In March of 2021, we proudly honored the efforts of SteadyMD’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Josh Emdur, for the proactive leadership and ingenuity he exhibited as a volunteer for the Colorado Innovation Response Team at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. While leading our own medical and technology teams through the complex changes and challenges sparked by the pandemic, Dr. Emdur also led the charge as CMO of COVIDCheck Colorado, where he helped launch and scale the social benefit enterprise’s clinical capacity and removed barriers to COVID-19 testing for all state residents. Under his leadership, COVIDCheck Colorado was soon testing upwards of 10,000 people per day across 36 testing sites statewide.
“From the very beginning, my personal mission has remained the same: to improve access to healthcare by making it convenient, effective, high-value, and accessible to all,” said Dr. Emdur. “The COVID-19 pandemic provided an unexpected opportunity to showcase the true potential and real-world applications of emerging telehealth technology. I was fortunate to connect with the team at Gary Community Investments and Primary Health to bring COVIDCheck Colorado to life and make an impact.”
As COVID-19 cases and variant infections soared to record highs, COVIDCheck Colorado and SteadyMD rose up to address the unprecedented Omicron surge. In fact, COVIDCheck Colorado — in partnership with SteadyMD — has conducted nearly 2 million tests and provided treatment options for patients in more than 115,000 follow-up telehealth visits, reaching 1 in 8 Colorado residents, since the start of the pandemic.
“As new variants enter our society, we’re still actively trying to calm the COVID-19 crisis. The Omicron surge caught a lot of people by surprise, but it also revealed a fresh spark of innovation from providers and ultimately proved the telehealth model’s capacity to handle this demand. SteadyMD’s solution empowers one doctor to efficiently treat many patients across the state. As we continue to evolve these systems further, that model will help us maintain an agile clinician workforce wherever one is needed,” continued Dr. Emdur.
Cut to the present day, where we’ve seen the evolution of managing the pandemic: the rise of “Test to Treat” programs. With the introduction of multiple new COVID-19 treatment options (such as antiviral oral medications Paxlovid and Molnupiravir), SteadyMD is now on a mission to help roll out accessible Test to Treat programs in all 50 states.
“At first, the goal of mass testing was to keep our society operable, to keep businesses running, and to keep schools open while ensuring our hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed past sustainable capacity,” said Dr. Emdur. “But now, with multiple new treatments that can potentially be life-saving, we can move on to the next phase, which is to connect those who test positive for COVID-19 with immediate access to a doctor or nurse practitioner who can prescribe medication right away.”
SteadyMD supports the various types of Test to Treat programs being rolled out by state governments and leading healthcare organizations across the country. This includes (1) on-site programs where patients are tested and treated locally and (2) online programs where patients can meet with a clinician over the phone or via video. These programs typically ask patients to complete a clinical intake form to capture important information about their symptoms, current medications, and more. Next the patient connects via a phone or video consultation with a SteadyMD clinician licensed to practice in that state, who will complete an in-depth evaluation of the patient, following well-defined clinical protocols and an assessment of possible drug interactions. Ultimately, the SteadyMD clinician will determine which course of treatment is appropriate for the patient — and, if prescribed, the medication will be provided on-site, sent to the patient’s local pharmacy, or mailed to the patient’s home.
Along with our experience in public-private partnerships, SteadyMD’s ability to blueprint, staff, and scale these diagnostic, consultative, and prescriptive processes makes it uniquely suited to fill the growing need for Test to Treat programs nationwide. By making treatment options available through these programs, SteadyMD helps prevent unnecessary in-person visits to a doctor’s office, while reducing the chances of a COVID-positive patient exposing others, thereby reducing the growing burden the pandemic has placed on our healthcare system.
“This is the natural next step to streamline the delivery of quality healthcare in the COVID-19 era,” added Dr. Emdur. “We’re committed to making the entire testing and treatment cycle one seamless experience, and to connecting patients with the treatment they need as safely, conveniently, and quickly as possible.”