Dan Trigub — the recent head of Uber Health and a former member of Lyft’s health care arm — has always been passionate about home care.
Before joining Uber (NYSE: UBER), Trigub owned his own startup focused on the aging population. For the past 15 or so years, his family has even operated one of the largest privately owned home care agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area, From the Heart Home Care.
Trigub, who left Uber in September, is now launching an in-home care startup of his own: MedArrive.
“At the end of the day, Uber is a massive technology company with lots and lots of competing priorities,” Trigub told Home Health Care News. “I don’t think anyone would disagree, but it’s really not a health care company as its primary initiative. For me, I really wanted the opportunity to do more in health care.”
Along with co-founder Inna Plumb, Trigub officially unveiled MedArrive to the world on Thursday.
Backed by Redesign Health, Kleiner Perkins and Define Ventures, the San Francisco-based startup is built to be a bridge between increasingly popular telemedicine services and in-person, physical care.
With the launch, MedArrive likewise announced $4.5 million in seed funding.
“Our core belief is that clinical care is moving away from the traditional four walls of a clinical setting or a hospital setting, with more and more care being delivered into the home,” Trigub, the CEO of MedArrive, told Home Health Care News. “And frankly, [care] has to, given the environment we’re in with the pandemic.”
As part of its business model, MedArrive is looking to help payers and traditional health care providers extend more services into the home. That includes vaccinations, testing, urgent care, chronic care management and more.
The main labor force in MedArrive’s model is made up of EMTs, paramedics and other emergency medical service (EMS) professionals.
“For a variety of reasons, we think it’s one of the most underutilized, understaffed resources in health care,” Trigub noted
In addition to its in-person, hands-on care, however, MedArrive will also coordinate physician-led telemedicine services in the home.
“Telemedicine has grown at an exponential rate because of the pandemic,” Trigub said. “But telemedicine can’t do everything. There’s no physical contact. There’s no, as we like to say, ‘humanity.’ MedArrive is a bridge between on-site clinical care and telemedicine.”
Bringing services into the home
In part, MedArrive’s entrance into the in-home care market reflects the success of similar startups.
Since its inception in 2013, for example, DispatchHealth has grown from mostly an on-demand urgent care company to a diversified home-based care provider that has raised more than $203 million.
The new startup’s launch is also emblematic of the wave of health care innovation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially around the home.
The Andreessen Horowitz-based Tomorrow Health launched in April with its sights set on becoming an Amazon-like service for in-home medical equipment. Papa, Ready and Honor have all raised millions of dollars in recent months.
Looking back at this year, Trigub said, it’s likely that 2020 accelerated innovation around in-home health care by years — maybe even decades.
“There’s always going to be a need to go into a hospital setting. Obviously, you’re not going to get a surgery done in your home,” he said. “We see the ‘health hub’ being the home environment, where people are comfortable, where they feel safe. And certainly, many of our underserved populations lack transportation or lack the ability to go to see a primary care physician, so we want to bring those high-quality services into the home.”
Currently, MedArrive — which already has more than 20,000 EMS providers in its national network — is targeting Florida as its first market. Its $4.5 million in seed funding will allow the startup to continue building out its platform while expanding into additional markets in months to come.
“We hope to be live with a handful of payers and providers by the middle of or early Q1 of this coming new year,” Trigub said.
In the nick of time
Timing wise, it was important to get MedArrive up and running sooner rather than later. Among its early goals, the startup hopes to assist health care organizations looking to distribute flu vaccines and, when available, COVID-19 vaccines.
As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults and high-risk populations are among those who will get priority access to a vaccine. Some health care experts have argued that “the home” should be the primary vaccination site.
“[For this population], just going to the clinics, to the hospitals, to the drive-thru testing centers, wherever the COVID-19 vaccine is going to be made available, is a challenge,” Marc Rothman, chief medical officer of Signify Health, previously told HHCN.
On his end, Trigub is walking away from Uber Health after a highly successful run.
Over the past few years, Uber Health has made major inroads with Medicare Advantage (MA) plans looking to address social determinants of health. It has also steadily added to the list of home health and home care organizations it works with.
“I always believed in the concept of creating marketplaces and efficient platforms, especially in health care,” Trigub said. “When most people think of Uber, they think of an Uber picking up a millennial at a bar on a Friday night or delivering a burrito. But frankly, we had a tremendous impact on our most underserved populations.”