Since the inception of fourth industrial revolution, the world has witnessed a robust implementation of technology in various industries. Be it an IT or healthcare, almost every industry has experienced the glimpse of these technology in order to uplift their businesses.
AirDoctor is one such who beautifully implicated technological aspects for better healthcare experience for its customers. It is an interactive web app & application that matches travelers’ medical needs and local doctors’ expertise, making it easier for users for monitor their health. Moreover, being led by the Jenny Cohen Derfler, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder, the company has achieved many milestones in its pathway.
Tycoon Success appreciate the contribution made by Air Doctor and takes pride in featuring in its “Recommended Insurance Tech Solution Providers for 2021.”
Below are the highlights of the interview:
The Story behind Air Doctor Inception
Like any other tech giants of today, Air Doctor began in Jenny’s garage. During the initial days, Jenny and her team started to develop the platform and work as a bootstrap, using its limited resources to convert the idea into a reality. Her dream was to develop a technology and a global medical network. Thinking big from day one, they soon realized the difficulties finding and vetting doctors around the globe and of having a multi-platform app while vetting and recruiting a global doctor’s network.
While addressing her partner Efrat Sagi Ofir, she states that she with her would travel to Greece and then the UK in search of recruiting clinics with no working platform in their hands to show them. “Slowly but surely, clinics hopped on board and through the hard efforts and long hours a platform with a doctors’ network was created. The idea together with the small but talented and dedicated team behind it grew out to incorporate a larger and larger network throughout more countries across the world and with a better app to streamline the user journey,” says Jenny. Once the first corporate client joined, The Phoenix Insurance, while Jenny and her team covered just a handful of places across the globe, the speed in which they were able to recruit clinics and then attract more clients grew exponentially. Today the company covers over 1,700 cities across 61 countries around the world with over 18,000 physicians and cater to the largest insurers in the industry.
Products to Rely On
Jenny states that company’s main product is a complimentary service for Travel Insurers or OTAs to offer their customers a VIP experience while sick abroad. Using Air Doctor, end users have a streamlined and digital way to easily search, browse and book a doctor within a few taps. “Consultations can be set for in a clinic, at home or virtually,” says Jenny. “What is amazing about our product is that other than us and one other small company, no one else in the world has a solution for the international traveler,” she adds. She also states that irrespective of the language one speak or where he/she belongs to, Air Doctor can help and guide one through stressful times. While the company is pioneer in the international travel health arena, its second product focuses on the domestic population. Starting with the Israel, the company is planning to develop an offer to extend the great service it provides to international travelers, to locals who get sick or need to see a specialist using their private health insurance.
Into the shoes of the leader
Jenny Cohen Derfler, Air Doctor’s CEO, worked many years at Intel Corporation in executive positions around the world. After leaving Intel she was involved in 2 start ups within the electrical transportation industry before she founded Air Doctor. The experience working for a huge corporate with a global footprint brought by Jenny, as well as the rest of the founders, allowed Air Doctor to dare from day one to aim to find customers and doctors in 5 continents around the world without any fears. During the time at Better Place and ElectRoad, she gained the necessary experience in fundraising, marketing, and creating a strong team of supporters and shareholders. Jenny has demonstrated experience and character to rapidly adapt to changing realities and technologies in order to bring value to her target market.
Overcoming the Challenges
Jenny states that the moment COVID struck, and the world went into lockdown, the company saw a huge challenge ahead. “At the time we were seeing about 1,500 visits a month from only one business customer, and suddenly they crashed to almost nothing. Not knowing what the future would hold, how long the pandemic would keep the world in isolation, and many other questions everyone had, we had to make a decision; do we continue as is and hope travel picks up soon or do we pivot and make the best of the situation? Looking back today, I can confidently say that pivoting was the right call,” she asserts. Further, she states that the teams were able to foresee the change the insurance sector would undergo and place all their efforts in being the first ones to offer them the change and prepare for ‘the day after’. “During the past year, though travel has been low, and the company has not seen much traffic, we have been able to growth from 1 business partner to 11, all signed during the pandemic. More companies than we estimated want to be ready for ‘the day after’. A major adaptation was to add to our solution a telemedicine service based on our own doctors, in 15 languages and 24/7 with the ability to prescribe prescriptions. We understood people would not want to go to hospitals for treatment, fearing Covid and would prefer to do a video consultation or see a local specialist,” Jenny adds.
Building better customer Relationships
Jenny emphasizes that when looking at a customer, one must ask himself/herself, ‘how can I provide them with value?’ and ‘what are their pain points and how can we resolve them’. “Adding real value is the base of building a long-term relationship. Doing so sometimes implies putting your own benefit second,” she adds. She also when the Phoenix came aboard, we had a network coverage in 3 countries. Since they needed at least 18 selected countries to launch, our whole team (including myself) worked relentlessly days and nights to recruit the necessary clinics in those countries and provide The Phoenix with what we promised on time. There is nothing impossible for us, only challenges that we need to transform into opportunities.
One cannot work without the other. Every team member comes with not only their work experience, but they come with their life experience as well. Each one has ideas and can contribute way more than just what they were hired to do. When you give a customer support rep extra responsibility and a project of their own for example, their eyes light up and they take full ownership with amazing results. Everyone can influence and at the same time everyone is accountable for the results.
Jenny addresses that the industry has changed course and gone from a conservative giant to an innovative machine where non-oiled rusty components will soon be obsolete. Businesses who do not provide maximal value to their customers cannot hold their grip on the top and so either they have to change their ways or give way to newcomers who do. With the new direction, insurtechs of all kinds are seeing major success, and she believes Air Doctor is riding that wave as well. The company provides a valuable service which helps insurers innovate while significantly cutting their costs down. “2021 will see our clients base burst out, while 2022 will put our Brand name as a global player,” Jenny expresses.