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uhealth-aus.com

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About uHealth

uHealth distributes TGA-approved, consumer-focused devices such as the AliveCor heart monitoring device, AirSonea respiratory device and the QardioArm smart blood pressure monitor.

uHealth Headquarter Location

1 Garigal Road

Belrose, New South Wales, 2085,

Australia

86 159 107 258

Latest uHealth News

A private island off the coast of Miami paid $30,000 for 1,800 coronavirus antibody tests while the rest of the US struggles to obtain any tests at all. Here's how America's richest ZIP code did it.

Apr 18, 2020

Katie Warren/Business Insider As countries around the world grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, the richest ZIP code in the US — a private island off the coast of Miami — has snapped up 1,800 antibody tests for its residents and staff. Business Insider talked to Fisher Island staff and residents, parsed through reports from news outlets , and viewed letters signed by the island's medical director to piece together the story of how the island obtained antibody tests as the rest of the country reports testing shortages. According to The New York Times, the island paid the University of Miami Health System (UHealth) $17 per test for 1,800 tests , for a total of $30,600. Residents and essential workers on the island have said that testing has already begun, and that aside from stepping outside to get tested or to pick up essentials, people spend the rest of their time hunkered down in $3 million condos. In a statement, Lisa Worley, a spokesperson for UHealth, acknowledged that the purchase might have created the impression that certain communities would receive preferential treatment for the tests. While these antibody tests are already widely in use in China and South Korea, they are still being developed in the US and are difficult to secure. In short, the antibody tests are a class above the regular tests that are already in short supply around the country. One might even call them elite. According to an April 7 letter to Fisher Island residents that was viewed by Business Insider and signed by Dr. Elizabeth Greig, medical director of UHealth Fisher Island, the tests would be used to "monitor how spread occurs in a nearly contained environment, unlike anywhere else in the world." Greig neither confirmed nor denied to Business Insider that she had written the letter. Testing on the island, the letter detailed, would serve as a foil to a recent UHealth and Miami-Dade County partnership: As of April 3, a separate new program would randomly test 750 people across Miami-Dade County per week to assess how far the coronavirus has spread in South Florida. Participation would be voluntary, according to the letter, and testing would take place "building by building." Loading Something is loading. In an April 14 statement emailed to Business Insider, Worley, the UHealth spokesperson, explained the factors taken into consideration pertaining to the island's request: "One of the first confirmed cases of coronavirus in Miami-Dade County was on Fisher Island, more than half of the population is over 60 and many residents were returning from the Northeast." Testing on the island is 'extremely well set up' The first people on Fisher Island were tested on April 6, and 1,250 residents and staff have been tested so far, island spokesperson Sissy DeMaria confirmed to Business Insider. DeMaria did not have a breakdown of how many residents versus employees had been tested. Elena Bluntzer, a real-estate agent who lives on the island, told Business Insider on April 14 that she had already gotten the test at the island's UHealth clinic. "It's just a finger prick," she said. "You go and make an appointment along with everybody else and it's set up in such a way that there is a lot of social distancing." "It's extremely well set up," Bluntzer said, adding that no one she knew of had received a positive test result. The island currently has somewhere between five and nine confirmed coronavirus cases , according to Florida's Department of Health coronavirus cases map. There are more than 7,800 cases in Miami-Dade County and upwards of 22,000 cases in the state of Florida. In an April 15 press conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis said that one out of every 103 people in the state had been tested. In southeast Florida, he added, "one in every 80 or maybe 85 Floridians in those heavily affected counties" had been tested. The view from a condo in Fisher Island's Palazzo Del Sol. Katie Warren/Business Insider Daniel Azoulay, a 74-year-old art and fashion photographer who has lived on the island for 29 years, told the Times that he got the test on Friday. He said he knew that the test wouldn't reveal whether or not he's immune to the virus. His housekeeper also got tested, he said. The 39-year-old father who lives on the island said neither he and his daughters nor his household staff had taken the test because none of them had any symptoms. "We feel safe," he told Business Insider. "Having test kits available is a plus. We hope we don't need them, but regardless [they're] an advantage." Bluntzer, who says she's lived on the island since 1997, said that residents have been sheltering in their homes and taking all precautions seriously. She noted that people on Fisher Island are leaving their homes for the same, limited number of reasons as people elsewhere. Simply: "Order food from one of the restaurants or the market, and you pick it up, you take it home, and you go back to sheltering in place," she said. Five of Fisher Island's