There are quite a few telemedicine startups to choose from these days including Doctor on Demand, HealthTap and even some of the older, more established companies like MDLive or American Well but Remedy is a new one we’ve just been turned onto promising high-quality doctors at a lower cost per visit with the use of what it refers to as artificial intelligence to help diagnose what ails you.
Telemedicine is fast adopting the use of A.I. as an umbrella term in over-the-phone medical help. HealthTap just announced the launch of “Dr. AI,” its own version of a smart search algorithm, and Remedy falls into this same category. But much of what is so-called artificial intelligence really depends on how you label what you consider AI. If it’s a smarter search algorithm able to run through large amounts of medical information and the symptoms you suggest to come up with possible diagnoses, then Remedy has just that.
The idea is backed by Khosla Ventures, Greylock Discovery, Alsop Louie Partners, and the Head of Google Brain AI Team, Jeff Dean and anyone, insured or not, can access the platform for $30 a pop to get medical advice or prescriptions from doctors using this A.I technology.
It’s similar in a sense to IBM’s Dr. Watson, which was able to determine a rare form of leukemia in a patient after doctors had been stumped for years.
Though Remedy is fairly new — it just launched out of beta — and has yet to diagnose a patient when doctors could not. The interest, for now, is in the promise and also the lowered cost for those without insurance.
Also, unlike other telemedicine platforms, Remedy promises to pair you with one particular doctor instead of whoever is available at the time.
It works by having you first select a doctor and then filtering through a bunch of the symptoms you may have. You then record a video to send to your physician and to verify your identity. The doctor is then able to determine what might be ailing you.
Founder William Jack came up with the idea for Remedy after a misdiagnosis for his epilepsy.
“When I was first experiencing this like seizures essentially I’d go to doctors and try to recount what happened, how I felt and I was initially completely misdiagnosed with migraines,” Jack told TechCrunch of his experience. “It was pivotal to two different things. One is the doctor didn’t really spend much time gathering information about exactly what my condition was…and secondly, if the doctor had access to a system where when a patient comes in and they have an episode or a series of complaints you can imagine a system in which relevant medical research or evidence-based deadlines would be surfaced and presented to the physician so they could make a more intelligent diagnoses.”
Jack believes had his doctors had all of that he would not have suffered for years not knowing he actually had epilepsy.
Rather than just getting a 10-minute on-demand video visit with a doctor, Remedy promises continuous engagement with your physician to keep them updated on your condition in addition to a phone visit.
One Medical also offers such an option. Patients can log into the online portal through the app or on its website and message their preferred physician. They can also get immediate help from on-call doctors through a messaging system or go into a physical location to see their doctor, if needed. In the future Jack mentioned also wanting to expand to brick and mortar locations, which
That last part, the physical, is something many telemedicine startups lack. While about 70 percent of all doctor visits can actually be handled via text or phone call, according to the American Medical Association, there are times we still need to actually go in person.
Jack acknowledges that last step and mentioned that in the future he plans to expand to brick and mortar locations, which would put him in direct competition with One Medical and other physician clinics expanding into the telehealth space.
But it’s early days for that. The startup is still a slim team and only has a handful of doctors on the platform — including one Jack says also treats NFL players. For now, the founder is counting on his A.I. search to help fill in the gaps and keep patient costs low so we’ll just have to see how this startup does as it ramps up over the next year.