With price inflations in mass market medical booking platforms, continuous consumer demand for more personalized online experiences and fatigue with online reviews, a new wave of online medical booking has arrived. Meet Qwell, a medical online booking platform providing better options for both the nation’s top healthcare professionals and better outcomes for patients.
With the motto “It’s like having a doctor in the family,” Qwell offers patients inside access to expert medical resources, guidance and support whenever needed. Patients can search through the platform’s sophisticated network of top providers and specialists to book appointments directly online.
Need a primary care doctor, dermatologist or chiropractor? Well, Qwell can connect you with the right doctor, the first time, avoiding unneeded doctor visits and additional fees.
Unlike current medical booking services on the market, patients can forget reading online reviews to determine the level of trust they have within their future doctor. All providers within the Qwell network must be referred by another provider to even be considered. Co-Founder, Rachel Bregman M.D., says “Knowing that you’re getting a healthcare professional that is trusted by other healthcare professionals is important, you’re going to know that the doctor your seeing is someone that other doctors trust to take care of their patients – and ultimately that is a great source of truth.”
Not only does Qwell believe in connecting patients with the best doctors, but also connecting the best doctors with each other. Healthcare providers have the ability to upload their current patients to their Qwell profile, refer patients directly within Qwell to avoid pitfalls of patient follow-up, connect with other providers virtually through Qwell’s educational and networking events, and more.
We were lucky enough to speak with doctors and founders of Qwell, Bertie Bregman, M.D., and Rachel Bregman, M.D. to learn more about their new platform that is set to make a positive impact in healthcare.
As two successful primary care doctors with your own practice in NYC, I’d love to hear more about your past career experiences and what led you to the launch of Qwell.
Rachel Bregman (RB):We are a husband and wife team that has been practicing Family Medicine in NYC for over 20 years and we know what it takes to run a successful primary care practice in today’s environment. As Family Medicine providers, we are also keenly attuned to the experience of the patient and how important it is when you are seeing different doctors that one hand knows what the other hand is doing. To that end we know one of the best predictors of good care is being linked in to a network of doctors who are connected to each other. One of the reasons we founded Qwell was to help make that happen.
When planning for the launch of Qwell, why was it important Qwell be beneficial to healthcare providers and not just patients? Can you share some of the benefits for providers?
RB: Finding doctors and booking appointments online is something that patients want, and providers need. Thanks to some of the Goliaths in the market, this theory has been proven. Practices like ours were booking hundreds of patients a month on these platforms before Qwell was born, and at the right price the system worked pretty well. Qwell was born at a time of great shift in the landscape of online booking, with rising prices making the dominant systems unacceptably costly for many providers and leaving them with few alternatives.
As we looked around, we realized that while existing platforms are a good start, there were so many ways to make them better – to improve and innovate on the basic model – that it was too good an opportunity to pass up. We decided to do our own thing – after all every Goliath calls for a David – and make it available to all the other providers in our situation.
An online booking platform is only as good as the doctors that choose to participate, and so we founded Qwell with a motto of “By Doctors, for Doctors, and the patients we treat.” Providers who choose to participate in the Qwell network derive many benefits. Among those are: affordable, fair pricing, rankings and reviews that are derived from quality rather than “pay to play”, a positive online reputation, and benefits of networking with other providers who can directly refer and book patients in the network. Part social network, part online booking system, Qwell fills a niche in the market that until now has been unrealized.
I’ve learned providers can only join the Qwell network if they’re referred by another provider– can you share more info/how this works?
Bertie Bregman (BB): As founders of Qwell, we have created the initial nexus of Qwell providers, based on our 20+ years of practicing medicine in NYC and our wide network of healthcare contacts dating as far back as our days teaching at Columbia and studying at Dartmouth and UPenn Medical Schools. Having trained in NYC and worked at Columbia for many years, we feel confident in providing our expertise as the core of Qwell. From there the network grows organically, with each provider who joins given the ability to create their own network with providers that they invite to join.
What should patients most look forward to when using Qwell?
BB: Patients who use Qwell can look forward to being given the opportunity to access a curated selection of providers, who have all been selected by their peers to be a part of the Qwell network. Patients will be shown appointment availability online and with a few clicks, are be able to secure an appointment with a top healthcare provider. Patients can also find their existing providers on Qwell and see what we call their “Qwell Connections” – providers in other specialties that your doctor recommends. No more trying tocontact your doctor just to see who they would recommend in another specialty – now you can just look on Qwell.
Qwell also has a unique proprietary methodology for deciding in what order to show providers on a patient search, that is developed to maximize the chances that you are seeing a provider who is best for you- and not a doctor who had advertised to appear higher on a search.
Once in the doctor’s office, a Qwell patient can benefit from their provider being able to book a visit on their behalf with any provider on Qwell in real time- avoiding the need to leave the office with a slip of paper and instructions to call the office for an appointment.
Lastly, patients who want to access healthcare but want guidance on where to begin, can access the Qwell Concierge service, which allows for remote consultations with a healthcare provider who can guide you and help you get seen by the right provider in the right time frame.
What sets Qwell apart from different from existing booking platforms?
- We are curated – only top providers are found here.
- We are affordable – a provider can expect to recoup their cost in membership fees by booking or being referred only 1-2 new patients per month with Qwell
- We are thoughtful about how we choose to show providers on a search, thereby guaranteeing patients a more tailored user experience.
- We don’t allow providers to pay more to be shown higher on a search.
- We are simple, we promise two big things and deliver – expert opinion on who are the top providers, and access to appointments with them.
What are some unique features/offerings for patients? Telemedicine, virtual concierge, etc.
RB: Qwell’s version of telemedicine is called Qwell concierge, and this is one of the most unique aspects of Qwell. When a patient wants guidance in their medical journey – be it where to start, who to see, or what to do next after the appointment, Qwell Concierge is the place they can begin.
With Qwell concierge a patient can have simple medical issues handled without an office visit, but more distinctively, your Qwell concierge is equipped to help patients get in-office appointments with doctors that are personally connected with in their city. At Qwell we are all about ‘closing the loop’- for providers and for patients, and Qwell concierge is a great example of how we do that.
Do you believe services like Qwell are the way of the future in healthcare?
BB: We hope so! As doctors who are passionate about providing better healthcare alternatives for all, we realize what a unique opportunity we have to build a system that can serve as a model for how a thoughtfully designed system can benefit both providers and patients. Until we get that balance right, we will continue to be plagued with a broken system. Hopefully Qwell is taking the first step in bringing a tech answer to this age-old problem.
What are your future plans for Qwell?
BB: We plan to build a robust network of healthcare professionals in NYC, including every type of provider who is involved in getting patients healthy and keeping them well. This includes not only allopathic doctors but all sorts of practitioners, like nutritionists, trainers, massage therapists, integrative medicine providers, and so on. We also have an idea for how to expand the reach of our network to patients who for various reasons can’t easily access this type of care, so keep an eye out for that in the future. Once we have built out our NY network, we will grow organically to expand our reach into other cities, and from there – who knows?