Chicago based Startup Orunje to offer On Demand healthcare services : Startup Story #26
When we can get Taxis, Food, Beauty Stylists, Baby sitters at the doorstep, then why not Doctors ? Remember the time, when anyone would fall ill and the doctor would visit at the doorstep and also providing for urgent care clinic. There’s an App to request any service On Demand these days, the trend is also known as Uberization of everything. So when we talk of Orunje, Can we say it is “Uber for Doctors?” Yes.
Here is what Dr. Pardeep Athwal, co-founder of Orunje had to share with us about Orunje.
Q1.Tell us a little about Orunje and your personal motivation for starting this platform.
Orunje is healthcare on demand. We are a healthcare delivery platform, which will send a physician to a patient’s home within two hours with the touch of a button. Healthcare. Simplified. Is our motto because we truly believe healthcare can and should be simple and convenient. My personal motivation for starting Orunje has to do with my background as a physician. I was attempting to schedule a physical for myself and during residency my daily working hours were 7 am to 7pm, which allowed little time to squeeze an appointment in. I asked myself, “if I work in a hospital and am a doctor and cannot see someone easily for my physical, I’m sure there are millions of people who are running into similar problems”. Lastly, as a physician and patient, I understand the inefficiencies that exist in healthcare and feel that as the world around us advances, it’s a necessity for healthcare to keep up since health is our most important asset.
Q2.Can you give us a rundown of how it works?
A patient visits Orunje.com and simply clicks request a visit. They fill out a short form asking them what their chief health complaint is and to provide any pertinent details. They are also asked to provide any general medical information such as past medical history, surgeries and medications. Next, they input their address and review their request. The entire process takes 5 minutes or less. Upon clicking submit, every provider in their area is notified that a request has been placed and providers have the opportunity to review the request (without knowing the patients name or exact address), and accept it. Once accepted, they will see the patient within 2 hours, will have access to all of the patient’s information and can contact the patient directly to update them as to their status. The patient will also be able to see which provider will be coming to visit them. Once the visit is completed, the patient will have a full record of their visit through our EMR system and can take it with them wherever they go for reference.
Q3.Who are your key stakeholders and how are you offering them value?
Our key stakeholders are our providers. Our value proposition to them is the ability to see patients in their free time without having to worry about paying for their own malpractice insurance or finding part time clinic space to see patients. The majority of physicians work in hospital based practices and clinics, which have schedules consisting of 5 “on” days and 5 “off” days. What this means is they work 5 days straight, without regard for weekends or holidays and then get 5 straight days off. During their off days, there is no easy way to access supplementary income seeing patients, however with Orunje, this is no longer the case. Providers can simply login, review requests and see patients and earn supplementary income without having to worry about logistical issues.
Q4.What is your onboarding process for the doctors/nurses ? Do you hire them or are they on a contract basis ?
We have an extensive onboarding process, as we want the highest quality physicians. Although they are all independent contractors, we credential each provider, check their background against the state and federal license database and perform a criminal background check. In addition to this, we have each provider send a CV/Resume and conduct individual interviews. All of our providers are licensed and board certified, have completed residency training and have on average 5-10 years of post residency experience.
Q5.What is Orunje ’s biggest achievement to date? How did you go about accomplishing this?
To date our biggest achievement was hitting 70 registered providers and having completed close to 80 visits with having spent <$5,000 on marketing. Given the short duration of our launch (official launch was June 2015), we have already seen a significant amount of interest on the provider and patient end. We achieved this by creating a platform and product, which is a significant step above the current standard. Patients don’t want to wait in an emergency room for several hours, or pay hundreds of dollars for medical expenses. They want a cost effective, high quality, convenient means to receive healthcare and Orunje provides that.
Q6.What has been your biggest set back? How did you deal with it?
Our biggest set back was curating a malpractice policy that would allow us to maintain our cost effective model, while affording providers the comfort of knowing there was more than adequate malpractice coverage. Malpractice insurance is like car insurance, every physician has coverage and although you never expect to use it, it is impossible to practice medicine without having something in place. We overcame this by being persistent, allowing insurance companies to truly understand what we were trying to do and how partnering with us would be beneficial to them in the long run as we grew and added more providers. Although I can’t divulge the intricacies of our policy, what we developed was never done by this company prior to Orunje and has allowed us to maintain excellent coverage at a price which fits in with our affordable model.
