Portable diagnostic imaging for women’s health will help bridge a care gap in Kansas and Missouri, said Jeff Blackwood, as his startup expands the scope of on-site ultrasound capabilities available to patients in Kansas City and beyond.
“New Frontier Mobile Diagnostics is directly addressing health equity and access to care with our services, and we’re now able to perform diagnostic imaging for OB/GYN concerns in any of our partner locations; basically, any clinical facility where we can access an exam table, electricity, and lighting control can become a New Frontier care center, allowing us to offer imaging services to patients in the convenient, comfortable setting of their home practice or clinic,” said Blackwood, founder and CEO at New Frontier and the serial entrepreneur who previously founded Pathfinder Health Innovations.
New Frontier’s existing capabilities focused on cardiac, vascular, and general diagnostic sonography. The expansion news — which represents a huge step in access to imaging care, Blackwood said — comes as the company prepares to open a $1.5 million seed round to support the downtown Kansas City-based startup’s effort.
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Access to such imaging services is a critical factor in the health of women, regardless of child-bearing status, Blackwood said. According to a 2019 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, women seeking basic gynecological care incur significantly greater health care costs (84 percent higher for ages 18 to 44, 21 percent higher for 45 and older) and are more likely to go without care because of cost.
During pregnancies, studies have shown that limited access to care can result in negative outcomes including premature birth, low birth weight, maternal mortality, severe maternal morbidity, and an increased risk of postpartum depression, Blackwood said.
“By bringing affordable, quality care on-site, New Frontier hopes to eliminate some of the challenges that women face when seeking healthcare,” he continued. “Your zip code, race, and income shouldn’t be the primary factors determining the quality of care you receive. We want to make these services available to women where they need it, when they need it.”
In addition to women’s health services, New Frontier continues to serve doctor’s offices, clinics, and facilities with on-site diagnostic imaging services through its partnership with Healient Physician Group, Blackwood said.