Justin Fulcher is the founder of RingMD – an application that allows people to connect to doctors and medical experts from anywhere.
In the process, he is closing the gap for the poor especially in the regions where medical expertise is not reachable to the lower class segment of the population.
Human Asia has this exclusive interview with Justin.
Your main target market is Southeast Asia. First could you tell us about the state of the medical industry in Southeast Asia?
Justin: RingMD has had an extensive impact on improving access to healthcare for people in Asia, but the reach of our impact is global. We created the RingMD platform to provide anyone, from anywhere, instant access to a global community of doctors, mental health, and wellness experts. Through the secure and easy-to-use platform, patients, clients and providers can connect for online consultations and sessions via audio, video, and messaging from anywhere as long as they have internet or other data connectivity.
We’ve made a sizable impact in rural areas, including remote areas in Pakistan and India, where we have connected the previously unconnected with doctors.
A lack of access to adequate healthcare is a global issue, and it is a very serious issue in South East Asia. A few facts to illustrate this point:
– ASEAN’s per capita health expenditure is nearly ½ of the expenditure of OECD countries or 4% compared to 9% to 12%. Not enough money is being spent on healthcare, and we’re not seeing enough innovative and cost-effective solutions.
– “Emerging markets in Asia in particular find it increasingly challenging to meet their citizens’ escalating health needs. The healthcare landscape in these countries is characterized by underdeveloped infrastructure, fiscal constraints and chronic shortages of equipment and medical professionals.” (Source: The Economist)
– “Along with the demand for better and more comprehensive public provision, we are also seeing a rapidly growing private healthcare sector, not to mention a boom in medical tourism” (Source: The Economist)
– “In the years ahead, Southeast Asia will have to deal with ‘new’ healthcare problems: an increase in type-2 diabetes, obesity, as well as the ongoing issue of stunting and malnutrition, and an ‘epidemic’ of HIV or AIDs.” (Source: The Economist)
Against this backdrop, tell us why you started RingMD.
Justin: Over a billion people around the world lack access to quality healthcare. The RingMD team has built a platform that seamlessly connects users to excellent medical and non-medical health experts around the world — even rural patients with low bandwidth.
How do medical providers and patients both benefit in your business model?
Justin: Instant access to a global network of health experts – both medical and non-medical – from anywhere. There are many benefits to remote therapy and for using our platform which allows scheduling for online and offline appointments.
Tell us also about your revenue model.
Justin: RingMD is free to join. We only take a small service fee on the consultations completed through the platform.
There are other similar platforms out there. For example in Indonesia, there is DokterKu, Konsula etc. How do you differentiate yourself from them?
Our platform offers many features and benefits, as well as a global footprint and experience, including:
– A global client base for both patients and providers, allowing for providers to grow their business beyond their borders, and for patients to find the world’s leading experts not just those in their home country.
– We have expertise from working with hospitals, governments, clinicians, businesses, and doctors. We truly understand the needs of healthcare providers and are crafting a platform for their specific needs.
– Our platform includes practice management features, including in-app billing and appointment scheduling, allowing for significant time and cost savings.
What major challenge are you currently facing at RingMD?
Justin: Remote care and tele-health are relatively new industries — we’re working with governments, businesses, health providers and patients to educate them on the proper use cases for remote care. The main challenge we’re trying to solve is access to healthcare; we want to build a platform that will improve access to quality healthcare for patients and clients, and that will help providers manage and grow their business.
What expansion plans do you have for RingMD, and where do you see yourself in 3 years from now ?
RingMD is already being used in over 30 countries, and the platform’s usage is quickly growing, namely for mental health and wellness specialties. We will be expanding to more countries, and will also be leveraging new technologies — such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to deliver improved healthcare. Last year, we launched a health chatbot, and will be expanding her capabilities soon.
Justin, tell us more about yourself, your family background, and memories growing up.
I’m originally from Charleston, South Carolina and grew up with two sisters. My family is close and they have been a strong support system for me as I’m building and expanding my various entrepreneurial ventures locally and around the world.
What made you jump into entrepreneurship? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Entrepreneurship is something I’ve always done, not something I’ve simply been drawn to. Basically I’m drawn to solving difficult issues and growing businesses. I learned my first coding language at age seven, and launched my first company soon after. During my high school, I started fixing IT issues at my school, which I grew into a profitable business in South Carolina soon after.
Tell us what you’ve learned in your entrepreneurship journey.
Every challenge is an opportunity for growth.
What motivates you day in day out to achieve success?
Over a billion people around the world lack access to quality healthcare. Every day, the team is motivated to work on a solution for this!
Final advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Never stop creating and don’t take “no” as an answer.