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This NYC Startups Platform Enables Access to Virtual Health Support Concierges

first_imgOnce you get out of the operating room, that’s when a patient’s real road to recovery begins.  Your medical provider typically prescribes a regimen that often includes mandates for weight loss and general improvement in wellness.  Virtual Health Partners (VHP) provides patients and providers with the toolbox to ensure that these goals are met with its on-demand, live virtual support platform.  The platform empowers providers such as healthcare professionals, nutritionists, and fitness companies to offer streamlined expert advice to their patients and clients for addressing health and wellness concerns at scale.AlleyWatch chatted with CEO and cofounder Jillian Bridgette Cohen to learn how coming from a family of doctors and her early career path inspired her to venture out on her own to create the ultimate toolbox for patients’ needs.Tell us about the product or service that Virtual Health Partners offers.Virtual Health Partners (VHP) is an innovator in health and wellness, supporting live virtual fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle modification within a contained ecosphere of on-demand support. Our platform & business model provides a SaaS & PaaS solution that is offered exclusively to users through our network of participating partners, including Hospital Systems, Medical Device, Pharmaceutical, Nutrition Supplement, Insurance, and Fitness Companies. The B2B2C model is fully scalable and extremely cost-effective for both VHP and our partners.How is Virtual Health Partners different?VHP is redefining virtual healthcare by providing a new way of conquering health goals through live support, anywhere at any time. With advanced AI capabilities, we are able to personalize each user’s experience by providing the content and resources most relevant to their individual needs.Whether it’s physician, pharmaceutical product, or a national fitness club chain, our customizable platform offers a one-stop-shop to help partners efficiently provide more services to their clients. Leveraging VHP’s team of nutrition specialists, fitness experts and lifestyle modification coaches, partners are able to provide their clients with 24/7 virtual services. With this turn-key solution, partners are able to monetize a new line of revenue with minimal overhead.What market does Virtual Health Partners target and how big is it?VHP operates within one of the fastest growing sectors in today’s economy — the $686B Health & Wellness market. VHP’s proprietary Privacy and HIPAA compliant platform is able to provide live virtual nutrition, lifestyle modification and fitness support in a variety of verticals including Fitness, Medi-Spa/Wellness, Medical Managed Weight Loss, Weight Loss Procedures, Orthopedics, Plastic Surgery, Oncology, Crohn’s Disease & Women’s Health. VHP contracts directly with partners and providers. Due to HIPAA and privacy regulations, VHP owns the data and has the unique ability to provide de-identify data to Partners. The aggregated data can also be monetized with third parties.What is the business model?VHP has a Business-to-Business-to-Consumer (B2B2C) business model, meaning we work with strategic partners and healthcare providers across multiple industries. Our partners include Fitness, Insurance, Medical Device, Nutritional Supplement, and Pharmaceutical Companies, along with Hospital Systems, Medi-Spas, Plastic Surgery Centers and Physicians who then offer the platform to their clients or end-users.What inspired the start of Virtual Health Partners?As the only non-medical person (doctor) in my family, growing up I was more interested in how business worked, and the lifecycle of products than in physics and chemistry.After college, I went to work in finance in a leadership program for a fortune 500 company. I was still living at home and was used to seeing my dad getting calls at all hours of the night to go into the Emergency Department to help his patients.As the only non-medical person (doctor) in my family, growing up I was more interested in how business worked, and the lifecycle of products than in physics and chemistry.After college, I went to work in finance in a leadership program for a fortune 500 company. I was still living at home and was used to seeing my dad getting calls at all hours of the night to go into the Emergency Department to help his patients.While I was also working long hours—on a merger and acquisition deal— I found myself realizing I was not helping people with all of my hard work, like my dad did all of those long nights in the hospital. After a bit of self-reflection, I recognized it was not the long hours that were causing my brain to wander, but the fact that I wanted to make a difference in peoples’ lives and become completely financially self-sufficient at the same time, which drove me to explore other opportunities.My dad was an internist, so