FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Access to fast, quality healthcare just got a lot more convenient for Flagstaff-area residents. The Safeway store, located at 4910 N. Highway 89, now has the first Artificial Intelligence-powered medical clinic in the area, operated by Akos Med Clinic, offering a uniquely efficient, yet comprehensive experience with a healthcare provider. The clinic opened on Monday, Dec. 2.
“This is the 13th clinic we’ve opened with Akos Med Clinic in our stores, and the response has been tremendous. Our customers really do appreciate the convenience and efficiency of this type of approach to healthcare,” said Joe Leyba, director of Pharmacy for Albertsons Companies Southwest, which operates Safeway stores. “We are committed to providing our customers with unprecedented convenience for their total health needs, and our hope is that this clinic, and the others that we have opened, will improve access to healthcare because the clinics are located in the same place our customers are already buying groceries or picking up their prescriptions.”
The Flagstaff store joins 13 other clinics located in Safeway stores in Ahwatukee, Casa Grande, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Laveen, Phoenix, Scottsdale (2), Show Low and Tempe; plus, one in Boise, Idaho. Expansion plans are in the works to bring more clinics to other stores in Arizona and to other states. Our 14th location in Show Low opened on Dec. 9.
“Patients have been delighted by their experience and, most importantly, appreciative of the interaction with our healthcare providers, both in person with our medical assistants, and virtually with our medical providers,” said Kishlay Anand, MD, founder and CEO of Akos. “As a society, we’re so used to everyday tasks happening quickly. Healthcare can be efficient too with the help of automation; and we’re proving that an efficient experience can also be a quality, comprehensive, and connective experience with a provider.”
So, what makes a visit to this healthcare clinic different from the norm? Patients experience an automated health encounter using Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality, with the support of an in-person medical assistant and a virtually connected medical provider. Here’s how it works:
- Patients are greeted by the medical assistant/phlebotomist and given a tablet to engage with the Artificial Intelligence. The AI guides them through registration, insurance validation, payment, and information collection regarding their chief complaint, which is required for diagnosis.
- At the end of the Q&A, the patient is guided to an exam room where they sit in front of a computer screen and a rack of simple-to-use, FDA-approved medical devices. The medical assistant/phlebotomist will assist and support the patient through gathering of his/her vitals.
- Augmented Reality guides the patient on how to use the devices to collect objective measurements such as weight, temperature, blood pressure, and blood oxygen content, as well as ear, nose and throat images, and chest, lung and abdomen sounds.
- The AI will ask follow-up questions until all the information necessary for diagnostic decision is collected.
- A complete patient work-up is sent electronically to an Akos medical provider (physician or nurse practitioner) with a breakdown of potential illnesses and treatment options.
- Through a video consultation, the provider engages with the patient to review the collected information, verify the diagnosis, and confirm or modify the treatment plan formulated by the system. The provider may also order lab tests that are collected by the medical assistant/phlebotomist that staffs the clinic.
- After the visit concludes, required follow-up tests and/or prescriptions are ordered by the provider and sent electronically to the appropriate healthcare partners. The AI also automatically charts the visit into the patient’s electronic health record, and bills the patient’s insurance.
- After the patient completes their visit, the medical assistant/phlebotomist cleans and sanitizes the instruments.
- At the appropriate time, based upon the diagnosis, the patient will receive via email or text a message to see how his/her recovery is progressing and, if the patient is not improving, he/she will be able to schedule a follow-up visit.
In addition to diagnosis and treatment for most common ailments or injuries (except those that require a physical examination by a provider such as a fracture), Akos Med Clinics can collect a wide variety of lab tests ordered by a provider via the medical assistant/phlebotomist. Tests include flu, strep, pregnancy, glucose, drug screen, urinalysis, mononucleosis and more.
Akos Med Clinic accepts most commercial insurance plans, along with AHCCCS and Medicare. The clinic also accepts self-pay patients, currently for only $75. For more information or to schedule a tour of the clinic, please call Andrea Smiley at 480-560-9214 or [email protected].