MEDIBOOKR TAKES TOP PRIZE AT PITCH COMPETITION
When Sunny Nadolsky set out to create an online platform allowing patients to compare pricing for medical imaging services, she had two things in mind: efficiency and transparency.
“If you’ve ever had the experience of getting a MRI or someone you know [has], you’ve probably noticed there’s a big price variant for the same MRI procedure across town — from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars,” Nadolsky explained to a packed room at the Addison TreeHouse Wednesday night.
The concept resonated with judges in the Southwest Airlines “Soar to Success” Business Pitch Competition, who selected MediBookr as its inaugural winner.
“Our winner is someone who will — we think — democratize health care.”
Liji Thomas, a Soar to Success judge and Southwest Airlines senior manager of diversity and inclusion, said the medical platform captures the spirit of the Dallas-based airline (NYSE: LUV).
“We started out with an entrepreneurial vision to very much democratize the skies and make travel affordable for everybody,” Thomas said. “Our winner is someone who will — we think — democratize health care.”
Southwest Airlines and Addison TreeHouse partnered for the contest, which invited women and minority entrepreneurs in North Texas to submit their business plans.
MediBookr beat out four other startups whose offerings include subscription-based spice kits (Spice Madam), virtual tours of interior apartment spaces (Roomored), on demand truck rentals (PICKUP), and software helping other companies make informed decisions on data and insight (Rapidi2i).
As the winner, Nadolsky took home free flights for a year for her business. She’ll also be tasked with sharing those travel experiences via social media, videos, and blogs.
It’s not MediBookr’s first accolade. Recently, the Dallas-based medical platform also was selected to take part in the next Health Wildcatters class. It will be the first batch of startups to operate in the accelerator’s new downtown Dallas space.
With health insurance plans that have higher deductibles and copays or for people without insurance, there’s a growing demand for price shopping in the medical services realm, Nadolsky said.
Similar to what Priceline.com does for travel-related expenses, MediBookr provides information on pricing, location, and service reviews for procedures such as a PET Scan, MRI, mammogram, EKG, or X-ray. With those details in hand, users can book an appointment straight on the website.
“At the end of the day, [we want to] help millions of patients, not just in DFW, but in other cities to save time, save money, get piece of mind, and also help save lives.”
The platform is only available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with about 12 participating health-care providers at the moment, but Nadolsky is looking to bring on more outpatient imaging centers and expand access to 15 cities.
“This definitely will help our acceleration into those other markets,” Nadolsky said of the free air travel.
Eventually, she sees potential to broaden the platform’s reach to other medical services such as surgeries and prescription drugs.
“At the end of the day, [we want to] help millions of patients, not just in DFW, but in other cities to save time, save money, get piece of mind, and also help save lives,” Nadolsky said.
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