It takes over 29.3 days to get an appointment with a primary care practitioner in the United States. Arguably, that’s 29.3 days more than what should be the ideal wait time. This disappointingly high number leaves no doubt about the growing inaccessibility of doctors, to say nothing of the continually rising healthcare costs across the country. Enter: Heal, a Los Angeles based app that facilitates house calls by highly-qualified doctors, at a transparent and fixed budget, within just 2 hours of placing a request.
Since its launch in 2015, Heal facilitated over 60,000 house calls and helped save $26 million in healthcare cost for patients. This value-proposition of old-fashioned doctor house visits, powered by tech, seems to have real potential to solve the healthcare conundrum. So, it’s no small wonder then that Heal was recently able to raise $20 Million in funds from the likes Bascom Ventures, Inflection Capital, IA Capital, RLJ Equity Partners, and Trans-Pacific Partners.
Heal Fast. Heal Affordable. Heal Personalized
A huge success in several parts of the US, Heal has been able to completely turn the traditional patient-practice structure on its head. No more never-ending waiting-periods for an appointment. Nor do you have to haunt disease-infested hospital hallways for hours, only to receive a rather hurried consult with the doctor. Heal’s door-to-door doctor consult promises cost-effective and personalized care, from the comfort of your home. This is especially helpful in the case of geriatric or pediatric care where travel to the hospital is a task in itself.
According to company co-founder Renee Dua, more than 60% of the app’s first-time users would have gone to the emergency room for non-emergency situations if it hadn’t been for Heal. The app also claims to have reduced the number of antibiotics prescribed for small ailments that can be corrected with relevant lifestyle changes.
Another big Heal advantage is the increase in personalized human interaction. It is estimated that an average Heal doctor’s house call of 31 minutes is 400% longer than a session with a doctor at a clinic/hospital. This means that Heal physicians end up taking time to carefully piece together the patient’s health history, study their living space and map their dietary habits in order to provide a bespoke care plan.
One would imagine that all this would be expensive. But it couldn’t be farther from the truth. Apart from being an in-network PPO option for several insurance providers, Heal ensures that out-of-insurance consults cost only a flat fee of $99.
But how is Heal able to offer house calls and afford to charge such a basic fare, you ask? Simple, the doctor-on-call app does away with layers of overhead expenses of running a clinic or hospital (Read: nurses, hospital building rent, electricity bills etc). It then passes on the savings to the patient, in the form of lower doctor’s consult charges, and the doctor in terms of competitive wages.
Built for the Millennial Patient
Perfectly suited for the tech-savvy millennial, Heal allows users to book doctor home visits on either the intuitive app or webpage. Pediatric, urgent care, primary care, and preventive care practitioners are all available options to choose from. But the best part about this solution is that the house call services are available 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week. So, doctors at Heal are always, quite literally, just a click away.
In their efforts to go paperless; after the check-up, all follow-ups, prescriptions and referrals are shared via the app. Thus there is no need for any more preventable calls or physical meetings. A millennial’s dream come true.
The Darling of the Doctors
Heal symbolizes the three magic words that will get every doctor hooked: ‘No. more. paperwork’. Truly, physicians value the app for it gives them a chance to break free from the hours and hours of unpaid admin chores and focus all that time and effort into curing patients, with house calls.
Heal CEO and co-founder Nick Desai has been quoted saying that they take private-care doctors out of environments where they’re seeing 40-plus patients a day, and pay them competitive salaries to see 12 to 14 patients a day. This means that the doctors spend more time with the patients – increasing their happiness, their effective hourly wages, and most importantly the quality of care they provide.
What comes as icing on the cake is that physicians with Heal, have the luxury of being chauffeur-driven to their appointments by medical assistants. They also get to set their own schedule, focus on fewer patients, and even receive a malpractice cover.
Heal today, AI-powered tomorrow
At the start of the year, Heal launched The Heal Wellbe™ device that seeks to combine high-touch house calls with real-time health data tracking for the first time ever. They also plan to make significant investments in disruptive technologies, such as AI, to improve the patient relationship, delivery of service and also further bring down costs.
The house call service is currently available in 8 cities namely, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Inland Empire, and D.C/Northern VA. Heal’s roadmap involves expanding into new markets, across the country, thereby increasing the sheer volume of patients reached.