How This App Is Revolutionizing Health Care

Virtual Health Partners brings follow-up care to your fingertips.

Image Courtesy of Virtual Health Partners

One of the inconveniences in modern health care is the need for in-person, follow-up care. In a culture where accessibility of services have expected immediacy, patients and doctors are seemingly wasting time and money on these quick visits.

Virtual Health Partners has changed this stigma by making follow-ups available at your fingertips.

The rapidly growing network constructed of physicians, hospitals and practices is streamlining the telemedicine industry by addressing the necessities for a healthier lifestyle — nutrition, behavior modification, fitness and personal support — all in one application.

What VHP’s founders, Jillian Cohen and Dr. Shawn Garber, began in 2015 as a way to monitor and assist weight loss patients, postoperative from bariatric surgery, has since expanded to include ailments across nutrition-focused fields, such as in patients with food sensitivities, fertility issues and chronic diseases.

“When a patient is having an area of needing nutritional support, whether they’ve had a bariatric weight loss surgery; liposuction; a temporary weight loss procedure; a fertility patient needing to lose weight to get pregnant safely; or if you have gestational diabetes, there’s multiple components [to it],” says Cohen. Therefore, she and Dr. Garber expanded the efficient and convenient service to patients of participating physicians, hospitals and medical device companies to include more, and became what Cohen likes to refer to as “the uber of aftercare.”

The premise of VHP’s platform myvirtualhp is designed around user experience. Since both Cohen and Dr. Garber come from medical backgrounds — Cohen as a medical sales entrepreneur, formerly at Johnson & Johnson, ElectroCore and Novare Surgical, and Dr. Garber as the founder and director of New York Bariatric Group, the largest bariatric surgery practice in the Northeast — it allowed them to focus on the patient-first attitude of what the patient wants.

This primarily includes convenience and efficiency; by taking the hassle out of missing work for an appointment, to taking the excuses away from skipping exercise classes. In effect, this increased compliancy of postoperative patients. “Instead of making it hard for patients, we said, let’s bring that follow-up to them and increase compliance rates,” explains Dr. Garber.

With on-demand exercise classes, HIPAA compliant therapy sessions, personal scheduling and live consults as just a handful of VHP’s offerings, the platform is an all inclusive way to ensure patients that support and assistance are readily accessible.

“Seeing first hand, in my practice, how happy patients are when I tell them they can do their follow-up nutrition visits from home is very rewarding,” says Dr. Garber. “Even more rewarding is seeing the improved results with the various weight loss procedures I offer.”

This is particularly relevant for the three components that VHP was founded on, nutrition, behavior and fitness, so that patients going through change can have a contact in times of uncertainty. Such as the ability to speak to a nutritionist to understand what one needs to be eating and when to be eating it. Secondly, for understanding the importance of behavior in exercising portion control, or controlling an illness during pregnancy. Lastly, for keeping weight loss patients on track with their fitness goals, along with pregnant women at ease with proper breathing techniques. “It’s finding something that works for everybody, that is comfortable,” says Cohen as she continues, “We’re able to work with physicians and their team, and put our team as an additional resource for their patients.”

In the past year, VHP’s network of professionals has organically grown to span eight medical fields, including OB GYN, gastroenterology and plastic surgery; with 60 providers and counting. Multiple medical device and nutrition companies have also seen the need to offer this to their clients, and, as of last week VHP has gone international with their first European network in Spain.

Although this international and natural growth has been surrounded by an air of conveniency in the western world, VHP will be expanding to the Middle East by the end of the first quarter, bringing more than conveniency to table.

“Women are not able to leave their house without a man and obesity rates are growing substantially,” says Cohen on the significance of VHP’s launch in the Middle East. “I really believe that we’re going to open a huge world for women, where they’ll be able to have care on-demand; what they can’t easily obtain right now.”

Always a results driven duo, Cohen and Dr. Garber have not just created an app that achieves personal results, but an app, which in itself, is a results-based platform; one that’s at the forefront of becoming health care’s new norm.