By Kathleen Berger, Executive Producer for Science & Technology
Having someone who shares common interests, hobbies and personal goals may be important for a lasting relationship. So why limit the importance of compatibility to friends, spouses and partners? A St. Louis startup developed an online platform with the idea of finding a primary doctor who is a great match for each individual patient.
SteadyMD is a telehealth company that matches patients with doctors. Right before the pandemic, the St. Louis startup raised $6 million to expand. The $6 million Series A financing will advance the way people can pair up and build trusted relationships with personal online doctors anywhere in the U.S.
“Your perfect match might live in Nebraska,” explained Guy Friedman, co-founder and CEO SteadyMD. “It’s perfect for you. This doctor would have been your best friend had you met in person. It’s really a new category of healthcare. “
Friedman said he wants people to know they don’t have to be limited to doctors in their zip codes. According to SteadyMD, the platform’s matching engine evaluates each new member and healthcare provider across hundreds of medical, fitness and lifestyle attributes to help spark a meaningful connection.
“We’re a technology platform which allows patients and doctors to develop long-term personal relationships between each other,” he said.
Friedman and his SteadyMD team developed the idea from professional and personal experiences.
“The doctors actually want to build a relationship with you but the system doesn’t allow it,” Friedman said. “I found the process really disappointing in terms of wait times, the time you get to spend with the doctor, and the whole system is designed around this idea of ‘when you get sick, we’re available’. But what I really was looking for was a relationship with the physician for the long-term that I could interact with and develop almost a friendship and a trust. And I didn’t see that product out there.”
Through the SteadyMD platform, Friedman says a 90 second quiz will generate a match. It asks patients to name the aspects of healthcare that are most important to them.
“You submit criteria about your lifestyle, your health, your diet, any conditions you have, exercise habits. And we take our database of doctors, and based on what you clicked on and told us about yourself, we find doctors that are perfect for you.”
Then once a user starts, the patient will connect over two-way video chat with their doctor for about an hour. It’s an opportunity to get to know each other and together, develop a plan to monitor and manage the patient’s health. Online visits are not processed through insurance. Patients pay a monthly fee for unlimited interactions. From that point on, SteadyMD patients can call, text or video chat their doctor.
SteadyMD doctors order referrals to specialists, as well as order lab tests and prescriptions.
“Our vision is very unique and disruptive,” Friedman said. “It’s a universal need to connect with a doctor and have a relationship with them.”