A commitment to knowledge and truth was the basis of Tristan Hahner’s desire to enable patients to access an online resource of medical information.
What’s your story?
As a firm believer in education, I’m passionate about healthcare and trying to improve the quality of people’s lives. Through DoctorxDentist, people have access to free, expert knowledge from medical doctors that they can easily understand and trust.
What excites you most about your industry?
Healthcare disruptions have been the norm these past years, with telemedicine and smart medical devices entering the markets. Soon we will see a development where artificial intelligence will play a more central role, and the trustworthiness of information will also be vital in the years to come.
What is your connection to Asia?
I’ve enjoyed exploring much of South East Asia. Having made friends in many of those countries, I embrace the cultural differences and love learning from people in developing worlds.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
DxD’s home base – Singapore. Although many foreigners have left Singapore in these past months because of the strict Covid-19 restrictions, the government is trying their best to guide businesses through this period and support them with smart policy decisions and subsidies.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Well, recently I guess the best piece of advice was “Wear a mask, because it’s the only ethical thing to do during a pandemic”. And I’m impressed how Singaporeans have shown the world that they are responsible individuals by following this simple public health measure.
Who inspires you?
Jürgen Schmidhuber, who co-invented the so-called LSTM network in 1997, an artificial neural network that people couldn’t really do much with, given the limited computing power back then. But today, it is used on every smartphone, computer and car, doing amazing things like speech recognition or stock market predictions. Even at DxD we use this technology today. This is how far your ideas can travel.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I think with COVID-19 we have all witnessed how important it is to collaborate and help each other, to look outwards rather than inwards. On an individual level, wearing masks and physical distancing only works if the community as a whole comes together and complies with these policies. But also on a macro level, states, companies, countries that only look inwards will have issues in the future to stay competitive.
Looking outwards also applies to the patient-doctor relationship when it comes to the idea of transparency in healthcare, which is needed to build trust between everyone involved.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I think in businesses (small) mistakes are crucial to learning more about your environment. You carry out all these small experiments like a scientist, and after a couple of these failed experiments, you learn how to do things the proper way. With that in mind, I would probably do everything the same.
How do you unwind?
I think it’s very important to have times where you can just be “offline”, both from work and electronic devices. Meditation, hiking, doing sports or playing the piano, or spending time with friends are some of the things that help me.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Well, these days in Singapore we do not have much of a choice right?!
Everyone in business should read this book:
I think collaboration between countries, companies, organisations, is becoming more crucial than ever. Simon Anholt invented an index to measure this, how much your organisation or country is giving back to the community and contributing towards global goals like public health, world peace and climate change. He calls it the “Good Country Index” and talks more about it in a new book, titled The Good Country Equation: How We Can Repair the World in One Generation.
Shameless plug for your business:
DoctorxDentist’s focus is on being the most trustworthy online resource for medical information, and so the bulk of our work goes into producing great content together with specialists and making this content available for free. We host patient reviews on medical doctors in Singapore and publish cost estimations for medical treatments—all to make healthcare more transparent.
Beyond that, as a registered social enterprise with raiSE.sg we give back to the community by actively partnering with NGOs and non-profits like the Singapore Cancer Society. In doing so, we hope to uplift and boost the outreach of these organisations.
How can people connect with you?
I’d love to receive comments and queries at [email protected].
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.