Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Ambulnz.
Stan Vashovsky: I’ve served as a volunteer paramedic while working in the technology field my entire career. My experience as an EMS volunteer and tech entrepreneur inspired me to cofound Ambulnz in 2016, with the goal of revolutionizing patient transportation and care. Initially, people were skeptical about a tech company as “disrupting” something associated with life-threatening emergencies, but we had faith that the combination of a highly skilled field medical staff driven by our proprietary AI-powered technology would bring dramatic improvements to how patients are transported to hospitals, and how they receive medical care in their homes.
How does Ambulnz innovate?
Stan Vashovsky: We champion ideas that have the power to accelerate positive change and transform patient care for the better. Ambulnz has brought a number of innovations to the healthcare space. We started as the first technology-enabled, on-demand ambulance service provider, with a fleet of state-of-the-art ambulances powered by a suite of proprietary AI-powered software. Our systems deliver intelligent fleet routing, accurate ETAs, real-time vehicle GPS tracking, and ShareLinkTM technology that provides care teams and patient’s families the precise location of our transports at all times. Recognizing that our hospital partners have a variety of transportation requirements, we expanded our offering to include ambulance, ambulette, and medical sedan for every type of patient need. Building on the success of these innovations, we launched our TeleHealth+ service, which empowers our 1,500 EMTs, paramedics and LPNs to provide non-critical medical services to patients in their homes. Working under the guidance of Dr. Mark Merlin of MD1 Medical Care P.C., our field staff is delivering the full promise and potential of telemedicine. We currently operate across 26 states and in the United Kingdom, with plans to expand to additional markets before the end of 2020.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Stan Vashovsky: Ambulnz employees have always worked on the frontline of patient care. When the pandemic hit, we secured ample supplies of PPE, created and maintained a COVID-19 policy manual that we shared with our employees and partner companies, and of course, followed all of the CDC-recommended precautions. When COVID-19 first hit New York back in March 2020, we created Strikeforce-19, a specially trained team of EMTs and paramedics which ended up transporting over 13,000 COVID-19 confirmed patients. More than 250 employees from across the U.S. volunteered to take action, and during their time in New York, so we witnessed the devastation, this virus was creating firsthand. We also created The COVID Diaries, an internal forum where employees shared their experience battling the pandemic, which provided a sense of community and catharsis. Recognizing that access to COVID testing would be required to help everyone return to work and life with confidence, we launched a new division named Rapid Reliable Testing that has already completed over 500,000 COVID tests across the U.S. and U.K.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Stan Vashovsky: Of course – we’re operating an EMS business during an unprecedented pandemic. Lives are on the line. When COVID first hit New York back in March, it was a real point of inflection.
The pandemic was raging, and our City’s first responders were stretched beyond the brink. Everyone needed to decide where they stood – were they going to hole up and try waiting this out or step up and try to make a difference.
New York is our hometown, and we decided to do everything we could to flatten the curve. We put out a call across our company, and 250 EMTs and paramedics from other markets volunteered to travel to New York and help – a tremendous act of selflessness and service. They left their families and friends, traveled across the country, and put the needs of the public before their own. Ambulnz was the largest private medical transportation company to help with COVID response here in N.Y., and our efforts earned us a rare EMS Week citation from the Governor of N.Y. State. Working in EMS always requires one to put the needs of patients first, but watching our company step up and band together to fight COVID was a lesson in selflessness and heroism.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Ambulnz in the future?
Stan Vashovsky: I try to lead by example and not get bogged down with distractions that get in the way of progress. Especially during a time when so many aspects of our day to day lives are beyond our direct control. We were very fortunate to already have a fleet of emergency vehicles and skilled medical staff at our disposal. We just needed to adapt our strategies to better meet the needs of the market as the pandemic changed the way we live. We achieved this by deploying a robust COVID testing program and expanding our TeleHealth+ offering to meet the growing need of patients seeking at-home medical treatments. We maintain a positive outlook for 2021.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Stan Vashovsky: Ambulnz was the first technology-driven on-demand ambulance services provider, is the only company to offer every type of medical transportation and provide a robust suite of TeleHealth+ at-home medical services. We will drive additional growth by launching in new markets, continuing to partner with leading healthcare providers like UCHealth, Jefferson and Fresenius Medical Care, and further expanding our TeleHealth+ offerings.
This includes innovative services like same-day delivery of at-home COVID testing via a partnership with Uber Direct and offering at-home flu shots via the GoodRX Telehealth Marketplace.
This year was uniquely challenging for many businesses and sectors, but we’ve managed to pivot and thrive while helping meet the public’s evolving healthcare needs.
Your final thoughts?
Stan Vashovsky: Ambulnz has grown dramatically across the U.S. and the United Kingdom, yet we operate as a small business. We’re able to make quick decisions and adapt our strategy to better meet the needs of our clients, partners, and patients. With this spirited mindset and our incredibly dedicated employees, we’re looking forward to continuing our upward momentum in 2021 and beyond.
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