Forward, a tech-enabled, subscription-based care company, raised $100 million in funding to manufacture and deploy self-service healthcare pods.
Forward said the pods, called CarePods, will use AI, telehealth and biometric sensors to serve patients with diabetes, hypertension, anxiety and depression. The company plans to place CarePods in malls, gyms and offices.
“I want a world where healthcare is on every street corner. I want a world where healthcare is all around us,” said Forward founder and CEO Adrian Aoun. “It's just hard to get access to a doctor. Wouldn't it be awesome if a doctor was just all around you at all times?"
Forward has one CarePod operational in Sacramento, California, with plans to open more pods in Chicago and Chandler, Arizona, by the end of the year. There are plans to add them to locations in San Francisco, New York and Philadelphia in 2024.
Forward did not disclose any investors for this funding round.
Prior investors include Tokyo-based Softbank, Khosla Ventures and billionaire Peter Thiel's firm Founders Fund. Softbank led a $225 million Series D of Forward in March 2021 that valued the company at more than $1 billion. In July 2022, Forward reportedly laid off 5% of its workforce.
Aoun said patients will use their phones to unlock the CarePod. Upon entering, they will select various applications ranging from a general body scan to blood pressure screenings or mole inspections. Users will then be presented with instructions on how to use any medical devices and complete the tests inside the pod.
Forward said the service will then use AI to help doctors make recommendations. The CarePod will send information back to off-site physicians, employed by Forward, who may prescribe certain treatments and medications.
“We use AI to kind of build out these apps and suggest to the doctors these are the clinical protocols you want,” Aoun said. He declined to share specifics about the foundational AI model Forward was using.
Aoun said the service will require a $99 per month subscription. Forward plans to serve conditions such as prenatal care and advanced cancer screenings in the future, he said.