Sometimes, it’s easy to dismiss “Uber for X” startups as silly market clones, like the Uber for Pizza or the Uber for Lawn Mowing. But it’s hard to overlook the “Uber for People-Who-Can-Save-Your-Life.”
Take Orunje (pronounced Orange) for example, the Uber for healthcare. The Chicago-based startup is an on-demand platform that connects patients to board-certified doctors or nurses. Here’s how it works:
Via the site, users can request doctors or nurses to come directly to their homes, offices, or hotel rooms, forgoing emergency care clinics. Instead, patients can receive primary care in their preferred environment, getting medical attention when and where they need it. Orunje’s licensed providers arrive within 2 hours of the request, treating ailments from the common cold to pneumonia.
Founded by a computer scientist and three doctors with a combined 40+ years of healthcare experience, Orunje officially launches into Chicago tomorrow, its first market.
“Chicago is an ideal fit for Orunje because we are a unique, one of a kind platform and first to market,” co-founder Dr. Pardeep Athwal told Chicago Inno. “Nothing truly similar exists [here]. We realize there is a large demand for a service such as ours and we are bridging that gap. Additionally, the geographic layout of Chicago allows for immense scalability while saving money on marketing costs and passing those savings on to our patients and physicians.”
And though the service may be easy to explain in an elevator pitch, executing the product proved difficult.
“The challenges we encountered were largely related to a rudimentary healthcare system,” said Dr. Athwal. “We had to obtain a customized, first- ever, per visit based malpractice insurance policy for our providers.”
Added Athwal, “Next, we have two categories of customers, our patients and our providers. We had to launch separate marketing campaigns to first enroll a large number of doctors and then one to appeal to our patients. This has allowed us to interact with Chicago area physicians and residents, which has enabled us to develop a deep understanding of the community and its needs. We are confident our experience in Chicago will help to guide our trajectory accordingly.”
Available on weekdays from 7.30AM – 7.30PM and on weekends from 8.30AM to 5PM, the first visit is $35 and subsequent visits cost a flat rate of $99 for a nurse and $169 for a physician.
(Image via Orunje).