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Northwell Health launches LabFly, a blood lab that makes house calls

Northwell Health Labs phlebotomist Dina Durdu, right, makes

Northwell Health Labs phlebotomist Dina Durdu, right, makes a house call to draw blood from a toddler with his mom and dad by his side. Credit: Northwell Health / Lee Weissman

Northwell Health Labs, a division of Northwell Health, has launched LabFly, a mobile app that allows patients to schedule to have their blood drawn in the privacy of their home or workplace.

Northwell said the “concierge health care” app offers patients an alternative to having their blood taken at a traditional lab clinic.

The LabFly app is available for download via Apple's App Store and Google Play for Android users. Users simply enter their demographic information, take a photo of their insurance card and paper prescription, then choose a day and time slot to schedule a home or workplace visit from one of over 150 Northwell Health’s lab experts. A workplace visit has to have a private area for the procedure.

"We were traveling to a conference, and we took Uber everywhere," said Dr. Dwayne Breining, Northwell Health Labs executive director. "We thought, wouldn't it be something to do something like this for labs?

"There is a generational shift in how people live and what they expect," Breining said. "There is a recognition that people are looking for a high level of service and convenience and are willing to pay for it."

Caregivers can also schedule a home appointment for someone they are caring for. On the day of the appointment, a patient can view the location of the lab expert in similar fashion to popular ride-sharing apps. Patients can securely access their test results via the app within approximately four days.

Laboratory testing is the single highest volume medical activity, with about 13 billion tests performed in the United States every year, according to lab accreditation bureau COLA. 

To meet that demand, Northwell earlier this year opened a $59 million, 101,000-square-foot core lab in Lake Success. It also opened a  $47 million, 36,000-square-foot microbiology lab in Little Neck, Queens.

"We already do about 300 lab visits daily for homebound patients," Breining said. "So this dovetails to what we already do."

The fee for lab testing is covered by most patient’s insurers. There is an additional convenience fee of $19.99, which includes transportation and sample collection. Northwell Health Labs is offering an introductory discount: First draw is 25 percent off with the code “LabFly2019.” In most instances, the convenience fee will not be covered by insurance.

The app is being released in four geographic phases. The first phase is operational now across Long Island. Phase two is expected to launch later this month to Manhattan and Queens, followed by Brooklyn and Staten Island, and finally the Bronx and Westchester.

LabFly is expected to be live in all of Northwell's regions by the end of 2019.

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