Building a Product for Doctors When MVP Is Just Not Enough - image

Building a Product for Doctors When MVP Is Just Not Enough — Jack Godau, Digital Health Interviews

We’re back with our Digital Health Interviews series and would like to introduce today’s guest, Jack Godau — Digital Evolution Expert and Chief Digital Officer (CDO) at “doctorly” (Berlin, Germany).


Jack Godau: Chief Digital Officer at “doctorly” — a cloud-powered practice management platform for doctors, a health app for patients, and an integration platform for the broader health industry. His competence is organizational, technical, and strategic leadership of the entire technical side of the company (CTO, DevOps, Development, QA, Scrum, Infrastructure, Architecture). Jack is also Digital Evolution Mentor in the “Mentoring Club” initiative. He helps organizations of all types and sizes manage their digital evolution by providing technical and strategic leadership, guidance, and coaching.

Jack started writing software when he was 10. Before becoming a leadership-level organizer of software development teams running projects, he was a software developer, architect, and consultant. It was a progression for him from being an individual contributor to being in charge of a group of people.

In order to feel confident in the German healthcare space, most of all, you need resilience and tenacity. As our expert says, Germany is incredibly highly regulated: you require a lot of certificates for your software and all the processes outside the software development.

Jack Godau: We look to oversee whether candidates can operate the technology we are using. They should know the code technology we are employing them for. I’m looking for people who take honors and are proud of their work. Also, being an engineering leader over the years, I know that people can learn how to create code and use different languages and processes, but they won't change who they are mentally. And having people who fit together in the team and can communicate well is highly important.

Our guest inspiringly talks about the project in which he actively participates, “doctorly,” — an organization to enable everybody to live a healthy life.

Jack Godau: In Germany, the healthcare system is very paper-based. People must take their papers and outpatient cards from one doctor to another. Our first idea was to build this integration between places. Then we realized it wouldn’t work: doctors’ software still comes from the 90s or 2000s. It’s familiar to the “Minesweeper” game. They are forced to become IT people to install updates by themselves. Before building bridges for information, we needed to create an excellent tap to start with. We decided to make practice management software with everything a doctor needs in the office: appointments, scheduling, patients’ records, prescriptions, diagnoses, medications, services, and billing. That’s hard because the MVP is all of it; you can’t have the software just for prescriptions. It was a long time until we reached the point where we are in the market now. We produce fully cloud-based software services. The doctors can use it both from their offices and homes, giving much more flexibility. It’s not for hospitals; it’s only for one, two, or three doctors and a couple of staff who have their practice, where they may see their patients.

“doctorly” is a good product that solves the problem of a lack of up-to-date software for doctors.

Jack Godau: The technical innovation of it is delivering software as a service (SaaS). This is very new for Germany, where 95% of specialists have physical software in their offices. Our solution is rather complex, but it’s much easier to use. The doctors have 2 hours of training for “doctorly” use; after an hour, they can operate the system independently and do everything they should do there. The system has easy onboarding and excellent support.

The company has a large group of partner practicing doctors to consult and know how they work in essential details. “doctorly” rolls up new features every couple of weeks. It has a roadmap plan: what’s coming this quarter, the next one, and what the things are that the company still wants to build. It’s determined by the team's conversations with its partners, doctors, sales, and customer support. Every quarter, updates are made for a new list of diagnoses and government regulations. The goal of “doctorly” is to make doctors work more effectively, so they spend their time treating patients, not fighting with the software.

The main challenge for Jack, as he says, is finding proper people. Staffing is a huge challenge. It’s crucial to have the right people with the right mentality. He also dedicates time to building the company culture and promoting values. Our expert imagines the future of work in culture, flexibility, and team enablement.

And traditionally, in the final of the episode, there are some invaluable pieces of advice for startup founders in digital health.

Jack Godau: Commonly, I see that people come with great ideas but wait too long to bring on people with experience and seniority. You need somebody who knows if this is the right technology for your company as soon as possible. Sometimes people are great at technology but not as people, and that won’t work. Focus on having the right skills both for the professional and individual side. You need people who can sell the vision and the ideas not only to the investors but also to the developers, the product team, and the others who might be integrating within the rest of the software community. Think about where you are, what you need, and what the problem is. Don’t wait until anything becomes a problem. Try to focus on it as early as you can afford.

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Our previous episode was with Jonas Albert: How DiGA & DiPA Work and Digital Health in Germany.


Alex Koshykov
Alex Koshykov (COO) with more than 10 years of experience in product and project management, passionate about startups and building an ecosystem for them to succeed.
Mariia Maliuta
Mariia Maliuta (Copywriter) "Woman of the Word" in BeKey; technical translator/interpreter & writer

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