When she launched cutting-edge app Maven nearly one year ago, founder Kate Ryder created a major breakthrough in women’s healthcare.  One of several telemedicine apps that offers medical consultations over video, Maven is the only one that specializes in women’s healthcare and that’s geared toward female users. Simply put, the app offers access to a wide variety of women’s healthcare providers (from the comfort of anywhere with internet) and fosters patient-centered care in a unique and effective format.

KR_Headshot_black&whiteLast week we met with Kate to discuss Maven and learn firsthand about her experience as a journalist-turned-entrepreneur with a passion for positive change. Our conversation was inspiring, to say the least. Below are a few of the highlights as well as some interesting healthcare facts that led to Maven’s launch.

A Need To Create.  While working as a journalist for The Economist in Singapore, Kate experienced her first taste of entrepreneurship in 2010. A lover of longform writing, at the time she had become a bit disillusioned with the media industry and was aching for a career change.  Inspired by her father, an entrepreneur and her mentor, she decided to launch a side business in travel. And there was no turning back.  “It just felt so right.  Putting the pieces together got me really excited and I knew this was the type of path I wanted to take.  Once this crystallized, my journey toward Maven began.  I knew I would leave journalism.  I also knew that I needed to continue to create; journalism is all about creation and obviously entrepreneurship is as well.”   

After working two years at a Venture Capital firm as preparation, Kate was ready to launch her own business.  Through Maven I was able to marry my passion for supporting women (and doing something good for the world) with an interesting opportunity from an intellectual standpoint.  It doesn’t get much more complicated than healthcare,” she joked.

08A9298_1Responding to Women’s Healthcare Needs. Although 80% of women are responsible for the healthcare decisions in their families, very few digital healthcare are available for women.  (80% of non-MD healthcare providers are also women, incidentally.)  Kate conducted a survey in which she asked women the qualities they look for when selecting a doctor.  The top 3 responses she received showed that, above all, women are looking for someone they trust, who is educated and with whom they feel a personal connection.   

Relationship-centered Care.  In describing her company’s vision, Kate Ryder addresses references TedMED speaker Doctor Thomas Lee, an expert on the role of empathy in patient care. One hundred years ago, a doctor’s job was about giving a patient peace of mind; now, with all of the advancements we’ve made, the caregiving aspect of healthcare has significantly weakened. Through Maven, Ryder aims to empower patients with information while bringing them peace of mind.

12208852_958469807532002_488648331402437703_nAuthentic Connection.  Maven practitioners contribute to the relationship-centered care aspect by sharing a 30-second video introduction of themselves that is visible to patients prior to selecting a provider.  This empowers patients with more information while offering healthcare workers an opportunity to connect on a more personal level.  There is also a forum in which patients can ask a question that will be answered by a Maven healthcare provider and shared with the entire community.

Bridging an Important Gap.  Maven also bridges an important gap between non-essential office visits and the alternative of scouring the internet for information.  Ryder mentions the example of a woman who is five months pregnant and worried because she hasn’t felt her baby kick in 3 days.  Scheduling an in-person appointment may very well be what’s ultimately decided; however, speaking first with a doctor or another women’s healthcare expert from the comfort of home can certainly relieve stress while providing important guidance.  In some cases, phone appointments may be as short as 10 minutes (and of course, there’s no travel or wait time involved when you book your appointment).

MAVEN CLINIC_03Bottom Line: Maven is an excellent app useful to any woman seeking peace of mind by simplifying healthcare. To check it out, visit: www.mavenclinic.com.  The first consultation is free and there are no hidden fees. (Meanwhile, the app is extremely user-friendly.)  

2 Strategies For Surviving Life as an Entrepreneur: 

1/ Binge-watching TV.  After challenging weekdays, Kate jokes that binge-watching television has become her preferred recovery method.  “When your brain has been hurting all day and you haven’t had any time to sit down, reading a book can be difficult.  As an entrepreneur you really need to recharge.”  (More on the growing popularity of binge-watching here).

2/ Escaping to Nature + Disconnecting from Technology. On weekends, she makes sure to do something active, like visiting a museum or going to an event in the city.  She heads out to the country once a month to spend time in the woods and with her dogs. You can count on her working during this time (after all, as an entrepreneur the work never really ends) but she uses this time for higher-level thinking and disconnecting from technology.

Special thanks to Kate Ryder for your time and genuine dedication to making women’s healthcare more accessible and connective. We look forward to keeping up-to-date as Maven evolves and wish you the very best!

* Song For This Moment: “Life Support” by Sam Smith.

Related Links:

How Digital Health Clinic Maven is Revolutionizing Womens Health Care”, article in Tech Republic.

Binge-Watching is Our New Normal“, article in Entrepreneur.

Maven Wants To Turn Your Smart Phone Into a Women’s Health Clinic“, article in Fortune.