Monday, May 20, 2024

Owlet, Wheel partner to launch telehealth platform for caregivers of infants -Dlight News

Baby tech company Owlet and telehealth staffing and services company Wheel announced they are partnering to allow Wheel’s clinicians to prescribe caregivers Owlet’s medical pulse oximetry wire-free sock for infants. 

Owlet’s BabySat, which received FDA clearance last year, uses pulse oximetry technology to monitor a baby’s heart rate and oxygen saturation level and alerts caregivers when a reading is outside of prescribed ranges. 

The company says the device is to be used per a healthcare provider’s recommendation should babies need monitoring at home. 

Through the partnership, an infant’s caregiver can directly obtain a prescription for BabySat via Wheel’s online portal or through its clinicians. 

After receiving the prescription, caregivers can order the sock at little to no cost using Wheel’s BabySat telehealth platform, which integrates with durable medical equipment suppliers who can bill insurers for the product on behalf of caregivers.

“We’re thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with Owlet, a leader in smart infant monitoring. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in our mission to expand healthcare access and simplify care delivery for all Americans–especially for growing families,” Wheel CEO Michelle Davey said in a statement. 

THE LARGER TREND

Publicly traded Owlet pulled its Smart Sock wearables from the market in 2021 after receiving a warning letter from the FDA that caused its stock price to tumble. The agency said Owlet was marketing the products as “diagnosis” tools, which would require 510(k) clearance. 

A year later, the company launched its Dream Sock Plus, a consumer-focused sleep wearable for kids up to 5 years old or up to 55 pounds worn around a child’s foot. It was designed to provide insights into a child’s sleep. 

Owlet has garnered substantial investment since going public through a SPAC in 2021. 

In 2023, the company raised $30 million in private placement financing; in February of this year, it raised another $9 million. 

The company reported fiscal year 2023 revenue of $54 million with a net loss of approximately $32.9 million, a 59% decrease from $79.3 million in 2022. Adjusted EBITDA loss for the year was roughly $16.3 million, a 76% decrease from the $68.3 million reported in 2022. 

Meanwhile, privately held company Wheel garnered $150 million in Series C funding in 2022, bringing its total raise to $216 million. 

In 2020, the company launched with $13.9 million and, a year later, secured $50 million in a Series B funding round. 

In 2022, Wheel acquired GoodRx’s backend virtual care technology, which included GoodRx Care’s EHR, clinical management tools, and patient experience software, for $19.5 million in cash. 

Last year, The telehealth staffing and services company confirmed it cut 28% of its workforce, laying off 56 employees. The layoffs marked the second round of job cuts at the startup, which let go of 17% of its staff over the summer. 

In March, Wheel announced it was partnering with Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, mental health platform Talkspace and diagnostic services company Health Gorilla. 

Through the collaborations, Wheel will deliver mental health services, affordable home delivery prescription drug pricing offerings, and lab and diagnostics through its integrated virtual care ecosystem. 

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