As technology disrupts different parts of the economy, healthcare is one that is burdened with huge regulation risk but also provides a direct and measurable result. In 2020, we saw the COVID-19 pandemic seriously overshadow other healthcare concerns but what happened to the rest? Mental Health, a growing problem in the United States, was under the spotlight again as people deal with isolation.
Today, we speak to someone who has spent a lot of time thinking about Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Dylan Terrill, the co-founder and CEO of Chara Health. He's built a platform that creates a space for curious individuals seeking their own health and wellness journey. They have over 2500 providers across 51 specialties in 49 states!
The holistic health industry is growing! I'm sure you've heard of the slew of business leaders that use meditation as a part of their daily routine in order to highlight the importance of wellness. There are so many ways we can stay ahead of your own wellness.
One interesting trend is digital health (Wether it be traditional or non-traditional). Just in 2020, digital health has grown a significant amount! Have you heard about Headspace? The meditation app that now has an option for Kevin Hart to guide your meditation (I know... How does a comedian help me meditate?).. But the visibility around this product is huge! Now.. Starbucks is partnering up with Headspace to include meditation as part of your daily routine.
Check out our conversation with Dylan and learn how he is building the future of holistic health!
Dylan Terrill [00:00:03] 75 million people, I think, in the U.S. right now are in chronic pain, 25 million Americans have diabetes, one in three are obese, 25 percent are stressed. Like these stats are terrible and people have these chronic conditions that they need help with that they're not getting help with from their primary care doctor.
Jed Tabernero [00:00:19] That's still interim CEO and co-founder of Chara Health, the company that is building the future of holistic health.
Dylan Terrill [00:00:27] So I think I mean, in general, there's usually like four barriers to either holistic health, wellness or like mental health care, that's cost convenience, stigma and compatibility. Right. So those first three can be solved through technology. Right. So you can make something cheaper. You can make it more convenient by offering like telehealth, for example, and then things like stigma you can reduce by, you know, have like you can text with your mental health provider. Now, you don't need to be like on the phone or other here. You need to go into an office where maybe other people can see you so you can reduce that through technology. I think compatibility is the part where we can win like the market and make it more accessible for everybody else. And the idea behind compatibility is just like, how do we find you the right match for whatever you're facing?
Jed Tabernero [00:01:09] Charges a platform where you can discover your very own path to wellness. Providers cover a range of specialties like massage, acupuncture, Ayurveda, fitness, health coaching and holistic therapy.
Dylan Terrill [00:01:24] Sixty percent of people have a chronic condition. The majority of which are reversible, according to the CDC. And then research from the American Medical Association, the National Institute of Health, say that complementary and alternative health can be just as effective as drugs and surgery for treating those conditions. And Kim, so a journal of health alternative medicine can save I think that's seven to ten thousand dollars per patient if they use that rather than going the traditional way of surgery and drugs. And so I think it's educating some of these insurance companies about how we can integrate doctors and patients, providers into these medical treatment plans to make sure that, hey, where we're recognizing that these services are available and making sure that people are getting access to them.
Jed Tabernero [00:02:08] You know, one of the most notable trends in virtual care in digital health and investments last year was a surge in demand for digital mental health care. Funding increased almost three times in twenty. I mean, if you think about just Headspace, the meditation app that raised 140 million in twenty 20 companies like Starbucks are teaming up with Headspace to create a culture of mindfulness around enjoying your coffee. Health and wellness is getting serious. Big companies are paying attention. Oh, and if that voice sounds familiar, that's because you're an O.G. THC fan. Dylan was our first guest on things have changed when he came to talk about a sock tune in to see how things have changed for Dylan and how he intends to build a future of holistic health. Welcome to TCHC, where we unpack the ever changing technology economy
Adrian Grobelny [00:03:14] hangout with Jed Shikher and Adrian as we tackle the industries of tomorrow.
Shikher Bhandary [00:03:19] This is things have changed.
Jed Tabernero [00:03:30] Dylan joins us back today to talk about some new things that has happened in his life and a new venture that he's been working on. So today we're going to go over a little bit about Asaak, the company that he talked to us initially and also his new company, Chara, which we had clarified right before the call. So thanks, Steve. It sounds like you're a busy guy. So we're going to start out with, you know, how has this been doing? And, you know, maybe some updates into what has changed from the last time we've spoken.
