SteadyMD provides digital health companies with technology and an on-demand clinician network
Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco Roizen speak with Guy Friedman, co-founder and CEO of SteadyMD, a company that provides digital health companies with technology and an on-demand clinician network that they can tap into.
Our overall goal is to understand how technology is radically changing healthcare: the way we screentreat and measure progress and outcomes. How we’re empowering the consumer. Whether we’re creating productivity that drives economic costs down? And how tech advancements change the role of the doctor.
Highlights from the interview:
- Friedman’s first startup, HigherNext, was one of the first online proctoring companies. It contracted with colleges and universities to record and observe students while they were taking their online exam so they couldn't cheat. While building that business and working in that industry, he realized that its tools would also be applicable to the healthcare space, including the ability to set up an appointment, start a video call, amd have a proctor do something complex based on the exam.
- The first version of SteadMD was a direct to consumer virtual primary care business, charging patients a monthly fee for unlimited access to the same dedicated doctor. Over the years, the company built infrastructure to run its business: the ability to recruit, manage, and train clinicians in all 50 states; clinical and medical operations for prescriptions, labs, referrals, chronic care, short term care, chat, video calls, persistent monitoring of patients; and a 50 state regulatory infrastructure. The company pivoted the business into being an on-demand clinician network for the rest of the industry, and powering all those platforms with its infrastructure.
- When SteadyMD launched, Teladoc was the only publicly traded company in digital health, and the definition of digital health was when you got sick, you called a doctor on the phone or video. Now there's a huge amount of innovation, with point solutions and specific conditions that are better than just going to a general practitioner sometimes. Friedman believes that urgent care and telemedicine are going to continue to grow.
- If you talk to primary care clinicians and nurses or doctors, a lot of them are looking for great opportunities in digital health. Some of them want a part time gig to supplement their day job, some of them want to work half time, some of them want to work full time, so it's really a mix. The desire to work in digital health is very high for primary care clinicians, as a lot of them want to work on cool, innovative things. Given the burnout in the industry, and within the brick and mortar model specifically, interest among that specialty it is very high.
- There’s a few different ways and reasons a clinician wants to work with SteadyMD, as the company provides them with access to a roster of partners and clients that they could possibly work for. The company acts sort of agent to the industry, in terms of opportunities to work on different ideas and platforms and modalities.
- SteadyMD is not a pure gig worker marketplace because it's not like that in digital health. You can't treat the clinicians that way, since you'll lose a lot of trust. You have to really listen and build trust, because the industry has created a lot of mistrust over the years, which you hear in the clinician's feedback about their current roles or other companies. SteadyMD wants to make sure they're really bought in and comfortable with what the clinicians are doing with them.
- The ability to be flexible and adapt is something SteadyMD screens for in the physicians in its network. In digital health, you do have to get a little more creative: if something breaks, you can't panic or just hang up, you have to work through it. That's a specific personality type that it likes to look for. They have to be able to roll with the punches, get through minor inconveniences and be able to mitigate that and solve that. SteadyMD makes sure that the clinician is going to be okay with that. It's not a good experience if they throw your hands up and just give up.
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