It’s perhaps not as sexy as other markets, but the Australian HealthTech space is booming right now. From platforms such as Doctus and The Medic, which connect distant or time-poor patients with GPs, to My Health Test, which home delivers blood test kits, innovation in the local space is strong. So strong, in fact, that health insurance company HCF last month partnered with Slingshot to launch a healthtech accelerator, providing companies with up to $150,000 in seed funding.
CareMonkey is yet another success story. It’s been quite a year for the startup, which recently won a Talent Unleashed award and a trip to Richard Branson’s Necker Island and took out the top prize at last month’s Slush event in Finland, winning 650,000 euros. The company, which has created a medical information platform that keeps medical and emergency details up to date for any organisation with a duty of care, launched in 2013 after founder and CEO Troy Westley was rummaging around his office and found an asthma action plan for his seven year old son gathering dust in a filing cabinet.
He was horrified to think that information that could save his son’s life was not being shared with people who are charge of taking care of him, and so came up with CareMonkey, a social network of sorts for sharing medical information and advice about individuals with their friends, families, teachers, carers, coaches – anyone who may spend time around them and therefore be present in the event of a medical emergency. A simple idea at its core, the platform can be the difference between a life saved and a life lost.
Though he had more than 25 years experience in IT in a variety of technical, sales, marketing, and management roles with organisations such as Google and Salesforce, Westley soon decided he needed a technical co-founder, and brought on Martin Howell, co-founder of realestate.com.au, as CTO.
The growth of CareMonkey over the last two years has been impressive: marketing manager Anelia Heese said CareMonkey now has customers across Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, Philippines, and Singapore, with these customers ranging from schools through to partners including VicSports and Asthma Australia.
“In the beginning, we had a few Catholic secondary schools who bought our product, and this grew until we had over 25 percent of the Victorian Catholic secondary school market. We initially sold to schools, clubs and businesses one at a time with direct sales people. We now also have distribution partners who sell or generate leads for CareMonkey,” Heese said.
Pricing varies according to the type of organisation using the platform – social and sporting clubs pay $3 per profile, while education providers pay $7.50 per profile and professional users $30 per profile. The platform is free for individuals to use with family and friends.
Upon signup, organisations are given a set of templates they can use to introduce CareMonkey to their end users or community to make adoption easy. The startup also provides an online chat, knowledge base, and email and phone support.
The education and recreation spaces are, of course, huge markets for the startup, with school and sports administrators having a duty of care towards thousands of students – it isn’t hard to see parents keen to take the time to set up and fill out a profile for their child to ensure that they’re taken care of while out of the house. As such, the platform has integrated with a number of platforms working within these markets.
“We have integrations with school administration systems such as Human Edge SAS2000, and sports admin systems such as FOX SPORTS PULSE which is used by 30,000 clubs in ANZ. This has helped us grow our business significantly. We are building integrations to many other admin and HR systems such as Oracle, SAP, Xero and Reckon so that we can be a useful ‘Health and Safety’ plug-in for any organisation,” Heese said.
Though CareMonkey has long been international, Heese said the exposure garnered from winning the Slush event last month came at the perfect time, with CareMonkey ready to really push its global expansion.
Howell added, “Winning at Slush is a great recognition of the hard work the team has put in over the last four years. We’ve got so many stories of teachers who have used our app during life-threatening incidents to care better for their students, and we will definitely use this award to scale up our operations so that more organisations can adopt CareMonkey. We look forward to taking this to other markets.”
As well as helping the startup expand, the Slush prize money has also lessened the need to seek investors for the time being.
Heese said, “We are willing to talk to investors if they think they can help us grow the business and we are very keen to talk to talk to organisations that are willing to partner with us.”
Image: CareMonkey CEO Troy Westley. Source: CareMonkey