Startups, Events, Diagnostics

Diagnostic startups: Time is running out to apply to INVEST Pitch Perfect

The point of care diagnostics and testing market has climbed dramatically with the rise of the Covid-19 public health crisis. We're seeking applications for diagnostics startups who would like to take part in INVEST Pitch Perfect Diagnostics 2.0 track at the conference, scheduled to take place March 28-30 in Chicago.

Shot of a woman using cotton swab while doing coronavirus PCR test at home. 

The point of care diagnostics and testing market has climbed dramatically with the rise of the Covid-19 public health crisis. This sector was valued at $27.6 billion in 2020, according to data from Grand View Research. The rising demand for home healthcare coupled with the decentralization of healthcare has led manufacturers, such as Abbott Laboratories and Roche Diagnostics, to commercialize portable products that are easy to use. One of the major trends observed in patient care is the decentralization of healthcare, which is expected to offer new growth opportunities to the overall point of care testing industry.

The home end-use segment is expected to grow at a rate of 4% from 2021 to 2028, buoyed by a push for early detection and prevention of diseases, according to the report.

The MedCity INVEST conference, coming up March 28-30 in Chicago at the Ritz Carlton, will spotlight diagnostics startups targeting point of care and the home health testing market in one of four tracks as part of the Pitch Perfect contest. Startups compete to present their technologies to a panel of investors for the prize of an editorial profile. Here’s a description of the track:

Diagnostics 2.0
Convenience is the name of the game especially after the pandemic when it comes to the world of diagnostics. Startups in this category are developing either at-home tests (be it kits with results immediately available or kits that can be used to test at home and mailed out easily) or point-of-care tests with results available soon after.

To submit an application for the contest, click here.

You can view the full agenda here. To register for INVEST, click here.

Since BioIQ Founder and CEO Justin Bellante stepped into the home testing sector in 2005, he has seen a transformation of the diagnostic sector, particularly in home testing and at the point-of-care. The Atlanta-based company is the target of an acquisition by LetsGetChecked, which was announced in November last year.

“Pre-Covid-19, the direct-to-consumer market was obviously smaller, the employer market was growing and focusing on leveraging preventive testing as part of population health and health savings measures,” Bellante said.

Some of the milestones the company has achieved include facilitating more than 1 million in-home, employer-site and retail-site based Covid-19 tests. It has also added partnerships with specialized laboratories such as Assurance Scientific Laboratories and Fulgent Genetics, innovative diagnostics companies such as Biomeme, and services organizations such as MLU Services, to bring new saliva-based, antigen, multi-panel Covid-19 testing solutions and Covid-19 and Flu vaccination services to market. Last year, BioIQ added 26 new health plan customers.

Among Bellante’s observations on developments having an impact on the point-of-care and home testing markets, he noted that the pandemic has exacerbated health inequity among disadvantaged populations, making the services companies like BioIQ can offer critical to reach them.

“There’s been a nice expansion in home sample collection methodologies. That has definitely helped. From a diagnostics perspective, there’s more labs and more capacity in the market.”

The evolution of diagnostics towards rapid molecular and antigen tests where consumers can go into a drug store or receive rapid tests at home and get test results in 5 to 15 minutes have had a significant impact, Bellante observed.

Bellante identified population health as an important area for the company but advised startups that a special toolset is required to be competitive in the b2b market.

“That tool set includes population health analytics, more engagement tools and capabilities because you’re dealing with people who have health inequity, lack of access to care. That’s really a different set of challenges [than direct to consumer testing, employer wellness]. So you need a much different toolset, a more expensive, sophisticated set of tools than you do for direct to consumer.”

Click here to submit your application to INVEST Pitch Perfect.

Photo: VioletaStoimenova, Getty Images