Please introduce yourself (any co-founders) and your startup?
My name’s Jonny Lo and I’m Founder and Director of HealtheBit. As a Medical Doctor, I have over 10 years of experience in various surgical and acute care facilities. Recently, I was a Candidate of a Basic Science PhD in cochlear (inner ear) surgery with the University of Melbourne.
HealtheBit makes it easier for patients to access vital and interactive health information relating to their surgery or hospital admission. We provide mobile-friendly software that is tailored for each patient and point of care, such as before, during and after surgery.
Software supports include virtual agents, audio-visual and decision-making aids, and AI that identifies patients at risk of diverging from a normal recovery.
Benefits for customers (e.g. surgeons, hospitals) include cost-savings from reduced calls and avoidable hospital readmissions, along with improved efficiency via a seamless delivery system. Advantages for patients include increased engagement and satisfaction with their healthcare.
How did you go from idea, to MVP and launch?
The initial idea for HealtheBit arose after my father’s hospital admission with a medical condition. Following treatment, he was discharged without any information, which this left him incredibly worried, anxious and dissatisfied with his care. Ultimately, he was readmitted to Hospital, which was costly and time consuming for all involved (including surgeon and hospital staff).
Validation of this problem-space was achieved by speaking to over 20 health professionals. Feedback from a working prototype was sought. I engaged a Sydney-based tech co-founder, Bluechilli, and recently participated in their Accelerator program.
We are currently validating our working prototype with several early adopters (including 3 Surgical Practices, a General Practice, a Rheumatology Practice and Epworth Private, Victoria’s largest not-for-profit healthcare group).
What challenges did you face during this period and how did you overcome them?
One of our greatest challenges has been integrating our technology with electronic health records and practice software. Providing a personalised patient experience is dependent on curated data entry that often comes from multiple sources and different formats. Most practice staff, including doctors and administrative staff, are incredibly busy with little time to review every data entry.
We’ve been mitigating this by identifying the correct point of entry and to build our systems into the existing workflows of the practice staff. These steps have improved the uptake and retention of our technology.
During this journey to build and launch your startup what is one thing you look back on with a sense of achievement?
One of our greatest achievements has been engaging Epworth Private as a pilot partner. Epworth Private is Victoria’s largest not-for-profit healthcare group and with 150,000 admissions annually. The organisation has required us to engage with many stake-holders, including end-users (patients), nurses, doctors and marketing staff. While tiresome at times, their feedback has enabled us to improve the interface and experience for patients across several conditions, treatments and points-of-care.
Offer us one insight, tip, marketing strategy or growth hack that has worked really well for oyu and your startup?
As a B2B, one growth hack I’ve found work effectively is to build your personal brand simultaneously with your company brand. It helps open many more doors when both have the perception of being credible.
How is your startup going and what do you aim to achieve in the next 3, 6, 12 months?
We are in the validation stages of a working prototype. We continue to work with our early adopters to confirm our MVP for launch within the next 2 months.
We hope to be positioned for pre-seed investment in the next 3 months. By 6 months, we hope to be deployed nationally and at 12 months, we hope to be realising our potential in the US market.