Ethan Bechtel, Co-Founder & CEO of OhMD
Ethan Bechtel Co-Founder & CEO of OhMD
What is OhMD?
“OhMD is a patient communication platform that makes it easy for medical practices and hospitals to communicate with their patients using text messaging. Essentially we’re replacing the telephone. Phone calls don’t work anymore. No one answers the phone and no one wants to leave a voicemail or return a call. We make it really easy for the healthcare industry to use texting in a HIPAA compliant way.”
COVID-19 caused major disruption to the healthcare industry’s traditional workflows. OhMD was there to help. “Practices didn’t want patients coming into their waiting rooms because they were worried about transmission of COVID-19, some started to use OhMD to communicate with their patients from the parking lot,” said Ethan. The practices could even use OhMD to ask the patients about their symptoms and send a nurse out to their car to administer tests if necessary.
What was it like having your startup take-off during a pandemic?
“As a founder, you’re always waiting for the moment that your business starts to take off, you would never expect it to be taking off during a pandemic. All expectations and growth trajectories just changed overnight and so did the way that the system was being used. We felt that there was a tremendous opportunity to solve a really important problem where there were more questions than answers, and there wasn’t anyone who didn’t understand the problem because everyone in the world is experiencing this at the same time. We asked ourselves how we could do better, deliver more value, and save lives at this moment. We built products and launched features as quickly as we could to do all of those things while scaling very quickly.”
How has your team navigated working from home?
The OhMD team had a slight advantage when the whole world went remote, their team was already distributed. While other companies were scrambling to transition to remote operation, OhMD already had the necessary infrastructure and culture in place. “We had already achieved phase 1 of distributed team success and were able to move into phase 2. We are in a place where there are a lot of tools that people don’t know exist yet but we already have implemented. I think it has just made us stronger” said Ethan. Ethan also recommends that new startups choose a distributed model even post COVID because it allows them to hire the best talent wherever they are geographically and “It opens you up to a lot of opportunities that you otherwise wouldn’t have”.
What’s next for OhMD?
The company’s focus for the foreseeable future is helping doctors become better at what they do and making patients healthier by delivering value in their technology platform. OhMD plans to use artificial intelligence to fill the information gaps created by virtual doctors’ appointments. The purpose of the technology will be to enable practitioners to “more efficiently arrive at a conclusion around a diagnosis” said Ethan.
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