A Q&A with QuantiaMD president Mike Coyne. The Waltham, Massachusetts–based company was founded in 2004 and closed its first significant funding round in early November.
SUB: Please describe QuantiaMD and your value proposition.
Coyne: QuantiaMD is the largest online community and collaboration platform, helping over 160,000 physician members to stay ahead by participating in short expert presentations, asking each other questions, and discussing how to use what they learn within their practice. By applying the latest social media technologies to medicine, QuantiaMD is modernizing how physicians work together and interact with the major participants in healthcare, including payers, hospitals, accountable care organizations and life sciences.
SUB: Who are your target markets and users?
Coyne: Most of the major healthcare stakeholders. Our members are physicians who join QuantiaMD to collaborate with their peers and learn from over 500 experts from the top institutions around the country. Our clients are health plans, health systems and life sciences companies that want to engage and align physicians around various goals and objectives.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Coyne: Our main competitors are homegrown portals, fax and mail—the antiquated systems that organizations ineffectively use to try to communicate with physicians. To date, other companies have used social media to connect doctors for referrals or the sharing of medical imaging, but we are the first to apply social media to connect all of the major healthcare stakeholders.
SUB: What differentiates QuantiaMD from the competition?
Coyne: Not only are we connecting physicians to each other, but we are uniquely positioned to align them with health plans and hospital systems in powerful ways that lead to time savings, reduced costs and improved quality of care. QuantiaMD has developed a scalable, secure platform that is fully mobile and easy to leverage for clients who need to engage physicians in fast, high-quality interactions that drive education and positively impact clinical behavior.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Coyne: The company was founded in 2004. Our first step was to build our technology platform. What differentiated us then and continues to differentiate us now is that we were founded by engineers from areas outside of healthcare who brought new ideas for innovation to the healthcare industry.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for QuantiaMD? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Coyne: More of an ‘aha’ moment. It all started when Leon G. Smith Sr., MD, an infectious disease specialist and an AIDS treatment pioneer, challenged Eric Schultz, our founder and CEO, to apply the best technology to address what he saw were key challenges to modern medicine. These were that essential personal contact and social learning are being beaten out of medicine at a time when they are needed most, and physicians are increasingly feeling isolated and marginalized. Secondly, patients need to become better partners in their care. QuantiaMD was founded to solve these challenges.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?
Coyne: It is the combination of the word ‘quantitative’, and the medical degree for a physician: ‘MD’. With the name, we wanted to express that our community is for physicians and it is a place rich with clinical data.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Coyne: There has been a lot of missionary work when it comes to approaching potential clients and educating them about our platform as no one else is doing what we are doing. These organizations didn’t even know there were ways to leverage social media to better engage the physicians they are trying to reach.
SUB: You just raised $12 million in new funding. Was this your first round of funding?
Coyne: It was our first major round, but technically a round E as we have raised [smaller rounds] over the years.
SUB: What are your plans for the funds?
Coyne: We will use the money to grow our sales, marketing and client services functions to continue to support our existing clients as well as our growing number of payer and health system clients.
SUB: Why was this a particularly good time to raise more outside funding?
Coyne: Due to healthcare reform and other initiatives, there is an increased focus on quality of care over quantity of care, and this requires greater collaboration and communication among physicians. Current methods of communication are ineffective and outdated, which is why there is an increased need for our unique platform and capabilities.
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Coyne: QuantiaMD is free to physicians, but we sell some inventory on our site to sponsors who want to reach physicians and allied health professionals. We also generate revenue through our QuantiaMD Physician Alignment and Collaboration Suite (QPAC), which enables health plans and hospital systems to directly engage and align physicians. Finally, QuantiaMD charges fees to carry Continuing Medical Education that is produced and accredited by third parties such as medical associations and commercial medical education companies.
SUB: What are your goals for QuantiaMD over the next year or so?
Coyne: We will continue to grow our physician community and expect it to increase by 50 percent. We will also plan on increasing our sales within the pharmaceutical industry as well as with health plans and health systems.
QuantiaMD – www.quantiamd.com