Elevator Pitch: Coviu

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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 Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, CEO of healthcare video consultation service Coviu.

In 128 words or less, explain your business idea

Today’s patients expect more from their clinicians.

Everything is about quick and easy access – for example, when you need a prescription, you don’t want to waste time in a waiting room. More importantly, when living far away from a specialist, traveling may not be possible – not for an oncologist’s assessment, a mental health consult, nor physiotherapy.

Coviu is a software solution for healthcare practices to offer video visits to existing patients and to reach new patients. The goal is to bring fairer access to healthcare for all citizens. Coviu makes it easy for patients to join using consumer devices and easy for healthcare businesses to integrate into their workflows by managing bookings, payments, and clinician tools to create online consults that are as effective as in-person visits.

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

Coviu is co-developing its platform with healthcare professionals. We have received $1M in funding from Main Sequence Ventures (an Australian Venture Capital company) to build out our platform and commercialise here in Australia.

We already have more than 2,000 clinicians on our platform and are selling our software as a service online. Our customer success team has a big focus on educating healthcare businesses about what is possible. Our strategy is to convert an industry to digital ways of working.

How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?

Coviu’s approach is to collaborate with our customers to determine the best possible solutions for their business. Most competitors in our space instead ask the clinicians to be a provider on their platform.

Coviu is an enabling technology for healthcare businesses with a clear focus on continuity of care for patients. It’s vitally important to build the trust between patients and providers because that’s what underpins the healing process.

What's the biggest challenge facing your business?

Our biggest challenge is in changing human behaviour. Our goal to make video visits a standard service offering by every healthcare professional depends on changing the behaviour of clinicians, changing the behaviour of healthcare businesses, changing the behaviour of patients, and last but not least changing the behaviour of decision makes that need to get on board for the reimbursement of video visits.

It is an injustice that video visits cannot be reimbursed for services that have been scientifically proven to result in equal patient outcomes to in-person visits.

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

I read my mail on my phone, take photos, read news, Twitter and exchange WhatsApp messages with family. However, the most important app on my phone is actually Intercom because Coviu’s support is provided via Intercom and it allows me to help customers at all hours of the day.

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

Get the right people on the bus and into the right seats – and more importantly: get the wrong people off the bus.


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