Sprinter Health bills itself as “the “DoorDash for lab draws” – sending nurses and phlebotomists out to patients’ homes to collect blood samples and urine samples, check vitals, and even perform Covid tests. Their model has been received with some skepticism (most notably by my Health Tech Deals co-host and legendary health care curmudgeon Matthew Holt) so we get down to the bottom of what’s REALLY going on with CEO Max Cohen.
The long-term play is NOT to just rove the streets like some nomadic Quest Diagnostics; it’s to support the emerging market of virtual care and telehealth-based next-gen healthcare companies that will, ultimately, be limited in their abilities to diagnose-and-treat unless they can easily – and inexpensively – get patients lab tests.
Sprinter hopes to be that logistics company, extending the ‘value of virtual’ so it can live up to its promise of providing less expensive, more convenient care to patients. Max says only 15-20% of their business is made up of consumer-directed concierge calls; instead, the focus is on having a provider – think home health providers, specialty labs, virtual-first primary care clinics – dispatch Sprinter instead. Their pricing is built to attract these kinds of providers, giving Sprinter an advantage over, say the kind of medical transport services that are typically engaged to bring home health patients to the lab instead of the other way around.
Less than one-year old, Sprinter has already raised more than $37 million and counts health-tech-famous funds like Andreesen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Accel, Google Ventures – and even the real DoorDash’s co-founder and CEO Tony Xu – as investors. So, what’s ahead in the short-term to expand services out of LA, San Francisco, and Sacramento? We talk geographic expansion (hello, Texas and Georgia) and how Max is planning to continue to expand the utility and value of virtual care without increasing cost.
I’ve decided to try a new format for some interviews with digital health leaders. The other week I was at the Digital Health Innovation Summit in San Diego. I did a fair amount of tweeting from the conference but thought I’d also grab a few of the participants for some rapid fire interviews. They’re only 5 mins each but hopefully this “Quickbite” format will catch you up on some interesting players (even as they got buffeted a bit by the wind and the marine air corp!)–Matthew Holt
The Interviewees are. Kristina Saffran, CEO Equip; Abner Mason, CEO SameSky Health; Jennifer Schneider, ex-Livongo and now EIR at General Catalyst; & Isabelle Kenyon, CEO Calibrate: Their videos are below in order
On Episode 144 of Health in 2 Point 00, Matthew has gingerly emerged from his office and gone into a Magical Forest! Jess asks me about Healthline media acquiring PsychCentral, the first-ever online psychiatry support group and I explain the history of how it has been passed around from Corporates to PE firms, Bridge Connector getting 25.5M for its interoperability platform, Cecelia Health raising $13M for its chronic condition management service, and Reify closing $30M to help pharma companies run clinical trials from home. Also, we had our first book club discussion with authors Hemant Teneja (VC at General Catalyst) & Stephen Klasko (CEO at Jefferson Health System) on their book “UnHealthcare: A Manifesto for Health Assurance”. Glen Tullman also made a special guest appearance during the discussion. The episode will be released soon! – Matthew Holt
There is still health tech funding going on in late July? Wow! On Episode 138 of Health in 2 Point 00, Jess asks me about Ro getting $200M from General Catalyst to expand their telehealth platform, Indigo Diabetes raising 38M Euros to develop its CGM Sensor, Angle Health landing $4M to create a health plan for startups, and Sidecar Health closing a $20M for their point-of-service payments! — Matthew Holt
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