When making a decision about healthcare people think in a binary fashion; do I call the doctor or do I not call the doctor? Rather than subscribing to this obsolete way of thinking it is time to think about kNew Health – the health network, health coaching platform, and digital health record solution that addresses your concerns and keeps you informed. Born out of a frustration with the current health care system, kNew Health believes in providing service anytime and anywhere in a seamless manner because your health matters. Currently in beta testing, the company has seen success in implementing their functional approach to healthcare.
LA TechWatch chatted with CEO and founder James Maskell about the company, its genesis, and its future plans.
Tell us about the product or service.
kNew Health combines digital health coaching, a nationwide network of functional medicine physicians and a complete personal digital health record to provide everyone affordable access to feeling good again.
How is it different?
Our members’ main point of contact is their digital health coach. These coaches are supervised by a physician, are trained in functional medicine and communicate with members via secure text, video and asynchronous voice. By focusing on supporting healthy behaviors, we help our members prevent and reverse chronic conditions.
Our initial market is targeting consumers fed up with the high costs of healthcare, which, at this exact moment, is most Americans. The markets for functional medicine, health coaching and connected health are growing quickly and might end up filling the massive vacancy in American primary care nearing $1T.
What is the business model?
For consumers we are charging $99 a month subscription, but we already have significant payer relationships from insurance companies and self-funded employers to sovereign nations. We are exploring payment models with those payers where we can get a % of money saved.
How do you manage personalization in a network efficiently when it comes to something as intricate as health?
The technology platform is “Mint.Com for your health records”, allowing you to bring all your health data into one place, from medical records to wearable data and lab tests. Our coaches then help support the healthiest behaviors to prevent and often reverse chronic issues. By combining technology with low cost providers, we make personalization available to everyone.
Tell us a little about your background and what inspired the business?
I have been on a mission to change medicine since I moved to America from the UK in 2005. My first few jobs were on the front lines of this new era of preventive care, and I saw first hand chronic disease reversals that were both consistent and unknown outside the clinic walls. Since 2010, I’ve been helping functional physicians build successful private practices, and in 2014, I cofounded the world’s largest functional medicine community, with 500+ meetups around the world with 45+ episodes of our monthly show over the last four years. That forms the basis of our physician network.
Tell us what building your company in LA has been like?
We have teams in a number of cities across the country, with our headquarters in LA. I love being here because my major day to day role in the company is content, but there is also incredible development talent, especially on the Westside where I live.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We expect to have data back showing we can change the cost curve of some of our payer beta groups, predominantly by implementing functional medicine in a cost effective way. Strong data showing cost reductions will make our service extremely valuable to insurance companies and other healthcare payers from around the world.
We also expect to execute 4 campaigns with significant health celebrities capable of adding thousands of users in a short period of time.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the community who would it be and why?
Peter Diamandis – I think this project has the potential to affect the life of a billion humans. Every country is looking for solutions to chronic, lifestyle diseases, but most of the solutions aren’t ready for scale. With Peter’s backing, support and connections, we could do something truly transformative and exponential.
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company?
People pay attention to stories. LA has been telling the greatest stories for generations. We believe it’s time for a kNew story for healthcare, and we can’t wait to tell it.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
As a father of a 4 year old, I think you have to start as early as possible. Many of the greatest entrepreneurs I’ve met found great resilience and urgency from tough starts to life. Encouraging dynamic problem solving in the school system is an absolute priority for long term innovation.
What is your favorite restaurant in LA?
Superba Café in Venice