six restaurants are open for pickup or delivery, and residents can also pick up staples and prepared foods at the Island Market. "Everybody here is very aware that this is a very serious pandemic and nobody lives in a bubble," Bluntzer said. "It's not any different here than it is anywhere else." Backlash and repercussions: on the island In the days following the Miami Herald's initial story, the island's residents seemed to retreat back from the spotlight that had been cast on them. The preferred mode of transportation on Fisher Island is golf cart. Katie Warren/Business Insider Business Insider attempted to reach club employees, healthcare workers in Fisher Island's UHealth outpost, public safety officers, and restaurant workers. In nearly every case, we either did not immediately receive a response or were directed to Sissy DeMaria, the island spokesperson, for comment. One island staff member reached by telephone said she was not allowed to speak to anyone about Fisher Island. The lack of response encountered is in line with a since-deleted section of a Miami Herald report, in which island residents noted that the story was too sensitive to discuss. Two media reports pointed towards a wave of philanthropy among island residents. One resident donated $200,000 to the Rabinowitz Charitable Foundation to provide similar antibody testing for "hard hit areas in Miami,"  according to the Times. And DeMaria told CNN that the island's philanthropic fund had contributed $150,000 to various relief organizations. In an April 14 statement to Business Insider, Worley acknowledged that Fisher Island's having obtained the coronavirus antibody tests "may have created the impression that certain communities would receive preferential treatment." The statement noted that UHealth was now "revising its process for reviewing testing outreach requests." Backlash and repercussions: off the island Off the island, outrage spread swiftly across social media. As one Twitter user wrote , "Fisher Island, FL to be renamed Elysium. "Elysium," which means paradise, is also the name of a 2013 dystopian film starring Matt Damon. The movie, set in 2154, depicts the rich and powerful living aboard an idyllic luxe space station, while those left to live on Earth's ruins execute a plan to attack it. Others chimed in with similar sentiments, saying the island's purchase was a shameful illustration of disparity. Following the headlines, local leaders, too, began to weigh in. Miami-Dade County, in partnership with UHealth, rolled out a blood testing program to gauge how far the coronavirus has spread on April 3. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez was quick to distance the county's research from Fisher Island's testing. "Our program has no intersection with whatever they are doing," Gimenez told The Herald. Separately, Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho took to Twitter to voice his disapproval of Fisher Island's antibody tests purchase. "I cannot reconcile the shoeless, mask-less, hungry children we fed today with this [Fisher Island] headline," he wrote. His school system has distributed over half a million meals to families all over the district, according to an April 8 statement. The superintendent's office later told Business Insider that $5 would provide breakfast and lunch for one child — meaning that Fisher Island's purchase could provide more than 6,000 children with two meals. In an April 15 press conference — two days after the Herald's first story on antibody testing on Fisher Island — DeSantis was asked about the noticeable lack of testing in underserved communities. He said that walk-up testing had begun near public housing units in Jacksonville. Money is making all the difference in how people are weathering the pandemic That a private island full of wealthy people can buy thousands of coronavirus antibody tests underscores a trend being seen across the US: The coronavirus is a whole different pandemic for the ultrarich. This trend was apparent as early in the virus' spread as the first weeks of March. Within hours of a player for the NBA's Utah Jazz testing positive for the virus in Oklahoma City, the team obtained 58 tests for the other players and personnel. The 58 tests constituted 60% of daily testing capacity in the entire state of Oklahoma, according to Robert Silverman at the Daily Beast . Only one of the tests came back positive. New reports continue to surface nearly every day of celebrities, from Idris Elba and Kris Jenner to NBA players, managing to get tested without showing symptoms. In some cases, it's because they're hiring concierge doctors to test them in their homes . While some have called the coronavirus "the great equalizer," Fisher Island has proved to be yet another example of how differently a pandemic is experienced by the rich and the poor. The 39-year-old father, whose primary home is in the Miami suburb of Pinecrest and who considers Fisher Island his second home, told Business Insider he was happy with how the island was handling the lockdown and the antibody testing. "To most people [on the island], they think it's cool to have that as an advantage," he said. "And from what I read, others think it is a rich privilege. I didn't know it was looked down upon to be wealthy." Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you'd like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email covidtips@businessinsider.com and tell us your story. Get the latest coronavirus business & economic impact analysis from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is affecting industries.

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