HealthTap and Quest Diagnostics are partnering to add lab tests to HealthTap's video visits. Doctors on HealthTap's platform will be able to order diagnostic tests for their patients, who can then make an appointment with the nearest Quest lab to have the tests done. The results will then be accessible to the doctors via HealthTap's platform and to patients online or via Quest's MyQuest app.
"Virtual healthcare is a growing avenue for patients to receive quality care, supplementing the traditional in-person doctor consult. Through this collaboration with HealthTap, we will help provide important medical services to the growing number of digital healthcare patients for whom office visits represent a barrier to care,” Lidia Fonseca, senior vice president and CIO at Quest Diagnostics, said in a statement. "By leveraging our expertise in health IT, powerful electronic ordering and workflow capabilities, award-winning electronic health record, MyQuest patient health app, interactive insights and test reports, Quest can deliver sophisticated diagnostic solutions to inform comprehensive virtual care approaches.”
Quest Diagnostics has 2,200 patient service centers and plans to have 1,600 of them ready to integrate with HealthTap when the tool launches this week. HealthTap offers video visits through its HealthTap Prime platform, which launched last summer at the end of July. HealthTap offers interconnected apps for doctors and patients, with functionality that includes physician ratings, physician Q&As, consultation via text message, and app curation and prescription. The company says 71,000 doctors participate in its network.
“This collaboration enables HealthTap and Quest Diagnostics to address barriers that have historically produced major gaps in care in the United States in a cost-effective way,” Dr. Jay Wohlgemuth, senior vice president and chief healthcare officer at HealthTap said in a statement. “Although it is well established that diagnostic testing strategies for cardiovascular risk, infectious diseases, and other areas can improve care and prevent complications, these interventions don’t always reach as many patients as they potentially could. The first step in alleviating this gap in care is to get people at risk to the doctor. Improved access to specialists through virtual care combined with Quest’s testing solutions will have a significant positive impact in enabling greater access, reducing wait times and accelerating care.”
Quest Diagnostics went mobile with its lab results way back in 2010 -- before the company made those results available online. The app was called Gazelle and it launched initially for iPhone and BlackBerry. As time goes on, having a mobile service that sends users to an in-person lab may start to look quaint: companies like Cue and Scanadu are already exploring the use of microfluidics to do lab tests at home with a device that connects directly to the user's smartphone.