Technology

Published on September 19th, 2019 | by Danielle

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New Startup Bringing a Tech-Based Approach to Pediatric Urgent Care

Urgent care is a category of walk-in clinic focused on the delivery of ambulatory care in a medical center outside of a traditional emergency department. Over the last few years, the U.S. has seen a rapid increase in the number of urgent care facilities. In fact, more than 27% of U.S. patients reported in 2016 have visited an urgent care center over the last two years.

The employment of medical laboratory technologists and technicians is expected to grow by 13% by 2026. As technology and healthcare continue to grow together, more and more businesses are raising money to get in on the action and help change the world. Thanks to a new startup in Portland, a tech-based urgent care service for kids is on its way. According to GeekWire, Brave Care has been attracting a lot of investor attention and secured an additional $5.2 million in funding from Sesame Street, Fifty Years, Refactor, and Greycroft.

The company recently graduated from Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator and is opening urgent care centers that incorporate a child-centered mindset with a technological approach. Now, when children suffer scrapes, bruises, earaches, and the like, they can receive high-tech medical attention specifically tailored to their needs.

“I can’t count the number of times I’ve tried Googling for symptoms to try and figure out what’s going on with one of my kids, and how scary and stressful that can be,” said Darius Monsef, an entrepreneur who recently took his son to an urgent care center after a bike accident. Monsef and Dr. Corey Fish launched Brave Care. “Our clinics are for kids-only, so we’re able to focus on creating an environment that is friendly to kids and makes them feel comfortable when they feel awful and scared.”

Emergency rooms are essential for life-threatening injuries and diseases, but urgent care centers — especially those that are centered around kids — are still great options for families dealing with less severe health concerns. Heat exhaustion, which is one of three heat-related syndromes (heat cramps being the mildest and heatstroke being the most extreme), can be treated in a timely manner at a legitimate urgent health center.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one in five children visit an emergency room each year — with the most common reasons for an ER visit, aside from serious medical concerns, was simply because the doctor’s office was not open.

In addition to accommodating for families in need of pediatric medical assistance when visiting a doctor isn’t an option, Brave Care hopes its business model will help treat health concerns without, as Dr. Fish puts it, “The insanely high costs associated with ERs.”

In hopes of incorporating a tech-based approach to their company, Monsef and Dr. Fish reached out to Asa Miller and Maryam Taheri, bringing them on as chief technology officer and chief operating officer, respectively. Miller, formally a senior software engineer at Envoy and Taheri, ran clinical affairs for Siren Care, a startup that manufactured smart socks in order to detect problems related to chronic inflammation, which affects over 43 million people in the United States.

Brave Care’s clinic is open seven days a week and remains open until 10 p.m. on weekdays for parents who work late. Eventually, Brave Care hopes to introduce an asynchronous telemedicine product, which would combine in a HIPPAA-compliant messaging system the data collected from a self-serve triage tool with pictures and videos (provided by the parent). But for now, the company is solely focused on providing the best possible care to young patients in the most comfortable way.

“We don’t want the treatment of an injury or illness to be more traumatic than how you got it,” Monsef added.


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