The for Healthcare
Riverside, California, United States United States
  • Overview
  • Team
  • Activities
Company description

SmartDocFinder is the for Healthcare

SmartDocFinder empowers high-paying patients to find a provider that is a good match for their medical needs and care preferences. Patients are engaged throughout their care workflow, from finding provider, to making appointment, to collecting feedback.

Patients are reached through a proprietary chatbot, social media and regional websites.

Matching is achieved through patent-pending personalization algorithms, which consider dozens of data sources and over 30 dimensions ranging from complimentary medicine attitudes to wait time to medical school ranking.  

We view the patient as an end-user of our technology and healthcare organizations as our customers, as we bring a mutual benefit to all stakeholders.

Based on our interviews and research, roughly 13% of established patients switch doctors every year, and 4% of patients need to find a new doctor due to moving to a new county. Thus, for primary care, roughly 17% of the population needs to find a new primary care physician every year.

Awards and Mentions
  • 20253_3376
    The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Small business Technology TRansfer (STTR) award provides seed funding to high-risk, high-reward research ideas with commercialization potential.
  • Business model


    Our technology is offered as a white-labeled product meant to power messenger interfaces to improve patient experience and replace "Find a Provider" links on the websites of healthcare systems and insurance companies.

    Patient preferences are elicited through a questionnaire deveoped by health psychologists. Patients may use the website to specify their healthcare preferences and needs to receive a personalized list of recommended doctors. In addition, our website supports patient reviews, a doctor compare tool, and in-depth details on affiliated hospitals.

    In addition to the chatbots and website, we also offer business analytics and a data management platform to manage patient reviews, and doctor and hospital information. Further, SmartDocFinder analyzes visits and claims data to deepen its learning of doctor attributes and analyze the effectiveness of its personalization algorithms.  We have a non-provisional pending patent, filed in April of 2016, in addition to many trade secrets regarding the learning of patient and doctor attributes.

    Pricing is based on usage, e.g. the number of queries (doctor searches) per patient. The main costs of SmartDocFinder are the R&D efforts as outlined in our patents. The costs per patient include HIPAA compliant hosting, which during our pilot phase, is roughly $1200 per month. These costs include storage and processing (disk space and CPU cycles) of patient data and patient-doctor matching.


    Sales Strategy

    Our sales strategy is direct with a 6 month pilot phase to allow our customers (insurance companies and healthcare systems) to test our product before committing to a solution. The goal of the pilot program is to estimate the cost savings, increases in satisfaction, and effects on patient compliance. Thus, the pilot phase will measure the economic impact of SmartDocFinder on its customers.  

    The HIMSS Analyatics database for vendors is a great resource for identifying which customers are likely to adopt and pay for SmartDocFinder (

    The challenge to entering the market is demonstrating that improving patient-provider relationships will effect our customers' bottom-line. Hence our sales strategy of a 6 month pilot phase to demonstrate our product's effectiveness. The product will be delivered as a white-labeled technology that integrates into our customer's website. We will provide support to ensure that the product meets our customer's expectations, and so that we may measure the effect of SmartDocFinder on our customer's bottom line.

    Competitive advantage

    Key Competitve Advantages

    • Engage patient via chatbot
    • Patent-pending personalization technology to recommend the best provider for each patient, based on both medical and non-medical factors.
    • Scalability and big data analytics built into system.
    • Interdisciplinary team of psychologists, medical doctors and computer scientists.

    The Team

    SmartDocFinder's cofounders are Matthew Wiley, President, and Vagelis Hristidis, Chief R&D Officer. Matthew has expertise in machine learning, clinical NLP, and data mining. Matthew has worked as a research scientist at City of Hope and Kaiser Permanente. Vagelis, Professor of Computer Science at UC Riverside, has expertise in health informatics, data science, and ranking of complex data.  Vagelis has published a book on healthcare informatics and data science, and his seminal ranking papers have been cited thousands of times.


    Competitive Landscape

    Our biggest differentiator from competitors is that we produce a personalized list of doctors for each unique patient, whereas our competitors assume a global ranking of doctors, regardless of the patient seeking a doctor. The bulk of current competitive landscape consists of existing search portals on healthcare systems’ and insurance companies’ websites, B2C websites focused on patient ratings (Yelp, Healthgrades, Vitals, UCompareHealthcare, RateMDs, BetterDoctor, etc.), and provider referral services (1-800 Dentist, DoctorsOnDemand, TeleDoc, ZocDoc, Grand Rounds, BestDoctors, GetHeal etc.).

    There are a few startups around the space of SmartDocFinder, due to the recent investor interest in this area. CompassMD is the only service that consider subjective factors such as personality match; however, they do not leverage big data or multiple sources, but instead, to the best of our knowledge, simply provide a questionnaire to the patients and to the providers to determine the degree of personality match. Further, they do not consider the objective factors such as experience and procedures of a provider. The strength of CompassMD is their team, whose cofounders hold a Psychology degree, Accounting Degree, and a MBA, otherwise CompassMD is as far along as SmartDocFinder in terms of public traction. Amino is a B2C site that ranks providers by expertise to a condition (using claims data, similarly to SmartDocFinder), but only offer basic filters on gender, age, and distance. The key difference between SmartDocFinder and these services is that SmartDocFinder is the only service that offers a data-driven approach for personalized matching of patients to providers based on both subjective and objective factors.

    Moreover, according to our interviews, about 60% of patients start their provider search through their insurance company’s or healthcare system’s website (or call center). A typical search portal of this type offers sorting based on distance and name, along with basic filters on gender, specialty, and if the provider is accepting new patients. These sites do not capture the personalized nature of matching. Further, a majority of these portals do not have a reactive design, meaning the website does not properly render its content to mobile devices, rendering it hard-to-use. These reasons make out value proposition to these stakeholders appealing.