Remedy CEO and founder, Jeremy Gabrysch, MD, featured on the Fast Break podcast by Fast Company

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Remedy CEO and founder, Jeremy Gabrysch, MD, featured on the Fast Break podcast by Fast Company

July 24, 2020

Jeremy Gabrysch, MD, CEO and founder of Remedy recently had the privilege of joining the Fast Break podcast by Fast Company to discuss the surge in adoption in virtual care amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Remedy’s unique ability to extend virtual care with safe at-home visits and mobile lab services.

Listen on Apple Podcasts here, with full transcription below.

Talib Visram:

The concept of telemedicine is still relatively new. Can you give us an overview of what virtual care entails?

Jeremy Gabrysch:

I sure can. You know, with virtual care Talib, you can speak to a physician from virtually anywhere. You can be in your home, you can be in an office, you can be on vacation. And with electronic records largely cloud-based these days, the physician can get into your health record and listen to your symptoms, see you, and make a very good diagnosis just by using the camera on your device. At Remedy for example, we actually go even beyond telemedicine to come to people’s homes, so we extend virtual care to include at-home visits as well. It’s a hybrid form of healthcare that leverages the benefit of virtual care, but also uses some traditional components of in-person care in the form of a house call.

Talib Visram:

Can you explain what a neighbor doctor is and what a typical house call would look?

Jeremy Gabrysch:

Yeah. The idea of a neighbor doctor really came from just my experience as a physician over the years, that people really crave a trusted resource in healthcare to ask questions to. This would happen to me when I’d be standing in my front yard. I’d have a neighbor ask me, “Hey, what do you think about this new test that’s out?” Or, “What do you think about these recommendations that just came out?” I get text messages frequently from friends and family who will ask me, “Hey, do you think I should go to the ER for this?”

Jeremy Gabrysch:

I think the point Talib is that people just really want that access to someone that they trust in the healthcare system, someone that they feel like they can reach out to and say, “Hey, what do I do here?” That’s what we’ve tried to really recreate with Remedy. We wanted to create an access point where people could connect with us and say, “Hey, I’m not sure what to do here. Can you guide me to the right solution?” And as I’ve said, a lot of the time that solution is a virtual encounter. It’s, “Hey, let’s just get on video and see if we can resolve this issue.”

Jeremy Gabrysch:

And in the event that you need something else, then we can graduate that to something else, like a house call for example. This is something where, like say you have a wound and you think maybe this needs stitches. Well, you get on the virtual encounter and the clinician says, “You know what? That actually does need stitches.” Well, in the traditional telehealth model, you’re stuck. I mean, now you have to start over, go to an urgent care, go somewhere else. But with Remedy, we’ll dispatch a house call to you. We’ll send someone to your home that will do those stitches right there.

Talib Visram:

Aside from the socially distant visits, how else can virtual care help patients and providers solely online?

Jeremy Gabrysch:

Well, one thing that we see is that virtual care really improves continuity of care. People might not go to their doctor as often as they should, but if we make it easier for them, then they’re going to connect with their doctor on a more regular basis. The other thing is, think about new technologies like wearables, things like Apple Watches and these kinds of devices that are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. With people wearing these things and connecting that to the virtual care provided through video visits and what we call asynchronous or just chatting back and forth messages with your provider, these are all ways that connect the patient and provider better so there’s an enhanced doctor-patient relationship.

Jeremy Gabrysch:

That’s going to mean better care for people in the long run, and we’re actually going to see better outcomes as we see more and more connectivity between a patient’s care and things like a continuous glucose monitor that a diabetic is wearing. This information is being uploaded to the doctor using technology and over the longterm what we’re going to see is, we’re actually going to be able to manage patients better, and patients are going to be more connected with their clinician.

Talib Visram:

So Jeremy, how has the pandemic affected Remedy and the way that your team has approached treating patients?

