We caught up with Brian Berchtold, CEO of SkinCheck Online. He’s a health tech executive who’s built and launched multiple digital health solutions. He and his team are on a mission to simplify skin care for busy people.
Tell me about SkinCheck.
SkinCheck Online is all about simplifying dermatology. We have an online-board of dermatologists that will evaluate skin conditions within 48 hours. Patients take and send photos, describe their symptoms, and view their diagnosis and treatment plan. Our goal is to eliminate the need for appointments and waiting rooms, allowing dermatologists to provide an evaluation right from the comfort of the patient’s home.
When did SkinCheck first start?
We started the company a little over a year ago in Denmark. We created a basic platform, did a proof of concept and treated 350 patients. Our team has done business together and been in the dermatology space previously. We talked about the advent of technology and the consumerization of healthcare, and how we needed to offer a technology solution to dermatologists.
Why did you create SkinCheck?
We wanted dermatologists to better manage and provide greater care for their patients. In the U.S., the average wait time to see a dermatologist is 33 days; in Canada it’s 6 months. We wanted to create a solution that allows clinics to more efficiently treat the right patient at the right time with the right service, in the most cost effective and efficient way.
Our goal is to eliminate the need for appointments and waiting rooms, allowing dermatologists to provide an evaluation right from the comfort of the patient’s home.
Why does it take so long for a patient to get an evaluation?
The commercialization of healthcare has made dermatologists focus more on procedures. They try to augment their income by providing cosmetic procedures (e.g. botox, injectables, laser treatments, etc.), all the services that a patient would pay cash for. As they spend more time on these procedures, they have less time to treat patients medically, resulting in longer wait times.
It’s also hard for parents too, who might need to take time off work and take their children out of school to see a dermatologist. We see a greater opportunity to provide faster and better care without taking a child out of school, receive the right treatment, and monitor it on an ongoing basis.
The Importance of Compliance
At what point did SkinCheck start thinking about privacy and security and needing to be compliant?
Our previous CTO suggested to do it right from the very beginning and create a secure platform. He had created other software apps and recommended MedStack for compliance. We love the simple model of MedStack and appreciate that we weren’t just a customer. MedStack has relationships with expert consultants in compliance that gave value and assistance on HIPAA.
Is the compliance piece something investors care about?
Definitely, but it’s more so a checkbox for investors. Investors assume it is incorporated into the due diligence model and want it to be done. In the U.S., the patient information we hold has to be private, HIPAA compliant, and secure. MedStack made it easy for us and provided a turnkey solution that was scalable, allowing dermatologists to focus only on their practice.
What’s next in line for SkinCheck?
We clearly see a global expansion. We’re currently in the U.S. and will expand to Canada and Europe next. We’re excited about our telehealth solution. It’s focused around the patient and physician community, and is the right solution at the right time.