When your child is sick the last place you want to be is in a waiting room. Around other sick people. Waiting.
Almost a century ago, people avoided this by having the doctor come to them. Orlando founder Matt McBride looks to bring back the good ol’ days with Mend Family, an app that sends doctors to your home for house visits.
Mend works much like Uber and other on-demand services where users enter their location into the app and then choose a doctor from specialties such as family, internal medicine or pediatrics. The family describes their symptoms and needs, and Mend sends out the doctor for a house call. Families can review doctors by satisfaction ratings, and the app lets the patient know exactly when the doctor will arrive, similar to Uber. Mend offers services like checkups, vaccinations and even mobile x-rays, and accepts insurance from 45 major payers.
Mcbride McBride thought up the idea from the numerous doctor wellness visits he his wife would make for his their two children. Taking your child to a waiting room full of sick people can be a challenge for any parent.
“I think a lot of parents struggle with those visits, but what alternative is there,” said McBride. “Being in tech, I saw what Uber was doing with their fleet, and I thought wouldn’t it be cool if that was a fleet of doctors. And that’s how Mend started.”
In the 1930’s physician house calls were standard practice with almost 40 percent of patient/physician interactions happening in the home. Though studies have shown that house call visits are effective in reducing readmissions by almost 25 percent, the practice has since gone down to about 1 percent of interactions, mainly due to lack of support by insurance carriers. But as technology has shrunken and improved the tools available in a doctor’s black bag and demand for health care services rises, insurance companies have begun to return to the house call model to reduce costs and provide more effective services.
“I saw what Uber was doing with their fleet, and I thought wouldn’t it be cool if that was a fleet of doctors.”
Mend beta-launched on June 8th and already has 100 downloads and seen 30 patients. The service is currently only available in Baldwin Park and Winter Park but plans to expand throughout Orlando later this year. Mend also offers telemedicine anywhere in Florida.
According to IBIS World, the primary care market is a $246 billion dollar industry growing 4.4 percent annually. In Orange and Seminole counties the market is $628 million with about 5 million patient visits annually.
Prior to Mend, McBride co-founded Fast Forward Academy in 2010 an edtech site that offers online training to tax and accounting professionals. In five years McBride and his cofounder grew the site into an industry leader with more than 150,000 users.
“We did really well at Fast Forward, and I learned a ton about creating a great customer experience which will be a key differentiation of Mend from competitors,” said McBride. “I don’t want to put all our ideas out there yet, but we plan to rethink and reimagine what the entire doctor visit experience can be very soon.”