Azova: We Make Healthcare Simple
Transforming Telemedicine: New Technology Puts Patients and Doctors in the Driver's Seat
Health care can be one of the most frustrating, confusing and un-user-friendly tasks for consumers to navigate. The administrative minutiae and wasted time that go along with doctor’s appointments and medical procedures often make it difficult for patients to feel in control, from scheduling, to accessing test results, to long stints waiting for appointments that ultimately only take three minutes. And for doctors, the bureaucracy around billing and scheduling can be equally time-consuming and aggravating, taking time away from the actual practice of medicine.
Facebook and Amazon for Medicine
A new solution, developed by a Utah dermatologist and entrepreneur, could change all of that. AZOVA, azovahealth.com, is an online platform where patients and medical professionals can customize and control their health care experience. Sometimes referred to as a combination of Facebook and Amazon for medicine, AZOVA solves many of the common issues that make health care so taxing. Patients can access all of their medical professionals and medical information from one dashboard with its innovative technology.
Studies show that patients’ No. 1 complaint is waiting for the doctor; No. 2 is filling out multiple pages of forms — seemingly the same ones over and over. AZOVA eliminates both issues with technology that seamlessly integrates the necessary paperwork into its online self-scheduling process. Patients can schedule phone, email or video consults at set and transparent prices. Patients simply log in, view the doctor’s availability (no more scheduling guessing games and phone tag with the receptionist), fill out any necessary forms, provide insurance information and even pay their co-pay — without picking up a phone or going into an office.
Patients can also use AZOVA to access billing information and medical records and send email directly to staff members with questions related to billing, scheduling, lab results and so forth. Additionally, by opting to share medical records with other doctors on the platform, the need to fill out similar paperwork at every office is reduced or eliminated. Important test results like MRIs, CT scans and X-rays can be delivered electronically between all doctors involved in treatment planning.
Unnecessary Costs Eliminated
Founder Cheryl Lee Eberting, a widely known and respected dermatologist, had the idea for AZOVA when she launched her own product line, TrueLipids, to help treat serious cases of eczema. She received pictures from patients from around the nation asking her to diagnose and treat them over the internet. “I thought it would be extraordinary if medical professionals could create and customize their own online clinics in the cloud, so to speak, seeing patients over the internet, charging what they think is a fair price for their services — which would no longer be limited to office visits — sell products they recommend from their own website, and eliminate unnecessary costs and middlemen,” she says.
Eberting’s own online clinic allows patients to choose from a menu of options, including in-office appointments, e-visits or even house calls. “Basically, any appointment where a doctor doesn’t need to physically touch you can be done online now using AZOVA. How many times have you called a medical provider’s office to ask a quick question and they have required you to come in for an appointment because they can’t bill your insurance company for the phone call? AZOVA solves that problem for both patients and doctors. With online PhotoForward™ consultations, patients no longer need to take a half-day off work for something that can be done over the internet at a price very close to their co-pay.”
AZOVA launched nationally in May, and many health care professionals throughout Utah have already begun using their own AZOVA online clinics, including Revere Health, Premier Family Medical, Valley OB/GYN, East West Health, Medallus Medical Urgent Care Centers and Mountain Point Medical Center. Additionally, Public Employees Health Plan recently announced that it will cover face-to-face video consults with doctors and therapists when conducted via the AZOVA platform.