Digital Health Champions: Sophie Chung And The Vision Behind Qunomedical
In a series of interviews with founders and innovation champions, we will provide exclusive insights into the emerging domain of Digital Health. First is Sophie Chung, founder of Qunomedical. Qunomedical is a Berlin-based digital medical travel hub that provides patients around the world with access to affordable healthcare. Their vision is to transform how patients access and experience healthcare by leveraging smart technology and codifying expert knowledge with medical facts and data.
Could you briefly introduce yourself? Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Sophie, Medical Doctor by training and founder and CEO of Qunomedical, a digital health hub that provides patients around the world access to immediate, affordable, high quality healthcare. Our headquarters are based in Berlin, Germany.
Why Digital Health and what was your pathway into the field?
After my studies in medicine I started working with patients as a doctor in Australia and later at an NGO in Cambodia. I realised that access to affordable healthcare is not just a problem in developing countries, but a global one.
The idea of improving access to healthcare by using smart technology had been at the back of my mind ever since.
What is the unique appeal of the company you lead?
Qunomedical connects patients with high quality but affordable medical treatments worldwide. We work for patients, not clinics – this allows us to give patients an unbiased and transparent overview of the options they have.
Instead of having to browse through massive amounts of confusing information, we only show patients high quality facilities that we’ve selected through our proprietary quality scoring algorithm.
What drives you to continually advance your company?
The opportunity to change patients’ lives and the continuous support of my team. As an early-stage startup you can’t offer much more than your idea and your full commitment. It humbles me every day that there is such a strong and smart team evolving around Qunomedical. I am extremely thankful for that.
Which Digital Health development so far do you consider the most remarkable?
It’s tough to pick just one. I am pretty impressed by what zocdoc, my former employer has done. They made it possible for patients in the US being able to get a doctor’s appointment within 24 hours – something that usually comes with a multi-week long wait time. They created a delightful product, supported by amazing technology and are having incredible impact by improving access to care.
Which game-changing product or service can we look forward to?
I don’t believe it will be one game-changing product but rather that access to healthcare will be completely redefined. We are moving to a world where patients seamlessly move across borders for medical treatment, to where they can receive the best treatment at the best price. I am convinced globalization does not stop at healthcare.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in the field of Digital Health?
Gaining patients’ trust. We’re not in the business of selling shoes, we continuously have to prove to patients that they are putting their health in safe hands.
What advice would you give graduates who want to join the Digital Health industry or a Digital Health start-up?
Be humble, work hard and join a start-up that always puts patients’ interests and needs first. In this industry trust has to come before growth.
Which concrete problems or challenges within the field of Digital Health are these graduates going to face?
It’s a promising and rewarding field but you have to be prepared to face obstacles other industries may not, such as patient data confidentiality and regulations. I believe we are being watched more closely and with more wariness than start-ups in other industries and as a result we have to work even harder to prove that our ideas have a place and voice in this world.
Which three qualities should an ideal candidate have?
Commitment, humility, endurance.
Sophie Chung, thank you very much!
Dr. Sophie Chung is the founder and CEO of Qunomedical, a digital health platform that matches patients worldwide with high-quality medical care at an affordable price. After earning her MD degree from the Medical University of Vienna in 2008, Sophie gained firsthand experience in treating patients as a doctor in Australia and serving as Director of Healthcare Strategy at Zocdoc in New York, a healthcare technology startup focused on doctor discovery and appointment booking.
She was also a Strategy Consultant for McKinsey & Company’s Healthcare Practice where she worked with government, hospital, health insurance and pharmaceutical industry clients around the world. Sophie has completed and presented academic stem cell research in areas of Cardiology and Diabetes as well as given keynote presentations on academic research and consumerism in healthcare.
Sophie first encountered the complex issues involved in providing people with access to healthcare whilst working for an NGO in Cambodia. While working in the healthcare industry, she understood that access to healthcare is not a third-world problem but a global one.
Sophie founded Qunomedical in 2015 to provide an additional option to patients who may have run out of options in their home country.
[In a previous version of this article we used the name “Junomedical” in written and visual content. The company has since then been renamed.]