Company name: SoloHealth Inc.
Industry: Digital health.
Location: Duluth, Georgia.
Solution/product: The SoloHealth Station is a free, touch-screen kiosk that lets consumers in high-traffic retail locations monitor their blood pressure, central vision and weight, complete a health-risk assessment and use a symptom checker as well as identify and contact local physicians, or create an account to track their progress online. An initial product, the interactive self-service vision testing kiosk Eyesite, is already in stores.
Money raised: $12 million from 40 investors, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
How it will be used: Founder and CEO Bart Foster tweeted that the company was hiring fast to scale nationally, following U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the kiosk in June. The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that much of that initial scaling will be in Walmart and Sam’s Club locations, as the company recently struck a deal with Walmart.
Investors: Health benefit company WellPoint Inc. (NYSE:WLP) led the round; others including Coinstar Inc. also participated.
Management team: Before founding SoloHealth, Foster worked in sales, marketing and management at CIBA VISION, the eye care division of Novartis AG. Chief commercial officer Stephen Kendig came from that company’s R&D division.
Market size: Americans made 956 million visits to physicians’ offices in 2008, with the most commonly cited reason for a visit being a general medical examination, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The company says the kiosks aren’t intended to replace visits to medical professionals but rather to provide a convenient method for initial screenings and to encourage consumers to visit providers when they need to.
Competitors: Phoenix Kiosk and MedApp Inc.’s Personal Health Station also includes tools to measure blood pressure, weight and BMI. Ohio startup HealthSpot has a similar idea with its kiosks but takes it a bit further by facilitating telehealth consultations with doctors. SoloHealth is free (appearing to run on an advertising revenue model) but performs only basic functions.