Healthtech Startup

Facilitating doctor-hospital collaborations

United States
6 months
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About our client

This client is a healthcare marketplace that eliminates the need for a "middle-man" (agencies) in hospital staffing. By considering cost, quality, and performance, the platform ensures that hospitals and staffing companies can choose the most suitable doctors at competitive rates. This innovative approach not only enhances patient care but also reduces the risk of doctor burnout.

What sets their product apart:

  • An industry-specific scheduling function that facilitates straightforward placement conversations between doctors and hospitals.
  • Seamless credentialing for doctors, requiring them to upload credentialing information only once, as opposed to the time-consuming industry standard of doing so for each hospital individually.
  • A curated marketplace for hospitals that prioritizes household names, saving time by eliminating the need for hospitals to manually sort through professionals who are ready to go.

Industry Opportunity

Hospitals are always in need of qualified healthcare professionals. And with higher demands, they may spend a lot with staffing companies to find people on demand. Their solution is to cut the middleman and support facilities to search for these providers with ease, through an online platform that is trustworthy and practical.

Meet their founder

This company’s CEO is a Master of Healthcare Administration bearing over 12 years of experience in the healthcare industry. With a profound understanding of hospital administration and hospital-based staffing complexities, he has witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by healthcare providers.

The Opportunity

They had a pioneering idea, and the moment was just right, but they didn’t have the tech team to bring their concept to life.

In 2023, their founder recognized a distinctive market opportunity. Doctor shortages were becoming an ever-growing issue, with the U.S. facing a projected shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians within 12 years. This circumstance prompted numerous healthcare institutions to seek members of the workforce to fulfill their staffing needs, but viable options were elusive. This is where their company stepped in.

The Challenge

This company’s founder embarked on the challenging task of validating their hypothesis by creating their first Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This undertaking posed a significant challenge - finding the delicate balance between essential functionalities and product validation. Overloading the product risked scope creep and delays while making it too minimal could fail to showcase the core value proposition.

To achieve the optimal point, they sought partners who could assist them in organizing and prioritizing their ideas. Their discovery led them to us through the Vinta Boilerplate, a Django and React open-source project designed for accelerated MVP development. Their CTO initially leveraged this resource to launch the project.

For context, our MVP workflow is straightforward yet effective. We start with a round of discovery, exploring requirements, success criteria, timeline, and budget. The team is then composed, ensuring their skill set aligns with the project’s demands. After our first kickoff, we hit the ground running, collaborating with our clients and releasing iteratively. Finally, we follow an iterative process: software is continuously improved, and if clients express a desire to explore more, we maintain the momentum.

Our goal with the founders was to take the busy work out of their hands and leave them to focus on what mattered the most: the vision. We acquainted our team with their business requirements, target audience, constraints, and market. This approach provided the necessary context for us to take the founders’ ideas into our hands and propose sensible ways of implementing them.

The Answer

We dove deep into planning as soon as they gave us the green light.

Even before officially commencing the project, our priority was to ensure precision. As part of our MVP workflow, we conducted a Deep Dive—a week's worth of pre-work. During this phase, we gathered pertinent information about the industry, delved into the initial requirements, and ensured a thorough understanding of the challenge.

On day 1, we held a kickoff meeting with the founders, incorporating insights from our Deep Dive. We clarified the initial MVP requirements and gained a comprehensive understanding of the product's goals. After validating our assumptions with the founders, we promptly initiated the work. This meeting provided ample material to construct our roadmap.

The roadmap was developed within the same week. We adopted a versioned release strategy to aggregate the most value in the least time. To shape each version, we first grasped the core vision, identifying four essential components for the MVP to function effectively:

  • The marketplace;
  • The scheduler;
  • The credentialing; 
  • The connection between doctors and hospitals.

Fortunately, reaching this conclusion was not challenging: their CEO had a clear vision and an accurate understanding of the audience. Aligning with the founder on the content of each version allowed us to optimize time and resources—a critical aspect in new ventures.

