FAQ: Ro’s response to COVID-19

Written by Ro 

Written by Ro 

last updated: Mar 06, 2020

4 min read


In March, Ro launched the first free COVID-19 telehealth assessment available nationwide. Since then, Ro has helped patients in every state plus Washington, DC as well as more than 70 companies and organizations with our free assessment. With more COVID-19 virtual assessments and in-person care services now available, Ro has turned our focus to the greatest patient need at this time: providing accurate, up-to-date health information on Ro’s COVID-19 Resource Hub. As part of this transition, Ro’s Coronavirus Telehealth Assessment is no longer live as of October 1, 2020.

Q: What is Ro’s Coronavirus Telehealth Assessment?

A: Ro has created a free telehealth triage service for people who are seeking guidance and information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

If an individual thinks they may be experiencing signs or symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), they complete Ro’s online assessment and, if appropriate, Ro will connect them with a provider, who will follow up via secure messaging, phone, or video consultation.

Q: How does it work?

A: Developed with guidance from infectious disease specialists, Ro’s telehealth assessment collects self-reported health information (e.g., health history, symptoms, travel history, locale, proximity to confirmed cases). Based on that information and using the most up-to-date guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and state/local public health departments, we provide an initial risk assessment.

Those who are symptomatic or have other risk factors (e.g., travel history or proximity to confirmed cases, pre-existing/underlying conditions) will be connected to a licensed physician for a free video consultation.

During the consultation, the doctor will collect additional information about the patient’s symptoms and concerns, recommend the proper course of action (which may include self-quarantine), and, if recommended, instruct them to follow up with a local provider for testing and diagnosis. For patients who are recommended to seek in-person care, we will provide them resources to find a local provider so they can get the help they need. Ro has partnered with Ribbon Health, a nationwide health data platform that powers comprehensive provider directories, to help connect individuals who do not have a primary care physician with one in their area, as appropriate (and based on that patient’s insurance information). We also report suspected cases to the applicable public health authorities, as required, to help inform local and national response efforts.

Individuals who are at low risk of having contracted COVID-19 will be guided to a number of resources at our Coronavirus Resource Hub and will be encouraged to keep monitoring their symptoms. These resources are regularly updated and are based on the latest government guidelines and best practices. Our goal is that these resources will help the public understand this complex virus and help keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe.

Q: Where is the assessment available?

A: We’ve launched the assessment to people in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C.

Q: Why are you doing this?

A: We want to do everything we can to provide assistance to people who are concerned about COVID-19. Ro’s telehealth platform is uniquely suited to help in a number of ways:

Unburdening hospitals and clinics.

We have consulted with public health experts who are worried that coronavirus fears will overcrowd and overburden our health system, making it more challenging and costly for people who need in-person or emergency care to find it.

We’re hopeful that Ro’s triage system will reduce strain on providers who are treating higher-risk and sicker patients.

Advising symptomatic patients.

We expect that people suffering from the common cold or the flu will be concerned about COVID-19. Initially talking to a remote doctor via telehealth, as the CDC has recommended, can provide comfort and guidance on how to address their symptoms, get healthy, and reduce the spread to others. For those at risk of COVID-19, Ro-affiliated doctors can advise them on appropriate next steps, whether that’s to self-quarantine or seek additional care.

Providing trusted health information.

As more cases are reported, we expect public fears to increase and misinformation to spread. We believe that providing people with easily-accessible, updated information about COVID-19 will help calm their concerns. For people who don’t have an established provider and aren’t sure where to turn, Ro can be an initial entry point into the healthcare system.

Q: Are doctors diagnosing or testing for COVID-19 on your platform?

A: No. This is a triage program that will allow people to easily access a risk assessment tool, and if appropriate, a doctor consultation at no cost. We are not diagnosing or testing for COVID-19.

Q: Does Ro have access to approved COVID-19 tests?

A: No. Ro is not providing testing for COVID-19.

Q: Will Ro provide consultation to caregivers for those who may be at-risk and unable to use the platform (e.g., elderly, children)?

A: Caregivers can access a number of resources through Ro’s Coronavirus Resource Hub. These resources are regularly updated and are based on the latest government guidelines and best practices so patients can understand this complex virus and how they can help keep themselves and their families safe.

Q: Will Ro share any of its data with public health officials?

A: We have the ability to collect and provide relevant and anonymized data to public health officials. We would welcome their advice on the types of data that would aid their efforts. If you are part of an agency or healthcare institution that is responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and think Ro could be helpful in any way, please contact [email protected].

Q: What is the source of the information in Ro’s Coronavirus Resource Hub?

A: We are updating the information provided in our Coronavirus Resource Hub regularly using the most up-to-date guidelines from CDC, WHO, and state/local, public health departments.

Q: Will Ro be offering services internationally?

A: Ro’s services are only available in the U.S.