Personalized medicine with both high-touch care and technology enablement
Forward is a startup based in California combining the ‘best technologies’ for health with personalized care. Their approach promises to blend advanced diagnostics, including genomic testing, with more face-time with doctors and care providers. Additionally, patients can co-create health goals with their provider and receive personalized care through telemedicine (in this case, chat-based messaging) to attend to health concerns early while minimizing unnecessary office visits.
A Different Look and Feel
Forward’s offices look and feel different, too. Visitors could easily pass by an important innovation which sits innocuously built into the wall—some airport water bottle refilling machines are fancier. Behind the simple facade lies a clever combination of existing diagnostic technologies in a ‘one stop’ place for basic diagnostics. Once in the doctor’s office itself, patients can expect to be discussing their health situation on very large screens with casually-dressed professionals. Overall, the effect is far more Star Trek sickbay than one-stop family care clinic.
Getting what you pay for
The VC-backed firm has a difficult path ahead. It will have to convince patients to spend a significant amount of money each month on a subscription model of $149/month, in addition to costs per visit (and for diagnostics). And it will likely have to convince payers to cover somewhat unusual diagnostics (like genomic testing). But if it can, the promise of highly personalized care backed by solid patient data is certainly worth the effort—and could scale as technology costs lower and larger collective purchasers bring their business.