Let’s face it. Healthcare is confusing, whether it’s insurance coverage or care or treatment, everyone needs information they can trust.
Two sisters and their cousin have come up with a tech solution to help consumers understand their options and also give healthcare companies a way to reach consumers.
Healthguv is global social media and networking site for healthcare information created by sisters Gabrielle and Camille Valmon and their cousin Joseph Creadle, a certified dementia practitioner. The site features articles, blogs, discussions and videos about healthcare topics ranging from trends in healthy living to medical conditions.
The tech solution combines healthcare information with an online social media platform, allowing a diverse population to access medical information, and connect with the right people.
Health is the one thing that connects us all as humans,” Creadle said in a Moguldom interview. “People are always searching for questions and answers when it comes to health. I don’t care if you’re a billionaire living in New York or a single parent in a Third World country, a rich person living with diabetes searching for answers is the same diabetes of a single parent living with the disease. Diabetes is diabetes. It’s the same and it all connects us.”
Healthguv users can create profiles, upload images, and share health-related posts. They can connect and share information and personal experiences, create a network on their homepage, or chat privately with other people to discuss health-related matters.
Prior to the entrepreneurial venture, Camille was attending Bloomfield College, a private liberal arts college in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Gabrielle was working as a nurse at a nursing and rehabilitation center, and Joseph was finishing up a master’s degree in nursing at Kean University in Union, New Jersey.
Now this family threesome is helping to change the healthcare information landscape with tech. They told Moguldom why and how Healthguv works.
Moguldom: Why did you feel this was a great idea for a company?
Joe Creadle: The inspiration for Healthguv came when I took notice of all the alarms and bells from the different machines going off in the hospital. When I visited a hospital in Slovakia, the commotion and interaction was very much the same (as in a U.S. hospital) with patients, doctors, families, and other employees interacting with each other. It was in that moment that I looked at the hospital as the world — as a global network. I called Gabrielle and Camille and told them to hurry up and come to the hospital because I just had an epiphany. It was in that moment I came to realize something very important, something very big, something that was going to change the world and the way we look at healthcare.
I told Gabrielle and Camille, “What if we took this hospital social interaction and turned it into a social network, making it global?” We went into the conference room and started taking notes and writing down ideas. From this, Healthguv was born.
Camille Valmon: We found a new way for people to look at healthcare, a new way of working, and built a company around that vision.
Moguldom: Can you explain how it works?
Joe Creadle: Healthguv is a website that follows a social media protocol to help people connect and become friends with people who share similar health-related interests and concerns from all over the world. This website was launched to provide people everywhere in the world an easy access to — and a better understanding of — an extensive array of health-related subjects.
There are hundreds of people all across the globe who browse the Internet every day with the intent of finding specific information related to their health. Whether it’s about updating themselves on the latest trends of healthy living or learning more about a health condition they are suffering from — the internet happens to be their go-to resource for it.
However, problems arise when — 90 percent of the time — they don’t find what they are looking for. Or when people look up and read health-related subjects by googling … (but) … they aren’t able to connect, interact, or make friends with people when they search on Google or other sites. This is where Healthguv comes into play.
We were once a part of the same crowd that turned to the internet to look for answers for health-related issues. However, it soon became apparent that amid the vast pools of information available on the Internet, it was difficult to locate or pick out the specifics. We realized that there was a need to streamline this information and make it more precise.
Gabrielle Valmon: It then struck us that there could be nothing better than connecting two or more people experiencing the same health concerns or sharing similar health interests. That’s when we set out to work on Healthguv.
Camille Valmon: Users are able to connect with people regarding health. The pharmaceutical industry will be able to reach Healthguv users and people that just want to search for information on Healthguv.
Joe Creadle: Drug companies have the opportunity to not only market their brands, but recruit users and potential patients for their clinical trials. Healthguv is a point-of-care marketplace. No longer do drug companies have to use the traditional route of dropping off drug brochures to doctor’s offices or facility waiting rooms, in hopes that people review them. Healthguv allows companies to reach their audiences directly.
