When an employee on the job feels the onset of flu or COVID symptoms, their first step is usually to make a doctor’s appointment. By the time they visit a clinic and receive tests and a diagnosis, at least one and usually more days have passed, leading to multiple unanticipated days of missed work. When the ailing worker is essential, and this occurs on a mass scale, as we have seen over the past two years, the consequences can be dire.
Everyplace Labs wants to streamline this process and help essential workers go from reporting symptoms to receiving a test result in about 15 minutes.
The company has developed a self-service kiosk for diagnostic testing. Initially designed for use in essential worksites, its long-term plans include placements in community health centers, schools, pharmacies, retail locations and more. The company also plans to expand to a wider range of tests. This new model of remote healthcare delivery promises a cost-effective, turnkey testing solution that maximizes employee productivity and testing compliance.
A Pandemic-Induced Pivot
Everyplace Labs joined Fogarty Innovation in 2019 under the name Voyant. Its initial goal was to automate the urinary diagnostic process using an innovative “smart” toilet that could be retrofitted over a commercial toilet for use in a hospital or clinical setting. After staff ordered the required tests, the patient would simply scan their wristband on the device before urinating. The device would then collect, process and analyze urine samples, sending results directly to clinicians via the electronic medical record system.
At the onset of the pandemic, the Everyplace Labs team observed a new trend — the decentralization of healthcare away from the hospital and towards community settings, which incentivized the company to adapt its core technology to meet a new need.
“We saw the healthcare system become very strained during the pandemic,” said Everyplace Labs CEO Michael Tu. “We noticed there were significant roadblocks in accessing necessary diagnostic tests, and we realized it would be critical to improve the process in the future.”
Michael and his team found a way to leverage their existing technology and move to a kiosk platform, a change that offered new opportunities.
At the same time, the pivot to a kiosk platform opened new doors. This format provided a more bio-fluid agnostic platform, which expanded the range of tests they could provide, from COVID-19 and the flu to chronic disease and substance abuse screening.
Simple Process, Quick Results
The Everyplace Labs diagnostic process begins with an online questionnaire. In a warehouse setting, for example, a worker experiencing symptoms fills out an online screening form on their computer or phone. If a diagnostic test is warranted, they are directed to a nearby vending machine-like kiosk in a private room.
After verifying the patient’s identity, the kiosk distributes the appropriate test kits along with instructions that walk the patient through the process of providing a sample. After the patient transfers the sample into a cartridge and places it back inside the kiosk, it is tested within the kiosk through an analysis engine that automates the diagnostic process. Based on the results which are received via phone, the patient has the option to make a telehealth appointment for further treatment. The kiosk also self-sanitizes between patient usage and converts regulated medical waste into normal municipal waste.
The process saves employees from using personal time for health visits, and helps employers maintain a healthy workforce, increase productivity and minimize disruptions.
On the Horizon
The need for a cost-effective, on-demand testing solutions is great. To date, the most comparable option is hosting an on-site clinician, which is expensive and requires more hands-on management. “The HR team’s main job is to hire and retain the best talent who directly contribute to the company’s mission — not run an on-site testing operation,” said Claire Zhou, chief operating officer of Everyplace Labs. “They recognize the benefits of on-site testing but need a more efficient, turnkey solution.”
The company is conducting a usability study at a 430-employee manufacturing plant this month, and a 650-resident student high school in July. The next step is clinical trials with the goal of FDA submission by next year.
So far, Everyplace Labs has gained significant interest and the company looks forward to advancing its mission. The team is open to connecting with potential commercial and clinical pilot partners, as well as investors, and can be contacted via its website.