Silicon Sandbox: Heal hopes to fix broken health care system by mending doctor-patient relationship

Heal founders Nick Desai and Dr. Renee Dua are a husband and wife team who wanted to help individuals receive quality medical care without having to endure the lengthy wait times of an emergency room or the waiting rooms infested with germs.

"We believe you should not have to leave your house for quality health care," said Desai. "The best place to deliver primary care is in the privacy and safety of your own home."

"Nick and I really loved the idea of turning what we knew to be good medical care on its side and making it more personalized and making it more understandable," said Dua. "What we’ve done with Heal is really in the name of our own personal experiences."

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The two sat down with Steve Chung, Chief Digital Officer at FOX TV Stations, and VP of Digital Tech Mike Shivas to discuss how their business model could pave the way for the future of health care.

"As a doctor and mother, I shared the frustration of anyone who's ever waited three weeks for a doctor's appointment, sat in a germ-filled waiting room, or rushed to the ER because they had no other choice," Dua wrote on the company's website.

"From day one, we decided three rules that we live by to this day. We had to accept insurance and keep prices affordable. Second, to fix medicine for patients, we had to fix it for doctors first. Third, to never sacrifice clinical quality for growth."

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The Heal founders said they have delivered more than 250,000 house calls since they started.

Desai explained the relationship between health care and technology and the tools that have allowed them to follow through on their vision for Heal.

He said that the combination of his wife as an exceptional doctor and himself as a great engineer gave way to a platform that, because of technology, allowed for individuals to access their service in a simplified and friction-less way, all thanks to the seamless merging of tech and medicine.

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Chung pointed out that Heal appears to be the Uber for doctors. Desai said that most people don’t necessarily care how they get from point A to point B, but they do care about the doctor who is treating them.

Dua explained that a doctor who works for Heal has a more entrepreneurial spirit, enjoys spending more time with patients, and likes the idea of "using software to improve outcomes."

"Not every doctor can sit in your living room and give you a great experience and we want the ones that can," Dua explained. She said Heal’s doctors are "vetted and trained ad nauseum."

For many tech stars emerging out of Silicon Beach, the question remains: Why Los Angeles?

Desai explained that in L.A., the city’s unique aspect of diversity remains a core foundation of the company which has helped Dua and Desai find a team that can truly help deliver their vision of providing access to patients.

Episodes of Silicon Sandbox can be found anywhere you listen to podcasts as well as the podcasts page on the FOX 11 Los Angeles website, which is home to even more exciting new content.