While the initial consultancy agreement excluded design work, we recognized the potential benefit for the company. Hence, we offered two complimentary consultation hours. Our designer focused on the scheduler, a complex and vital aspect of the user experience. By addressing scheduler issues during these free hours, we proactively mitigated potential UX problems that might have emerged later in the development process.

Progress Unveiled: The Evolution from v0 to v2

Segmenting our features into stages empowered us to iterate over our ideas, gather user feedback, and significantly expedite our release schedule. This methodology enabled the CEO  to showcase a tangible product to potential partners and investors within the initial month of development.

In the realm of MVPs, where funding is constrained and time is of the essence, we prioritize constant check-ins on priorities, keeping our clients abreast of updates, and delivering a pragmatic assessment of challenges. Our tech team devised projections to estimate the time required for each version.

Understanding that projections are approximations, we closely monitored our progress and submitted daily reports, allowing their CEO to make informed decisions regarding ongoing investments.

In v0, the foundational components were in place, but manual interventions, such as overseeing doctor-hospital connections initiated through the platform, were necessary. This version took approximately a month. Our AWS setup, which will be detailed in the Tech Development section, was also part of the initial release.

Upon the introduction of v1, manual interventions became obsolete, and the system gained independence, though with room for further refinement. It encompassed all essential features, including enhancements to the previously mentioned ones, along with self-service options for managing placements and hospitals. This second version also took approximately a month, with essential components prioritized at the onset of the cycle.

Now, in v2, our current iteration, we've entered the refinement phase. It introduces gamification and accountability features, such as a reputation system to mitigate hospitals' risk when hiring doctors, coupled with enhancements to the platform's UX and UI. This version is anticipated to take around a month as well. 

The Product

In our previous discussion, we delved into a substantial portion of this product’s distinctive features. While the concept continues its validation journey, this marks just the beginning, with exciting developments on the horizon. In version 3 and beyond, our focus shifts to streamline payments through invoice generation. Additionally, plans are underway to invest in mobile functionality once the web app is firmly established.

In terms of scaling up, this company strategically aims to achieve Product Market Fit by initially targeting smaller facilities and staffing companies. This approach is designed to attract the attention of more prominent players in the market—entities often more cautious about substantial changes to the status quo. They tend to wait for the dust to settle before making significant moves.

Below, we highlight some practical aspects of our product consultancy efforts thus far, shedding light on contributions to the platform's current state and laying the groundwork for its future evolution.

Tech Development


In projects where speed is of the essence, like this one, we include many tried and true open-source libs. As they come tested by multiple people and follow good practices, we get to focus on adapting them to our project instead of building functionalities from scratch. Some of these were:

These libraries, together with our django-react-boilerplate, have mixed good defaults with change automation and toil work reduction. All these things gave us the speed we needed to get live in record time.


We initially pondered a quicker cloud setup using PaaS (Platform as a Service). It’s what we usually recommend for smaller solutions, as you can deploy quickly without requiring much DevOps work. However, it was important for their tech advisor to have the platform hosted in a more robust cloud environment that he could operate and easily customize based on his previous experiences. 

For this reason, we tapped into Vinta's infrastructure expertise and made a complete setup on AWS in record time using AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS). Here, we also used AWS CloudFormation to version the whole infrastructure as code and make it easier to correct mistakes.

Data-driven Consultancy

The significance of data-driven decision-making cannot be overstated. Hypotheses, on their own, are merely speculative; without assessing the effectiveness of chosen paths, disappointment is inevitable. To address this, we consistently educate our clients on understanding the metrics that should be tracked once the product gains traction.

In mature-stage projects, we leverage tracking tools that streamline data collection and chart plotting. However, in the context of MVPs, the cost of integrating these tools isn't justified. Therefore, we adopt a manual approach to fulfill these demands, aiming to simplify the product's data analysis. While they are preparing to solidify the exchanges within its platform, we stand ready to monitor doctor-hospital interactions as they unfold.

