Doctor On Demand Launches $40 Virtual Visits

12-11-2013 10-56-46 PM

Telehealth is quickly picking up steam. So much so, that startups are now nearing the point that they can price their services to be competitive with just the co-pay of a traditional doctors office visit, and can frequently beat the price of a late night trip to an urgent care center.

Doctor on Demand, a San Francisco, Cali.-based telehealth startup, is looking to capitalize on the trend. The startup raised $3 million in seed funding from Venrock, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Shasta Ventures, and Athenahealth’s own Jonathan Bush.

12-11-2013 10-54-54 PM

The company is launching a telehealth service across 15 states (California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington) that will connect patients with doctors over a HIPAA-compliant secure video connection. Patients will be charged $40 per session, and can receive care for any non-emergency clinical issue that does not require lab work or imaging. The service can be used check a rash without having to take a day off work, refill prescriptions, or get a referral to a local specialist.

Led by serial entrepreneur Adam Jackson, the entire team behind the effort has an impressive background. Jay McGraw, cofounder and chairman of the board is an Emmy Award winning television producer and a New York Times best selling author. He also holds a law degree from Southern Methodist University and a psychology degree from University of Texas.

The company’s physician body is recruited and led by CMO Pat Basu, MD, MBA. Previously, Basu served as a White House Fellow and taught medicine at Stanford University. Doctor on Demand employs more than 1,000 physicians. These doctors are able to focus on providing care, rather than documenting care. They are also able to work from home, while averaging more than $200,000/yr. They have no overhead costs sunk in office space, support staff, or EHRs, and have traditionally lower malpractice premiums.

The company’s advisors include: Jonathan Bush, CEO of Athenahealth and Harvard Business MBA graduate; Sheila Burke, RN, a member of the faculty at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; Alain Enthoven, a Professor of Public and Private Management, emeritus, at Stanford University; and Dr. Phil McGraw, nationally syndicated mental health professional.

The VC money has been flowing for telehealth all year. HealthSpot raised more than $10 million in private investments this April to begin rolling out its telehealth kiosks. HealthSpots kiosk look like a photo-booth, except the inside houses a high-definition teleconference link, vital signs monitoring equipment, and a hand-held camera that enables the physician to inspect lesions or rashes. The company plans to install them at malls and pharmacies across the country.

Doctor on Demand will use the $3 million in seed money to continue its expansion across the US. The company says its goal is to build a national web-based network that can provide on-demand telehealth visits care when appropriate, but work collaboratively with local providers to coordinate in person care when the situation warrants it.

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