The demand for telemedicine has skyrocketed because of COVID-19, but there's only so much your doctor can determine without the ability to draw blood or administer basic, hands-on testing. Ready is a new company to Los Angeles trying to meet that need.
"We're sort of a bridge between the telemedicine solution, which is a doctor via video, and that in-home care solution that does everything you need in a doctor's office," said Justin Dangel, the founder and CEO of Ready.
If you wake up tomorrow not feeling well, the last thing you want to do is get up and go to the doctor to be told you don't feel well. And that's if you can get an appointment.
"If we as a society can figure out how to get somebody a ride at their house to wherever they're going in five minutes, and we can figure out how to drop off whatever food they want in 20 minutes, then we ought to be able to figure out how to get health care to them at home when they need it," said Dangel.
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When a patient makes an appointment with Ready, a medical professional, like Raquel Johnson, who is a Navy veteran and EMT, is dispatched with the patient's location and chief complaint.
"I will call them ahead of time just to let them know I'm on my way, and then when I get there, I will have a good conversation with them and find out what's going on," said Raquel Johnson, a Ready EMT.
Once Ready determines the patient's need, they bring the right type of doctor in via video to confirm the diagnosis, treatment or prescriptions.
Most Ready calls right now are for in-home COVID-19 testing, frequently at no cost to the patient. But the calls can be for anything from blood work, flu shots or other medications.
Johnson makes about 10 calls per day and over the weekend, Michelle Beauelle called, needing help for an older friend.
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"They were quick. They were there right on the spot. There was no waiting time. So here I am in an emergency, and they responded right away to move forward, and the woman could stay in her house. She was stabilized," said Beauelle.
"I've used our services. I have an autistic child who gets very anxious when I take him to the doctor, so being able to have him treated in his own home around his things where he feels safe has been a godsend for us," said Johnson.
The cost of a visit is in line with a trip to the doctor's office, and Ready accepts Medicaid, Medicare and most commercial insurance, but the biggest value might be in reducing the number of people with non-emergency issues spending hours in a hospital emergency room.
"We tend to send a lot of challenges we have in our society to the emergency services, and we hope to be one of those solutions that can help take the pressure off there," said Dangel.
Right now, Ready sees about 100 patients a day in L.A. County with a goal of 1,000 a day within six to eight months.
For more information, visit: www.getready.com