Getting a medical cannabis recommendation is often the start of a beautiful relationship between patient and plant.
Unfortunately, the process of getting a physician’s recommendation has gotten a bad rap due to unwelcoming doctor’s cannabis clinics and widespread abuse of the medical cannabis system in general. Many qualified patients still do not seek out a recommendation because they think the process will be too time-intensive, too expensive, too embarrassing, or their personal information will somehow be exposed.
One company decided to package their expertise from the larger telehealth field, and apply it to changing the system of medical cannabis recommendations. Introducing HelloMD – one of the fastest-growing online communities serving today’s cannabis user.
They now operate legally in California, with more states on the way, providing online doctor consultations and recommendations, and it comes with a SAS (Software As a Service) solution that helps cannabis retailers acquire new patients and renew existing ones. Read on to learn more about how this technology platform could be the future of medical cannabis recommendations.
Capitalizing on the dissatisfaction with the legacy process in place for medical cannabis consults, and on the growing demand for cannabis as a wellness solution, HelloMD aims to be the premium brand offering online consultations, medical recommendations, health and wellness news, product information, and education.
It appears to be working, HelloMD is adding thousands of customers to their platform every few weeks with revenue growing 30% monthly.
Key to their success has been driving exponential growth in traffic to their website (with above average conversion rates) and by offering larger delivery, dispensary and product companies a reliable solution for acquiring and keeping customers.
HelloMD was originally launched in 2013 as a telehealth platform serving more conventional markets. Specifically, HelloMD was connecting affluent residents of emerging countries with the best doctors in the USA. This served patients well, given the lesser options in their own countries. It also served the doctors well by creating secondary sources of revenue without having to deal with insurance companies.
While the concept was quickly validated by demand, it was clear that the space was becoming saturated. At the same time, as the cannabis culture was exploding state-side, it became clear that a better opportunity existed, and one for which the company could leverage almost all of its investment to date – the platform, back-end, and the HelloMD brand.
After a short test, a full pivot to the medical cannabis space was decided. The legacy method of getting a physician’s recommendation was ripe for disruption, which the platform’s post-launch growth has continued to validate.
“These are the hallmarks of a top-tier Health & Wellness brand. That has been our goal, and it remains our vision,” said Mark Hadfield, HelloMD’s Founder and CEO. “As we grow, we shall continue building upon our brand such that HelloMD becomes synonymous with health and wellness through cannabis, and to become a premium brand in the industry as it grows and matures nationwide.”
How does it work?
Patients connect to a doctor from the comfort of their home or office, using just a smart-phone, tablet or laptop. The platform manages the initial data input from prospective patients, after which the patient is put in virtual queue to meet with one of HelloMD’s on-staff doctors, via integrated video chat.
During the pre-queue and queue process, should a patient need assistance, HelloMD concierge staff are able to join sessions in real-time and answer questions, or help as need be. The experience is as if a patient were actually at a physician’s office – and they are, only virtually. Assuming the patient has been approved, their digital recommendation (a fully legal medical cannabis recommendation) is stored privately in their user account – which they can access at any time – and subsequently a hard copy and ID card is sent out to their mailing address.
The total elapsed appointment time, end-to-end (including the form filling), is typically less than 30 minutes, and the service is available 7 days a week.
Product, delivery and dispensary partners seeking to grow and retain their customer base, integrate the HelloMD solution directly into their own websites – with their branding applied. This way, they no longer have to refuse service on the basis that a medical card has expired; instead they offer patients a telehealth consultation ‘on the spot,’ then continue with the sales process once the patient successfully completes their consult.
Who is it for?
HelloMD’s patient demographic covers a wide spectrum, although the company has observed a typical demographic that is 40+ years in age, evenly split male and female, professional, and exhausted by the demands of work, family and the relentless pace of life.
Common symptoms include stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and migraines with patients concerned with the quantity and toxicity of pharmaceuticals (or alcohol) that they have included in their diet to cope. All are seeking a more natural, holistic, and less-toxic alternative and are curious about the benefits of cannabis. HelloMD has also observed great interest from elderly people. Regardless, all of these are non-traditional cannabis consumers, and are indicative of a much larger demographic than the recreational [stoner] consumer.
Why would a customer use HelloMD over a competitor? Simple: Its ease to use, private, professional, and convenient. The service takes just 20-30 minutes to complete. Patients love the experience and provide 5-star reviews.
Traditional healthcare is neither informed nor equipped to serve patients that may benefit from cannabis as a treatment option. Doctors are often ill-informed, or even hostile toward the subject. Patients are then left on their own to navigate this emerging landscape. Add to that, the fact that cannabis clinics tend to be located in sketchy neighborhoods, and do not offer quality medical consultations. All of this keeps many patients that have legitimate need for cannabis from participating in the market.
HelloMD offers the patient a discrete consultation with a knowledgeable doctor in the privacy of their own home – or wherever, and whenever, it is convenient for them. The entire process is quick, private, secure and fully legal in the states HelloMD operates.
Retailers of medical cannabis are faced with a limited addressable market; they can only sell to those patients that are compliant. HelloMD is solving that problem too, every day. Product, delivery and dispensary partners seeking to grow their customer base also love the service, as it removes the burden of regulatory compliance from them – and creates new customers.
HelloMD’s senior team is comprised of long-time entrepreneurs with successful track records in disrupting traditional market places and bringing highly innovative solutions to market. The team includes a top-tier-agency branding and marketing veteran, a skill critical to navigating this evolving yet controversial landscape. Also, HelloMD has a senior medical officer who brings his rigor and approach from the conventional medical side, ensuring that all doctors and processes are the most upstanding and credible in the industry.
Ultimately, the company’s approach is reaching an untapped market; those patients long put off by the long-standing brick & mortar clinic options are attracted by the convenience, discretion, safety, and credibility HelloMD offer. The result is a positive one for the industry as a whole. Every day, HelloMD is on-ramping net new cannabis consumers to the market.
In the state of California, HelloMD has quickly become known as the preferred alternative for obtaining a medical cannabis recommendation, and is earning its reputation based on professionalism, trust and the high level of service offered to patients and partners.