Lionel Richie and other investors bet on this Uber for health care


So far, 75 doctors — internists, pediatricians and primary care physicians — have signed on with the company in major California markets, including San Francsico and Los Angeles. A few have joined Heal full-time, but most work about 20 hours a week on top of other jobs and are paid for their shift.

Heal says it has made 16,000 house calls to date — a physician and a medical assistant who manage a portable office take vitals and point-of-site testing for strep, flu and pregnancy, among other conditions. To date, it has driven more than $5.9 million in health care savings, reduced unnecessary prescription antibiotic usage by more than 50 percent, and reduced non-emergency trips to the ER and urgent care by 62 percent for patients and partners.

By reducing paperwork and bureaucracy, Desai says the company makes an average revenue of $150 per patient and a gross profit margin of 28 percent in one of its largest and most competitive markets: Los Angeles.

According to investor Thomas Tull, “Heal is on an upward trajectory.”

Heal is not the first start-up to offer such a service. Pager, a 3 year-old start-up backed by New Enterprise Associates and Sound Ventures, offers doctors on-demand in New York and San Francisco markets. In addition, companies have cropped up to offer telemedicine services that let patients consult with doctors through their mobile phones such as Doctors on Demand, HealthTap and Teladoc.

What is the biggest challenge Heal is facing right now? “Scaling up and keeping up with fast growth. We have to be selective and hire the most compassionate and skilled caregivers and that vetting is not a simple process,” said Dr. Dua, chief medical officer and co-founder.

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Lionel Richie and other investors bet on this Uber for health care

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