Transcarent taps Andy Roddick's ViewFi for virtual orthopedic, MSK consults

Employee healthcare navigation company Transcarent has lined up its latest partnership, this time with digital health company ViewFi.

Through the partnership, ViewFi will power Transcarent’s orthopedic consult solution, which is part of the company's surgery care experience. ViewFi is a virtual care platform built for orthopedic and musculoskeletal injuries and care, developed by a medical team of HSS-trained orthopedic surgeons and specialists. The company offers virtual healthcare, at-home exams and one-on-one appointments with orthopedic doctors and surgeons.

Transcarent members will have access to some of the same orthopedic specialists that provide care to professional athletes, speeding their journey from injury to recovery, according to Transcarent executives, and the virtual consultations remove the need to travel for evaluations or wait weeks for an in-person appointment.

ViewFi launched in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 when medical appointments had to move virtual out of necessity. Orthopedic surgeons Chris Dodson, M.D., and Josh Dines, M.D., faced challenges with doing patient consults during telehealth visits.

"[Dines] told this long-winded story about how he was expected to diagnose rotator cuff tears through FaceTime and someone's arm kept flying out of the screen," Andy Roddick, a former U.S. Open tennis champion, who was one of Dines' patients, said in a video. "So, I asked, 'Can you fix that?' And he said, 'I can diagnose a lot by looking, so from a medical perspective, I think it's very doable. But, I don't know anything about the software side of it.' That was kind of the first 'aha' moment of there might be this intimidating gulf between the tech and software side of it and this medical expertise."

Roddick added, "I kind of became obsessed with an idea and it was just trying to connect the dots with a team of people and source opinions that knew way more about the subject than I did. I thought, 'Is it possible to take the type of healthcare that I had access to as the top-ranked tennis player in the world and make that available to the masses?'"

Dines and Dodson were introduced to Michael Williamson and they, along with Roddick, launched ViewFi as a fully functioning virtual orthopedic and rehabilitation practice. 

According to the United States Bone and Joint Initiative, musculoskeletal diseases affect more than one out of every two persons in the U.S. over the age of 18. The direct healthcare costs of musculoskeletal disease and lost wages were estimated to be $980.1 billion per year in 2012 to 2014.

The industry average wait time to see an orthopedic provider is 16.9 days, up 48% from 2017. With Transcarent, members can see an orthopedic provider for a comprehensive diagnostic exam virtually in less than two days. 

The ViewFi technology is an advanced, AI-driven platform that enables providers to measure a patient’s range of motion down to the degree, using state-of-the-art diagnostics combined with a human touch, to identify a patient’s point of injury or concern. 

"During the pandemic, doctors were doing telehealth visits via Zoom or FaceTime but they didn't have the capabilities to facilitate a real exam. We started ViewFi to solve that problem by asking, 'Can we do that in-office exam as good or better even virtually than in-person?' We built technology that facilitates a comprehensive physical exam and does precise range of motion measurements and walks through all of the tests," said Williamson, now the company's CEO.

He added, "The next thing we did was enable that to be done asynchronously so we could send a patient a personalized diagnostic test and exercises for a full lower back exam. The technology will walk you through how to do all the tests, records it and when it comes back to a provider, they can review that and make a proper plan of care."

The most important step in an MSK care journey is a clinically proven comprehensive exam and plan of care, he noted, and the ViewFi platform and providers can diagnose and make individualized treatment recommendations for our patients.

"Our providers are able to recommend surgery when that’s the appropriate treatment, prescribe medications, order and review advanced imaging, or order physical therapy, all based on what’s right for the patient. Getting it right from the start is critical to achieving great patient satisfaction which translates to the best outcomes at the lowest cost," Williamson said.

ViewFi offers this technology platform combined with a clinical team of providers, with support from Hospital for Special Surgery, spanning a broad range of orthopedic specialties. Combining a clinical team with ViewFi’s MSK technology platform provides high-quality, low-cost, convenient entry to orthopedic and musculoskeletal care for individuals, company executives said.

“We know that providing easy access to a high-quality orthopedic consultation as a part of our Surgery Care experience removes another barrier for our members as they address their health and care needs,” said Glen Tullman, Transcarent's CEO. “Our partnership with ViewFi means that our members have easy access to some of the best orthopedic providers directly from their homes, resulting in less disruption for our members, and translating to a faster road to recovery and less missed work."

ViewFi has signed up several partnerships and is "rapidly scaling and growing" the offering, Williamson noted.

Patients and providers rapidly adopted telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the future of virtual care will depend on the patient experience, according to Williamson. 

"We have worked for two years to deliver what we think is a world-class patient experience for orthopedic consults. What we found is that if patients see it as a real encounter, and not just a video call, it has been very well adopted. And, we track data on that," he noted. "I think that [patient experience] is really going to dictate the adoption of virtual care and also the other benefits, you can do it at home, it's less expensive and you do get quicker access to care virtually."

He added, "I think we are in the middle of an exciting shift in healthcare. You think about Amazon and e-commerce. Ten years ago, we still went to stores and brick-and-mortar-type of shopping. I think that is definitely where healthcare is going. As the healthcare being delivered virtually gets better and better and the patient experience gets better, patients are going to demand that is the way they receive a lot of their healthcare. We're excited to be part of that."