Even after billions of venture capital raised and invested into the digital health space, it’s still difficult to access quality healthcare. And while that may raise questions as to whether a scrappy startup has a fighting chance at fixing things, to entrepreneur Akili Hinson, it just means that Juno needs to be even smarter about the neighborhoods it targets.
Hinson, Juno’s founder and CEO and a physician by trade, is building a healthcare model that offers in-person care in diverse neighborhoods across the country. The startup’s modern take on a healthcare visit means that it competes with heavyweights such as One Medical and CityBlock Health. But that hasn’t stopped investors from recently leading a $12 million Series A in the startup, a round co-led by Serena Ventures and NEXT Ventures.
The proof might be in the focus. Hinson explained that CityBlock Health focuses exclusively on patients who are eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, who tend to be some of the sickest patiences in the healthcare system. On the other end of the spectrum, One Medical shows up as a sort of exclusive membership program often paid for by employers. Juno wants to be there for people who don’t fit into either category, which it thinks is 99% of the population.
“Our approach is to be open access and to create additional products for folks who want an extra dose of convenience, savings and support,” Hinson said, adding that Juno is more focused on offering family care at scale. In action, that means Juno works to provide services from pediatrics to OB-GYN. “What that means is, unlike an exclusive membership model, anybody can come in and get their care…from all walks of lives in these neighborhoods.” The company also offers higher acuity services, such as X-rays.
To be truly open access, and also offer everything from adult primary care to same-day care, comes with its costs — ergo why so many companies aiming to offer a one-stop shop have to raise nine-figure rounds. Juno recently began offering additional plans that range from $20 to $50 a month for families who want a more convenient experience, such as night and weekend appointments or better savings. Its challenge will be scaling this service, beyond its brick-and-mortar locations, in a way that makes its newfound venture backers happy.
With new capital under its belt, Juno is looking to expand its team and services into East Atlanta, Greenwood, and Inglewood.
“We don’t think like you should have to click 35 times just to understand what your vital signs were at your last appointment or to see your labs,” Hinson said. “The Juno story is much more about technology being an enabler for excellent care — I wouldn’t even call us a digital health company; we’re a high-tech enabled healthcare service.”