Missed and unbooked doctor’s appointments cost the healthcare industry more than $150 billion annually. However, when trying to get in last minute for strep throat or flu, it can be difficult to get the office to call you back in a timely manner.
During her time as an emergency medicine physician at Emory Hospital, Dr. Angela Fusaro saw thousands of patients with simple illnesses.
“At the end of being treated they would say something really disappointing like, I can’t believe I waited six hours to see you and all I have is a virus,” Dr. Fusaro tells Hypepotamus. “It was not only really inconvenient, but I knew they were also paying a large co-pay.”
Dr. Fusaro did a deeper dive into “alternative ways” to diagnose viruses with a time-sensitive timeline, like the flu, where patients need to get into a doctor quickly. But none of the solutions she found had what she calls the trifecta — convenience, affordability, and diagnostic accuracy.
She co-founded Physician 360 to create an at-home solution for virus testing with a telemedicine component.
“If you have to wait a day or so to get in to see your primary doctor, or you can’t afford your co-pay at urgent care, your options for treatment are being compromised. That’s really valuable time lost,” now-CEO Dr. Fusaro says.
Physician 360 currently offers four tests — strep, flu, UTI, and anemia — which can be picked up at a pharmacy. Following the test, the user schedules a telemedicine consult with a board-certified physician over the Physician 360 platform through its desktop or smartphone app.
The entire process is under $50.
“During the telemedicine consult, the physician will see the results of the test to supplement everything that you’re telling them,” says Dr. Fusaro. “A traditional telemedicine platform that uses only patient history is limited and the test allows for a more accurate diagnosis.”
Dr. Fusaro and her team have created a network of physicians across the country to share their vision of how healthcare should be delivered.
“Having been in the healthcare sector, it helps to have this knowledge to recruit doctors. They have an inherent trust of what we’re doing since we’re also doctors,” she says.
With this network, Physician 360 has doctors available year-round, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The service is currently available in 24 states and growing.
While Dr. Fusaro works full-time on the startup, to stay in touch with her customer base and trends in healthcare, she still picks up a few ER shifts a month.
“It’s important to stay connected and maintain my credibility and pulse on healthcare in general. I don’t want to be so removed from it that we begin doing outdated things,” she says.
The Atlanta-based company operates mainly on a B2B2C revenue model through independent pharmacy partnerships. The FDA-cleared kits are also available for purchase through the website.
Physician 360 has remained bootstrapped to this point, though they’ve now opened a seed round. Dr. Fusaro is looking to scale her team and make key hires to continue growing their national footprint.