Beam is Sas Ponnapalli’s second telemedicine startup, and he’s taken his many learnings from his previous role as the founding CTO of PlushCare over to Beam.
PlushCare is a venture backed, vertically integrated telemedicine Urgent Care based in San Francisco. Today, PlushCare continues to thrive as they execute a model that several successful telemedicine companies follow:
The Traditional Telemedicine Playbook —
- establish healthcare supply by hiring doctors
- capture patient demand through paid marketing campaigns
Sas believes that while this patient acquisition strategy works — it identifies patients who are actively looking to receive care now — this physician acquisition strategy is fraught with challenges.
85% of healthcare providers work in brick and mortar health practices and see no appeal in becoming an employee of a telemedicine company. The 15% of doctors who consider joining telemedicine companies must be willing to give up their existing medical practices and patients in the process. Moreover, all the other companies that employ this model (Teladoc, Amwell, Doctor on Demand, etc.) are competing for the same doctors, who tend to cycle through these companies depending on which is offering higher compensation packages at a given time.
Beam is different; we use a similar strategy to acquire new patients, but we allow any and all providers to take advantage of the patient demand driven by our paid marketing services. This allows traditional brick and mortar clinics to maintain their autonomy and brand while supplementing their in-person offerings with telemedicine. As an added bonus, we provide free patient facing marketing campaigns to engage these clinics’ existing patients, allowing these doctors to provide the convenience of telemedicine to the patients they have previously treated.
“Doctors are trained to provide clinical care; they’re not trained in business or technology. That’s why the vast majority of physicians who work for private practices or health systems have yet to capitalize on the growing demand for telemedicine from patients. We believe that if we can funnel patient demand to our network on Beam, and then lower the barriers to entry for providers, traditional medical practices will flock to our marketplace like miners in the gold rush. In other words, we’re aiming to create a network that patients turn to when they are in need of care and then allow any provider who wishes to treat these patients the opportunity to list their practice on Beam for free and then recruit patients and even bid for their consultations,”
— Ranga Jayawardena, Beam’s CCO & CoFounder
We’ll be highlighting Ranga’s unique career path to telemedicine in an upcoming blog post!
Are you a healthcare provider interested in Beam? Download our HIPAA-compliant mobile app, Beam Health, and create a profile today! You can also schedule a demo with our Chief Commercial Officer, Ranga, here.