Healthcare continues to forge ahead on the technology front with fresh, innovative ideas. Several Atlanta startups have created apps and services that are attractive to patients, while offering practical solutions to providers. According to a December 2013 article by Modern Healthcare, 95 million Americans used their cell phone to either find health information or as a healthcare tool, up 27% from the 75 million Americans who did in 2012. Industry blog HealthITjobs.com is one of many who believe that this trend has no signs of slowing down, stating, “Investment is continuing to flow into health IT at record rates and increased smartphone adoption is one of the primary reasons. Everything from telemedicine to patient tracking and monitoring can be improved upon with this new technology.”
Atlanta has positioned itself in the center of this emerging trend, to the delight of both consumers and venture capitalists. Here are five Atlanta-based medical app startups to know.
This forward-thinking app allows the patient to log changes and trends in daily health. The gathered data enables a doctor to make recommendations and provide preventative care, without the patient having to set foot in the office. Using the app substantially reduces the time urgent-need patients must wait to be seen and may lower insurance costs. For patients, this is an approach that respects privacy and dignity and may encourage more open communication about symptoms.
Chief Medical Officer of GoGoHealth, Foster Carr, MD, discussed his incredible results at the StartUp Health Showcase, saying, “Results in my private practice have been amazing. Along with high patient satisfaction, I see a 50% reduction in documentation time… and an 80% increase in my HMO based profits from reimbursable e-visits, and a reduction in unnecessary visits.”
Geared toward eliminating unnecessary paperwork and delays, SwiftpayMD utilizes the camera on a smartphone to snapshot patient information and files, which greatly alleviates the cost of manually inputting this information by insurance companies. The app was designed and built from a very small budget and received seed funding, after making a splash at the Healthbox program. The snapshot method, which is also used by many banks for check deposits, is expected to keep expanding into other industries.
In the old days, doctors made house calls. This personal tradition is given new life with the MediCast app. Patients can request a doctor visit at home, hotel or workplace, for a service fee of $99. It’s a godsend for people who are too busy, or too sick, to actually go to the doctor’s office. The locally based physician will arrive within a two-hour window and provide care that is compassionate as well as convenient. Aside from Atlanta, the MediCast service is available in San Diego, Los Angeles and Miami, with more cities to be added in the near future.
“We want to make it available to anyone, which is why we have all three options,” says Sam Zebarjadi, Medicast’s CEO. At the same time, Zebarjadi explains, Medicast “is focused on the 30- to 64-year-old market – people with an affinity for technology and some interest in fitness and wellness.”
SoloHealth provides kiosks for people to monitor their health and be proactive about health issues like blood pressure, weight and vision, and also provides an overall health risk management assessment. This reduces the time that patients must wait for a checkup and may encourage healthier lifestyle habits. SoloHealth has raised $12 million in the last year and recently signed a contract with Walmart.
Designed to be an aid in the doctor’s office, PatientPad provides the opportunity for doctors to advertise their other services right in the office to customers who may not have know about them otherwise. Patients are able to post reviews about their experience on the app, which other potential patients can review. The app’s largest benefits are enabling patients to sign in through a secure portal provided by EMR as well as being able to browse relevant health information while waiting and they can even apply for financing through it. The company behind PatientPad, Digital Assent, raised $75 million in funding three years ago, which has allowed it to grow its user base.
It is clear that technology is here to stay and will play an increasing role in healthcare in the coming years. Keep watch as Atlanta’s market grows for apps and other services that make the lives of patients and doctors easier.
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