During his time as a travel advisor, Joshua Rome realized there was a gap in the industry: Clients were often asked what medications they needed for their trips, or what kind of health concerns they should keep in mind. . She encourages them to talk to their doctor or visit a travel clinic.
The issue is many of those clients, like himself, do not have a primary care physician. And even if they did, they were still often referred to in travel clinics, which Rome described as “very expensive, very discrete and, I would say, just not the most positive consumer experience at the moment.”
So, Runway was born.
Launched in May, Runway connects travelers with physicians through telehealth appointments before a trip. Doctors provide pre-travel solutions for five travel-related ailments: traveler’s diarrhea, motion sickness, height sickness, malaria prevention and sleep problems.
Travelers can continue to chat with the physician during or after the trip about symptoms or care.
A consultation costs $ 30 and drug prices range from $ 20 to $ 125, depending on what the traveler wants. Consumers visit RunwayHealth.com to fill out a detailed questionnaire developed by physicians reviewed by a physician. If the traveler is a candidate for the drug, it is prescribed and sent to their home.
Runway also produces a series of country -specific travel health guides.
Rome, the founder and CEO of Runway, is emphatic about working with travel consultants and suppliers. The company has a commission program for both individual agents and large companies such as tour operators; commissions start at $ 20 per referral.
“We really feel like we’re a solution built for the industry, the industry, and we want to put suppliers in place [and advisors] on a pedestal and really raise their capabilities, ”Rome said.
He is also interested in partnering with insurance companies.
Rome’s career path suited him to start the Runway. He started in tech with a position at Adobe, then in 2013 he joined his family’s startup, Patagonia Pharmaceuticals, which focused on developing drugs to treat rare skin diseases.
In 2019, after a dermatology company acquired Patagonia’s products, Rome began a daily newsletter focused on one of its passions: travel. He grew the newsletter to several thousand subscribers and used its base to start his own travel agency affiliated with Protravel International (he is still an affiliate but focused on Runway).
Rome is working to expand Runway’s portfolio of prescription drugs that its doctors will provide to travelers and develop more travel health guides (by the end of July, there will be 50 country -specific guides available) .
And the new company already has a branch: In the coming weeks, it will launch Runway Plus, a standalone product that gives individuals access to a physician for any travel health -related questions.