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Medical startup Forward opens in New York City



Forward 1153Broadway 4Forward

  • Healthcare startup Forward is opening two locations on the
    east coast, with plans to become the de facto healthcare program
    of the future.
  • Forward is a doctor’s office that works like a gym
    membership, and focuses on preventative healthcare — and promises
    to use advanced AI to help patients manage their health. 
  • Founder Adrian Aoun, a former Google exec who foudned
    Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs subsidiary, believes that Forward could
    be the model for American healthcare going forward.

Of all the issues afflicting America’s current medical system,
there’s one that Adrian Aoun, founder of healthcare company
Forward, sees as the most troubling:

As a whole, the current healthcare system doesn’t focus on
preventative care. There’s often little reason to visit your
doctor beyond an annual check-up, unless you’re dealing with a
pressing medical issue. 

To that end, Aoun launched Forward in 2017, as a sleek,
futuristic doctor’s office with a business model that has more in
common with your local gym than that of a typical healthcare
facility. The company recently opened its first east coast
location in New York City, to complement the three it operates in
Los Angeles, and its one location in San Francisco. A second New
York City location will be opening soon, says Forward. 

Aoun, a former Google executive who oversaw the launch of
urban innovation program Sidewalk Labs
, hopes to give Forward
members a hands-on approach to their health, using the company’s
AI-equipped technology and a health-focused app.

Adrian Aoun Forward CEO
Forward founder Adrian Aoun

The new approach begins with the pricing model. Forward offers
memberships starting at $150 a month, which means that you can
drop in to visit your doctor as often as you please. Rather than
focusing on treating you while you’re already sick, Forward is
primarily concerned with helping its members proactively manage
their health over time. 

“Why would you want the healthcare system to work like a gym?”
asked Aoun. “You go to the gym with the goal of changing your
body. It’s about continual engagement. We’re here to work on
things that will effect you in 10 or 20 years. It’s not about
just visiting the doctor’s office to address an issue and then
coming in and being done. The health issues that affect us in 10
or 20 years from now are what’s ultimately killing us.”

Forward 1153Broadway 3Forward

The future of Forward

Along with two new locations in New York opening this winter, the
company recently debuted a series of new medical devices, like a
cardiac ultrasound and DNA sequencing tools, that it’s already
put to use to help monitor its patients’ health. 

This, says Aoun, is only the beginning of what Forward plans to
offer. For now, if you’re addressing a healthcare issue that
needs a specialist’s attention, Forward will help you set up an
appointment with an out-of-house physician. But, in general, you
should expect to see more of those kinds of specialists in-house
at Forward in the upcoming year, said Aoun.

“We want to build the world’s biggest health care system,” said
Aoun. “We’re planning on launching more and more services until
one day we’re able to perform open heart surgery.”

Aoun says that even with an ever-expanding roster of services at
Forward, he plans to maintain the same price for its monthly
membership program.

“The plan is to make healthcare more accessible and efficient,”
said Aoun. “We want to rebuild every part of the healthcare

Designing the future of healthcare

To do so, Forward is building out tech-heavy doctor’s offices
outfitted with lustrous wall-to-wall flat screens and blonde wood
paneling — all without a clipboard in sight.
Technology, says Aoun, is the cornerstone of healthcare’s future,
as a way to treat more patients with lower overhead from human

“You have to ask yourself what went wrong with today’s healthcare
system,” said Aoun. “The problem is that our current healthcare
system is based on labor. Paying doctors $200,000 a year is a
system that doesn’t scale well. If you build a healthcare system on the
foundation of technology, you can scale it to billions of

Aoun has no intention of Forward
remaining a boutique healthcare provider; instead, the company
plans to rebuild nearly every conceivable field of medicine with
technology as its core backbone. And while Forward employs its
own doctors, much of the company’s healthcare programming takes
place over its mobile app.

“It’s like having a doctor in
your pocket that’s in your phone at all times,” said

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