League CEO Mike Serbinis on making a mobile-focused health and wellness platform
High-level healthcare systems are still clumsy and terrible.
I would consider my healthcare situation relatively tech savvy, for what it is. I don’t have a Google Glass-wielding tech-focused doctor or anything, but it’s not bad. My doctor is cool enough to use an app for making appointments and sending over requests. She emails me test results and will gladly send a text message when the need arises. She’s a rarity in the medical industry, and a lot of that has to do with the massive parts of the healthcare system that don’t actually interoperate. Depending on who your doctor is, your whole medical experience could still be pen and paper in 2016.
Recently I sat down with the CEO of League, a Canadian company focused on bringing healthcare solutions into the smartphone age with their city-by-city program that recently came to the US. Of all the med tech solutions I’ve seen over the last year, this one seems like it’s actually making things easier for the user.
Serbinis started the interview by explaining League is all about simplifying the health and wellness process through technology. Their health and fitness app makes it so there’s a single place to discover medical professionals, schedule and appointment, and pay for services. It’s a benefits system being offered to companies in Seattle right now, set up so you and your employer put money into a League account, and that money gets used for whatever professional you want to use in the League marketplace. Users can rate and review medical professionals in this marketplace, and it all happens through the League app.
Serbinis wants to make sure this doesn’t become a Yelp! for doctors, and is instead a complete solution.
As an alternative to the traditional benefits system, League sounds like a cool idea. The biggest challenge, according to Serbinis, is making all of the individual pieces work together. Making it easy to discover the services that are available hasn’t been a problem, but managing the money and making sure the scheduling system is universal has presented itself as a challenge. In order for everything to work smoothly, the healthcare provider has to also play nice with League’s services. Specifically, Serbinis wants to make sure this doesn’t become a Yelp! for doctors, and is instead a complete solution.
If the 12 companies currently working with League in Seattle — the first US city the company has started working in — are any indication, League is set for significant growth into other US cities this year. From a user’s perspective, League makes a lot of sense. A single place for all of the individual parts needed for healthcare to function sounds a lot nicer than the 3 wildly different apps my relatively modern set up requires to be functional. At the same time, it’s the sort of thing that will undoubtedly be a slow march in order to ensure each solution in each city runs smoothly. Any way you look at it, this is an impressive demonstration of bringing healthcare to the smartphone era.