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3 February 2022
Introducing HealthHero, the platform providing remote access to doctors
Unsplash © National Cancer Institute

Introducing HealthHero, the platform providing remote access to doctors

As part of our new quick fire questions series – or QFQs – we spoke to Ranjan Singh, CEO and cofounder of HealthHero, about connecting the public with healthcare professionals, the challenges of hiring, and exploring new areas of care.

What is HealthHero?

HealthHero is a digital telehealth platform that provides remote access to doctors through a suite of virtual healthcare services, delivered 24/7 through phone, video calls and online chat. Our mission is to simplify healthcare and improve lives, by making it far easier for users to access the appropriate levels of care they need and drastically improve the efficiency of healthcare systems to alleviate the burden on healthcare professionals.

We are used by national health services to help connect them with their patients, but consumers can also use our services through our website or apps. We also work with a number of businesses and insurers to provide healthcare services to their staff or policyholders. Through these paths, we facilitate 3M consultations per year and in total we cover more than 30M individual lives.

What was the catalyst for launching HealthHero?

Almost all of us have had difficult experiences in the healthcare system. What makes it especially frustrating is that tech solutions have been around for a long time but few have made a material impact in improving the experience for patients or clinicians.

I came to the conclusion that there had to be a different approach – one that didn’t focus on marginal improvements by digitising isolated parts of the healthcare journey like patient records, but actually tackled the healthcare system as a whole. When we launched HealthHero, the idea was to deconstruct the healthcare journey and reconfigure it with technology at every touchpoint, to create a truly connected system for both patients and practitioners.

How has the business evolved since its launch? 

We launched in 2019 and the past year has been a period of rapid growth for HealthHero, as we expanded both organically and through a number of strategic acquisitions. This has seen us very quickly become the largest digital telehealth solution in Europe by number of consultations and market presence.

We now employ 800 people across the group, under six separate brands (HealthHero, Validium, Qare, Fernarzt, Medvivo and Doctorlink), and have operations in the UK, Ireland, France and Germany.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

One of the biggest challenges I have faced as a founder and CEO has been around hiring. When scaling at pace, it is very difficult to make sure you’re bringing in the right people, at the right time, into the right positions. I have learnt a lot about hiring the right person for the right role and having to be decisive in making the tough calls when it becomes clear that a relationship won’t work, even if there is goodwill on both sides.

Introducing HealthHero, the platform providing remote access to doctors

Ranjan Singh, CEO and cofounder of HealthHero

How does HealthHero answer an unmet need?

A lot of our focus is on improving the experience for patients by taking frustration out of the care journey, but we also meet a very urgent need for healthcare professionals. The chronic shortage of clinicians in Europe has exacerbated the challenges of cost and capacity within healthcare systems. The only feasible, immediate and practical solution to this problem is to drastically increase the efficiency of healthcare delivery through the use of technology, to make the work of clinicians go further and focus it on where it is most urgently needed.

What’s in store for the future?

We are continuing to scale HealthHero rapidly into new markets and areas of the care spectrum to pursue our ambition to be the dominant force in digital telehealth in Europe. Some new areas of care that we are exploring include digital therapeutics and disease management.

What one piece of advice would you give to other founders or future founders?

My advice to fellow founders is always to be prepared to fail and start again. While it is true that entrepreneurs have to have tenacity in pursuing an idea they believe in, when you are running a startup you have to accept that some factors are outside of your control.

If an idea is not going to succeed, you do need to change or adapt the plan and perhaps walk away altogether. There is no denying that this can be extremely painful, but it is the founders that are able to do this and start again that will ultimately succeed.

Ranjan Singh is CEO and cofounder of HealthHero.