Uber for Health Care is here with MDLive
By Chris Fleck
MDLive, which is based in Sunrise, is disrupting conventional health care engagement for the benefit of patients, health care providers and even insurance companies.
Before, when you were sick, you would call a doctor’s office to make an appointment, drive to the office, sit in the waiting room, fill out forms, and finally get in to see the medical practitioner. Now, you can pull up an app on your smartphone, immediately see the doctors who are available, and then click to start your visit with a live video session.
For medical providers, MDLive can provide additional income without being tied to the office; for insurance companies, MDLive can reduce visit costs and provide enhanced service for their client networks. This does not replace every doctor-patient engagement, but for routine visits such as colds, rashes and allergies, MDLive provides a great service. Just like Uber, it offers immediate response, convenience and lower costs, which will carve out a huge market.
A leader in the fast-growing telemedicine market, MDLive has recently expanded its partnership with Walgreens to cover 25 states, including Florida. Simply download the Walgreens app and one of the options along with your prescription status is to see an MDLive provided doctor. Health care insurance giants such as Humana and Cigna also rely on MDLive to provide better service to employees of the companies they serve and lower their costs, which can translate to lower premiums. Telemedicine is projected to be a $4 billion market by 2018, with lots of room to grow given its intrinsic advantages.
As a company, MDLive is thriving. Besides establishing itself as a leader in health care, it has closed on a $50 million investment from Bedford Funding, which was the largest such investment in Florida for the second quarter of 2015.
“By providing convenient, high-quality, cost-effective care that seamlessly transitions from the virtual to the in-person setting, we are reinventing health care delivery and setting a new standard for health care services in this country,” says MDLive founder and CEO Randy Parker.
MDLive also has credible tech industry support with John Sculley, former CEO of Pepsi and Apple, serving as vice chairman of its board of directors. “We believe MDLive’s virtual health system model is best positioned to address some of health care’s greatest challenges – including access, quality and cost,” he says.
With funding, customers and partnerships in place, MDLive is in fast-growth mode. It already has over 500 employees and more than 50 openings in technology and health care support roles. Its offices in Sunrise are expanding fast to keep up. MDLive is on the short list of companies to watch, not only in South Florida technology, but as a national disrupter using technology to change the way health care works.
Chris Fleck is on the board of the South Florida Technology Alliance and vice president of emerging solutions for Citrix Systems (NASDAQ: CTXS), a Fort Lauderdale company that provides secure remote access to data and applications.