Startup Spotlight: MyTravelDoc: Connecting Travelers And Doctors
One thing that is common among every single person in this planet is to take good care of their health. Especially during travel, this aspect becomes increasingly important – be it leisure trip or business. But, what happens when a traveler falls sick during travel? To worsen the case, falling sick on a foreign land? How to reach out to the nearest hospital / doctor? How to ensure the reliability of service provided in an unknown place? Mytraveldoc, a Denmark based startup company addresses these key issues. We discussed with the Mytraveldoc team on their services, unique features and many other aspects. Interview discussion below.
What’s “Mytraveldoc” into? Why was this product needed and what problem are you trying to solve?
Travelers often experience difficulties finding a good local doctor when traveling around the world. Mytraveldoc provides instant 24/7 access to doctors, in case of any health related problem during travels. Fast diagnosis and identification of the right treatment and personal medical support and advice is provided during the entire treatment process. The outcome is significant reduction in absence/waiting time and unnecessary treatments as well as greater personal security and relief, especially when you are on travel.
- Instant access to doctors
- Communication in your own language (at the moment: English and Scandinavian), in the privacy of your hotel room
- Doctors are completely unbiased and independent from financial interests
- Doctors has access to your own medical profile for best treatment
- Global service. For example, if you have forgotten your medication, or if you are faced with a health problem and do not want to wait half a day to be seen by a local doctor.
When did you launch the product?
Tell us about your founders?
Mads K. Larsen
Now CEO of Mediaxes A/S. Working together with a group of doctors to provide instant high quality medical advice to businesses and private individuals.
Over the past 24 years, Mads have been involved as founder, co-founder and CEO in what has become some of the largest IT companies in Scandinavia, including large system houses, distribution companies, IT training and consultancy, Internet service providers, software development (in the UK, US and Balkans) and sales/marketing of the solutions developed.
Anya Eidhammer is MD and responsible for our medical team. Anya has been involved since the inception in 2006 and is specializing in gynecology/obstetrics.
Mikkel M. Mortensen is MSc. Public Health, and responsible for partner relations and health care guidelines as well as working closely with the CEO on business development.
Mytraveldoc solely relies on an internet connection for the traveller to connect to doctors. During travel, getting online at a foreign place is not so easy. How do you plan to handle this situation?
That is not entirely true. Mytraveldoc doctors are also available from phone and SMS/MMS, this ensures the user safety as well.
During travel, most of the travellers carry insurance along. Anyone would like to go for a free doctor counseling with insurance backing, why do you think travellers will still use Mytraveldoc?
When traveling, you don’t want to spend time on driving to a local doctor who has an agreement with the insurance company you use, or in that matter to wait several hours to be attended to by the local doctor. For a reasonable low price, you can consult our doctors within minutes. In many cases the travel insurance company will reimburse the expenses.
What challenges you face now / faced in the past?
Maintaining and expanding our medical team. Develop new platforms and relationships for offering our service world wide.
Did anyone discourage you that mytraveldoc is not going to work? Why you still went ahead and launched Mytraveldoc?
Not really. Some people are always skeptical, but in general companies and travelers do see the need. In May 2012 we launched a survey with 220 responders. The result was clear: Over 70% opted in favor of Mytraveldoc.
Any info you can share with us on your funding?
We are privately funded. Mads Kjær Larsen is the majority shareholder, and the Chairman, Jens Erik Christensen, formerly head of Royal Sun Alliance in EMEA, is also a stakeholder.
Who are your competitors?
Some insurance companies have their own team of doctors, but none provide the broad specter of services we do.
What’s the plan for Mytraveldoc for next 18 to 24 months?
The plan is to keep expanding and become a global service – and the obvious choice for all travelers.
How are travellers reacting towards Mytraveldoc?
The people we have helped so far has been really satisfied. I remember a situation where we helped a woman in Budapest: After a fall, the woman was experiencing pains in the knee. She went to the local hospital and waited for 6 hours, before she was told that she needed to go to a different place to get the pre-admission of her knee. Then, she was told that she needed a MR scan, and that she was advised an operation the following day. As she was scheduled to fly back to Copenhagen the next morning, she was not very happy with this outcome. She contacted us (Mytraveldoc) and was informed by one of our doctors that under no circumstance would this be operated in Denmark given the diagnosis. She went home the next day and went to see her doctor, who found the operation was completely unnecessary.