By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH
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.