Building The Central Nervous System of Healthcare

Starting out

My co-founder Simon and I started this company two years ago with one vision: to improve healthcare by connecting doctors and patients through software. While conventional wisdom said that consumer technology and healthcare don’t mix, we were determined to break down these barriers. The time was right; not only had technology fundamentally changed the way we interact with entertainment, retail and hospitality industries, but it also revolutionized the way we interacted with each other, socially and professionally. We set out to do the same with healthcare. We committed to changing not only efficiency but also quality of care by bringing doctors and patients together.

To start off we decided to focus on a specific area within healthcare: skin diseases. The idea originated from an unexpected source: my then one-year-old daughter, Frida. We were on holiday in Italy when I noticed that she had a terrible rash all over her body — hundreds of small, red and itchy dots. As terrified parents, my wife and I were about to abort the trip on the second day, and rush home to see a dermatologist. Then my wife had an idea. She took a photo of Frida’s skin with her phone, and sent it to her friend who was a dermatologist in Berlin. Within the hour, Frida was diagnosed with a simple sun rash and we were helping her feel better with the recommended lotion from the local pharmacy. Our trip was saved and the young parents calmed. I was amazed how simply texting a photo had saved my family so much distress.

When I returned home to Berlin, I told Simon about what had happened. To my surprise, he had been treated via phone calls, text messages and photos all his life. He comes from a family full of doctors, and a call or text message had been substituting almost all potential doctor visits for him.

So we decided to start building something meaningful here.

Hard lessons and a larger vision

We launched our first product “goderma,” which connected patients with skin problems to dermatologists. Thousands of happy patients later after the launch, we realized we needed to reevaluate our strategy.
We looked at our data, feedback and vision and learned two things:
A) our service was innovative but very difficult to scale fast on the patient side, and B) we were on to something extremely big — bigger than we had ever thought before.

We found that 98% of patient cases were diagnosed and managed successfully, and more importantly, both doctors and patients loved it. Doctors begged us to take this to the next level and to allow them to use goderma with their existing patients as well. So we decided to refocus our product and company to the doctor side, to build the perfect product connecting them to their existing patients.

From telederm to medical communication

Only weeks after the relaunch doctors and their teams wanted much more than to just diagnose patients remotely — they wanted a better way tocommunicate with them. They wanted an alternative to time-consuming telephone calls, ancient fax machines and insecure HIPAA non-compliant emails and text messages. We quickly understood that it was not only remote care of “patient cases” which would make medicine better, but thatcommunication itself was the problem we had to address and solve. In fact, it was a much larger, more profound and more interesting problem.

So we rebranded and relaunched our new company, “Klara,” a secure messaging-based platform for medical teams to communicate with their patients. Klara would soon prove to become an indispensable fabric within the the day-to-day life of a practice, a paramount communication tool for medical teams, engaging them every day with hundreds of their patients.

Building the network

So, hundreds of providers had been inviting the majority of their patients to Klara in order to communicate with, monitor or treat them online. But they did not stop there. They began adding internal staff members and external medical partners to patient conversations to collaborate and streamline all kinds of workflows. From pre-visit communication and consultation, post-visit monitoring and online follow-ups, to delivering and discussing lab results and prescription communication collaborating with external professionals like pharmacies and labs.

Klara evolved from a software tool to a profound communication network. Klara makes it easy and secure to collaborate with providers inside and outside of the practice to streamline and improve patient care.

And there is much more to come.

At Klara we believe that healthcare is a network. Once this network is digitized in an engaging and sustainable way, the currently nontransparent and rusty healthcare system will be revolutionized in its very essence. This network will become the central nervous system of healthcare connecting patients, providers and all medical professionals in one place. It will streamline data flows and make everything truly collaborative and transparent. Making medical communication better. Making healthcare better — first in the US, then all over the world.

This is why we do what we do at Klara.

Simon Bolz

Founder @ Klara

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