Pilot in Austin mixes telehealth with drive-up COVID-19 testing


AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin-based company is running a pilot for COVID-19 testing using telehealth in an effort to follow social distancing guidelines.

The program launched Saturday, and went from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 6611 River Place Blvd in northwest Austin.

The company, Reliant Immune Diagnostics, has a telemedicine app called MDBox, which offers things including reading a test, an interface for providers and patients and remote monitoring.

“It’s also positioned well because it’s able to do the same capability of connecting a patient with a telehealth provider for these 15-minute COVID tests, so it’s able to push that through to the provider so that way they can review that test and they can diagnose remotely without ever having to face directly,” said Shane Stevens, the founder and CEO of Anyplace MD.

He said the app can detect symptoms and is able to monitor someone who may be at risk or someone who is diagnosed with the disease using the help of medical professionals.

“Our telehealth extenders are dentists, audiologists, school nurses, folks who are not working,” Stevens said. “They don’t have a job so this keeps medical providers at work but away from the direct site so we’re avoiding that contact and it also helps folks get back to work on the front lines who really want to be there.”

Patients must qualify to receive a test, and if you are approved for the test, you have to schedule a visit time through the telehealth site.

The cost is 65.95 for a test, telemed visit and diagnosis, in 15 minutes.

Professionals at the site use approved serological tests, and Stevens said he hopes they can expand statewide.

The app is also currently being reviewed by the FDA to detect things like strep throat and a UTI.

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