PokitDok Helps Patients Connect the Dots in a Fragmented Healthcare System

9/28/12Follow @xconomy

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physicians. And people talking to each other about what works and what doesn’t.”

PokitDok makes its money by charging a flat transaction fee on services listed on the site. Providers aren’t required to list the cost of their services, but they can sell directly to consumers at a discount. And the site includes both medical and non-medical services, so users can find nutrition counselors and acupuncturists right alongside orthopedic surgeons and dermatologists.

“We are completely unbiased,” she says. “We aren’t pushing medical over alternative. We want you to see all your options.”

At first, naysayers were concerned that medical doctors wouldn’t want to show up on the same page as alternative medicine practitioners. But so far, Maki says, it hasn’t been a problem. They’ve mostly been growing by word of mouth, and providers have been signing themselves up.

“Everyone said what we have done is not possible,” Maki says. “We need to give consumers best possible information at the right time. They see this as a super efficient way to do it. Proving that this would happen was our first major obstacle.”

In July, PokitDok raised $1.3 million in seed funding from investors including Charles River Ventures, led by George Zachary. Also joining the round were Jonathan Sposato, Geoff Entress, the Ballast Fund, Albert Prast, Jason Portnoy, and Zach Zeitlin. The Menlo Park-based company has grown to 12 employees.

Going forward, Maki and Tanner will keep an eye on how health legislation changes as well as how state insurance exchanges are set up to see if there is an opportunity to help consumers with their insurance needs. “We do see insurance companies as ultimately participating in PokitDok down the road,” she says. “We could show them as one of your options.”

They’ve also had some interest from insurance companies, with “occasional calls from Blue Cross and Blue Shield curious about what we’re up to.”

But for now, PokitDok is focused on its original mission—helping consumers become more informed about their health options. “I’m a consumer. I’m trying to make what I wish I’d had when I went through that,” Maki says. “What I really want as a consumer is to find the best health for me.”

 

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