Clinical-grade sensors take wearable and mobile health devices to a higher level. When a wearable company announces that a product has received FDA clearance, that information is likely more significant for marketing purposes than it is for consumer assurance. In many cases, FDA clearance is a statement that a given device is similar to another product that already has clearance, so it’s OK to market and sell in the U.S. The descriptor “clinical-grade” has more gravitas than FDA clearance because it implies that medical professionals accept the data from the sensor. We’ve written earlier about the positive effect clinical-grade wearables have on the health tech market and clinical-grade smartphone diagnostic aids.

Tyto Care recently announced a partnership with Best Buy, the big box electronics merchant. Best Buy now sells the TytoHome Medical Exam Kit, a handheld comprehensive examination device. The TytoHome handheld has attachments to examine the heart, lungs, skin, ears, throat, and abdomen. It also measures body temperature. A smartphone app guides users during the examination. After uploading the data and images to TytoHome, users can request a consultation with a board-certified physician via the app. TytoHome physician consults cost $59 or less per visit. The charge may be less depending on the consultation or the patient’s insurance coverage.

TytoHome partners with regional health care systems to provide 24/7 medical care. The initial partnership is with Sanford Health, a not-for-profit health care system. Sanford provides physician-guided exams and diagnosis to TytoHome users in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, and South Dakota. TytoHealth also partners with LiveHealth Online, a large U.S. telehealth provider. LiveHealth Online provides medical consults and diagnosis to users who live outside the four states covered by Sanford Health.

The TytoHome healthcare model employs telemedicine and clinical-grade consumer devices, both relatively new technology disrupters. While such technology is a boon for those living in sparsely-populated rural areas, it’s important to keep in mind that this could also help those in urban areas. Patients with limited mobility or access to transportation services can find it difficult to make it to a doctor’s office or other clinical setting. Delivering quality care remotely to the home could help millions of patients.