Forward is a new-age medical practice based in San Francisco with an innovative take on the healthcare system. Described as the “Apple Store of Medicine” the most noticeable difference at first glance is the incredible beauty behind the office, but the quality of care and treatment of patients goes much deeper as well.
Adrian Aoun founded Forward when he received a phone call from a family member in an ambulance while they were having a heart attack. He realized our medical system did not have the technology needed to properly learn about patients and predict problems before they occur. Our health care is entirely reactive and treated like going into a garage to fix a weird noise under the hood of our cars.
With the ambition of changing the way people experience doctor’s visits and stay healthy, these are the most critical updates Forward has for your physician.
Preventative rather than reactive
One of the most central critiques of healthcare Forward offers is the fact treatment is done after problems occur instead of prioritizing constant wellness. This means a trip to Forward is not a scary experience, but one focusing on keeping you in tip-top shape.
When walking into a Forward office you are greeted with a bottle of VOSS water and have a digital body scan for all of your vital information including, height, weight, temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and more all in a single go. Their proprietary software logs and analyses this data to keep track of any problems which may pop-up in the future.
Additionally, Forward takes a look at patients’ genetic code to look for potential indicators of predispositions for conditions and diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Overall, this medical practice cares more about telling you what problems you will have in the future and how to prevent them rather than simply handing out vitamins and shots and then dealing with the serious things once they put you in the hospital.
Perhaps one of the coolest features of Forward is the plethora of gadgets, which both improve the quality of care and add a Star Trek feel to the experience. Integration and innovation of the top medical gear is one of the commitments Aoun has made for ensuring Forward is capable of being a different kind of medical experience.
For instance, Forward invented a high-powered stethoscope allowing doctors to hear patients’ heartrates without needing to remove any clothing. Additionally, they incorporated a scanner to show doctors where the veins are in a patients’ arm so drawing blood and inserting IVs are more painless and quicker processes.
Furthermore, the Forward office has an in-office lab facility so having tests performed takes minutes not days or weeks. As Aoun puts it, imagine writing a block of code for a computer program and having to wait 10 days to hear back about if there is a problem with it. It makes about as much sense as having to drag out diagnosis and check-ups weeks on end.
Apple stores revolutionized the conceptions of designs and retail presence. Forward accomplishes the same level of aesthetic innovation and user experience within the medical realm through a better designed medical practice.
The lobby of Forward features ergonomic chairs and clean, minimalist interior decoration. It feels much more like a tech office than the dated healthcare facilities with tattered copies of People and GQ magazines most of us are used to. Each doctor’s office features a wide range of computers, touchscreens, and televisions ensuring you know your doctor has the technology to make your care state-of-the-art.
Beyond the immediate treatment of patients, Forward pairs the office experience with other amenities for its clients. Firstly, there is an app for you to reach out to your medical professional 24/7 no matter what issues you are experiencing or want feedback on. Secondly, vitamins, vaccines, wearables, and other preventive care features are completely free for clients.
Finally, there is an in-office pharmacy allowing for patients to have their prescriptions filled on-the-spot and eliminating the need for making multiple trips to the doctors, to the pharmacy, and later that day back to the pharmacy to pick-up your medicine. This also keeps a documented record of physician visits and past prescriptions in the app so you can better have access to that information on the go.
Innovative payment plan
What is most radical about the Forward set-up is the payment plan for service. At Forward there is no need for insurance or co-pays. For a simple $150 per month, you get unlimited access to office and its amenities. This is a much smaller cost than most insurance premiums and reduces the disincentive of going to the doctors because it might be expensive.
With medical debt as the largest contributor to personal debt in the United States, Forward hopes that by simplifying the payment structure of quality healthcare that also hopes to keep patients out of the hospital, patients can live healthier more fulfilled lives.
Forward is pushing the conceptions of the healthcare industry into new territories and is truly practicing the idea of preventive rather than reactionary medicine. Utilizing the best data analysis tools for consumers and doctors alike to understand their bodies, what problems they might face in the future, and what steps are the best for limiting those situations, sets Forward apart from their competition.
Not stopping there, Forward has truly looked at healthcare from a product design point of view and thought through all of the potential hazards and qualms patients have with the experience. Improving the design of the medical practice, reassuring patients of the technology at the doctor’s disposal, speeding up test processes, allowing 24/7 access to physicians, and integrating the pharmacy and medical practice are just a few of the ways Forward is making a doctor’s visit patients are more likely to enjoy.
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