With 2015 coming to an end, I wanted to finish the year with an article about topics dear to my heart, leadership and healthtech.
Much of my days are spent with entrepreneurs and leaders. I am often their sounding board and in-house counsel, both their biggest cheerleader and critic at the same time. I help them get the feedback they all too often do not get enough of from their team and staff. It is fascinating, and fun, for me to be exposed to a large variety of leaders of different personality types and backgrounds, across different industries and countries, particularly when those leaders stand out or resonate with me.
One such set of leaders are Carles Vila and Zachary Bohart, co-founders of Boston-based ehumanlife. I met them earlier this year at the Collision conference in Las Vegas. Previous to the conference, I had found them in the list of exhibitors, and as a researcher and an angel investor, I was immediately intrigued by their website, which had a humanness to it, and which looked more like “healthcare meets lifestyle”, rather than dull and sterile.
In my subsequent interview with them, I saw an A-Team in action. Carles is your “typical” under-30-year-old-on-a-mission; the mission being, in his case, making the best healthcare available to everyone, everywhere at an affordable cost. When his long-time girlfriend’s aunt was ill and no one in Spain in her location could help her, Carles used his own personal resources and networks to find her the consultation she needed. That small personal triumph made him wonder about how others in similar crises coped. Hence ehumanlife was born.
While many can boast of having a good idea and bringing a team together, what Carles has done is take that and formed a stellar team. His co-founder is Zachary Bohart, an MD in his early 40s. Zachary brings with him years of experience and thus credibility from a medical standpoint, a complement to the technology wizardry of the younger Carles. Just as I had been impressed with Carles’ drive, passion and determination, so too had Zachary been impressed with Carles, who has already been able to recruit doctors in Spain, other parts of Europe and the USA in the short time since ehumanlife began. “Why work with Carles?”, I asked Zachary. “He had it all mapped out, he brought us the entire interface, he made us see what medical consultation could be like with the new technologies.”
So what is ehumanlife and what does it do? It is a live, on-demand video streaming platform that allows leading cancer specialists to provide medical consultations and second opinions remotely for patients worldwide. It’s aim is “…to tear down geographic, socioeconomic and political barriers to bring patients and doctors together.” – essentially, democratizing healthcare – and that is a sexy mission to be on.
Since we met earlier this year, ehumanhealth has greatly expanded its team. While focusing on the US and European markets, it is also looking to grow in Asia and elsewhere.
Now what would I warn this startup to watch for?
Healthcare is, and always has been, very personal and culturally sensitive. My mother stuck with her family doctor for years, even though she could have benefited from consultations from others during her cancer stages. The human touch that ehumanlife has in its name has not yet stood the test of time. Also it is still highly service-orientated and that is the main scalability challenge of any service-based business. And in addition to competition, healthcare is not merely about consultations, but also about medication and treatment, which ehumanlife does not address.
How will this be played out? We will find out. Keep an eye on this one!
And to all of you — I wish you and yours a wonderful, healthy, 2016…
For more information, please visit https://www.ehumanlife.com