PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Telemedicine startup Akos announced today the launch of its first U.S. virtual healthcare practice, located in north Phoenix. Developed by a team of local physicians, Akos is a contemporary telemedicine provider powering a new type of virtual healthcare practice, designed to help address the nation's growing healthcare crisis. By combining smart technology, seamless design, a patient-centric operating model, grassroots strategy and the collective power of a preferred provider network, Akos will revolutionize the healthcare industry, offering a 360-degree solution that will improve access and reduce costs for patients, physicians and employers alike.
"The nation as a whole is ready. With our healthcare system in flux, and healthcare premiums increasing over 100 percent in Arizona this year alone, there has never been a greater demand for a solution that addresses the pain points associated with our state and national healthcare offerings," says Dr. Kishlay Anand, cardiologist and co-founder of Akos. "While minor improvements have been made, nothing game-changing has emerged that would provide a 360-degree approach to patient care and streamline convenience -- that is, until now."
Dr. Anand and Dr. Swaraj Singh started Akos in 2016. To help turn the Akos vision into a reality, the two enlisted a team of 26 esteemed colleagues to help conceptualize, develop and fund the effort. Together they successfully raised more than $1 million in initial investment and fundraising dollars, allowing them to complete the project and announce the official launch of their first virtual healthcare practice in Phoenix, as well as plans for expansion nationwide. Today Akos uses a mobile interface to provide patients unparalleled access to qualified virtual care coordinators and board-certified physicians from their area, 24/7/365 days a year via virtual smartphone or tablet consultation.
According to Anand and Singh, the Akos virtual platform will feature:
- Convenient voice or live video consultations via a smartphone or tablet
- Access to board-certified physicians in minutes for consultation, diagnosis and treatment
- No membership or insurance requirements
- Medical records stored securely on a HIPAA compliant platform
- Same convenient and cost-effective care for family and loved ones
- Access to the Akos preferred provider network
To access Akos, patients simply download the free app to their smartphone or tablet and provide a brief medical history and symptoms before speaking with a virtual care coordinator. Next, the care coordinator will assess the patient’s symptoms and connect the patient to a physician from their area who best meets their needs. Unlike traditional telemedicine models, Akos' uses a grassroots strategy and the collective power of a preferred provider network to help patients navigate their healthcare concerns from start to finish. If the care coordinator determines the condition cannot be treated through virtual care, the patient will not be charged by Akos and instead, will be directed via a virtual care coordinator to an Akos preferred healthcare provider nearest them for immediate care.
"According to the American Medical Association, telemedicine platforms, like Akos, allow physicians to treat 70 percent of clinical encounters seen today, virtually,” says Singh. "The opportunity to fix healthcare, making it accessible and affordable, is enormous. By introducing communities to Akos, we will eliminate the anxiety and uncertainty around healthcare, and instead help patients feel empowered about their healthcare decisions."
The $49 flat fee will get patients 15 minutes with an Akos physician, who can diagnose, treat and prescribe if necessary. For individuals or families looking to have a long-term care solution, Akos offers a membership package, which starts at $15 per month and a reduced fee per call of $30. Below are common medical conditions physicians can, but aren't limited to, treat through Akos:
- Illness: Common cold, flu, nausea, vomiting, strep throat
- Aches and Pains: Migraines, headaches, back pain, abdominal pain
- Seasonal: Allergies, sinus infection, asthma, wheezing
- Minor Injuries: Contusions, sprains, strains
- Skin: Rashes, acne, sunburn, stings, bites
- Other: Motion sickness, stye, pink eye, urinary tract infection, constipation, yeast infection, STDs, ear infection, swimmer’s ear, acid reflux (GERD), weight loss and nutrition, general women's and men's health, to name a few
As a nation, studies show continued shortages of primary care physicians. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, this is especially challenging for the 25 percent of the U.S. population that lives in rural areas, where access to healthcare is often lacking. As Akos becomes the preferred method for patient treatment, it will not just improve access to critical services and costs associated with healthcare for patients throughout the nation -- it would also provide a broad set of benefits for physicians and employers.
According to Anand and Singh, unlike working with a traditional clinic, virtual technology allows physicians to diagnose and treat patients anytime, anywhere. This increased access can help make communicating treatment programs more effective and efficient for physicians, while empowering patients to be more proactive about their health through an easy-to-use communications platform.
For employers, Akos is pioneering a digital health transformation, offering an innovative, multifaceted healthcare solution and a revolutionary return to work program to meet the needs of businesses today. Through customized implementation, employers will get the benefits of improved healthcare access, well-being of staff and boosted productivity. In addition, Akos’ return to work program will streamline illness and work-related injury processes, so employers can reduce insurance costs and workers' compensation claims by minimizing employee downtime and visits to the emergency room.
"We're paving the way with our employer telehealth offering and return to work program," says Anand. "We will help businesses and employees thrive at work, by collaborating to help mediate work-related injury and illness situations, provide a timely diagnosis and treatment, and facilitate a speedy recovery and return to work for employees."
Akos will see patients in Arizona starting this month, with plans to expand virtual care practices and services in 10 more locations by spring 2017. According to founders Anand and Singh, Akos plans to become the medical office of the future, with virtual healthcare practices nationally by 2018.
"For more than a year, we've envisioned Akos being a pioneer in telemedicine, offering the first complete healthcare solution for patients, physicians and employers across the United States," says Singh. "It's taken the right blend of physicians, technologists, developers, marketers and healthcare partners, but today we're thrilled to see that vision come to life as we launch Akos publicly, starting right here in our own backyard."
For more information on bringing Akos to your business, joining the Akos preferred provider network or becoming an Akos patient, visit www.akosmd.com.
Developed by a team of leading physicians, Akos opened its first virtual healthcare practice in 2016, located in Phoenix, Ariz. A contemporary telemedicine provider powering a new type of virtual healthcare practice, Akos offers the first complete healthcare solution for patients, physicians, employers and healthcare centers across the United States. By combining smart technology, seamless design, a patient-centric approach, grassroots strategy and the collective power of a preferred provider network, Akos is reinventing the traditional healthcare model one virtual call at a time. Available 24/7/365 days a year, patients can pay a flat fee of $49 or enjoy an Akos membership, which starts at $15 per month and a reduced fee per call of $30, to get unparalleled access to board-certified physicians in their area via a smartphone device or tablet. Currently Akos only serves patients in Arizona with plans to expand to 10 more locations by spring 2017. For more information or to download our app, visit www.AkosMD.com. For the latest news, health tips and more, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.