A hands-on Kansas City healthtech company is extending its diagnostic imaging services to support clinics across Kansas and Missouri with a focus on rural health centers and “lookalike” clinics serving patients in underserved communities and healthcare deserts.
New Frontier Mobile Diagnostics was founded to improve access to imaging care for patients regardless of race, gender, income, or zip code, said Jeff Blackwood, CEO and founder of New Frontier.
“From the start, we knew that we could improve access to critical care services for uninsured and underserved patients,” he said. “Instead of going to a hospital, patients can receive high-quality, affordable imaging at their local clinic site.”
More than 90 percent of diagnostic imaging is performed in hospitals or imaging centers concentrated in urban centers, according to Blackwood. Patients in rural communities or healthcare deserts have limited access to these services, often facing long drives, high costs, and long wait times, he added.
New Frontier’s sonographers use portable ultrasound machines to perform diagnostic imaging procedures covering conditions such as heart disease, peripheral artery disease, and pregnancy. These machines allow New Frontier’s sonographers to create a “popup” imaging department anywhere they can access electricity, an exam table, and patient privacy.
Click here to learn more about New Frontier Mobile Diagnostics.
Serial entrepreneur Blackwood has led the company — which posted a $1.5 million seed round in 2021 — through the Comeback KC Ventures fellowship and the rebooted LaunchKC competition.
New Frontier also is a current award nominee in the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Celebration.
The company has found success and adoption because its services complement the capabilities of clinical staff, making imaging easy to order and helping the clinical team gain more insights over the patient’s care journey, Blackwood said, noting that includes aligning diagnostic ultrasound’s role in managing chronic conditions.
“Diagnostic imaging is a critical tool for detecting and monitoring conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and maternal fetal care,” said Blackwood. “By making imaging affordable and convenient, New Frontier helps clinics manage these chronic conditions by increasing the likelihood a patient will get diagnosed early, improving the prospects for treatment.”
In early 2023, New Frontier engaged the law firm of Foulston Siefkin LLP to confirm alignment of the company’s services with CMS, HRSA, and other relevant regulations.
“There are a lot of rules designed to protect patients and providers,” said Blackwood. “We’re happy to have laid the groundwork to allow us to work with clinics and serve patients that need answers for their health questions.”