We Are Taking on America’s Leading Causes of Hospitalization and Death

Frank Buncom IVApril 5, 20225 min read
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Hello from the DailyDoctor team! DailyDoctor (formerly AIRx Health) is a digital healthcare company pioneering remote patient monitoring for people with chronic conditions across the United States. We connect patients to medical teams for daily monitoring of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension, stroke, and heart failure (CHF).

Our journey began in 2019 when we set out to build the most comprehensive preventative monitoring and management solution for people with chronic conditions. We started by focusing on COPD, a leading cause of hospitalization and death in America. Kaweah Delta Health Care District (KDHCD) and the Sequoia Health Plan, among other clinics throughout California, were some of our first partners and have been using DailyDoctor for COPD monitoring for years. According to Ryan Gates, PharmD, CEO at Sequoia Health and Wellness Center and VP of Population Health Management at KDHCD, “The DailyDoctor platform is simple, effective, and elegant.”

Along with Dr. Gates, Dr. Monica Manga, MD, FACP, Chief Medical Officer, Sequoia Health and Wellness Center, and Medical Director of KDHCD Chronic Disease Medical Center, agrees that DailyDoctor is simple and effective - “Independent of their health literacy, every patient has found DailyDoctor easy to use. The platform facilitates predicting possible COPD exacerbations in a timely manner, helping our patients avoid ER visits and hospitalizations," she has told us. We love working with teams like KDHCD’s and have been fortunate enough to help them serve their patient population for over three years.

Since day one, our mission has been to prevent the top causes of hospitalization and death in America. Although our platform was originally built for chronic condition monitoring, during the pandemic in 2020, we could not stand by as COVID-19 became a leading cause of death in our country, having taken the lives of nearly 1 million Americans as of April 2022. So we decided to pivot to meet a critical need and adapted our system to enable practitioners to manage an overwhelming COVID-positive population from home.

Stanford Medicine uses DailyDoctor for COVID-19 Research

In June 2020, our team was tasked with helping clinicians at the Stanford University School of Medicine in a research study for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Medical researchers at Stanford Medicine utilized the DailyDoctor platform to monitor up to 2,000 COVID-19 outpatients to better understand the characteristics which cause patients to deteriorate faster and require hospitalization. For example, certain patients with COVID-19 develop silent hypoxia, which causes low levels of blood oxygen saturation. Identifying silent hypoxia in COVID-19 patients who are isolated at home helped medical teams determine which patients required escalation of care sooner. Through our platform, Stanford Medicine’s medical staff could effortlessly gather health data from many patients to quickly identify which patients needed immediate follow-up.

Vijay Rajasekhar, MD, our CEO, believes that “Beyond COVID-19 management, our goal is to fundamentally change the orientation of healthcare delivery from reactive to preventive. One of the reasons the U.S. has been harder hit with COVID-19 is that our population has one of the highest rates of uncontrolled chronic conditions. Older patients, in particular, are more likely to be impacted by chronic conditions, leaving them susceptible when medical and public health issues arise.”

Compared to its peer nations, the U.S. has the highest number of hospitalizations from preventable causes and the highest rate of avoidable deaths. A proactive, centralized monitoring system could address this by enabling healthcare teams to better manage underlying chronic conditions and also get ahead of any future infectious threat or outbreak before it escalates into a pandemic crisis. Daily patient check-ins provide physicians with the data needed to intervene early and treat patients on an individual level while keeping the country healthier on a population level.

It’s not secret that a reactive healthcare system hurts some patients more than others; patients 65 and older, minorities, and those from underserved communities have been harder hit with COVID-19 and are disproportionately impacted by underlying chronic conditions. To better serve the communities most in need, the DailyDoctor platform has been designed in both English and Spanish. While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of telehealth, nearly 50% of Americans aged 65+ still do not own smartphones, creating a large gap in access to modern healthcare. To reduce the burden of chronic conditions and to improve medical responses to COVID-19, DailyDoctor designed a platform where the use of smartphones is not required. Patients using DailyDoctor have multiple options to access world-class remote patient monitoring, including an automated toll-free system or online with daily SMS text-based reminders.

DailyDoctor for Monitoring Frontline Healthcare Workers

Since March 2020, DailyDoctor has been used by KDHCD in Central California to monitor frontline healthcare workers with potential COVID-19 exposure. While using DailyDoctor to monitor some of KDHCD’s 5,100 employees, Gloria Simonetti, RN, Manager of Employee Health Services at KDHCD, told us, “Keeping our frontline healthcare workers safe and healthy has been a top priority for KDHCD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Utilizing DailyDoctor’s digital platform, we have been able to closely monitor our healthcare staff at a scale that otherwise would have been very difficult and literally impossible! DailyDoctor has been an invaluable service for our staff and organization.”

Addressing the U.S. Physician Shortage & Beyond

To help with the impending shortage of physicians in America, the DailyDoctor platform allows healthcare providers to proactively monitor the health of many patients at scale. This is especially valuable given that the U.S. is projected to see a shortage of up to nearly 140,000 physicians by 2033, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

“With fewer doctors and a growing aging population, our country needs to equip every healthcare worker with the tools to effectively manage more patients. By reducing the friction involved in remotely monitoring patient vitals and symptoms, DailyDoctor allows medical teams to virtually oversee, triage, and manage patients at a scale previously not possible,” said Marlon Castillo, COO of DailyDoctor. “The DailyDoctor platform effectively enables a single healthcare worker to communicate with thousands of patients simultaneously, whether to keep chronic conditions under control or to assist in containment of infectious disease.”

Using the DailyDoctor platform, patients can connect with top-trained U.S. physicians experienced in remote monitoring care for chronic lung disease, hypertension, stroke, and heart failure. We are proud to continue our journey toward helping more patients obtain the care that they deserve.

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Frank Buncom IV

Frank Buncom IV

I love solving tough problems in the healthcare space and throwing big punches in the climate fight.