Moguldom: You are all related. What are the benefits of working with family?
Gabrielle Valmon: It helps with time management and speed when it comes to getting the job done. As a family, we are faster than companies that have to go through a corporate process of getting a project done. At the end of the day, our common goals are to win and make sure that Healthguv is very successful.
Joe Creadle: The benefit of running a family business is that we can brainstorm and think of ideas fast and work on that project that we thought of the same day and not have to go through a process or board meeting committee. We are a team that is bound together by a close bond so there is trust.
Camille Valmon: The one thing that makes our company successful is that we are able to yell, laugh, and be direct and honest with each other. All three of us keep it 100 and I think that’s why it works for us. (We) are able to talk openly and honestly with each other. We have each other’s backs and share a common goal, and that goal is to be the best.
Moguldom: What are the challenges of working with family?
Gabrielle Valmon: Conflicts are a part of normal experiences for any startup business, especially family-owned businesses, however, we are committed and share a sense of solidarity that only comes from having a tight family tie.
Moguldom: Is this your first involvement in tech work?
Camille Valmon: We want to change the gender gap when it comes to women in the tech industry, especially African-American women and people of color. Women make up a substantial amount of the workplace in corporations and large companies, however, they still represent a very small number in the tech industry — less than 1 percent of venture capital-backed internet companies that were founded by African Americans. Silicon Valley needs to work on recruiting more minorities because there is so much talent out there.
Joe Creadle: This is our first involvement in the tech industry and boy has been an amazing journey. To see the birth of this social media website that is going to change the lives of so many people globally is a great feeling. We want to see Silicon Valley be more inclusive when it comes to people of color.
Moguldom: How did you fund the startup?
Gabrielle Valmon: We knew going into this that creating our startup would take a lot of money. We raised money from family and friends, along with each of us personally financing Healthguv.
Moguldom: Are you concerned about the future of healthcare in the U.S.?
Joe Creadle: We are very concerned. We have spoken to many patients about what’s going on with politics and healthcare. People are concerned, people are afraid of losing their health insurance. .Republicans and Democrats need to figure it out. People’s lives are at stake. The Affordable Care Act has helped millions of people, but the Republicans want to do away with it. There are many people against the Affordable Care Act because of Obama. I have seen Republican patients talk negatively about Obama Care, talking about how they want Congress to do away with it, even though it’s saving their lives. They don’t even realize that their treatments and medications were made affordable because of the Affordable Care Act. I do a lot of educating when it comes to this because there are many people out there listening to politicians and news media.
Camille Valmon: Efforts made by the Republicans to repeal and replace President Obama’s landmark health law have been going on for years. The bill became a personification of their adversary, with the Republicans attempting to vilify the Affordable Care Act by calling it Obama Care. It’s politics along with racism.
Gabrielle Valmon: People are actually turning to social media to share and support each other, using social media to communicate and share their health information and experiences on social media. Social media and health have penetrated society as a whole to the point where it has become a place where people from all over the world share health-related interests and concerns. The fact of the matter is that viewpoints of people on social media influence people’s decision making.
Moguldom: What have been some startup challenges?
Joe Creadle: Winning the customers’ trust is king. Customers have been using Facebook, WebMD, YouTube, and Twitter to communicate and interact regarding health. Then Healthguv came along and changed the way people look at health and social media. We are a social media website that encompasses everything. I use the analogy of Facebook colliding with WebMD to create Healthguv. That being said, in order to face and tackle the challenges of a violent business world, along with being a new startup, and being an African-American tech company, we need to continue to be resilient and focus on keeping and winning the customers’ trust and integrity against all odds.
Moguldom: What are your goals for 2018?
Camille Valmon: Our goal for 2018 is to hit the 100-million member mark and to build a health community for people globally. We want to reach people from all walks of life. From that rural community to people living in Third World countries, our goal is to connect all. We want to grow Healthguv and add fun new features to the website.
Joe Creadle: We want to change the way people look at healthcare and social media, one heartbeat at a time.