"Certainly, the way healthcare is consumed has changed forever with people looking for convenient on-site and at-home solutions for care and we see this accelerating."
How is binx health transforming the way people access STI testing, and how did you apply this to COVID-19?
When we think about how people consume healthcare, there are essentially two kinds of populations - those who show up at physical locations for care, and those who do not. There is a growing number of people who are looking for care in non-traditional locations like urgent care centers, at-home, in-dorms, or in other remote locations, which is where binx health can step in. We built a FDA-cleared, CLIA-waived, point-of-care platform for the rapid detection of chlamydia and gonorrhea for those people whose priority is rapid testing where they want to leave a clinic with an answer in hand. We also built a digital health platform that enables people to have a sample collected at home, where their priority is privacy and discretion. Our “dual-platform” approach, we believe, addresses the way that people consume care on a population level.
From a sales standpoint, we focus on patient aggregators – large enterprises serving large populations. When these large enterprises had a need to move from in-person testing to at-home sample collection due to COVID-19, binx health helped them with the transition. We supported New York University (NYU) to stay open during the pandemic, when Columbia University right down the street had to close, and helped keep their positivity rates at a fraction of what they were across Manhattan. We have enterprise customers at state departments of public health, colleges, and employers, which is a great way to reach thousands of people without having to think about it as a direct-to-consumer product selling individual tests online, one at a time.
Did you feel a palpable shift in consumer mentality throughout the pandemic?
I think that the train was already moving in terms of people seeking convenient solutions to care, and COVID-19 just accelerated it. Certainly, the way healthcare is consumed has changed forever with people looking for convenient on-site and at-home solutions for care and we see this accelerating. For the first time in the history of diagnostics and health care, the U.S. Federal Government has elevated the national consciousness on testing and the ability to be tested through at-home sample collection, as they are now sending at-home COVID rapid test kits to every American who requests one. This is a big deal and will help people consider other solutions to receive care from home.
We are increasingly seeing a shift take place by enterprises, health systems, universities, large employers and retail pharmacies. The question we always ask is: “How do we meet the consumer where they are, in a way most convenient for them?” It is a very different business model working with enterprises versus direct to consumer, one person at a time.
How does the binx io help with patient access to care?
Today, when people are tested for a sexually transmitted infection, it usually takes several days but can take up to a couple of weeks for a result to be provided. The binx io instrument changes this by delivering a result for chlamydia and gonorrhea in the clinic in about thirty minutes from sample collection. This ability to enable “test and treat” is a paradigm shift, so people can now have treatment on the same day as detection. It also means they can arrive at locations nearby (retail pharmacies, local clinics, etc.) and get a rapid test for chlamydia and gonorrhea at a time and location most convenient for them. The io instrument is challenging the paradigm of how patients receive care and is at the forefront of rapid point-of-care testing for sexually transmitted infections.
How will binx health continue to grow in the next few years?
We will grow through the placement of our binx io instruments in clinics and other decentralized locations in the US and through broad enterprise relationships for our digital offerings. When I think about healthcare, it is as much about logistics as it is about testing. This is why we look at ourselves as a technology and logistics company, as much as we are a diagnostic testing company. We are rapidly distributing collection kits to a population in a way that is trackable, reliable, and has high data integrity. And we keep the clinician at the center of all we do. We empower clinicians to expand access to care.