Moreover, the role of data often becomes pivotal in securing investors' approval. Further details on this matter will be elaborated upon in The Pitch section.

Product Consultancy

While working with this client, we provided our Product consultancy at every stage of the platform’s development. After all, it doesn’t matter how fast you build it if you’re not building the right thing. 

Many of the challenges they faced were tied to traditional marketplace concerns:

“It’s almost a cliché to say that marketplaces are hard—but that’s only because it’s true. On top of all the challenges that all startups need to overcome to build durable businesses [...], marketplaces have to find PMF twice (for their supply and their demand).”

– Lenny Rachitsky, How marketplaces win, Lenny’s Newsletter

Navigating the marketplace: the hard choice between supply and demand

Embarking on a marketplace venture involves a critical choice between prioritizing the supply or demand side. In the case of this client, our strategic decision was to focus primarily on the supply side, driven by a straightforward rationale: customer acquisition on the demand side tends to be a more time-consuming process. Hence, it made pragmatic sense to cultivate the supply side first, establishing a robust foundation for the eventual influx of demand.

To solidify this approach, we meticulously structured our roadmap, prioritizing the development of features tailored to healthcare providers' needs. This dual-purpose strategy ensured that providers encountered a world-class onboarding and operational experience from the outset. Firstly, it resulted in the establishment of a strong and loyal supply network. Secondly, it enabled the maintenance of provider engagement, even during phases when tangible demand generation had yet to gain momentum.

This strategic emphasis on the supply side laid the groundwork for a more balanced and prosperous marketplace ecosystem.

Guarding Against Bypassing: Protecting their Marketplace

We also made sure to build the system in such a way that naturally prevented dis-intermediation, a phenomenon common to marketplaces, when supply and demand bypass the platform and negotiate elsewhere. Their CEO was aware of this risk, and we worked together to diminish this possibility.

The Pitch

Finding investment will enable the following interactions before it can thrive on its revenue.

During the product development phase, their CEO concurrently engaged in pitching the product to investors. In a bid to bolster his efforts, we provided ongoing support by offering recommendations and crafting materials that enhanced their prospects of securing funding. We generated materials, including specifications for upcoming features, a user journey map, and a formal roadmap, all contributing to the credibility of each pitch.

Post-meetings, the CEO shared his insights with us, initiating discussions on potential additions to the roadmap. Collaborating closely with him, we conducted brainstorming sessions to comprehensively understand requirements, user pain points, and investor concerns. This led to the swift development of detailed Product Requirement Documents and specifications. Our primary objective was to rapidly validate features that would generate maximum value for both users (revenue-focused) and investors (funding-focused).

As our understanding of client and investor needs deepened, their CEO explored the implementation of a Reputation System for doctors. This system aimed to significantly reduce the risk for hospitals when booking new doctors, thereby enhancing the overall marketplace experience. Leveraging our design expertise, we proposed practical solutions validated by reputable companies such as Airbnb and

Another critical investor requirement was the comprehension of usage data. At the MVP launch, understanding which user types returned and engaged the most, along with the volume of interactions, was paramount. To address this, we seamlessly integrated our platform with Google Analytics, providing relevant data at a minimal cost. This equipped their CEO with the necessary insights to make compelling appeals to investors.

We understand that VC and seed investment are harder to come by nowadays, with a 40% drop in dollars invested when comparing Q1 2022 to Q1 2023, so our main focus here was to aid this client in standing out from the competition. 

The Result

We continued to partner with them beyond the initial term.

Software is inherently in a constant state of evolution. We take pride in our contributions to this client thus far, aligning our client’s budget with the necessary scope to validate the MVP. Pivoting remains an essential aspect of constructing systems poised for success, as we continually learn with each new version release.

While this client has successfully established a robust supply base, the current focus is on fostering partnerships with relevant staffing companies in the U.S. Our collaborative efforts over the past months instill confidence in their potential, and we wholeheartedly support them in their ongoing pursuit of achievements. Standing by their side, we are committed to aiding this client in securing new clients and investors.

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