Interview with Orunje’s co-founder and CEO Pardeep Athwal, MD, MBA

Pardeep Athwal, MD, MBA

Our latest interviewee is co-founder and CEO of Orunje – Pardeep Athwal, MD, MBA. Dr. Athwal is a radiologist who has dedicated the last decade of his life to healthcare. He also holds a master’s in business administration with an emphasis on healthcare leadership. As he came to better understand the business of healthcare, he found a large disconnect between patients and physicians. Together with Rushim Bains, MD and Jiangwen Sun, PhD – Dr. Athwal founded Orunje. And here’s what he had to say.

How would you pitch your company? What’s your elevator pitch?

Orunje is a location based on demand healthcare platform, linking patients with vetted local area healthcare providers. We are committed to providing affordable, quality and convenient patient-centric care, while maintaining flexibility and logistical solutions for our healthcare providers.

Our solution increases transparency, provide convenience and improve quality for patients, while promoting flexibility and reducing overhead for healthcare providers. Orunje empowers patients with the ability to receive medical care with the touch of a button, at their convenience. At the same time, we afford providers the flexibly to see patients without worrying about malpractice insurance costs or stacks of paperwork.

Beyond the core concepts, Orunje’s integrated electronic medical record system allows for continuity of patient care and a repository of information, which can be mined to provide solutions on a larger scale.

Our solutions aim to reinvigorate the healthcare field and fill an increasing market demand.

What sets you apart from competitors?

Orunje is the first of its kind platform in Chicago. While a similar company (Chicago express Doctors) exists in the metropolitan Chicago area and two additional on demand healthcare companies — one in New York (Pager) and the other in California (Heal) — have an early stage presence, Orunje does have few advantages over its competitors. We have the lowest cost, greatest provider flexibility, allow both NP’s and physicians to join the platform, offer portable imaging/blood draws, guarantee visits within 2 hours and have a fully integrated electronic medical record system.


What’s your business model?

Orunje provides flat rate pricing for patients – $99 for nurse practitioners and $169 for physicians. Providers keep the total amount minus $20, which is Orunje’s service fee. Orunje also provides business health solutions, which is a subscription based service and includes wellness checks/physicals for employees, flu shots and in office healthcare visits for businesses who are seeking an alternate to healthcare insurance or an affordable supplement to their already existing employee healthcare insurance coverage.

Can you share some numbers? How many users do you have?

We currently have 50 healthcare providers (30 MD’s, 20 NP’s), and 80 patients signed up, and have completed 40 visits.

Where do you see the company going from here?

I see Orunje strategically partnering up with local healthcare organizations and businesses to bridge the healthcare gap. Long term, Orunje will be more than an on demand urgent care service; we see it being utilized by organizations to offer their patients a premium service. Secondly, Orunje will incorporate additional services such as IV hydration, flu shots, physicals and in home physical therapy.

Where do you see the mHealth industry going?

The mHealth industry is going in a vastly positive direction. The home healthcare market will be reaching $120 billion by 2018 and the telemedicine market is growing at a rate of 56% per year, to reach 2.3 billion by 2018. mHealth isn’t the future, it’s already here and it’s growing far more rapidly than most would have ever imaged. Orunje is currently a small part of this market, but we hope to increase our footprint and increase our arsenal of services so any individual seeking medical attention can have quality, affordable healthcare at their convenience.

How long are we from seeing modern mHealth technologies going mainstream?

We are not far; in many large cities a large majority of individuals engage in some type of mHealth technology. Whether it’s telemedicine visits or using services like Orunje to summon a doctor to their home, people are aware these technologies exist and are increasingly utilizing them.