Why can’t you Skype your doctor? That was the question Mikko Kiiskilä asked before co-founding Meedoc, an app and service that lets patients connect with their doctor online via the medium of video. Telephone consultations are already widely used by the medical industry — especially for pre-screening and follow up consultations — but doctors have been slow to upgrade the ‘technology’ in the age of near-ubiquitous broadband, mobile devices and apps.
Today the Finnish startup is disclosing a $1.5 million seed round from unnamed investors from the healthcare industry — spanning the fields of pharma, care providers, pharmacists, doctors and medical regulation.
Whilst no well-known Silicon Valley or European angels are included in this list, Kiiskilä is keen to point out that a startup hoping to knock down walls in the extremely regulated healthcare industry in Europe, requires a different kind of investor profile and one that has the knowledge and connections to help with that mission.
The mantra ‘move fast and break things’ doesn’t apply so much when you are dealing with people’s health, he says.
To that end, Meedoc, which is currently launched in its home country of Finland, has successfully registered as a CE-certified Medical Device telemedicine platform, enabling it to be used for treatment across the European Union.
However, perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Meedoc’s simple app to enable on-demand or pre-booked video consultations with your doctor, is the startup’s target market, which is already seeing the service find a home with companies who want to make it part of their healthcare plan for employees.
The premise being that early medical attention — in the form of a convenient video consultation — can often result in less time off work and a healthier employee in general, specifically for straightforward and easily treatable conditions that don’t require a hands-on physical examination.
Doctors can also prescribe medication after a Meedoc-facilitated diagnosis. And, of course, the employee doesn’t have to book time off work simply to see the doctor in the first place. Now that does sound like progress.
Regarding monetisation, Meedoc charges companies €10 per month per employee for unlimited use. Kiiskilä says the company counts thousands of patients as users, from corporates and SMEs, including KONE elevators (one of the largest publicly trading companies in Finland).