Finally, a startup solving a problem worth fixing. If long doctor visits are the bane of your existence, Bright.md is on your side, and looking to be your new best friend. The virtual physician’s assistant wants to shorten your time at the doctor’s to 90 seconds, and it’s just raised $3.5 million to help turn your dream into a reality. By utilizing “smart exams” that ask potential patients a “dynamic questionnaire” before they ever step foot into a physical doctor’s examination room, this Portland-based company hopes to drastically reduce the amount of time we have to waste while we’re sick, instead just focusing on getting better treatment, faster.
Bright.md is the brainchild of Ray Costantini, a physician turned entrepreneur who has had plenty of experience on both sides of the waiting room. While the new wave of telemedicine is meant to solve for long wait times and improve the pace of medical visits, Costantini, who ran the Providence Health and Services telehealth program, noticed that these virtual appointments were often even more beleaguered by inefficiencies.
Bright.md’s proprietary artificial intelligence system adapts a series of medical questions to your answers, ensuring the survey that you fill out prior to your exams are tailored to your needs and most accurately reflect your specific ailments and symptoms. Once this basic data is gathered and stored, the system sends the patient’s doctor its own version of a preliminary diagnosis, alongside a treatment plan. And while Bright.md is meant as a medical tool, it is by no means meant to entirely cut the human interaction out of the equation altogether.
As Costantini told Wired, “Patients want to get care from their doctor, not from a computer,” which means that every Bright.md consultation always ends with a conversation with a human physician. And sometimes, if the technology determines that it simply cannot make an accurate assessment, it will inform the patient that an in-person consult is necessary.
On its website, Bright.md claims to help both patients and providers — on the patient side, the technology connects you to your doctor “from your home or on the go, using your home computer or mobile device. In under an hour, and for less than the cost of a copayment, you can get treatment from the provider you know and trust.” And when it comes to the provider, Bright.md insists, “You can treat a patient, generate the AVS, write prescriptions, and schedule a follow-up visit. We improve your efficiency, and enable you to expand capacity by 30 percent. Save time, reduce costs, and increase revenue with Bright.md.”
The ultimate efficiency and effectiveness of the startup has yet to be fully tested, but for now, it’s a great start at tackling a problem that is still in need of some serious innovation.