Q&A with Mike Dershowitz of 15toknow
15toKnow has tested over 500,000 patients since the company started in August 2020 to address the need for access to testing during the COVID pandemic. Founded by Mike Dershowitz, who has built and scaled several companies, in conjunction with Dr. Luciano Kapelusznik, an infectious disease doctor, the company was running 22 sites in 3 states at its peak. As COVID has turned more endemic, consumer research showed that consumers would use a drive-thru option for other testing options if available – for example, STDs, Glucose, Cholesterol, BNP, HBA1C, Lipid, Metabolic blood panels, sexual health and fertility – and Dr. Robert Di Trolio, an ER and Urgent Care specialist, was brought in as the new medical director to help support this change. The Company is in the process of opening its first brick and mortar locations and rolling out a larger suite of products. With two years of operating experience during the pandemic and consumer research indicating consumers’ willingness to self-pay for the convenience of drive-thru, rapid results, 15toKnow is looking to capitalize on this changing paradigm within the healthcare space.
Join us for a private Family Office Insights Webinar featuring 15toKnow, a company that is creating a national system of rapid, point-of-care (POC), CLIA-waived labs to address the growing consumer demand for drive-thru access to low complexity lab tests. 15toKnow makes it easy for consumers to book a test online, drive-thru or walk-in for test collection, and receive results texted to their phone in less than 2 hours. Having built their reputation as a rapid testing company during COVID, they are leveraging their strong brand recognition to roll out this new testing option that is set to disrupt the $40bn+ laboratory testing market.
July 26, 2022 at 2:15pm-3:15pm EST
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What are some key trends in the healthcare space that 15toKnow sees and seeks to capture?
15toKnow sits at an intersection of several key paradigm shifts in the healthcare market.
First, the COVID pandemic fundamentally changed how consumers think about healthcare. The idea of a drive thru testing option would have seemed laughable three years ago, but consumers have come to demand and rely on testing options that are available as needed and when they want them.
Second, the general laboratory testing model is broken. Labs can take 3-5 days to get results. Doctors are treating empirically, which can mean patients taking drugs that they don’t need while they wait for results. Our model of getting results back within 2 hours can mitigate these issues.
Third, the healthcare system has become centralized on the insurance companies and what they want and will pay for. Consumers on high deductible plans are often getting caught off guard by what they are actually responsible for. Our cash pay system, outside of the insurance regime, allows us to put the patient first and ensure there are no surprise costs associated with our services.
Why does this remind me of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes? That didn’t turn out so well…
This is actually one of my favorite questions. On some level, Elizabeth Holmes absolutely nailed the product market fit. When people have health concerns, sometimes they just want to go get the test they know they need. They know their cholesterol is a little high, so maybe they want to get it checked once a month. They have a life insurance exam coming up and want to make sure there are no surprises. They have a sore throat and they want to know in the next few hours if it’s strep, COVID, flu, or just a virus. They might have been exposed to an STD/STI and they want a private way to know the answer.
The difference with 15toKnow is that we aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the test implementation. Every test we run is using a fully approved, CLIA-waived, low complexity device that could be used in any doctor’s office. We are using fully available and time-tested technology to address the consumer demand that already exists.
Why wouldn’t the big lab companies step in and out-compete you?
The big lab companies have their setups, their insurance process, and the full spectrum of medium and high complexity lab options and are very secure in their market position. It is the perfect example of an oligopoly that is ripe for disruption. In fact, we’ve had a potential large partner indicate that they requested one of the large lab groups to do this for them and they refused. Still, we believe that the large lab companies represent a potential acquiror of 15toKnow once we have the model proven out. We also believe that there are multiple potential strategic acquisition groups down the road – from Amazon (given their recent attempt at a healthcare offering) to the pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens, etc.) to large virtual healthcare systems.
The drive thru, rapid testing options will help solidify the changing paradigm of how consumers control their healthcare data.
Mike Dershowitz of 15toknow
Mike Dershowitz, Founder, is a serial entrepreneur with a track record of building and scaling successful enterprises.
Alison Davis, Interim CEO, has a 20+ year track record in financial services (including over 15 years at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan), and experience rolling out retail operations.
Dr. Robert Di Trolio, Medical Director, has over 30 years of medical experience, including running all of Mainline Health’s Emergency Rooms during the pandemic and extensive Urgent Care experience.
Jeff Di Trolio, COO, is a process engineer by training, with extensive experience in assembling high performance teams and team management
Kathy Porter, Head of Provider Sales, is a Nurse Practitioner by training, with 15 years of experience at Genentech in Provider Sales & Education
Lexington Everett, Head of Consumer Marketing, has over 7 years of marketing experience, most recently with Professional Pharmacy and a deep understanding of the healthcare market.
Contact Alison: firstname.lastname@example.org