Devices & Diagnostics

Gobiquity CEO talks about plans to use vision screening platform to advance value based care

“We are not trying to replace the physician, we are trying to facilitate delivery of care,” said Andrew Burns, the CEO.

A mobile health eye screening test administered by doctors to spot risk factors for amblyopia in children and a color chart app to spot telltale signs of
biliary atresia in newborns would, at first glance seem unrelated. But in an interview with Gobiquity CEO Andrew Burns, he observed one significant similarity: value based care. They are both designed to trigger early intervention when necessary to avoid a more serious condition down the road with reduced healthcare costs a nice byproduct of doing that.

Burns is relatively new to Gobiquity, having joined in the spring. He is more well known for being part of the team that made Epocrates’ drug database a critical tool for physicians by alerting them to drug-drug interactions and led to its 2010 IPO and later acquisition by athenahealth.

He compares the excitement level at Gobiquity and the importance of what it seeks to achieve with his experience at Epocrates.

“Our overarching mission as a company is mobile vision diagnostics to prevent blindness,” Burns said. “Early detection is crucial to avoid serious vision problems. We are addressing a huge medical need.”

The idea behind its GoCheck Kids app is that by detecting risk factors for the condition at a young age, it can help initiate treatment interventions earlier and increase the chances of avoiding permanent vision loss. The screening test is aimed at children in the pre-verbal stages of their development.

But it sees this test as the start of a series of smartphone enabled screening tests.

GoCheck Kids officially launched at the end of 2014. Gobiquity is in the midst of a national roll out of the app.

Although the company started out in Aliso Viejo, California, it recently relocated to Scottsdale, Arizona and is located in a shared workspace in what’s referred toas the “Cure Corridor.” It serves as a hub for healthcare and medical organizations.

Although its app can be used on smartphones, Burns said it wants the screening to be very much in the control of physicians. “We are not trying to replace the physician, we are trying to facilitate delivery of care.” It wants to expand access to routine vision tests and thinks its digital health tool is the way to do it.

Its lead investor is Interwest, which also invested in Epocrates. It also counts founder Marc Beinoff among its backers.

Looking ahead it sees the potential to add extensions that would create additional vision tests to screen for other vision problems. It wants to give doctors a platform for the kind of tests they believe should be provided at different stages.

Burns added that the company plans to announce “a lot of” developments later this year that include additional screening tests. It also sees potential partnerships emerging and the potential to aggregate other tests with its own.