hand holding retinal scanner

In-home care provider MedArrive is adding retinal scans to the list of medical services it’s providing to patients in their homes. A new partnership with eye disease screening firm Spect is helping to make the new scans possible. 

MedArrive teams will deploy into patients’ homes and use Spect’s mobile diagnostic platform to check for eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration. MedArrive founder and CEO Dan Trigub told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse that in-home eye exams can be up to 95% less expensive than clinic-based exams and can reach more people.

“Many visits are cancelled because people don’t have transportation to get to the hospital or a clinic,” Trigub explained. “They have to go there to get their eyes dilated and they need someone to drive them home. 

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common form of diabetic eye disease and is the leading cause of blindness in adults aged 20–74, according to the National Eye Institute. The condition affects 7.7 million Americans, a number that is projected to increase to more than 14.6 million people by 2030. Once vision is lost due to diabetic retinopathy, it often cannot be restored. For that reason, diabetics are advised to undergo a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year to help protect their sight.

Trigub said the mobile scanners can provide results in a few minutes. If the patient needs to consult with a physician or ophthalmologist, an appointment can take place through a telehealth visit. 

“For especially vulnerable populations, we absolutely can increase the number of these exams, so we can close these care gaps for health plans,” Trigub said. 

Trigub, a former executive of Uber Health, launched MedArrive a little over a year ago with $4.5 million in seed money. Late last year, the company received an additional $25 million in series A funding from investors. The partnership with Spect is the company’s most recent effort to push tech-enabled, high-touch care into the home. MedArrive uses emergency medical technicians (EMT) and paramedics to provide episodic care, chronic care and preventive health visits.

Last December, MedArrive teamed up with SCAN Health to give in-home COVID-19 booster shots to the nonprofit’s Medicare Advantage members in Southern California. Just prior to that, it partnered with insurance platform Bright Healthcare to provide in-home care to 10,000 of patients in Charlotte, NC. 

Trigub said MedArrive is working with partners, such as SCAN Health and Bright Healthcare, as well as Medicare Advantage plans and health systems to bring the mobile retinal scans to at-risk patients.