When long-time healthcare executive Kathy Ford recently started experiencing flu symptoms, she knew she had only a 48-hour window to receive a prescription for prevention medication Tamiflu. She attempted to contact her primary care physician, but time and time again was only able to leave a voicemail. She ended up missing the 48-hour window, and spent a week fighting and recovering from the flu.
This inefficient communication with a physician is something that Ford knows isn’t just happening to her. And it’s the problem that startup Rhinogram, where Ford serves as President and Chief Product Officer, is working to solve every day.
Founded in 2015 by physician and healthtech entrepreneur Dr. Keith Dressler, the Chattanooga, TN-based Rhinogram aims to bring convenience and customer service to patient communication.
Other companies are attempting to tackle the same problem by creating portals and apps for patients. According to Ford and her team, recent research shows that adoption rates for these portals are only 20 percent. Rhinogram enables patient-provider communication in a simpler way: texting.
The HIPAA-compliant system allows providers to communicate with patients via mobile text or social media message (they even integrate with Facebook Messenger) without requiring the patient to create a special account or download a new app.
Rhinogram is currently participating in CO.LAB’s HealthTech Accelerator in Chattanooga, which is produced in partnership with Erlanger Health Systems and Unum, in order to gain further insight and connections to the healthcare industry.
Tell us about Rhinogram.
Rhinogram’s HIPAA-compliant SaaS telehealth platform enables a better patient experience by making remote healthcare possible, simplifying communication and minimizing interruptions with real-time, text-based patient engagement. And because convenience matters, patients never have to download an app or log into a portal.
What problem are you solving?
Providers and their teams spend a burdensome amount of time contacting patients and organizing care. Unnecessary appointments are scheduled for questions or issues that could be addressed remotely. And neither providers nor patients enjoy phone tag.
Consumerism has arrived in healthcare, and the industry is facing a huge opportunity. Rhinogram is one of the first to extend the virtualization of care.
We also know there is a projected shortage of between 42,600 and 121,300 physicians by the end of the next decade2. Our technology is here to bridge that gap.
How did the team come up with this idea?
Our founder, Dr. Keith Dressler, built Rhinogram from a need he saw within his own practice. His staff started using their personal devices to text patients to easily coordinate schedules, discuss treatment and help solve any issues that occurred. Although they were offering patients the experience and communication they preferred, it was not HIPAA-compliant.
Shortly after, Dr. Dressler created Rhinogram, the pioneering HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform that did not require patients to download an app.
Have you experienced a pivot?
Yes, in May of 2018 Rhinogram declared itself a telehealth platform. With the addition of new functionality to support asynchronous telehealth, we have shifted our momentum in the oral health and medical space.
Matched by laser-focused marketing and sales execution, we have seen our company expand into 24 different service lines within healthcare.
Who are your competitors and why do you stand out?
We are often compared to companies like Solution Reach, Revenue Well and Weave. What makes Rhinogram stand out is we are the only platform that allows contacts to share images bidirectionally without downloading an app or logging into a portal.
We are one of the few platforms with a Facebook Messenger integration. Our team also provides an unmatched level of support to each practice that joins our family of users. The goals of each of our users become our goals, informing how we develop our product and supportive services.
What has been your biggest obstacle/challenge thus far?
Our biggest challenge so far has been building what we know the market wants fast enough to continue as the pioneer in the telehealth space.
What are your next steps?
We currently have openings for our engineering, marketing, customer success and sales teams. To see the full list of open positions at Rhinogram, visit our careers page.
Next steps include several major product releases, securing our next round of funding and continuing to build our team.