Doximity expands access to telehealth service free of charge to thousands of clinics

Doximity, a digital platform for medical professionals, is expanding access to its telehealth service, Dialer Pro, to free medical clinics across the U.S. at no cost.

The telehealth platform is accessible to the purported 1,007 free clinics that offer medical care at zero cost to the patient. Such patients are estimated to total 1.8 million nationwide. The platform’s pilot program was utilized by 48 clinics and roughly 1,000 clinicians in various communities throughout the country. Through these collaborations, Doximity has been able to improve Dialer Pro to uniquely support free clinics through tools like automatic language detection, the ability to add supplementary parties to a call and easy transition between voice and video calls if broadband internet is not available, according to executives.

“We saw this as a really good opportunity for us to support some of our medical professionals that are on our network providing care within those free clinic spaces, especially when it comes to providing remote care to those particular patient populations,” said Félix Manuel Chinea, M.D., head of health equity and inclusion strategy at Doximity. “It’s also an opportunity for us to build relationships with that particular patient population where we’re able to share in what is going on for them, to understand their context a bit better in terms of the care being provided to them so we can provide more inclusive and equitable products moving forward.”

Long-term relationships with small clinics provide an avenue for the development of future tools and products to support underserved populations. When Dialer Pro was first launched, small clinics came back to Doximity asking for more language support. Now, the tool supports English, Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, French and Vietnamese along with clinician-to-patient text messages in these languages.

For other languages, supplementary parties can be added to a call, including a translator. Patients may also add friends and family to a call for added support.

The use of non-internet forms of communication was already a part of the Dialer Pro’s capabilities before the pilot program was launched, but it is one that clinicians highlighted as important for reaching patients in healthcare deserts.

“The communication channel is most important because we start to learn what those contexts are rather than trying to guess what they are,” Chinea said. “I think building that trust and those relationships are key so we can understand what really serves them and what’s not working for them.”

Free clinics as we think of them today are tied to the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic’s founding in 1967 with many providing drug treatments. Chinea said the clinics now utilizing the Dialer Pro tool treat a wide array of populations everywhere from rural to urban settings with diverse patient populations often marginalized in healthcare including BIPOC people and LGBTQ+ youth.

Dialer Pro includes unlimited minutes and specialized free clinic support with the hope that added flexibility will create patient-centered care and continued improvement of the platform. Other forms of the platform are available from apps designed for individual medical professionals to multipronged platforms for large institutions.

As of March 31, 2022, the company’s membership included 2 million medical professional members, an estimated 80% of doctors and 50% of physician assistants and nurse practitioners, according to Jeff Tangney, co-founder and CEO of Doximity.

In the last year, Doximity saw a 25% jump in revenue along with substantial growth in its telehealth service. Despite this success, decreased revenue guidance sent the company’s stock down in August.