Connecting Children to Speech-Language Pathologists
The Austin-based startup company utilizes telehealth services and asynchronous support to connect patients to speech-language pathologists (SLP), with a particular focus on roughly 5 million US-based people that suffer from a communication disorder.
Expressable was founded in 2019 by a married couple Nicholas Barbara and Leanne Sherred, and it has provided its business services to thousands of families ever since. The telehealth startup plans to use the new business funds to grow its provider and go in-network. Expressable also plans on making further business investments in educational technology services.
Speech therapies are conducted live via Zoom with licensed professionals hired by Expressable. Patients are matched with speech therapists who best suit their needs, covering different areas, including public speaking, vocal cord paralysis, and more.
Apart from real-time therapies, Expressable also provides a variety of asynchronous services, and is developing an elearning platform that includes homework assignments and lessons for the patients. These assignments are created by therapists and are provided to parents to do with their children.
“A lot of other telemedicine plays are these quick, convenient, and direct primary care,” co-founder Barbara told TechCrunch. On the other hand, her telehealth business offers “a longer tail of treatment plan that requires a close relationship between provider and patient.”
Expressable’s therapies significantly rely on parent involvement, as their help has been found to boost positive outcomes.
Around 8% to 9% of children in the US face a speech sound disorder, but only half of them get treatment, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). While most of Expressable’s clients are children, as many as 35% are adults, indicating how communication issues can affect adulthood.
“Public schools are the number-one provider for pediatric speech, but they are unfortunately notoriously underfunded,” said Sherred.
A business model adopted by the telehealth company is based on the average price of $59 per week. The treatment is very dependent on parent involvement in the therapy process. While the presence of families has proven to yield a higher number of positive outcomes, the startup company is aware that such a setup can leave low-income and working-class families unable to use their services.
“There’s a lot of content for speech-language pathologists by speech-language pathologists, but not a lot of content by [SLPs] for parents, written in a way that is consumable. It just felt like a huge opportunity and market gap,” Barbara added.
Startup Savant recently reported that another telehealth startup company Kry raised €262 million ($316.2 million) to support the business expansion across Europe.
Texas-based startup company focused on digital speech therapy, Expressable, said it managed to raise $4.5 million in its seed funding round, led by Lerer Hippeau and NextView Ventures. The telehealth business will use the raised funds to enhance its provider and go in-network, as well as make further business investments in other educational technology services.