How Startups Are Providing Healthcare Access to U.S. Patients

October 7, 2016

10:30 am

Startup companies who specialize in providing better access to healthcare have become incredibly popular in recent years. The reason? According to Inc.com, The Affordable Care Act has transformed the old model of treatment-based care and replaced it with a value-based model. Insurers no longer reward providers for the number of treatments they give each patient. Instead, they receive more when they help patients avoid treatments by preventing illness.

The Importance of Preventative Healthcare

Take MediSafe, for example. Its founder, Bob Shor, began the company after his father accidentally injected himself with an overdose of insulin. MediSafe provides an app that helps patients avoid such errors by allowing them to track the exact dosages of their prescriptions, as well as the times of the day at which patients take them. For elderly patients and harried executives too busy to track their own use of prescription medicines, this company is a lifesaver.

Insurers also benefit from MediSafe’s technology. When the app tracks patients’ dosages, the rates of hospital admissions and re-admissions for accidental overdoses plummet. No longer do insurers have to bear the brunt of patient or doctor error.

Medical Forms Need to be Simple

Another startup that saw the opportunity that The Affordable Care Act provided, Tonic began when its founder, Sterling Lanier, discovered that patients often incorrectly fill out health information forms because, quite simply, they’re boring. Doctors obviously need this information to properly treat patients.

Tonic created a digital form that provides a series of brightly colored screens that engage patients, while cartoon characters and games entice patients to continue the process. Not only does the app entertain bored patients, but it also flags certain areas in a patient’s charts that may indicate that they may need to see a specialist for a given problem. This helps patients see only the providers that their healthcare records indicate are relevant to their health situation.

Basic Life Support Certification Saves Lives

Many medical professionals don’t deal with life-or-death situations during their everyday practice, like dentists, psychiatrists, and dermatologists, for instance. Yet sometimes, a situation arises in which a patient goes into cardiac arrest. Allergies to medication or undiagnosed cardiac issues can turn a routine visit into a nightmare.

Yet these busy providers don’t often have the time to enroll in traditional BLS certification courses. Enter Pacific Medical Training. They created an online course in Basic Life Support to help these professionals give their patients access to the best healthcare possible—including in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Instant grading and the ability to retake exams multiple times help even the busiest of providers prepare for those rare cases in which they need to know how to act quickly to save their patients’ lives.

A Little Preparation Goes A Long Way

Wake Emergency Physicians is a group practice for emergency physicians in central North Carolina. Its child company, RelyMD, is a revolutionary new way to prep ER doctors to your eventual arrival. Because more than half of patients’ ER trips are unnecessary, ER doctors find themselves strapped for time to handle those patients whose cases do merit a trip to the emergency room.

To give those patients who need to visit the emergency department better access to their time, RelyMD allows patients to contact a doctor before they even head out the door. With RelyMD, patients have a board-certified ER doctor—not a harried intake nurse—perform triage to see if their symptoms warrant an ER visit.

“Experienced physicians can determine [need] by asking the right questions,” said Robert Park, the director of telemedicine at RelyMD. 

The system can help keep patients without life-threatening illnesses or injuries out of the ER while saving them money, since a call to RelyMD is only $50, compared to the much-higher copay for most ER visits.

With startups like RelyMD competing to provide the most efficient healthcare for patients, patients emerge the winners. These innovative companies are on the front lines of today’s medicine, seeing to it that more patients—no matter how remote their location—will get the healthcare they need.

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“I’ve been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I’ve started doing freelance writing and I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet. I also write for Dell every once and awhile.” – Rick DelGado

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