The healthcare startup lets patients search for info about their ailments, and recommends specialist doctors best suited for treating them
The development of medical science and technology has resulted in the creation of many specialised fields of medicine, in which doctors receive very specific training to treat particular symptoms. It is with this background that Dr. Nithya Pilgrim started hooheals, a Singapore-based healthcare startup.
A trained doctor, Dr. Pilgrim noticed a disconnect between patients and doctors, with current matching services being too commercialised and unable to provide the best value to doctors and patients alike.
“There is too much advertising going on in current matching services, and conflict of interest arises with doctors having to pay to use such systems. This prevents patients from getting objective info about doctors, as they are only introduced to doctors who pay to use the service,” she said, “That said, doctors have businesses to run and need to find patients, and one of hooheals’ aims is to provide objective info about which doctors to consult for patients.”
Together with CFO Kenneth Low, COO James Harris, and Product Manager Cressida Grant, Dr. Pilgrim launched hooheals in March, after a long offline validation period. “We actually started hooheals late last year, validating the idea with patients, doctors, as well as investors.” she recounted, “By December, we started offering hooheals as an offline service to selected doctors and patients, and encouraging response led to us launching the site.”
So, how does it work? hooheals is a paid service for patients, with prices ranging from S$120 (US$95) to S$250 (US$200) a year. Subsequently, users will be able to generate detailed medical reports, which will be used in making health recommendations, including searching out the best, most experienced doctors to treat the ailment.
Users of the pricier plans are also given the option to add and amend patient profiles, which makes it convenient for a parent or caregiver to monitor the health of his or her family. Finally, hooheals also maintains an extensive database of medical terms and conditions, letting users find out more about what ails their bodies, and the steps they need to take to keep their illnesses under control.
So far, hooheals has received a small amount in seed funding, and its monetisation strategy is mainly through customer subscriptions. Dr. Pilgrim noted that they are exploring other revenue models, such as employer medical coverage and insurance agencies.
Right now, hooheals is looking to raise additional seed funding up to a total of US$400K. This will go to team growth, marketing, process optimisation as well as the development of new features, such as a drug interaction checker to help people understand the drugs they are taking.