Dr. Renee Dua fell into entrepreneurship after creating Heal, an on-demand app for health care. Heal brings doctors to you within the hour for a flat rate of $99. Erik Huberman, CEO of Hawke Media, talks to Renee about Santa Monica, the future of health care and Heal.
Erik Huberman: What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
Renee Dua: I didn’t always know I was going to be an entrepreneur, and I wouldn’t have called myself that necessarily. I started as a physician, I went to college and finished med school. The truth is, what I really wanted to do is be a teacher. I found that medicine was a way I could incorporate two of my greatest loves: teaching and science. I went into the real world and opened my own practice. Then I got married and I married a serial entrepreneur, and that’s where it hit me that I have more in common with this guy than I realized and it’s amazing what he does — this business of starting companies and, in his own way, changing the world. It occurred to me, “Why am I not doing this?” This is perfect. It was the things that surrounded me that turned me into an entrepreneur.
EH: Tell me about Heal.
RD: Heal is a novel approach to having a primary-care doctor. It’s on-demand health care. So, if you’re in Santa Monica and need to see a doctor, you request one on the app and you’ll have a doctor at your house within the hour. That doctor’s capacity is pretty vast. Can do a physical exam, will come equipped with electronic medical records, a whole bag of goodies to properly examine you. The doctor also brings a medical assistant who takes your vitals and acts as a scribe. We can order labs, prescriptions, etc. A normal doctor’s office will take maybe 10 minutes; an appointment with us will be about 40. So, when they leave, you should feel some peace of mind and should already be feeling better because you know your problem has been handled by a pretty impressive group of doctors that we’re lucky to be working with. We’re hoping to work with insurance companies in the future, but in the meantime we will give you a receipt which you can give to your insurance company and they can process your claim if they cover it.
EH: How are you changing the world?
RD: This is how you’re going to see your doctor. You’re not going to leave the house. You’re not going to have to pack your medicines, pay for parking, pack your screaming kids up in the car. We’re going to come to you. We’re going to take care of your whole family and bring everything you need, and be able to follow up in two days to make sure you’re doing OK.
EH: Why Santa Monica?
RD: We’re residents of the area. This is our home. It’s a place that’s near and dear to us. We know there are populations of families and young adults who could really benefit from this. The startup community is where we find so much energy from people. We haven’t done that much to gain press, but the amount of press we’ve gathered is unbelievable. I feel confident that it’s because we’re surrounded by young, passionate people like us.
EH: Do you have one piece of advice for entrepreneurs starting their own businesses?
RD: The first piece of advice that I would give is that there’s no stupid idea. Number two, get a great team. The luckiest thing that happened to me is that I’m surrounded by a great team. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive, driven team.
EH: Is there anything you’d like to share with the Santa Monica community?
RD: You should use Heal. We’ll make you better at home. If you don’t have an iPhone to download the app, you can reach us at 1-844-644-HEAL or find us at www.getheal.com.