our mission is to save lives by delivering outstanding healthcare anywhere. If this excites you too, we’d love to meet you. From day one, our focus has been empowering our team to do the best work of their lives. Work that they can truly be proud of. Join our team and let’s transform healthcare together.