March 13, 2020
Medloop: A Model For Preventative Care
Medloop founder and CEO Shishir Singhee fell in love with Berlin’s summer eight years ago and stayed, discovering a new favorite word (“die Anwendungsprogrammierschittstelle” or API in German). Since then, he’s been able to put his favorite word to good use by building an integrated software solution for doctors to better manage their patient population. Working closely with a system of enablers like doctors, healthcare and medical institutions, patients, and fresh regulations, Medloop’s infrastructure fills the gap and offers clinicians a patient-centric way to deliver care in the UK and Germany.
It’s an opportune time to be building such solutions. In November 2019, the Digital Supply Law (DVG) passed allowing doctors to prescribe digital health apps to patients, which are reimbursed under statutory health insurance policies. The opening and urge towards digital transformation have led to a swarm of healthcare apps and MedTech companies establishing themselves in Germany’s lucrative market. With their most recent venture round of €6M from Kamat and AXA, all signs encourage a strong tailwind for Medloop to stay ahead of the curve and reinvent how healthcare data is stored and shared. Their improved medical record brings about real impact, shifting relationships between patients and doctors.
What Inspired You To Work On This Mission?
The previous startup I worked at focused on medical second opinions and I noticed it helped patients in treatment pathways to get qualified leading opinions. There were always issues with accessing and sharing data, which is problematic if you’re a qualified consultant trying to provide a second medical opinion. One of the biggest gating factors to success was the accessibility, the lack of portability, and the availability of the required data. This was the inspiration for building a new patient health medical record.
“We want to provide patients with faster and seamless access to the healthcare system. We want to empower the patient to have control and power over their own medical data. ”
Why Did Medloop Hook Into The UK And Germany Markets First?
We looked at markets where it would be possible to build such a medical record in the first place. Other markets in Europe like Italy or France, didn’t fit due to their strong paper presence. In these situations, creating a digital medical record is more difficult since the data we code isn’t image-based. Therefore, we had to limit our focus to markets with machine-readable data: Scandinavia, the UK, and Germany.
Scandinavia didn’t have the teething problems of the UK and German markets, plus they are bigger, so we went with them.
Another driving reason was the way these systems were organized. In Germany and the UK, the market has reimbursement capitation – you get paid based on the patient register in the UK, and based on quarterly budget in Germany. For the system that we are designing, which is based on preventative and better outcomes, such things are better received in capitated markets since they want to control the number of patient visits. This is in direct contrast to places like France that has a fee-for-service model, where doctors are incentivized by patient visits. We wanted to focus on systems that encourage healthier outcomes.
“We want to enable doctors to focus on the patient anomaly relationship, rather than administrate tasks. I mean, really do what they signed up for in terms of being a doctor and treating patients. ”
Along Your Journey, What Has Been One Of Your Biggest Challenges?
One of the biggest challenges has been integrating with legacy systems. These are tools built in the 90s. There are no open APIs for third-party practitioners or products to connect to them. It’s hard to find ways to find the right data from these legacy tools and utilize them.
In the UK, much of the problem lay with the bureaucracy of integrating with the NHS – But, after a year of rigorous effort, we finally succeeded late last year. Germany is different because its market is very decentralized – think of each doctor’s practice as a small business that can use any software that they want, and it doesn’t even have to be open. All of this information lives in silos and it’s hard to connect their systems.
What Is One Thing You’re Not Doing Enough Of?
We want to grow and find the right people for our team, so we can reach our goals. But also I would also like our entire team to do more company events and team-building exercises. We’re taking a step in that direction this year, but I’d like to do it more often – ideally twice a month. We have about 20 people now, and we’re looking to fill more roles next quarter for another 5-7 team members here in Berlin, for an overall team size of up to 30 people.
Where Do You Go For Inspiration Or Advice?
I listen or read, but podcasts are very practical since they tend to deal with current issues and I prefer relatable information rather than idealistic. I’d say that Ben Horowitz and “What You Do Is Who You Are” has definitely shaped a lot of my thinking. I also try to attend events – in fact, I am going to one tonight. It’s always good to learn from other startups about their challenges, how they dealt with them, strategies that work well, and where to scout for talent.
It was actually at a Factory Berlin event where Shishir was first introduced to a young community of innovators in the making. He came along with a friend after hearing that there was “some tech event” at which Eric Schmidt of Google was speaking. After falling in love with Berlin’s summer, the collaborative vibes, and the dynamic space, he was one of the first 500 community members to join.
As a Factory Berlin original, Medloop’s founder continues the tradition of the #factoryeffect by posting on the community’s #slack and recruiting members for their rapidly growing team, adding more experts and perspective to the Factory Berlin community. And, with more diversity and open-mindedness comes the possibility for learning new things, some of which could be learning a new favorite word.