The average waiting time to see a doctor is 19 minutes and 16 seconds in the US according to Vitals.com. Scheduling your appointment, especially for highly sought-out specialists in the city, can take weeks or even months. Often patients undergo this wait only to be referred to another doctor creating a completely inefficient and arduous process and even longer wait times.
Pager, the mobile app, is looking to eliminate the bottlenecks in patient care delivery by introducing transparency and accountability into the system. The app offers a full suite of services including telemedicine, in-person appointments, and even housecalls. On the back end of things, the company’s platform manages the billing process including copays and insurance, which in and of itself is often another headache for the patient. The NYC startup just raised $14M and is now looking to expand outside of its NYC footprint.
Today Andrew Chomer, Vice President, Marketing at Pager joins us to discuss the funding, the company’s next steps, and the future of on-demand health.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised $14 million, both New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Sound Ventures led our Series A round and they join existing investors Goodwater Capital, Lux Capital and Montage Ventures.
Tell us about your product or service.
Pager is a mobile technology offering healthcare on-demand and simplifying the medical experience. Its patient-centric model provides users with access to quality personal care and empowers them to take better care of their own health with an easy-to-use interface. Pager’s service holds the ability to scale based on connecting patients with the right type of care at the right time and that benefits many key stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem, inclusive of health systems, insurers and patients.
What inspired you to start the company?
We have a passion for using technology and design to disrupt old business models by empowering consumers. Right now there is a need to empower patients to find and receive high-quality healthcare without the confusion and the wait. That is exactly what we are doing with Pager.
How is it different?
Unlike other telemedicine or house call platforms, Pager offers the full on-demand healthcare experience, combining elements of telemedicine with in-person visits. Doctors on Demand and telemedicine in general, offer a singular solution to the patient. The core differentiator is that Pager gives the patient the optimal healthcare experience and in many cases it may involve delivering a doctor to your home when an in-person visit is required.
Right now we service New York City’s five boroughs and our next move is to penetrate the San Francisco market.
What’s your business model?
Pager leverages a licensing model with healthcare care providers by generating and submitting claims on behalf of patients (out-of-network) and providers (in-network). Pager collects out-of-pocket fees(co-pay and trip fee) from patients, then transfers to providers. Health systems are then charged with a platform fee for usage plus a kit fee for equipment.
What was the funding process like?
Funding can be a daunting process and put strain on a company, but we have been very fortunate to partner with very talented and switched on investors. It was thrilling experience to work with such innovative thinkers who believe that technological solutions have the power to transform the healthcare industry.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
For us, it was ensuring we partnered with the right group of investors. We were looking for partners who understood both the direction of company and our ambition to transform an industry.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Pager offers a patient-centric model that personalizes the healthcare experience unlike any other platform out there. We are streamlining the healthcare experience and providing users the convenience of quality care anytime anywhere. Plus, who wants to spend hours waiting at an ER? Our investors don’t!
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
In the next six months, we plan for expansion in major cities across the United States and eventually over to Europe. Stay tuned for Pager 2.0!
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Be clear about what makes your company different from your competition. If your company has unique position and is turning out an exceptional product, then both consumers and capital will follow. Secondly, stay laser focused on your priorities and develop a system with your leadership team to enable quick decision making.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Consumers are dying for a better solution to healthcare. Telemedicine and urgent care clinics are booming right now and we want to be leading the charge as the main voice in the space.
Where is your favorite place to grab a drink in NYC on a nice summer night?
Emporio in SoHo, my close friend is the owner and it never disappoints.