Elevator Pitch: Diagnose.me

Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Lukas Alner from Diagnose.me.

In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.

Diagnose.me is the first open platform of its kind; connecting medical specialists willing to share their knowledge with patients globally. Diagnose.me enables access to vetted medical specialists and offers technical and administrative support in a multitude of languages for both doctors and patients. Our unique platform provides detailed diagnostic reports for patients with chronic diseases or for those facing a life-changing medical decision. Patients choose high-profile doctors based on transparent criteria, giving them more control and higher chances for a successful treatment. A patient from a Slovak village can consult a California university hospital professor and get a detailed medical report on his condition really quickly. It's a unique and fascinating concept. Diagnose.me was launched in early 2014. Current clients are from more than 15 countries.

What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?

We received some angel funding to get us started and have partnered with some of the world's best radiologists and their institutions to promote the business. At the same time we are working with social media, promoting ourselves on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as well as by posting relevant news on our website and traditional media coverage. Word-of-mouth is also working for us; we were present at the biggest radiology congress last March in Vienna and were able to speak with a great many hospital and doctors. Finally we are partnering with hospitals and health care providers to offer their patients access to a huge range of radiologists while allowing those same radiologists the opportunity to work with clients that are not in their geographies.

What's the biggest challenge facing your business?

Trust. The Internet is massive and people searching for health care are presented myriad options. When someone is looking for health care on the internet the question is always: is the company in question a real company or rather just a scam to take advantage of a patient's situation. People have become sceptical of all the services offered on the Internet. That is why we teamed up with the biggest names in the industry, high profile radiology specialists and created an independent Medical Advisory Board, which selects and approves all specialists in our database and watches over all the processes in place. We have full transparency concerning the doctors on our site, all of them have their resumes posted and all of them can be searched easily on the web to verify their professional standing.

How do your differentiate your business from your competitors?

As far I know we are the only company in the world to list an international database of vetted specialists and we are the only ones to offer reports in more than 15 languages. That means if a patient only speaks Russian, she can send her images in Russian, our professional translators will translate any questions and images into the language of the patient's chosen doctor and then the report she receives will be translated back into Russian. All our translators are trained radiologists so the nuance of a client's report is not "lost in translation," so to speak.

What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?

iDashboard. I'm actually a statistics freak and I follow them all the time on my iPhone and iPad. It's a very simple App showing the usage of our site, taking data from Google Analytics. I can check how many users are online on our site, what countries they are surfing from and learn more about their behaviour.

What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?

To "work with winners and not losers. Winners will help you succeed, losers will always drag you down." And it seems to be working in many aspects of life and in many different forms. What it means is that positive and creative people make usually success even from a difficult situations whereas people who give up easily and see problems rather than solutions are not good for your business.

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