Dr Kartik Modha is a north London GP and the co-founder and chief executive at myHealthSpecialist.com.
He has been listed in the Pulse Power 50 most influential GPs in the UK for the last four years and is passionate about using technology to improve clinical connectivity and patient care.
What is myHealthSpecialist.com?
myHealthSpecialist.com features specialists who have also been recommended by doctors, and connects them with patients looking for a specialist referral.
We only feature peer-recommended doctors, as we believe in directing patients to the most trusted healthcare professionals.
In addition, our GP-led team helps new and established specialists digitise their professional reputation and build links with GPs in order to establish long-term clinical relationships.
How did you get involved with this project?
I am passionate about technology and care deeply about building clinical communities and improving patient care.
It’s helpful if their GP knows an expert in that field, but if they don’t, it leads to messages and emails to colleagues asking for their recommendations or – indeed – asking the patient to find out for themselves. This can be time-consuming for both patients and GPs.
We started myHealthSpecialist.com to aggregate the recommendations currently existing in the minds of doctors and to make them freely accessible for everyone to use.
We know if doctors find this information difficult to come by, then patients will find it even more difficult, especially as these may relate to life-changing decisions.
Who is using you service?
With the help of our fantastic GP and specialist members, we have collated over 8,000 recommendations for UK specialists on the website, which currently receives 400,000 specialist profile views each month by GPs and patients, and helps connect thousands of patients to recommended specialists each week.
Our clients range from individual specialists, groups, clinics, hospitals and national providers, who are keen to build new referral pathways and improve their online visibility and reputation. We are strong on evidence and show a clear return on investment to our clients.
How is myHealthSpecialist different from other online specialist directories?
The key difference is that our website has been created by GPs and only features specialists that have been recommended by doctors.
We believe peer review is the most trusted source of information and is in line with scientific journals and the new appraisal/revalidation process.
Also, we believe in working with specialists, clinics and providers to augment a positive online reputation and help establish long-term referral pathways based on strong clinical relationships between primary and secondary care.
Regular networking events for our GP and specialist members help cement existing relationships and spark new ones.
Together, this has achieved strong results for our existing clients and helps improve patient satisfaction and outcomes.
Can patients leave feedback?
Patients are not currently able to leave feedback on the website. This is because an erroneous negative comment has medico-legal implications and there is no right of reply from a clinician because of patient confidentiality.
We therefore focus on positive recommendations from healthcare professionals who are happy to publicly endorse a particular specialist.
This information is vital for GPs and patients selecting a specialist for onward care.
If you have no negative patient feedback, then it’s a testimonial and it’s hard to establish if this is real or fake.
All our recommendations are from GMC-verified GPs and specialists and represent a digitisation of ‘real world’ recommendation knowledge used in clinical practice.
What do the regulatory bodies say about myHealthSpecialist?
The website has been developed with advice from the GMC and addresses a key theory of harm raised by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regarding the lack of independent and transparent information available to GPs and patients accessing private healthcare services.
We are in close communication with the chairman at the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN), who has been very supportive of our endeavours.
What is the myHealthSpecialist revenue model?
The website is free to use for patients and GPs. For specialists wishing to publish private practice details and engage our consultancy services, there is a subscription fee of £52.80 a month, including VAT, and this keeps it free for those searching the platform.
For clinics and large providers, we have discounts and bespoke packages related to performance and these currently range from £5k-50k a year.
For each recommendation that is shared by a GP or specialist, we make a donation to the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF), a fantastic charity which helps medical students and doctors in financial or emotional difficulty. We believe our model is a win-win for all stakeholders and supports a very worthwhile charity.
What has been your funding journey to date?
The beta-version of the website was launched in 2013 with seed funding from a founder team of GP colleagues and friends who had a passion for health and IT and also poured in a lot of hard work.
After seeing strong organic growth in 2014, a further early-stage investment round was completed in 2015, which allowed for technology updates and a dedicated team to be set up.
Are you still practising as a GP?
Yes, I work two days a week in practice and work on myHealthSpecialist the rest of the time. Besides the fact I love clinical practice and patient consultations, it’s essential to understanding our healthcare system from a front-line perspective and in particular where technology can help and where it may be a hindrance.
GPs work at a frenetic pace and are required to have a vast breadth of knowledge; it’s impossible for anyone to truly understand this if you’re not on the front line.
What is Tiko’s GP group?
Tiko’s GP Group (TGG) is a GP-only Facebook group that I started in 2011. It was inspired by a YouTube video by Steven Johnson on ‘Where good ideas come from’, which essentially linked innovation to historic increases in connectivity.
GPs may work in the same practice but can often feel disconnected from each other by the nature of our work. TGG aimed to connect us in the online space, which overcame the barriers with geography and time.
It grew organically from 20 friends who were part of my Royal Free GP Training scheme and now has 5,000+ members and facilitates thousands of interesting discussions each week. It’s a partnership with myHealthSpecialist and means we can continue to run TGG for free while helping specialists connect with GPs online through interviews, articles and events.
What have been the biggest challenges of being a ‘Doctorpreneur’?
There’s certainly been a few so far! Learning a completely new set of skills which aren’t taught in medical training has been the first major hurdle.
The parts of the brain used for diagnosis, management, treatment and patient-focused multi-tasking feel completely different from technology development, finance and marketing.
Balancing both in the same working week in a sustainable way has been a key challenge and the importance of being passionate about what I do helps me keep building both myHealthSpecialist and TGG.
In addition, it has been key to communicate that what we are building is for the long term to help all stakeholders in healthcare.
There can be cynicism that clinical innovators are trying to ‘get rich quick’ and opt out of the arduousness of front-line clinical work, but only by having clinicians lead innovation will we see genuine step-wise improvements in our current healthcare systems.
Another big challenge has been to improve communication and the sense of community which has been eroded by successive healthcare re-organisations and the subsequent increasing pressure on clinical time.
That said, I have been incredibly lucky to have been supported by some very experienced individuals and am part of a very hard-working team, which means we have overcome each challenge placed in front of us and the projects have allowed me to learn new skills along the way.
In medicine, we traditionally believed in the ‘see one, do one, teach one’ model and I think it’s this swashbuckling, ‘can-do’ spirit that helps clinicians push forward in the innovation space.
What’s next from myHealthSpecialist?
We will soon be opening up our search platform to doctor-recommended GPs, dentists and allied health professionals and have some exciting new technology and partnerships in the pipeline.
We were recent finalists at the UK Blog Awards in the education category with ‘myHealth bytes’ and have been rolling out new vlog content across our social media and syndicated channels.
Video content is a key way to communicate and increase awareness of a service online and we are able to facilitate the production of high-quality content as well as make the most of existing video content for our clients.
Our aim is to help make private healthcare more transparent and improve access to trusted providers and, so far, things are heading in a positive direction.
For more information about myHealthSpecialist, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3475 8580
- See ‘GPs still free to refer’