Inspiration

Healthcare workers put their lives at risk every day to save ours. 42% of all infections and death globally have consisted of elderly patients and their staff. With fever being a symptom in 89% of cases, elevated temperature has become one of the most important measurements hospitals take to assess staff health. However, after talking to almost a dozen healthcare leaders from around the world, we found that many hospitals to do not have a way to protect the health of their staff despite them being at high risk of contracting COVID. Staff have to sign paper affidavits which is time consuming, and hospitals hire others to screen their temperature a daily basis which increases risk on all fronts. Sometimes staff are so busy taking care of patients that they can be running a fever not know until 10 hours later.

This creates a significant number of potentially preventable infection situations that puts patients, coworkers, and family workers at risk. The CDC, city, and county governments have all started mandating symptom screens and temperature checks, and organizations are scrambling to hire staff and find technology stay compliant in these new processes. Unfortunately, few end to end solutions exist which creates a deadly game of telephone with critical health data. We created Spara Health to take a completely different approach to proactively managing elevated temperature among staff to reduce symptomatic infections.

What it does

For healthcare providers that don't want unknowingly symptomatic staff infecting patients and coworkers, Spara is a biosensor system that allows healthcare staff and their managers get accurate real time alerts on high temperature without wasting PPE on false alarms and time doing manual checks. Our breakthrough platform prevents the spread of COVID-19 with the following:

  1. Collect health data from contact-less, staff-less thermal camera kiosks for screening for both visitors and staff. We've developed the first enterprise, cloud based thermal check in system for health care facilities that reduces staff screening time by up to 50%.
  2. Continuously monitor accurate temperature. Early detection is valuable because the earlier elevated temperate gets detected, the earlier both the person can be isolated and fewer exposed others. We will import from two established device manufacturers with clinically proven, EU FDA approved biosensors which are Fitbit-like wearables that come in two form factors: a single Airpod-like lightweight earpiece, or a thin silver dollar shaped disc that can be worn on a chest strap or clipped into a bra. These wearables are synced to mobile devices.
  3. The Spara mobile app makes if simple to for healthcare staff to do their daily symptom check, and is configured to make vibration alerts if the wearable senses a high temperature.
  4. Alerts get pushed to a desktop application that allows administrators to effectively track team health and proactively manage staff risk with an all-in one web dashboard.

Differentiation

Spara is the only solution that does high accuracy enterprise B2B early heat fluctuation detection, and has an advantage in offering the industry's highest accuracy and a cost effective price. We have special anti-facial recognition AI which which prevents the abuse of using the thermal cameras for unethical surveillance purposes. We also have IP on our simultaneous optical and thermal read optimization that enables us to take low cost thermal camera cores and optimize them to perform similarly to cameras systems that cost up to 10x more. Spara also has an AI partner that uses their technology on the hardware level to lighten procession load so our hardware costs are drastically reduced. Unlike other COVID solutions that may only be temporary during quarantine, or others that will need a long time of research and testing to be effective, Spara can immediately start offering value by importing devices from established players and reutilizing kiosk manufacturers that have paused their production.

Market approach

We plan to take a direct sales approach since the new CDC screening recommendations and city/county level requirements are accelerating market adoption of screening technologies, and take a value based approach in cost-effective pricing to flood the market. For 2020Q3 we plan to make the wearables first available on a B2C basis so healthcare staff can start to immediately benefit, and then launch the an SMB solution in other lightweight healthcare sectors such medical office buildings, senior housing, and immuno-compromised wards. We'll track in parallel on B2B hospital accounts which have a longer sales cycle. In 2020Q4 as the holiday season approaches and businesses reopen, we target essential workers, warehouses and construction. By 2021Q1 we'll expand to schools as they reopen so students and teachers can focus on learning instead of being worried about infection.

Market

We are targeting the the IOT medical device market. This is an emerging industry valued at $543B globally according to Grandview Research. Our initial approach is to launch in the US which has a $180B portion of the total addressable market. The serviceable available market has $52B in value between healthcare facilities and their staff, these organizations are of critical size to deploy our solution. We estimate this is a $10.4B opportunity for a 20% share of this market with our current business model.

The design of our system allows each of the components (selfie thermal, wearable, mobile app, or desktop app) to be either down-scaled or up-scaled according use case, allowing Varna to rapidly scale in a variety of contexts.

Business model

Spara will be sold as a SaaS based subscription in order to be affordable for organizations to deploy at scale. The wearables will have a nominal monthly subscription priced similarly to consumer wearables. With the kiosks, which can be easily and quickly contract manufactured out of existing factories, our strategy is to lease the hardware to derisk the purchase (the lease can be written off since it is an operating expense, saving 10-30%) and increase adoption, so we can flood the market quickly and gain adoption since we are creating a high switching cost to alternative temperature screening solutions. Spara will have a subscription on an annual basis for the kiosks.

How we built it

The team comes from a variety of backgrounds and were able to combine experience, AI, IOT, mobile, and desktop in order to bring the solution together.

What we learned

We were surprised to see the complete lack of solutions for organizations to protect staff worker health. Part of this involved the challenge in architecting a solution that trekked across wearables, mobile phones, tablets, and desktop environments. Many out of the box platforms low code platforms did not have IOT integrations so we developed the mobile solution natively. We had to collaborate closely in order to ensure that the solution made sense.

What's Next for Spara

Healthcare is just the beginning. We see applications in government, military, essential businesses, and schools when they reopen. We will be raising funds to import the wearables from established manufacturers and are looking for advisors in the logistics and medical IOT space.

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