Online urgent care service launches amid COVID-19 outbreak

An online urgent care platform, Thirty Madison, launched last Thursday and has been treated patients remotely during social distancing. Photo courtesy of Thirty Madison

By Meredith Pratt | Staff Writer

Thirty Madison Urgent Care, an online healthcare resource that launched last Thursday, treats patients virtually for common conditions such as cold and flu symptoms, stomach issues and back pain.

The company Thirty Madison was launched in 2018 by Steven Gutentag and co-founder Demetri Karagas, graduates of the NYU Stern School of Business who worked together at Google. Their website states that they are the “human-first health company bringing specialized care and treatment to everyone.”

“When we started Thirty Madison, it was on that belief,” Gutentag said in an interview. “We could expand access to really high-quality specialized care, affordable treatments and we could use technology to reach patients directly—but also create an experience that was enjoyable.”

However, Thirty Madison’s urgent care service was not originally planned to launch this year. As the COVID-19 outbreak reached the U.S., the company asked ER doctors and other healthcare professionals how they could best use their existing platform and doctor network to help.

The response was that hospital resources were being heavily strained and that waiting rooms were not safe for those seeking non-COVID-19 care.

“We immediately got to work repurposing our current platform to build an online urgent care platform,” Gutentag and Karagas said. “As we continued to speak with healthcare professionals, it became increasingly clear that simply offering online urgent care wouldn’t be enough. Many of the people who visit ERs for common conditions are either uninsured or underinsured.”

To ensure that services are as accessible as possible, consultations are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis, starting at $0. Patients have the option to pay for their own consultation and can also donate funds that will go to other patients. Many doctors who have partnered with Thirty Madison have volunteered to work pro-bono or at a reduced rate.

Thirty Madison employee Sophie Corwin said their goal now is “to keep as many people safe at home as possible while reducing the current strain on ER resources.”

“This work wasn’t on our 2020 roadmap,” Gutentag and Karagas said. “It certainly does not get us closer to our company’s revenue goals. But in a time like this, when every action matters, when every day counts, when we have the power to help reduce the casualties, when we all need to lean in to support the common good, we’re very proud to be doing the right thing.”

“For as long as it’s needed, we will keep this online urgent care open and affordable to all who need it,” the founders said.