First Opinion Tops Half a Million Medical Consults Provided

Recently, MHW learned that First Opinion — a technology company offering artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted on-the-go doctor visits — can now tout the achievement that 500,000 doctor consultations have been hosted on the company’s mobile and web apps.

If you’re not familiar, the service — launched in December 2013 — helps people with and without insurance gain instant access to a doctor through “easy, smart messaging.”

Users and doctors have exchanged over 12 million messages across the half a million consultations, which span from parenting and pregnancy questions, to concerns over aches and pains, to chronic condition education.

“We want everyone to have access to a real doctor. Period. And the AI is what makes it possible,” said McKay Thomas, CEO and co-founder of First Opinion. “Telehealth will be the hub of primary care and First Opinion is positioned to be just that.”

Thomas and Jay Marcyes, also a co-founder, launched First Opinion to meet the growing needs of people who were putting off going to the doctor for days or even months because of inconvenience, inaccessibility or cost. “Everyone has questions all the time, but we’re rarely in a position to ask a doctor in a quick and easy way,” said Jay Marcyes. “We created an app where everyone could, in essence, have a doctor next door.”

Research shows that simply having access to a doctor improves medical outcomes: an increase of one primary care physician per 10,000 people is associated with lower emergency department visits (11%), total surgeries (7%), hospital inpatient admissions (5.5%), and outpatient visits (5%).

To date, the company has raised $15 million from investors Polaris Partners, True Ventures, Monashees Capital, Felicis Ventures, and Scrum Ventures.

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