I’m no stranger to a doctor’s appointment, and each time I go, I resent how slow the entire process is. Ponder it for a second, if you don’t mind: how many things in your life have drastically improved in terms of speed and efficiency in the last 20-30 years? We have cars that get more miles to the gallon; we have phones that are cordless and use high-speed internet services; we have televisions that can record your shows and allow you to search what’s on other channels without stopping what you’re currently watching; we can send an email to anywhere in the world in less than a minute (a minute is now considered a long time, by today’s standards); we can even listen to nearly any song if we search it on our computers or phones. Everything is a fast-paced now, but what about going to see a doctor?
Pharmacies are improving by using apps that allow you to refill your medications remotely, but that’s not very surprising. When we go to see a doctor, the experience has hardly changed at all. You call in to whatever office you want to get an appointment at, make the appointment for weeks or months in advance, when you finally get to your appointment you fill out loads of paperwork if it’s your first time, you have to wait what can be 1-2 hours, you get blood drawn so that your doctor can look at some of your basic health stats, a nurse will check your vital signs and record your weight and height, you see your doctor who may listen to you breathing and examine your eyes and reflexes then highlight anything unusual and gives you a hardcopy of the results, the doctor tells you when they want to see you back (usually six months or longer), then you go home with your hardcopy and vague sense of what you should be doing to ensure your health until the next time you go back. I don’t think that process has noticeably changed much 30+ years. If you’re like me and go to the doctor more than the average person, this process can seem like such a chore. Sure, it’s important that you go, but has no one ever thought about streamlining the entire process? I thought no one had until I heard about Foward.
The startup known as Forward was launched in January 2017. Forward was created to be a futuristic practice designed by Google and Uber alums.
"Forward combines the best of doctors and advanced technology to provide a personalized primary care experience," they explain.
Basically, you pay for a membership at Forward for $149 per month to get a streamlined version of a doctor’s office. Their doctors work with you to determine a general goal for your health on a monthly basis. The service is proactive in helping you toward a healthy lifestyle rather than being reactive and waiting for a problem to occur.
"Our 24/7 care team of doctors, nurse practitioners, and medical assistants are always available to you wherever you are in the world," the team say. "Whether diagnosing illnesses, monitoring chronic conditions with take-home sensors, making sure your medical records show up to the ER before you do, or coordinating with specialists, your care team is there for you.”
Forward allows you to monitor your health from your phone through their app. You can keep up with your medical documents on your phone and stay aware of your health at all times. Forward also provides a genetic screening that looks for hereditary illness. Their labs are all onsite – this means that you don’t have to go to a doctor one day then go to a lab at a different location another day just to send the results back to the same doctor who will discuss the results with you at a later time.
“We’re not the kind of doctor that says ‘see you in a year,’" the Forward team say. "Our ongoing health programs are targeted to your specific needs and help you make meaningful progress toward your health goals. We’re constantly adding new capabilities in our app, at our locations, and on our remote care and coordination team.”
There are many other services Forward provides that I haven’t mentioned here, but if you’re interested in a more streamlined and proactive medical service, I would highly suggest trying out Forward. I know I will.