Meet Forward, An Ex-Googler’s Plan To Reinvent Health Care With A Dose Of Apple, Netflix And AI


Adrian Aoun, CEO and co-founder of Forward. Credit: Courtesy Forward

“Your visit with your doctor is not the end of your physical for the
year – it’s a continual process,” says Dr. Aaliya Yaqub, a UCLA and
Stanford trained physician who is one of Forward’s first four doctors
and who previously worked at Facebook’s in-house clinic.



The ultimate goal of all this technology is not just improved service but better health at lower prices, Aoun says.



Whether Forward can deliver on that promise — let alone build a
profitable business — remains a big question. Scores of health
providers, both startups and established players, are trying new
approaches, and in some cases new technologies, to deliver health
care services more effectively, often with a focus on prevention and
wellness, and an emphasis on chronic conditions. 



The upstarts include
the likes of insurer Oscar Health and VC-funded doctors’ practice One
Medical. But the jury is out on whether any of the efforts are
delivering better care at lower prices across large segments of the
population.



Not surprisingly, the well-connected Aoun has a amassed a group of
venture and personal investors from Silicon Valley’s elite that include
Khosla Ventures, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, First Round Capital, as
well as John Doerr, Eric Schmidt, Marc Benioff, Uber co-founder Garrett
Camp and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale among others. Aoun declined to
say how much Forward has raised, but people close to the company put
the figure at more than $30 million.



Founded in 2016, Forward hopes it will be able to treat as many as
10,000 members from its existing San Francisco practice and is already
scouting for its next location. It currently employs over 40 people,
including veterans from Google, Facebook, Uber and Palantir who are
helping to design Forward’s technology and to streamline its processes.

“We’re building a platform so doctors can touch more and more lives,”
says Aoun. “The marginal cost of all this technology is not that high,”
he adds. “It’s less than the doctor’s time.”