As individuals try to manage medical information and understand their condition, many typically turn to Google or WebMD — neither of which does much to verify or provide the latest information. But Roon plans to change that with a medical education platform for vetted information, coming exclusively from doctors, patients and healthcare providers.
By collecting the data it makes available on individual conditions, Roon aims to reassure patients and caregivers that it is accurate and well sourced.
“We do pay lip service to health care providers, but there is so much more that can and should be done to recognize the important role they play in health management,” said Roon co-founder Rohan Ramakrishna, who previously worked as a neurosurgeon. “And so when we build this medical canon of information, we all take that into account so we can meet the unique needs of both patients and healthcare providers within each individual condition.”
In addition to Ramakrishna, Pinterest’s former marketing heads Vikram Bhaskaran and engineering partner Arun Ranganathan. They entered health technology with Roon, hoping to reinvent what it means to receive medical information after working as a healthcare provider themselves.
Bhaskaran and Ranganathan realized that it was unnecessarily difficult to look up information about the condition of their loved ones. After coming up with the idea with Ramakrishna, Roon was born.
“There is so much medical misinformation… in 2022 it’s bizarre that patients have nowhere to go to answer questions,” Bhaskaran told londonbusinessblog.com in an interview.
The company claims to be a “humanizing medicine” for people who have questions but don’t have an address.
Roon aims to provide healthcare providers and patients with what they consider “medically vetted” information about serious medical conditions. For starters, they only provide information about glioblastomas, a type of brain tumor, and have 200 active users. The company hopes to expand into dementia, childhood cancer and ALS.
“Everything we build starts with actually finding the experts in a condition and really empowering them to create content that is appropriate for patients and caregivers,” Bhaskaran said.
Someone using the platform will receive a medical starter kit – organized information to give a general understanding of the condition; then they can ask specific questions if they haven’t already been answered in the platform’s FAQ.
While the company claims there’s little to no competition, of course anyone can still do a simple Google search and get information (though it may not be as concise) or turn to WebMD (which collects and summarizes information). One thing the founders also emphasized to londonbusinessblog.com was that doctors typically spend time answering the basic questions and don’t go into full detail on the condition, although their doctor can still be a source of information for the patient and caregiver.
For a deeper look at a particular condition, patients and caregivers may want to hear directly from today’s specialists, as well as others who can share their first-hand experience. That’s the curated content that Roon wants to make available.
Despite being just over a year old, the company has received support in the form of a $7.5 million seed round led by Firstmark, TMV and Sequoia, with participation from SV Angel, Maverson and M13. The company has also brought in 11 angel investors and four advisors.
For now, the company says they’re “a little vague about where we’re going because we’ve had some great insights on how we’re taking this, but all parts of it are going to get better.” However, the founders told londonbusinessblog.com that the money from this round will be used to expand their team and implement more information about the condition.
“All that time, energy and money is spent on making shopping easier,” Ramakrishna said. “What if we could expend the same amount of energy and ingenuity to make the experience of health that much better?”