Jeremy Gabrysch:

Well, one thing I always say is that we were flattening the curve before there was a curve to be flattened. The reason I say that is, we’ve provided care outside of the four walls of a traditional clinic from our beginning. That’s what we did. We did virtual care, we did it at-home care. So when the pandemic started, there wasn’t much of a pivot for us to do. It was already what we were doing. Now, the demand for what we did increased dramatically. For example, our business is up about a 1,000% compared to this time last year. Obviously what we do is in high demand now. People don’t want to go out. They’re scared to go sit in a waiting room where they might get infected by someone else, or if they themselves might be infected, they don’t want to give it to someone else. So, this type of model is very attractive in this type of scenario.

Jeremy Gabrysch:

The other thing is, we didn’t have drive-through options before the pandemic. We would typically send people to the home to test, which we still do that as well. But the pandemic forced us to ask the question, “What’s the best way to efficiently see and test a lot of people if we need to?” The drive-through idea was something that fit very well with our approach to healthcare in general, which is, what’s the easiest, simplest way to get the patient the information that they need? And in this case, people are wanting to know, “Do I have COVID?” So, a video visit combined with a drive-through visit is the way Remedy has really operationalized that and made it possible for people to get that.

Talib Visram:

Let’s talk a little bit about your background. You’ve worked as an ER physician and as the Chief Medical Officer at a teaching hospital in Ethiopia. How did those experiences inspire you to start Remedy?

Jeremy Gabrysch:

Well, working in Ethiopia, the one thing that I was constantly confronted with was a lack of resources. I had come from the emergency room in the West where it’s the most expensive place to get care in the world. You have every diagnostic tool at your fingertips, and then now suddenly I was forced to deliver care with much less. But what we learned through that experience is that it is possible to deliver really great medical care, even when you don’t have a lot of resources. And with our team at our hospital in Ethiopia, we delivered great care and had amazing outcomes all the time with not a lot of resources.

Jeremy Gabrysch:

So when I came back to the US, basically I was looking at healthcare here, and access is such a problem and people end up in the emergency room for a lot of things that shouldn’t land them there. There are things that should be taken care of with far fewer resources. By creating Remedy, we created a way for people to get access to that kind of care at a much lower cost point, and frankly, a much more convenient way.

Talib Visram:

You mentioned that while you worked in the ER, you noticed that many patients would’ve been better off at an urgent care clinic or at a primary care office. So, why do they tend to go to the ER and is there some sustainable solution to making sure patients are routed to the right facilities?

Jeremy Gabrysch:

You know, this is a real problem in our healthcare systems Talib. I mean, we’ve given people lots of options, even by introducing more telemedicine and things like urgent cares, but yet people are still confused as to which option they should use. Sometimes they maybe have had experiences with their primary care doctor where they couldn’t get in the same day or it’s after hours on weekends. Sometimes we see people use the emergency room just because it’s closer to them, so they don’t want to drive further to go somewhere. This is an issue that is clearly a problem across our entire health care system of people not choosing the correct option. It’s one of the reasons why at Remedy talk a lot about being a guide for patients. How can we help patients and guide them to the best solution?

Talib Visram:

Lastly, I wonder if we could get some pearls of wisdom from you. For other people who are in the medical field but also consider themselves entrepreneurs, what’s your advice for them in combining those two interests?

Jeremy Gabrysch:

Yeah. I think you find a lot of medical people are entrepreneurial. As an ER doctor myself, I find ER docs to be particularly entrepreneurial. There is a component of risk taking in being an entrepreneur, right? I mean, you see a problem, you want to solve it, so you create a company with an idea that’s going to solve that problem. I mean, that ultimately is what it is. And I’m a big risk taker, I think a lot of doctors are. It’s what drove me to go to Africa, it’s what drove me to start Remedy.

Jeremy Gabrysch:

I want to solve big problems, and I think a lot of people in healthcare want to solve big problems too. When you have an idea and you have a way to solve those problems, looking for something that delights patients, provides better care and is scalable and can be replicated on a larger scale, that’s what we’ve tried to do with Remedy and I think that’s what we need more of in healthcare. We need more of that kind of innovation.