Nate Maslak and Nate Fox founded HealthWiz after witnessing the efforts that their family members put into finding effective health care.
“My mother was having joint pain,” said Maslak, a student at Harvard Business School. “She went to one doctor, and then another, and they referred her to another one, and then another one, and then another one. That’s about six months and thousands of dollars.”
Fox, a fellow student at HBS graduating in 2017, also shared the frustration of trying to find the right doctor for a family member struggling with health issues, while watching his grandpa going through Alzheimer disease.
In May 2016 the two Nates paired to found HealthWiz, a company that Maslak defines as “Your health sidekick, that provides you with the right information at the right time.”
The name, which is short for “HealthWizard”, is meant to call to mind the idea of a personal assistant that helps patients going from Point A “I don’t feel well” to Point B “This is the doctor I should see” and then Point C “Let’s book an appointment right away”.
Some functionalities of the platform are currently available online for free, but HealthWiz is meant to be an enterprise product.
The platform offers a variety of services. First, employees can go to the website and use the “Symptoms Checker”, an online test that matches a series of symptoms with a list of medical conditions. After being provided with this online correlation between symptoms and potential diseases, users can select the best care option among tele-doctor, visit doctor, walk-in consultation and ER. The tool “Find A Doctor,” which is similar to the online search bar on the website of healthcare providers, has national coverage.
The online materials about medical conditions that users get to read on HeathWiz come from government-approved and clinically verified sources, the company said.
Asked why patients should go on HealthWiz instead of googling their symptoms or checking out all the free online materials on the web, Maslak provided a couple of reasons. “First and foremost, we can go from symptoms to conditions to actually find a doctor in under three minutes. Number two, what we find online […] is a really messy experience. People don’t want to read for 45 minutes.”
The company makes money by charging employers. Currently, the employers that partner with HeathWiz offer access to the platform for free to its employees. “We’re rolling this out in an enterprise pilot. Right now, we have three companies,” Maslak said.
The focus of HealthWiz is partnering with smaller firms that just became self-insured.
HealthWiz is one of the companies that BostInno included in its list of 14 most promising startups from HBS.