Portland startup vets lead Reperio Health, aim to deliver DIY medical tests to your doorstep – GeekWire
Consumers are used to opening their front doors to subscription deliveries of seasonal produce, curated clothing, and toys and treats for their pooches. A Portland, Ore.-based startup wants to add DIY healthcare monitoring to your list of home deliveries.
Reperio Health is a subscription service that will deliver a kit containing devices for testing health metrics including a phonocardiogram to listen and record the sound of your heart, and a blood test to measure your levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose and lipids. The company will also test blood pressure, heart rate, EKG, and more.
Reperio’s app will walk users through the testing process through animation and videos. It will give immediate results, and put them in context for what is normal for a person’s age and gender. The app will compile the data, which users can download and save. After taking the tests, customers mail the kits back for sterilizing and reuse.
Co-founder and CEO Travis Rush, who previously sold Sightbox to Johnson & Johnson, was inspired to launch Reperio after he was unable to get a colonoscopy for cancer prevention. He felt like the healthcare system didn’t do enough to help people stay healthy.
“Your body doesn’t always tell you there is something wrong until it gets really bad,” Rush said.
The Reperio kit, he said, will empower people to monitor and track their own health over time and detect troubling changes.
The monitoring devices in the kit are all FDA approved. If one were to buy them individually, it would cost around $2,000, Rush said, and require the use of multiple apps to receive and track the information.
Reperio’s plan is to start offering the kits to consumers this fall, with subscriptions for testing once, twice or four times a year. The company has not set a price for the service, but is aiming for less than $200 a year. Reperio will initially be available in the Pacific Northwest. In 2021, Rush said they hope to expand nationally and to offer subscriptions to employers.
There are several competing startups including EverlyWell, Scanwell, Thriva, WellnessFX, Baze, myLAB, LetsGetChecked, and others, but most focus on blood tests.
The Reperio team is working to ensure that the product is HIPPA compliant, and users will have sole control of their information. Once the product is available to employers, it’s likely they’ll want access to the data, which consumers will need to consent to, and will be made anonymous.
The biggest challenge, Rush predicted, will be winning acceptance from the healthcare community. “Trying to get healthcare providers and health agencies to understand that we’re trying to help and that we’re not trying to step on their toes — that is going to be our hardest uphill battle,” he said. “We’re trying to make life easier and not take business away from them.”
The idea is to not replace an annual exam with a physician, who could pick up problems the screening kit could miss. Rush hopes this provides insights for people who are skipping regular doctor visits. At some point, the Reperio team would like to bring healthcare providers onto the platform and offer telehealth services alongside the tests.
Rush has bootstrapped the business with $1 million of his own investment. Reperio officially got its start in April, though they began pursuing patents for the kits this past October. The company has seven employees, including co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Matt Wallington, a serial entrepreneur and software engineer who worked at Intel and Amazon.
This is Rush and Wellington’s second startup. The two worked together on Sightbox, a company offering a $39 per month subscription plan that provided an annual eye exam and contact lens fitting, plus a 12-month supply of contact lenses.
Rush started Sightbox in 2015 and Johnson & Johnson acquired it in September 2017 for an undisclosed sum. Rush could only say that it was one of biggest startup exits in Portland in recent years. The company raised $4.2 million in funding before the acquisition.
Before Sightbox, Rush owned a web design and app development company targeting optometrists and other small-to-medium-size businesses. He was drawn to eye health because his sister and dad were both optometrists.
But he’d always had bigger goals for a healthcare startup, figuring “let’s start here and figure out how to engage consumers in a concierge-type service that allows them to take control of their own eye health,” he said, “and we’ll learn how to do this.”
Reperio is that realization of a broader reach, he said. “This allows us to go after anyone with a beating heart.”