Health IT Startup: Gauze
With a powerful database of more than 20,000 hospitals, Gauze helps employees, students and staff find the exact medical facility for their healthcare needs just when they need it. Search by an array of criteria, such as international hospital accreditations and certifications, that demonstrate adherence to global quality standards; medical specializations such as oncology, trauma, or endocrinology to direct you to the hospital with services to match your needs; or even whether a facility is publicly or privately funded which may dictate if they offer emergency or trauma services in the first place. Stop looking for a needle in a haystack—search Gauze to find the right healthcare provider for your emergency and basic healthcare needs while away from home.
You’ve got Montezuma’s Revenge in Mexico. Or, having a heart attack in Hamburg. Perhaps you’re simply sick in Seoul. You don’t speak the language. You might be scared. And, you don’t know where to go. We do. We’re Gauze and we’re transforming the way people connect with healthcare around the world. Gauze uses proprietary information and disruptive technology to connect the 1.1 billion international travelers around the world with any healthcare facility outside the United States right when they need it, according to their specific medical needs and geographic location.
Inspiration for origin
I (CEO Sue Garber) became ill while visiting the Middle East and, like many other travelers, waited until I got home to receive care. Turns out, I needed open heart surgery to fix a congenital heart defect I never knew I had. My situation was pretty dire and sickness affects all of us regardless of our current location. I had worked in international healthcare and medical assistance for several years and knew that getting appropriate tools, information and resources into the hands of those who are outside their home countries would facilitate access to quality healthcare no matter where you find yourself.
How your company differentiates itself from the competition
There is currently no company offering such an immediate, accurate and technology-based solution such as Gauze. Medical assistance companies rely on telephonic communication to physically speak with a person prior to referring them to an appropriate medical facility. This can be costly with international roaming rates coming into play, not to mention the time-cost factor of waiting for a phone representative to tend to your needs. Gauze removes the middle man by giving immediate access to valuable healthcare information in virtually any country around the globe. Gauze covers the world, protecting you.
Gauze offers B2B services for multi-national organizations who send out international travelers and expatriates, universities that offer study-abroad programs to students and faculty, and nonprofit organizations that are sending out charity and missionary workers to some of the most remote places on earth. As such, Gauze participates in a wide variety of thought leadership, social media and speaking platforms across a broad spectra of professional and industry associations who are geared toward keeping travelers and expatriates healthy while abroad.
The international medical assistance community is relatively tight knit with many employees from one organization making their rounds through the various players. These options include Medex, HTH Worldwide, Global Rescue, ISOS and OnCall International. There’s a number of smaller operators as well that earn less than $50 million and it’s estimated that the entire industry nets around $3 billion. With only a fraction of the 1.1 billion travelers actively utilizing these services, there is room for expansion–particularly via disruptive technology that facilitates interaction across a more mobile and technologically connected audience.
Gauze utilizes both a subscription-based model along with a licensing model of fees depending upon the ultimate utilization of the technology. Since confidentiality is built into every user experience, the likelihood of increased customer interactions is a major selling point; the majority of today’s travelers do not want to speak to a live person to be referred to an appropriate healthcare facility in country — they want care at their fingertips now. Further, investment in technology reduces costs for possible emergency evacuations as care is administered quickly thus potentially bypassing the need for an airlift. Clients can expect to see their traditional costs of international medical assistance decrease by upwards of 30 percent.
We are always looking for organizations who are interested in partnering with us to keep their globally mobile populations healthy while representing their company, university or NGO outside their home country. Key departmental contacts are within the travel, IT, security and HR functions.
Bootstraps or investors? Why? Funders?
A blend of both. Been bootstrapping for the first six months, which has been an exercise in creativity, passion and flexibility. To bring on qualified talent, we have sought outside investment from a handful of trusted investors — all of whom are medical doctors in the US and understand the need for this type of a service based upon the experiences of their own patients.
Number of full-time employees