I was very familiar with pharmaceutical sales, but I had no idea about medical device sales, which is a much smaller more niche area in the medical sales arena. I ended up taking a position with a division of Johnson and Johnson as an assistant. Within 6 months I was promoted into my own territory in Brooklyn, NY and tremendously enjoyed being in surgeries and seeing less-invasive surgical procedures in the OR start to take-off. I spent a lot of time in gastric bypass, open heart, spine, and orthopedic surgeries, along with diabetic and pressure ulcer wound care. The impact that obesity had directly or indirectly on most of the patients having these surgeries or issues amazed me.I then went to work for a startup called Novare Surgical. I was fortunate to get to know many of the world’s thought leaders in bariatric surgery while selling a novel technology. During this time period, the device I was selling was widely used in Lap-Band surgery. The Lap-Band procedure was the number one weight loss surgery being done in the world. Novare Surgical ended up selling to a different company and I went to run sales and business development for Electrocore, where I spent a majority of my time outside of the US and in the headache space.  I stayed in touch with many of the close friends I had made in the bariatric surgery space and I became astonished to learn about the very fast downward trend the Lap-Band surgery had taken over a 2-3 year period.  After a very successful & fulfilling few years working outside the US, I decided it was time to come home and to get back into my passion area of weight loss and gastroenterology.I decided to work for Apollo Endosurgery and help launch a very revolutionary device that could suture inside of someone without having to cut into them. The suturing system was used to help “tighten” up the stomach for those patients who had regained weight after weight loss surgery.  When looking at the market and all of the revisions and how the Lap-Band procedure required a lot of follow-up to tighten it and to maintain it, which is difficult for a busy person to sustain as well, I saw a tremendous void. It dawned on me that you could give patients a tool like a surgical procedure or a “tightening” but they need a full toolbox to succeed. This toolbox needed to offer live wellness care at your fingertips. It needed a combination of nutrition, lifestyle modification, and fitness all in one place, accessible on-the-go, during lunch or in the evening without having to go anywhere to speak with an expert in-person.I shared my idea with the cofounder of VHP, Dr. Shawn Garber, a very successful bariatric surgeon. He saw the need too and VHP was born. Over the past few years, we kept receiving requests to support different areas outside of weight loss. We are now in eight different verticals including fitness, oncology, fertility, and weight loss, and in nine languages, all with a focus on wellness or weight loss.Who are some people you admire in the wellness space? There are so many talented and successful people within the wellness space. A few founders and CEOs that I particularly admire are Greg Behar of Nestlé Health Science and Nerio Alessandri of Technogym as they both, have and continue to revolutionize their company’s focus and offerings to meet the needs of the ever-growing wellness environment.What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?I would like the growth trajectory of the company to continue and to quadruple our sales from 2018, which we are on target to do. A few of the greatest milestones that we are aiming for is to support 100K plus patients with cancer this year and to launch with a global partner in the fitness space. The continued development of the platform, specifically around AI will continue to help project us to hit our goals.What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got? If it was easy – everyone would do it!If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?Former Mayor Bloomberg of NYC. He is a true entrepreneur, self-made person, and leader. I would love to learn about his wins and losses and what he took away from each one.Why did you launch in New York?I live in NYC, it is truly my favorite city in the world and has a huge pool of diverse talent, enabling me to build a great team.What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?I ironically am truly a foodie and love everything from a greasy slice to a decadent Omakase sushi dinner, but if I had to choose just one favorite, which is so hard to do in NYC it would be L’artusi in the West Village. The food is truly amazing every time and the atmosphere is chill yet fun.PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST This NYC Startup’s Platform Enables Access to Virtual Health Support ConciergesMarch 13, 2019 by AlleyWatch 313SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin Filed Under: #NYCTech, AlleyTalk, HealthTech, Interviews, Launching in the Alley, Startupslast_img read more