The incredible possibilities of 4G connective technologies, smartphone penetration and remote access now herald the dawn of a new patient-doctor relationship and Kate Newhouse is at the helm of this development.
I read Modern History at Oxford University which of course means I was destined to get involved with a digital healthcare start-up. That was a long time ago though. After that, I became a strategy consultant, starting off at Roland Berger strategy consultants working with utilities such as water companies (did you know sewage plants have very large tomato plants) and telecoms companies answering strategic questions such as “how do we reduce our operating budget by 20 per cent over next 18 months?”
After benefiting from the steep learning curve of private sector consulting, I became fed up with living out of a suitcase and sleeping in hotel rooms and joined a small, boutique local government focused consultancy called RSe Consulting. Gone was the apparent glamour of end of project lunches at Gordon Ramsey restaurants, extensive expense accounts and 100-hour weeks. I swapped that with the fascinating, complex and indispensable world of local government; juggling the plethora of stakeholders in local government – service users, tax payers, officer, political members and public sector partners like GPs and the NHS.
During this time, apart from having two gorgeous children, I specialised in understanding the different motivations, needs and behaviours of customers accessing public services and helping local government and health organisations design their services to better match their customers’ needs and preferences to make them more efficient.
I worked to improve how they offer access and their services to their customers, looked at transforming services that could be delivered digitally using customer focused service design and encouraging positive behaviour change. After 8 years of doing this, I decided that I had spent enough time advising, persuading and cajoling. I wanted to be part of a “doing” organisation that delivered the disruption that customers wanted. So I left the corporate world and began advising within start-ups and SMEs with a view to finding a leading role in an organisation in which I believed as much as local government work.
I worked as a freelance consultant for over a year and worked in a range of exciting businesses: one of London’s largest tutoring companies where I focused on sourcing technology growth opportunities. I attended an ed-tech accelerator and shaped an online video tutoring service as part of the business. I then had the pleasure to work with another leading UK healthcare start-up, Outcomes Based Healthcare, becoming immersed in health and learning about value-based healthcare. During this time, I was continually on the lookout for an early stage start up in education or healthcare, ideally in the field of digital delivery of services. So, Doctor Care Anywhere presented the perfect match.
Please elaborate on Doctor Care Anywhere and how it is disrupting the sector.
Doctor Care Anywhere is a doctor-founded digital healthcare company helping thousands of families access first-class personalised clinical care, no matter what time of day, or whether they are at work, home or on holiday.
We aim to put the time and flexibility back into the doctor – patient relationship. We are revitalising, personalising and rebalancing the relationship between the healthcare expert and the individual. We aim to reinvent the concept of the family doctor, relevant and designed for the way people live and work today.
Less than 20 years ago, the internet opened up a vast archive of medical diagnosis and treatment, but with it a great sense of confusion. The public were more informed, but no better guided into the medical system.
Recently the incredible possibilities of 4G connective technologies, smartphone penetration and remote access now herald the dawn of a new patient-doctor relationship; offering live video, photo-sharing, quick and secure access to patient data.
In the right hands, this technology can be harnessed to create a more modern and human healthcare service. One that benefits both Doctor and Patient by greatly simplifying early Patient symptom diagnosis (“nip it in the bud”). Removing travel, queuing and waiting. In its place, Doctors can have more time to listen, explain and reassure the kind of patient conversations that Doctors dreamed of having when they entered the profession. That is why we attract the best doctors in the country.
In summary, we aim to deliver the best-in-class and most accessible digital doctor and healthcare management service worldwide.
How do we do that? At its core, Doctor Care Anywhere provides video and phone GP consultations, 365 days a year, 8am to 10pm UK time, from wherever you are in the world. The Doctor Care Anywhere service provides you with a smarter way to ensure you remain healthy, even whilst you are abroad.
Whether you are feeling under the weather before you go to bed, are too busy to leave the office, or are away on business or leisure; we make it easy and simple for you to instantly book a same-day appointment. Our Doctors will look, listen, and engage with you to provide the high-quality medical advice you need to help you feel better.
We’re here to challenge the status quo, by putting the happiness and lifestyle of both doctors and patients on the top of our agenda.
What is a typical day for you? What does your role entail? What general challenges do you face (if any) as CEO and as a woman in your sector?
My biggest challenge before this year, was to juggle raising capital for the company to enable it to grow quickly at the same time as sustainably growing and managing the business on a day to day basis.
This year it is knowing exactly where to focus your attention at any given time – this continues to be difficult as we change and grow so rapidly.
This includes working with our clients to build long lasting and fruitful partnerships at the same time as hiring the right team to take on key roles in operations, product development, marketing and customer services to ensure we can deliver an excellent service consistently – while still leading in terms of providing the long term vision for the business.
Innovating in a very traditional industry that has typically provided patients with a very transactional healthcare service is very challenging. Changing an industry’s ideas and thinking about how to deliver healthcare to meet the needs of our modern day lifestyles is not easy but I am determined to deliver a service that does just that.
What are some of the highlights of your career or current role?
There’s a saying that it’s easier than ever to start a business, but more difficult than ever to make it a success. The focus needs to be on building a viable and sustainable business. A key highlight for 2015 was securing a deal with AXA PPP healthcare to offer Doctor Care
Anywhere’s service to their customer base, which includes hundreds of corporates and over a million individuals, and this was a huge milestone. In 2016 we are looking beyond the Private Medical Insurance world and are building significant relationships with a number of channel partners whose customers would benefit from and value our service in sectors such as retail, general insurance and beyond.