New AI-powered doctor's office allows patients to draw blood, take vitals

Now coming to a mall, gym or office building near you: A self-contained doctor’s office, powered by artificial intelligence, where you — the patient — draw your own blood and take your own vitals.

Why it matters: The traditional annual checkup is being disrupted in various tech-heavy ways, from telehealth to concierge medicine to the CarePod, above, a DIY health clinic-in-a-box.

Driving the news: A company called Forward is installing CarePods around the country, with the hope that people will visit them regularly for preventative care and specific concerns.

  • After buying a $99-a-month membership, a patient uses their phone to unlock the door, sits in the chair inside, and runs through a series of health apps.
  • You can do a biometric body scan, have your DNA sequenced, and test for hypertension, kidney disease and heart issues, among other things.
  • Your results are reviewed by doctors offsite, or you can talk to a doctor virtually while you’re in the CarePod.

Of note: The first three CarePods are in Sacramento, California; Chandler, Arizona; and Chicago’s Willis Tower, with plans to roll out many more in 2024.


I use Forward as a replacement for my General Practitioner who retired.
The doctors are fine.

Of note to participants in this forum, Forward will not engage in discussions of or write prescriptions relative to life extension. They’ll schedule you a test to have your rapamycin levels checked, but that seems like the extent of it.

They run the offices and online sessions with doctors like a clinic rather than a conventional medical practice. One almost never sees the same doctor twice and never twice in a row.

This works for basic things.

Forward presumes to capture institutional knowledge by recording or transcribing one’s visits with doctors.

Great idea BUT… When I recently had Forward forward medical records to a specialist, they sent nearly indecipherable hand written notes that had the wrong information.

This came back to haunt me at my next in-person visit with a doctor at Forward, who reading those notes asked me if I had trouble walking down the block! The notes appeared to indicate that I had extreme high blood pressure that put me on my last steps.

Astonishingly bad and dangerous.

The offices have started to look shabby which concerns me about the larger health of the company.

Forward claims 24/7 availability. This is a lie.

One can only communicate with Forward through its cell phone app - a terrible way to communicate health information. They simply don’t man the app 24/7.

Forward really need a proper web based app where one can view and supply all required information. All the hospitals have these, seems like a basic standard of care.

Texts through the app to Forward get answered first by non-medical personnel - some of who impersonate doctors during communication.

At best, one will get someone who claims to be a nurse practitioner, but only if you ask the question outright.

Forward does all of this to economically triage care. Concerning as Forward’s business model keeps patients away from the actual doctors.

I have some concerns about Forward just signing more and more people up as patients without staffing up on both the medical side and infrastructure side to support them.


I like that people are trying new things, but the implementation of this is too creepy for most people to go lock themselves in a big appliance looking box and stick themselves for blood draws.

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