As entrepreneurs and large companies alike look to modernize how healthcare is distributed in the wake of COVID, one Atlanta-based startup is bringing back the old fashion “house call.”
Ascend Medical, a membership-based mobile clinic, primary care, and telemedicine startup, focuses on providing key preventative care measures and tests to metro area residents. CEO Jason Madsen told Hypepotamus that the company is the “only virtual primary care company that makes in-home/in-office visits for point of care testing, diagnostics, vaccines, x-rays, ultrasounds, and EKGs.”
This includes same-day Rapid Antigen Testing, PCR Testing, and Antibody Testing for COVID-19.
This is important as more state-wide testing sites flip to vaccination centers, many residents are struggling to find rapid testing sites for work or travel needs.
Not only does the startup believe that virtual and mobile primary care is more convenient for patients; it also removes the stress of finding appointments or spending hours in a traditional doctor’s waiting room.
“Primary care is ripe for disruption and the pandemic has exposed the lag,” said Dr. Kristina Bogar, the team’s chief medical officer. “People want to get quality care when they need it, without going to a doctor’s office or testing facility. They also don’t want to wait weeks for an appointment or spend hours in a waiting room, or in their car. This is the new way of delivering medicine for primary care services and routine testing.”
The idea of bringing diagnostic services to someone’s house adds another level of care to the growing telehealth boom.
Madsen said that Ascend’s popups and mobile fleet currently serves 1,500 patients a week between COVID testing and other primary care services. There are currently 45 doctors, nurses, and clinical support staff in the system, and the team plans to scale to over 200 providers over the course of 2021.
Members pay $199 yearly or $24.99 a month to access 24/7 on-call services and additional telehealth services. While this is on top of insurance, the virtual and mobile capabilities provide additional ease of service for individuals and families looking to keep up with routine healthcare needs.
Madsen told Hypepotamus that the startup has an affiliation with Piedmont Health.
The “lab on wheels” mobile clinics have rolled out in neighborhoods, community centers, and office parks for COVID testing and flu vaccinations. Companies or groups can also request a mobile testing event.
Ascend Medical says it will expand its services outside of Atlanta to Detroit and Houston by mid-2021.