In the world of self-pay physician services, connecting patients and providers on a broad scale has been difficult, but with the introduction of its ShoutMD platform and the launch of a direct-to-consumer ad campaign, Alphaeon Corp. is creating what CEO Robert E. Grant called “a whole ecosystem” that aims to do that and more for participating specialists.
At OIS@AAO 2015, Grant announced Alphaeon was launching Shout MD as a “social commerce” site that awards physicians points based on followership, much like Facebook or Instagram, as well as purchases the physician makes through a supply-purchasing portal. Those points translate into influence scores; the higher the influence score, the better the position for physicians in the Find-a-Physician portal where consumers search for specialists who provide self-pay services.
“This is intended to drive all self-pay healthcare procedures across specialties,” Grant said. “We now represent about 40% of all plastic surgeons, approximately 38% of all refractive ophthalmologists and about 21% of all dermatologists.” More than 4,500 physicians have joined ShoutMD.
The direct-to-consumer campaign will “introduce us as the first leader in the lifestyle healthcare market,” Grant said. The consumer app is like “an Uber” for finding specialists around the world. “There’s not a larger physician specialist network in the world as a single group or under a single brand,” he said.
Alphaeon is focusing solely in the $1.6 trillion lifestyle healthcare sector, not reimbursable services and products, Grant said. It has also created a framework through which participating physicians can become Alphaeon branded practices by compiling points through purchases of self-pay supplies on ShoutMD, which passes along discounts to participating physicians. Alphaeon collects a fee “like a royalty” for products sold.
The idea is to allow specialists to build equity in their own practices. “We simply want to provide them with all the benefits of being a member of group and have franchise status only if they want that so they can move toward a more successful retirement by building an asset,” Grant said.
During the AAO meeting, Alphaeon announced that it had completed a private placement of Series B preferred stock. Sailing Capital led the transaction. H&S Ventures LLC, Longitude Capital and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises also participated.
Robert E. Grant
For over 20 years, Robert Grant has played a pivotal role in successful technology and business development in pharmaceutical, medical device, and healthcare markets.