Telemedicine Startup Antidote Health Sees Accessible, Affordable Healthcare As A ‘Fundamental Human Right’


One truism of the pandemic has been the increased reliance on technology to navigate our lives. Videoconferencing software such as Zoom and FaceTime have proven indispensable as the virus has demanded everyone work remotely over the last two years. For disabled people, society’s collective crash course in accessibility is nothing new; the masses have only now discovered what those in the disability community have known forever. Remote work has been unquestionably en vogue for many disabled people—myself included—long before “coronavirus” became entrenched in the everyday vernacular. So too has the need for software like Zoom and accommodations like captions.

An area of particular growth during this time is telemedicine. Companies such as Lin Health and Amazon offer remote healthcare consultations (albeit limited to basic illnesses) that allow people to talk with a doctor from home. Not only does this functionality limit the chance of exposure for immunocompromised and other high-risk individuals, but it alleviates friction associated with literally getting to a community hospital or outpatient clinic. Even in pre-pandemic times, the logistical challenges in leaving one’s home to go visit a doctor—or do anything else, for that matter—are not trivial. The transmissibility of the virus has only exacerbated these concerns for the most vulnerable amongst us.

Telehealth startup Antidote Health describes itself on its website as a “state-of-the-art telehealth platform [that offers] acute and primary care services to Americans at a fraction of regular costs.” Patients can schedule one-time appointments or sign up for a monthly subscription, with various plan options. The company’s services are available through an app, available on iOS and Android, as well via a web browser.

In a press release published last month, Antidote announced it completed a Series A funding round worth $22 million. The news came after the company previously secured $12 million in venture capital backing. The investments were led by VC firms iAngels, Group 11, and Flint Capital. Antidote noted in the press release the new money will go towards “[research and development] activity, which includes advanced AI screening and clinical decision support system capabilities.”

“Antidote is a unique mission-based startup with an exceptional vision: We believe that quality, affordable healthcare is a fundamental human right. Currently, tens of millions of citizens lack the basic right to affordable healthcare, and those who are lucky to acquire it face extremely high costs and complexity,” said Antidote’s co-founder and chief executive officer, Avihai Sodri, in a recent interview with me conducted over email. “Antidote serves as a patient centralized telehealth company in her current stage, providing every day and chronic condition services for a fraction of the cost to individuals and businesses. Our unique AI technology-based platform and first-in-line medical team are tuned up to provide proactive care, aiming to reduce the cost of care by achieving much better health outcomes. The platform, and our chain of health services available at the moment and the ones to come will serve us as the foundation of the first digital HMO [health maintenance organization] that will be launched next year.”

Sodri echoed the notion that the pandemic has given rise to services like those that Antidote provides. He cited telemedicine being not only convenient and accessible, but conducive to treating mental health issues. The company has a variety of patients of all ages and conditions, with Sodri telling me “we don’t see any limitations” in the types of people who use Antidote; they come from literally all walks of life. “Seeing their reactions after receiving the service is something we can’t get enough of,” he said. “The real excitement is when people with chronic conditions start to take care of themselves, not being threatened by the process, cost of care or other uncertainties, and feel better and better weekly.”

Besides the mobile app and the web, Sodri explained another component to Antidote’s methodology: a chat bot. The bot uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, he told me, to “collect information about the patient’s condition” before a patient’s initial visit and any followup appointments. Information provided by patients helps doctors with diagnoses, as well as build a chart of medical history in patients’ files.

That Antidote services a diverse group of people lends credence to the idea that telemedicine companies exist not merely for convenience’s sake. As with most everything with consumer technology, the mission that startups like Antidote (and Lin Health, amongst others) has obvious applicability to accessibility as well. Disabled people are more prone to needing quality healthcare more often, and Antidote and their ilk are well-positioned to serve that market despite primarily selling themselves to the general population. As accessibility has necessarily become more part of the mainstream consciousness due to Covid, it’s easy to see how companies like Sodri’s can contribute to the wellness of everyone.

“As people continue to recognize the benefits of telehealth services, we’ll see an expansion of the services offered,” Sodri said. “At Antidote, we extend our service offering as a telehealth company and continue building the first digital HMO.”


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