A telehealth startup founded in Israel has inked a contract for its technology to be used at the VA St. Louis Health Care System as it targets St. Louis as part of its expansion in the U.S.
Uniper Care’s contract with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and St. Louis VA comes as it eyes additional deals with St. Louis health care groups, and follows the startup’s participation in GlobalSTL’s 2019 Health Innovation Summit. GlobalSTL is the international recruitment arm of local bioscience booster BioSTL.
The startup's technology platform is designed to provide seniors with health care services and activities to mitigate loneliness. Its platform is used through television, computer, tablets and mobile devices. The contract with the VA St. Louis Health Care system will include providing veterans with live community activities, recorded health and wellness programs, and the ability to video chat with family.
Uniper recently placed its focus on expanding into North America and has relocated its headquarters to Los Angeles. Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Avi Price said the company hopes its deal with the St. Louis VA will help it expand into other VA facilities nationwide. In addition, Price said his firm is in “advanced discussions” with major health care organizations in St. Louis.
The expansion in St. Louis creates an unexpected market for Uniper, with Price joking that the startup’s preconceived notion of St. Louis was that it was “fly over" country.
“We had no plans for coming to St. Louis,” he said.
Uniper was introduced to GlobalSTL through a prior Health Innovation Summit company and met with the GlobalSTL team in Israel prior to its participation in the 2019 summit. It quickly returned to St. Louis after last year’s innovation event for follow-up meetings. Vijay Chauhan, GlobalSTL lead at BioSTL, said Uniper’s contract with the St. Louis VA is further proof of GlobalSTL’s success in luring global firms to St. Louis. Amid Covid-19, he said the deal also brings innovation technology to the region that can aid seniors who might be distanced from family because of the pandemic.
“They are looking at this as a perfect point to deploy,” Chauhan said.