- people on the move
Startup rolls out platform for blood-draw appointments
A technology company with an Uber-like business model focused on a health care market is rolling out its online and mobile platform in Grand Rapids.
Richmond, Virginia-based Iggbo, which launched last spring, said that it helps connect laboratories, physicians, phlebotomists and patients to deliver blood-draw services “any time, any place.”
The company’s business model leverages a mobile and on-demand approach to organize, manage and deliver the entire laboratory test-collection process: from the initial requisition to sample collection to shipping and tracking.
Like Uber, Iggbo hires certified phlebotomists as independent contractors, who go to patients where they are and perform the required blood draw.
Nuno Valentine, Iggbo CEO, said it can be a side job for phlebotomists looking to make extra income or who want to operate their own businesses, and it provides benefits to patients, because of its flexibility.
A physician uses the Iggbo web platform to order the required test from one of the laboratories within the platform’s network, according to the Iggbo website. The appointment instantly goes to a pool of blood-draw specialists through the company’s smartphone app. A phlebotomist can then choose to accept the job. If accepted, the phlebotomist goes and performs the blood draw with the patient, either immediately or at the designated appointment time.
The blood draw can take place anywhere: the patient’s home, work or at a doctor’s office.
The Iggbo smartphone app guides the phlebotomist, including notes from the provider, step-by-step instruction for sample collection, preparation, packing and shipping and bar code scanning for tracking.
Iggbo also provides reminders to patients to ensure they don’t forget about the appointment.
Valentine said the service is helpful, because more than 80 percent of medical treatments are driven by lab tests. Yet, one-third of patients fail to follow through and get their blood work completed.
He said Iggbo has seen a success rate of 97-percent compliance.
The service can also be particularly helpful for patients who are sick and can benefit from not having to leave the house for blood work.
He said cancer patients, for instance, need a blood draw prior to showing up for chemotherapy, and the Iggbo service gives them the option of not having to leave their home and also finding out ahead of time if they should show up for their chemotherapy appointment the next day or not — based on the results.
The service is free to doctors and patients.
There are more than 1-billion blood draws in the U.S. each year, and clinical laboratory testing is predicted to grow by 17 percent as the volume of tests increases with population growth and as new types of tests are developed, according to Iggbo.
Valentine said laboratory demand is bringing the service to Grand Rapids, though he couldn’t identify what laboratories the company is currently working with.
He said ramp up will be slow as the company gets the word out to the medical community about its presence in the city, but he expects Grand Rapids will be a successful market for Iggbo, because of its large population.
He also said the shift in how health care is being delivered, such as the increasing use of telemedicine services, will likely influence the company’s growth.
Iggbo is now in 40 markets across the country.