Meet this week’s woman in business Renee Dua- Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer, Heal
Tell us about your company: the service you provide and your mission.
Heal is an on-demand doctor house call app that brings fully vetted doctor to you for $99 or in-network with insurance. Powered by innovative technology and run by a serial entrepreneur and a physician, our mission is to make quality healthcare accessible to more people. We are radically changing and improving how people receive primary, preventative, and urgent care by bringing back the house call. In 2017, Heal will roll out service to five new cities.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur.
I am a doctor and was the chief of the medicine department at two different hospitals, so I never planned to be the founder of a tech company. Two years ago, my infant son was ill and needed to see a pediatrician right away. I waited with my husband and baby in the emergency room for what seemed like forever. This experience led me, with my husband, to create Heal as a solution. I saw a great need to change access to healthcare and I had to do something about it.
We operate between 8AM and 8P seven days a week, which gives patients much longer hours to choose from than most standard office practices offer. A patient doesn’t have to take time off from work to see a doctor, and they don’t need to travel to an office or drag their sick children around. Heal can be your family’s primary care doctor, and you don’t have to wait weeks to get an appointment.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My husband Nick Desai, who is a very smart tech entrepreneur and who is the CEO of Heal, and my parents, who showed me the value of working hard and taking excellent care of both your children and taking pride in your work.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Starting Heal, which was a huge labor and undertaking, is probably the greatest. However, it was powered by all the experience and knowledge I had gained in my career as a kidney specialist in private practice, as a teacher to residents and doctors, and as a chief medical officer at two different hospitals.
As a doctor, I also love that I’ve created a system that makes both patients and physicians happy.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Do what is right, even if it’s hard.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business and spread the word about your services?
Word of mouth has been a huge one for us, because healthcare is so personal,. We also had some early buzz because we won some start-up competitions and tech awards. We try to provide the best care for our patients, and it makes them talk about us.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Invest and train great people and constantly work to improve and refine the process.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owner that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe…
Owning a small business is hard, and it’s 24-7. We are part of the on-demand economy, but I’m also a big consumer of it. Technology can improve our lives, and for me, it gives me more time with my children and family. I use ridesharing apps like Uber, grocery and food delivery apps, and conferencing and collaboration apps to get work done from anywhere.
Do you have any new projects or announcements coming up?
We are rolling out to new markets and states in 2017. We are very busy and in-demand in California, and we are excited to go nationwide.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Relax and play with my kids; talk, cook, eat, and laugh with my husband and friends.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish in 2017?
Helping more and more people, including seniors and people with limited access.
You want to write a book on …
The essential role of physicians as leaders in a rapidly changing world. Or everyday multi-tasking made easy (which I also need to read and study!)
What’s the best way for readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?