First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Angela Fusaro: COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone in the US, really everyone in the world, over these last months. This is especially true for those of us with family in the healthcare industry on the frontlines or that have family members that are essential workers. Thankfully my family is doing well during these stressful times.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Physician 360.
Angela Fusaro: I’m co-founder and CEO of Physician 360. After seeing the challenges for patients every day, I knew that the practice of urgent care needed to be completely reimagined. I work as an Emergency Medicine doctor who has given me a unique vantage point that has allowed me to observe all the gaps in the mainstream healthcare system.
How does Physician 360 innovate?
Angela Fusaro: With Physician 360, you can purchase a doctor’s appointment “in a box”. Our treatment kits include a physician consultation via your smartphone or computer and may include prescription medication or diagnostic test. Physician 360 is a virtual health clinic. We connect the dots for the patient, so they experience a truly comprehensive virtual visit, comparable to a traditional in-person doctor’s appointment, for conditions like Strep, Flu, UTI. We have expanded our service suite to cover anything you would head to Urgent Care for, including regular prescriptions like Birth Control & Erectile Dysfunction. Most recently, Physician 360 launched the first-to-market, over-the-counter Ear Infection Kit to help diagnose the #1 reason children go to the doctor’s office.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Angela Fusaro: Physician 360 was one of the first companies to offer COVID-19 tests for pharmacies to buy for their patients or for patients to buy directly. Our focus on at-home diagnosis and care while partnering with independent pharmacies across the country has hopefully helped pharmacies keep their communities safe while relieving pressure on the traditional medical facilities that have been overburdened.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Angela Fusaro: Thankfully, Physician 360 was positioned well in our supplier relationships, as well as with our pharmacy partners, to be a supporting force during the pandemic – as opposed to some telemedicine providers who became overburdened and could not handle the volume of new patients using their services.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Physician 360 in the future?
Angela Fusaro: Nowadays, self-care is more important than ever. Humans are social creatures, and we typically can get relief from stressful situations through spending time with others. With the pandemic making normal socialization irresponsible, a good diet, plenty of exercise and meditation are all great ways to help maintain mental health. Spending time with pets is another tool for relaxing!
Physician 360 has just released an industry-leading otoscope product that allows parents to consult with a board-certified medical provider directly for ear infections, which can cost hundreds of dollars at an urgent care without insurance, or high copays even with insurance. As we move forward, Physician 360 will continue to innovate ways to deliver high-quality care to patients and pharmacy partners that save both time and money. We are designing the modern-day medicine cabinet.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Angela Fusaro: Most telemedicine companies only work with large insurance providers or big chain pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens. As the only telemedicine company focused on partnering with independent pharmacies to provide community healthcare, Physician 360 doesn’t really have any direct competition currently. We plan to continue to deliver innovative, quality care while working with our pharmacy partners to understand what their communities need.
Your final thoughts?
Angela Fusaro: With the need for safe access to care during the pandemic, decreasing exposure and contagion, access to healthcare services is probably on top of many people’s minds. I would encourage everyone to investigate telemedicine services as a safe, affordable alternative to crowded waiting rooms and high copays or ER bills.