[Pangyo Tech] Medistaff to safely share patient information through a community for doctors

When a partient visits the same doctor at the same hospital, the patient might be relived as if he has gotten a family doctor. However, there are many cases where patients cannot visit the same hospital every time they are sick. It is relatively free to share patient information within the same hospital. Therefore, if patients visit the same hospital although they are assigned to a different doctor, they can have smooth communication with the doctor and get a personalized treatment. This is not the case if patients visit a different hospital since medical staff cannot share patient information as they wish, they need to begin with a basic checkup.

The center of medicine in South Korea is turning away from diseases and hospitals. A doctor’s opinions on a diseas came first in the past whereas communication between doctors and patients holds significance in the present. To facilitate communication, it is important to share patient information that doctors receive in advance. 

Ki Dong-Hoon CEO of Medistaff developed a community for healthcare professionals as he experienced these inconveniences as he was not only treating patients at an emergency room but also working in this business environment and felt a greater need to facilitate communication between doctors and patients and between doctors themselves.

Today, I sat down in an interview with Ki Dong-Hoon CEO of Medistaff and listened to what he had to say about “Medistaff” an app for doctors where they can share patient information in a secure environment.

Q1. Company introduction

Medistaff is a start-up that offers messenger, community and hiring services for young doctors who are used to smartphone applications. We provide work related services according to a lifecycle of medical students, public health doctors, army surgeons, interns, residents and medical specialists.

It was developed as a secure messaging platform for doctors in 2018. Initially, it started with four employees but now it has a total of eight employees including three developers, one web designer, one marketer and two planners.

Q2. What sets Medistaff apart from others

Medistaff is based on mobile app that makes sharing of patient information secure and it provides services best suitable for doctors such as chatting, community, hiring, job search, hospital review and medical news. If a medical school student or an intern writes on a bulletin board about things they would like to know about a patient, medical specialists reply on a chat how to address the problem.

Also, Medistaff developed a smartphone app for young doctors. It provides various medical information including a resident navigator, teaching hospital salaries, perks and work hours thereby helping young doctors easily find a job.

Q3. What made you start a business

In the US, according to HIPAA(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), people can share patient information only for safety purposes. Therefore, they cannot share patient information in a way that lacks HIPAA certification.

There is no such regulatory framework in South Korea, yet so in some cases patient information is shared through more common methods such as Kakotalk which could lead to privacy information leakage. Still, there is no tool that could replace such a dangerous method in South Korea.

Working as a professor of emergency medicine at the Catholic University of Korea Yeouido St.Mary’s Hospital, I realized how serious this issue was and started Medistaff.

Q4. Future plan

Currently, there are a total of 14,000 members of Medistaff including 4,000 medical school students and 10,000 doctors. Its aim is to go beyond meeting the goal of 55,000 members and expand into a platform that creates value used by most medical professionals including veterinarians, nurses and dental hygienists.

So far, pharmaceuticals’ digital marketing has taken place randomly. We are planning to specialize in few select areas through a matching marketing platform, for example, showing an ophthalmologist information about pharmaceuticals related to ophthalmology. Also, we are developing a channel through which a pharmaceutical and a doctor can communicate to help doctors get enough information about new products.

Q5. Strategies to expand across the globe

I would like to enter the Southeast Asian market particularly Thai, Taiwanes and Vietnames markets. We are planning to hire more staffers by releasing Medistaff in countries that have inadequate laws related to medicine and infrastructure relative to South Korea. South Korea’s medical technology is world-class and there is demand from Southeast Asia at the national level.

And if Korean healthcare professionals would like to work in Southeast Asican countries or medical services are imported to these counties, Medistaff would like to enter the market first to take root and work with the counterparts in recruiting, HR among others.

Q6. Why located in Pangyo

Pangyo is an area in which a large number of start-ups are located so it helps companies share information and work with others. Pangyo Techno Valley has been created as a start-up cluster in the first place so it has many publicly funded projects which helps early stage start-ups run in a stable manner.

Pangyo Technovalley is an innovation hub for global companies comparable to the Silicon Valley in the US, Zhongguancun in China, and STATION F in France. It is an Asia tech hub with 1,259 IT, BT, CT, and NT companies that possess innovative products and technologies. Located just south of the metropolitan area, it provides the best environment for Korean companies to do business with great transportation access and infrastructure.

Various high-tech companies are located in Pangyo Technovalley, and it is occupied by 64,000 full-time employees, many in their 20-30s. In terms of industry, the companies are engaged in information technology, contents technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

With the support of innovative companies with global capabilities such as Kakao, Naver, AhnLab, Krafton, NCSoft, Nexon, and Hancom, companies in Pangyo Technovalley recorded 107 trillion won in sales last year. Investment and infrastructure growth in Pangyo is expected to continue, with the Metaverse hub entering Pangyo this year.

Source: Pangyo Techno Valley Official Newsroom 

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