We kick-start this week’s Deal Radar with a social networking site focused on healthcare and healthcare reform, checkMD. Based in Lehi, Utah, the company was founded by Jon Black, who had previously founded GetProof, a physician credentialing software and services company. Since GetProof did extensive research on physicians for hospitals and group practices, Black felt it was natural to start a venture, which would provide that knowledge to consumers. He realized the potential for this space when he was able to find the best healthcare providers for several family members who had debilitating illnesses. He realized that people around the US were struggling to find quality healthcare and decided to start checkMD.
The experience and expertise, gained at GetProof, helps checkMD to provide well-researched and comprehensive medical information to consumers. However, the consumer side is not the only aspect of checkMD’s business; it also offers healthcare providers a platform to interact with both patients and other healthcare providers online. According to the company, while many physician and hospital research and ratings sites are considered ‘physician-bashing sites’, checkMD brings everybody, including patients and providers, to the same table. It aims to allow the best healthcare providers to be found, both nationally and locally. Doctors have a complete backend system wherein they can market themselves, manage risk, improve care and connect with patients and others in the healthcare space. This, the company claims, is done in a credible space, on a platform that offers equity and fairness to all involved.
With a Total Available Market (TAM) of $1 billion, checkMD deems itself unique from a consumer standpoint because of its combination of objective and subjective information presented side-by-side. The company has the licensing and disciplinary actions of physicians, provided by third-party sources, along with subjective input from patients and doctors themselves. checkMD is free to consumers and gives them incentives – in the form of valuable coupons – to post comments and provide feedback. It also has a comprehensive social community including forums, blogs, live chat, videos and more.
Further, from the healthcare provider side, checkMD claims to be the only site in the marketplace that offers the breadth and depth of products and services that add value to the provider’s practice or business. The company says that these technologies allow providers to increase revenues, decrease costs, manage risk and increase patient care and safety. While the company does not charge for a general information update, subscriptions are $100 for a month and $1,000 for a year. Pricing is the same for physicians, dentists, hospitals and pharmacies.
The company’s top target segments are doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies and consumers who use them. checkMD recently launched its business to the public via a small PR campaign that seems to have been well received — econsultant.com rated checkMD as one of the top five research sites for doctor ratings. Further, within the first four months of its launch, without advertising or marketing, checkMD reached over 240,000 unique visitors to the site per month. According to Quantcast, the site has over 58,352 monthly unique visitors out of 104,375 page views per month in the US. While Quantcast’s numbers don’t seem huge, the company’s value proposition is interesting, and I would be curious to see how the numbers ramp up over the next 6 months.
The company started out with personal seed investment and expanded to angel investment. Though they did not give the figures, checkMD did say that they are being offered $1,000,000 as angel investment, but it seems to me that this is the type of company that should be bootstrapped.
This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009