Walkable healthcare options for downtown Austin residents are slim, and with car-free developments like the Avenue on the horizon, there’s never been a better time for a clinic in the City’s urban core.
Enter Baylor Scott & White Health, which announced its plans last week to open a 6,000 square foot medical center at 200 E. Cesar Chavez Street (Brazos @ Cesar Chavez), which will provide primary medical care and lab work, along with complementary therapies like acupuncture and massage.
This commercial space along Cesar Chavez has always been a bit odd, with the narrow sidewalks along the north side of the block, it was never very conducive for more recreational retail or restaurant uses.
The organization plans to open the clinic this Friday. The healthcare provider also plans a similar new clinic on North Burnet Road, and was recently announced as the developer for Pflugerville’s first hospital.
Most notable about the project, other than its usefulness for the increasing population of downtown residents, is its tech-heavy implementation. Baylor Scott & White says it intends to use its Austin clinics as a testbed for technological advancements in patient care that could eventually be rolled out on a larger scale — in its announcement of the clinic’s opening, the company describes tablets for check-ins upon arrival, instant wireless transfer of patient vitals via Bluetooth, and text appointment reminders.
But perhaps the biggest news out of the clinic is its addition of remote medical care options via the Pager app, a New York-based healthcare startup that received more than $14 million in venture capital funding last year. The app allows for on-demand remote patient consultation with healthcare professionals via chat, meaning that basic ailments can be treated without appointments or office visits. With the addition of prescription deliveries, it’s possible you could get complete treatment for a minor illness without ever leaving your bed, which certainly appeals to us.
Biometrics, wearables, and healthcare apps are big trends in the medical industry, so it makes sense that tech-mecca Austin would see these shiny new innovations first. For occupants of the nearby Austonian, the Ashton and the Four Seasons Residences, along with everyone else now living and working downtown, the clinic spells a welcome change from having to drive all the way to the medical district for basic healthcare needs.