Q7.Could you shed some light on the technology and tools used to build Orunje?
Orunje is a location based platform, which is similar to other on demand companies such as Uber. It is important to allow providers to know how far the request is originating from, since time is valuable to them and we also want them to be able to see the patient in our 2 hour window. Although the most unique feature to Orunje is our integrated electronic medical record system. We designed this with the help of close to 10 physicians with have been meticulous with all aspects of it. We needed to create a medical record system, which was comprehensive, however also was simple to use. Patients can now take their Orunje visit record with them wherever they may need it and all providers who are seeing patients on Orunje will have a full record of any past visits completed on Orunje. We are currently working on integrating this into numerous other EMR systems, which will allow for complete continuity of care, something we are passionate about as physicians.
Q8. Are there any features you wished you could have added or wish to add in the App ?
We were hoping to add telemedicine conferencing to our app, however this will likely be added over the next few months. We want our providers and patients to have the flexibility and convenience of telemedicine with the benefit of providers being able to see patients in person if they feel the video consult is not adequate. Our team is working diligently to integrate this into our APP as soon as possible.
Q9.What is one particular Marketing Tool which you swear by in your business, that has never failed you?
Our greatest marketing asset are our customers and their satisfaction. If a customer is happy, they use your product over and over again. If you don’t have a good product, you can spend millions of dollars marketing it and if you’re lucky, customers may try it once, but you will never be able to achieve success because you will have zero repeat customers. Additionally, the bad word of mouth will lead to additional potential customer loss. I truly believe in creating a superior product and ensuring your customers are happy in every way. With this, you have already gained your greatest sales team, your customers who will tell their friends and family about your product. Our number one priority with Orunje is to ensure complete satisfaction, if the situation ever arises where our customers are not happy, we will either refund them or pay for another provider to see them free of charge.
Q10.What are some the current trends you see in the health industry when it comes to On Demand business ?
The current trends in the on demand healthcare businesses vary from healthcare services to products. We really are across to board when it comes to devices and services, for example we have portable ultrasound machines that work in conjunction with your iPhone, wound monitoring and blood draw kits to name a few. In the services industry, we services such as Orunje, on demand prescription delivery and on demand dietitians to name a few. The commonality with all of these services is to make the current inefficient, expensive healthcare industry into something more nimble. The great thing about these trends is that they are in many ways, complementary. For example, portable patient diagnostic examinations and monitoring can fit inside smartphones now, which allows for services such as ours to be even more effective and useful.
Q11. There are definitely a lot of companies similar to Orunje floating around right now. What are you doing that differentiates you?
Regardless of the industry there will always be competitors, and if there aren’t, then one should always question the validity of their product. At Orunje, we are focused on our core concept and product and want what we provide to be superior to all others on the market. One way we’ve accomplished this is by being the most affordable platform on the market and the one with the highest number of enrolled providers. Our model of our providers being independent contractors keeps our expenses minimal and we pass these savings onto the patients and providers. Additionally this allows us to enroll providers from a diverse range of specialities, which allows for better patient care and greater accessibility.
Q12.Where do you see Orunje in five years?
I see Orunje as a national company delivering 24/7 healthcare to patients. We hope to achieve this in part by strategically partnering up with local healthcare organizations and physician practices. Additionally, we are currently working on getting Orunje in network for the largest national insurance payors, which will vastly increase our patient network. Orunje will be more than an on demand urgent care service, rather will be utilized by individuals and hospitals/organizations offer patients a premium service at an affordable cost, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Q13.Any advice for health and medicine startups trying to make it big or join the On-Demand space?
Persistence. It’s an amazing, exciting ride but not an easy one. If you are passionate about your concept then you are already heading in the right direction, but you will face many obstacles along the way. There will be days you wake up and feel on top of the world and other days you feel like quitting, but I assure you as long as you keep in your mind your reasons for pursuing this endeavor, you will overcome the obstacles with ease. Advice from people who have gone through startups or are in an industry similar to yours can be immensely valuable, and while it is important to pivot along the way, don’t spend your limited resources going back to the drawing board every night because you will get a wide array of varying advice, some contradicting others. Most importantly and lastly have fun, when you enjoy what you’re doing success will follow.
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