Healthcare Startup Aims to Transform the Connection Between Care Providers and Patients
Let’s face it: navigating the Canadian healthcare system can feel inexplicably complicated at times. Complex referral policies, unnecessary wait times, and an absence of quality specialist information available make it difficult for many Canadians to go through the process without considerable hassle.

The problem is not only on the patient side, however. Most medical professionals will tell you they waste an incalculable number of hours answering redundant questions and mopping up the fallout from missed appointments when they should be using this time optimizing patient care.

Fortunately, help is on the way. A new healthcare startup launched recently by the founder of Kobo, the astoundingly successful eBook company, focuses its’ efforts on improving the connection between healthcare providers and their patients.

The Launch of ‘League’

Michael Serbinis, founder and former co-CEO of Kobo, announced his new digital health and wellness platform late last year with an astounding backing of $4 million in seed funding, an investment round led by OMERS Ventures with Foundation Capital, Real Ventures, and Infinite Potential Group.

Serbinis sums up the need for a transformation in healthcare nicely, “Healthcare costs are massive and growing at an unsustainable rate. In Canada and the US, about $4 trillion is spent on healthcare, and in the US it’s 17 per cent of GDP and growing, especially with boomers going through the system. While nearly half of those costs are preventable, next to nothing is spent on prevention, because the current health system is all about what happens when you get sick. We’re on an unsustainable track, and this needs to change.”

Building a High Functioning Healthcare Network

The League’s main purpose will be to develop networks of consumers and preventative healthcare professionals. The network will include massage therapists, nutritionists, chiropractors, optometrists and more.

The League’s app and web service will provide a single, unified source of patient records and health-tracking data, and it will also help to improve communications between patients and healthcare professionals, with features such as appointment reminders, specialist recommendations, and potentially payment management.

League’s services, at least initially, will be free for users, and healthcare professionals will only be required to pay a subscription fee after a certain number of patients. The service does take a referral fee when it successfully links a patient with a provider, but Serbinis is also currently engaged in talks with health insurance companies to explore the possibility of using the app as a tool for managing client needs.

Driving the ‘Preventative’ Future of Healthcare

If you ask Serbinis, preventative healthcare is the wave of the future, “The idea was about keeping people healthy from the start. The healthcare system is $4 trillion between Canada and the U.S. and it’s expected to double in the next decade. [It’s] not on a sustainable track. Over half the cost of that $4 trillion is preventable,” he stresses, “So I came back to Toronto and decided that this was what I was going to spend the next decade building.”

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Posted by: DSR
Friday, May 1, 2015
Tag: Healthcare
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