A Healthy Startup Inspired by an Unhealthy Problem
This article is written by Jeremiah Uke, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
Eren Bali is an entrepreneur, CEO, and co-founder of Carbon Health, for 9 years and counting he has also served as a co-founder and CEO of Udemy, an online learning platform used all over the world, Eren was present as a speaker at the Etohum San Francisco 2017 meeting, where he narrated his journey to building Carbon Health, his healthcare startup.
Whilst still the CEO of ed-tech startup Udemy, Eren Bali’s mother who lived in Turkey developed an abdominal and back pain, painkillers seemed to only make the pains worse as she was not recovering even after seeing a doctor, she developed a complete body stroke which completely paralyzed her body, Eren had to come back to Turkey from San Francisco to take his mom to virtually every doctor they knew to diagnose the illness.
Eren’s sister who is a doctor extracted all of her mom’s medical records, images and reports from all doctors they had seen, she organized these documents into a file, each doctor had the same routine, they look into the collated file and take a few personal notes, they also skipped all medical images because they had no software for viewing them. After taking down notes, each doctor would come up with what he thinks is the right diagnosis.
Eventually, the 14th doctor correctly diagnosed the ailment, it was a rare disease called Neurosarcoidosis, Eren’s mom recovered from the illness 3-4 months after the diagnosis. Eren was getting ready to return to San Francisco for Udemy, but in the process whilst still in Turkey, he analyzed the medical process, and how every patient’s medical records were all disorganized when they should be in one place instead. He also found out that the medical system was organized in a way to make medical administration smoother and not around the patient.
A few years later, Eren stepped down from the CEO position at Udemy, he still had the idea of finding a way to organize medical records and keep them in a single place, he had conversations about it and kept on thinking about it, considering that startups like Udemy had become the world’s largest school, Airbnb was the world’s largest accommodation company, and Uber had become the world’s biggest transport company, Eren asked “what if I could build the world’s largest hospital?”, the idea would be to decentralize the care given by doctors and bring them to one place, and also having medical records of every patient in that same place, Eren worked out the details and complexities in 2005 and concluded that it was too much to be able to achieve, but still, he kept on having conversations on it.
Eren had raised funds from angel investors for an auxiliary product that was almost set to launch, he convinced his team and investors about building the healthcare solution, after raising more funds through his investors, Eren successfully built Carbon Health to deliver urgent care to patients, Carbon Health currently offers a series of services to users, users are able to locate and walk into modern Carbon Health clinics and get urgent medical attention by booking appointments on their website or mobile app. Users are also able to hold video calls with professional doctors and receive the care they need for relief from a variety of ailments.