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May. 3, 2013 9:30 am

1DocWay wins Independence Blue Cross’ $50K healthcare venture competition

In a few months since winning the IBX challenge, 1DocWay increased the number of people it serves from 200 patients to more than 2,000, allowing patients to make appointments and connect with physicians right in their living rooms.

Samir Malik, CEO of 1DocWay. Photo from Wharton.

This is a guest post by Tom Olenzak, innovation director at Independence Blue Cross. The Game Changers Challenge isn't the health insurance firm's only foray into the local tech startup world: it's also a partner on the new DreamIt Ventures health acceleratorFind our previous coverage of the Game Changers Challenge here.

Technology is dramatically transforming health care and to succeed, companies must embrace change or get left behind.

Independence Blue Cross (IBC) has made it a priority to find and support driven entrepreneurs with new ideas that address healthcare’s most challenging issues. We’re taking important steps toward making Philadelphia a national magnet for health care innovation, investment and employment.

This past summer, IBC partnered with The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia to create the IBX Game Changers Challenge, with the goal of providing support and guidance to promising health care entrepreneurs from across the country. We received 150 applications and after 15 finalists presented us their company’s business case, we chose three companies we believed would have the most significant impact on improving health care.

1DocWay, a DreamIt Ventures New York company headquartered in New York City, was one of the three winners (the other two winners were QuickSeeMD and Kitchen Cred).

Cofounder Samir Malik, who attended Wharton for undergrad and his MBA, and his partners created a unique service that quickly and conveniently connects patients living in rural settings with quality mental health services — something they previously lacked — through a HIPAA-compliant video chat platform. What stood out to our Game Changer judges was how easy logging on, scheduling an appointment, and chatting with a doctor is through 1Doc Way. It’s a secure, confidential video encounter with an accredited psychiatrist and you never have to leave home.

Through the Challenge, IBC awarded 1DocWay a $50,000 grant toward expanding the business, mentoring and support from IBC leadership and the Wharton Entrepreneurial Program, a consulting session with ?WHAT IF! Innovation Partners, and work space and advisory services at Venturef0rth.

We’re very excited about the rapid progress and growth of 1DocWay since winning our Challenge. In a few months, 1DocWay increased the number of people it serves from 200 patients to more than 2,000, allowing patients to make appointments and connect with physicians right in their living rooms.

Malik, 27, and his equally young team are a prime example of the younger generation’s dedication to improving the health care industry through innovative technology solutions. 1DocWay currently has five full-time employees, and within the next month, they plan to hire four more as the demand for their services grows.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technical.ly Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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