BetterDoctor was born in early 2011 when Ari Tulla was yet again searching for a new doctor. After years of personal family medical struggles Ari decided that there has to be a better way to find the right doctor.
BetterDoctor solves this problem by offering web and mobile apps that make doctor discovery simple and transparent. Just select the type of doctor you are looking for, pick your insurance plan and select from verified and well-rated doctors near you.
BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk a bit about the process from initially having the idea for BetterDoctor to taking it to market? What were some of the early challenges that you faced and how did you overcome them?
Ari: In the earliest stage of a Startup there’s always a chicken and egg problem. You need to have a product ready before you can raise external funding, but building the product requires funding in the first place. At BetterDoctor we decided with my co-founder Tapio Tolvanen to build the first MVP “Minimum Viable Product” with our own expenses. This gave us healthy urgency to get to market quickly. Another major challenges specific to BetterDoctor has been the process of building our nationwide doctor directory. Initially we thought this as one of the easier tasks, but in the end it has taken two years and we are still improving the data every day.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you give to a small company looking to create their first mobile app?
Ari: Over the last 8 years I have worked on mobile apps and games, and have learned that mobile is hard. Every successful app needs to fulfill following criteria:
1) the app solves real consumer need and does it extremely well
2) the app is well designed and works flawlessly
3) company behind the app has great acquisition strategy and enough capital to promote the app
Surprisingly many companies fail not on building the app, but on getting the critical mass of users. It’s essential to have a good consumer acquisition strategy and enough marketing dollars to build the initial momentum.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s one marketing strategy that’s really worked well for you so far?
Ari: At BetterDoctor most our users come from the website. We had very little marketing dollars to spent so we decided to invest heavily on building the best doctor search product. Superior product combined with the great doctor data has helped us to grow quickly to millions of users.
BusinessInterviews.com: How do you think that the healthcare landscape will change in the next 5 years?
Ari: This is a book-worthy question. I’d like to drill down on two topics that will definitely change. Technology and Internet will become integral part of the healthcare experience. We’ll have access to our records and test results on the web and mobile. The improved access will make us patients smarter and more empowered healthcare consumers. I’m an optimist and believe that just these two changes will result a healthier nation.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you give to someone who has recently relocated and needs to find a variety of new healthcare providers?
Ari: It’s simple, just go to BetterDoctor.com and start your doctor search.
BusinessInterviews.com: If I could grant you one business related wish right now, what would you ask for?
Ari: I’d really like to see more healthcare data liberated from the government and the payer side. As a entrepreneur who relies on Big Data I believe that transparency can only be achieved by open data.
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