Improving healthcare access, one tiny clinic at a time

The U.S. spends an annual $8,233 per person on healthcare, a figure that represents more than 2.5 times what comparatively developed nations spend.

By a significant margin, the U.S. spends the most on healthcare of any country in the world, a massive 17.6% of national GDP. *

In the face of this, costs only continue to rise, and the 2011 National Scorecard on US Health System Performance suggests that healthcare access is still constrained by cost and a weak national primary care foundation. Primary care is the most cost-efficient form of medical care, many times cheaper than an urgent care visit.

HealthSpot is a start-up that’s thinking outside of the traditional doctor’s office, aiming to assuage access issues by providing tiny, portable health clinics that offer patients a comprehensive primary care visit for $60-80 per visit.

Their offering consists of a 10-foot mini-clinic equipped with dashboard screen, a chair, and medical tools you would expect to find in a primary care facility. A certified medical assistant is there to help patients check in, and a physician guides the patient through basic diagnostics via a graphic interface.

Patients can visit for a variety of conditions usually treated in primary or urgent care settings, from a cold or flu or minor illnesses, to allergies, infections, and more. HealthSpot is working on finding ways to secure coverage for telemedicine and e-prescriptions, and they plan to place these tiny clinics conveniently, near highly frequented places like your local pharmacy, where you can be treated and walk right out to pick up your prescription.

What do you think about this tiny, portable health clinic? Would you visit?

*OECD Health Data 2012