In Microsoft’s Data Culture Champions Series in Asia, we speak to Justin Fulcher of RingMD on how he is driving patient care transformation in Asia with a simple idea to match doctors and patients around the world — regardless of location.
When Justin Fulcher was traveling across Southeast Asia three years ago, an unforgettable scene struck him. He saw a man drinking water from the ground in Jakarta, seemingly oblivious to the dangers that the possibly contaminated water may pose.
What was surprising was that the man had an Android smartphone on him. He also spoke relatively good English when he talked to Fulcher, who was fascinated by what he had seen.
It gave Fulcher an idea. What if he could start a company that connected doctors with patients who own smartphones, so they could receive proper medical advice on their mobile devices?
Today, that idea has been realized in RingMD , a health tech start-up that connects patients and doctors around the world, 24/7. Users sign up to the platform in order to facilitate consultations via video link. Conditions which do not require a physical examination can then be remotely diagnosed and treated.
Patients can also wear a device on their wrist which transmits their pulse, blood pressure and other vital signs to their doctor in real time. Doctors can use this data to help patients make more informed decisions about their health.
The site earns a fee from doctors who wish to charge for their services. Data collected — held confidentially — provides insights on attitudes towards healthcare and the illnesses that may be ailing large populations.
Fulcher, who is CEO of the company, has convinced partners in the healthcare industry — governments, hospitals and other players such as insurance and pharmaceutical companies — to adopt more data-driven thinking in the delivery of healthcare.
He notes: “Being in the health space is especially challenging because a lot of these organizations have never used data to make decisions before. It has always been ‘what feels right’, which has a lot of merit to it, but at the same time if you can back up with what feels right with what is actually right, according to the data, you can make some incredibly huge transformations.”