Dylan Terrill [00:04:04] So thanks again for having me back. Really love talking to you guys and very excited for all that you've done so far. So thank you. So I think from the last time we spoke, this was pre covid before everything sort of Josslyn before. Yeah. Like must have been in February, if I'm not mistaken, or January. Right. At that point, a stock was building a lot of momentum. Things have been going really well with the new product that we had just launched, which is focused on mobility sector. So lending to of drivers, motorcycle taxi drivers, essentially. So we are working with companies like Uber and Safe Bota and Jumia and Boltz. These are all multinational right hilling companies and we're lending to their drivers for their purchase of a new motorcycle and things have been going really well. And then all of a sudden COGAT happened. So initially it didn't look like it was going to get that bad in Uganda, in Africa in total. And then cases started rolling in. Right. Just like everywhere else. And the government, rather than taking an approach like the United States or some European countries, they were pretty tight on restrictions. They said, like everything needs to shut down. No transportation throughout the country. So if you wanted to get anywhere in the country at the time, you had to literally walk or ride a bicycle like you couldn't be in your own car, no busses, no taxis, nothing. So that pretty much shut down our business starting in late March. And we at the point we're focused on growing our tech stack. So building out our product and then hiring some people and then just managing our staff, making sure that they were OK and that they were staying healthy, but we couldn't actually lend our operations. So we took it as a good point, as I said, to just focus on the business, kind of think about, OK, what can we build when things get back? Because eventually we figured that we'll get back to normal build to lend again. What are the gaps in our business in order to scale? So we started focusing on that, really building out the product. And then I think right around October, September rolled around and we realized, like, OK, things are getting a little bit better. The government is saying, like, we can do a phased reopening much like the rest of the world, I'd say around that time. And then from there we started lending again and now we're pretty much open as if we were back in January. So it was just just a weird time, I think, to everyone faced for like five or six months where we weren't really sure what was going to happen there. Since they took such a tight approach, it never really got that bad. They still have, I think, around 8000 cases total for the country, which is pretty crazy. But and now I think that there might be a little bit of an uptick, but still a lot better than where it was. And so overall, I think countries that took that approach that were able to be really strict with their their citizens in regards to like some of the freedoms that we would normally have, they're able to come out on the other side a much better. And I think that was just reflective of, hey, we don't have the right infrastructure in place to deal with the situation. We don't have the hospitals. We don't have the capacity that maybe a Western country will have. So we really need to take a tight approach in order to save our people. So where we are now, we just closed around to financing, surprisingly, at the tail end of covid, which was great and sort of turning back into, OK, how do we scale from here? We just signed another debt deal, which is great too, to scale the book and just really focused on growing and expanding our operations to not just in Uganda and Kenya, but other countries and throughout this country is itself.
Jed Tabernero [00:07:26] The issues around covid has affected every supply chain. And I'm glad you're you're dealing with this and taking care of the people who were who were in the company and whatnot, despite the the lack of help from the government and whatnot. But also glad that the situation isn't going too crazy, I guess, in Uganda, because I think Africa is an entire continent. Right. Was kind of I guess not as affected as the other countries in terms of percentage of infected.
Dylan Terrill [00:07:52] Yeah. I mean, if you look at just like chart data, it looks like Africa was completely unscathed compared to these other countries. I mean, in the US in the last two days, I think we had like four hundred thousand new cases. Right. And if you look at that compared to Uganda or Africa as total, it's it's a fraction of that. It's just crazy to think about the number of people that are there compared to here. And one could argue testing and all that stuff is not as widespread, et cetera. But really, I think it just goes to the power of the people being really respectful of things, understanding that the government has the right. You're here, and we just need to take that in, we need to be respectful of that and then also be mindful of who we are interacting with. And it's tough, too, because in Africa, I think so many communities are very centered around people and family and large gatherings and people often moved in groups of people. So that must have been hard. But interacting with different folks over there, talking to our team, it was really about like, OK, what can I do for my immediate family so that the three or four people that are in my household and then forgetting about everyone else temporarily. And it was tough, but that transition, I think, saved a ton of people.
Shikher Bhandary [00:09:02] Does it now in hindsight, do you look at it as OK, maybe a business opportunity? You know, everyone's moved to that digital age, right. So now Corbett has jumpstarted a lot of this digitalization of the whole economy. So now your work was lending, but without the interactions that you need to go into the bank or whatever. Right. So have you seen an uptick in the consumers that are now OK with using a phone to access lending services?
Dylan Terrill [00:09:33] Yeah, no, it's a great question. And not only for lending, but I think for everything around mobility, which we were kind of getting more and more ingrained into. So you start seeing people that are ordering delivery for the first time or they're ordering groceries from the market that didn't exist before is because all these different services had to come out overnight because you literally couldn't walk to the market because it's three miles away from your house and they'll take you forever because there's no other way of getting there. Right. So you had to call somebody that would deliver groceries to your delivery market, produce or deliver a meal for you. And that was the first time you ever did that. So for us, initially, we thought, OK, we can kind of get into that space. So we started working with a few different companies that were doing only like cargo transport. So things like medical supplies, we were funding people that were like new drivers for those cargo companies or medical supply companies or delivery companies. And that was pretty interesting for a bit of time before we had to completely shut down Monday. But yeah, I mean, I think like to your point, people are all of a sudden saying, like, hey, what else can I tap into in this new economy that I didn't know before and all these services that are popping up overnight that have become almost a necessity. Right. There's no other way of getting around it. And once that happens, it's hard to go back. So people are going to continue to order delivery to their house because it's more convenient or it's relatively cheap. And then on the other side of things, aside from delivery and mobility. Yeah, I mean, I think there was a way to access financial services before without going into an office completely. Right. At one point, you may have had to have meet somebody in person, whether at their house or in the field or at an office in particular. And now people are having that trust like, hey, I can not have to go meet this person, then I can trust that they're not some loan shark and I can go work with them. And I think that trust has been built in because of necessity. Right, that there is no other way around it.
Shikher Bhandary [00:11:24] Yeah, that's it's interesting. You mentioned loanshark. I think we we touched on that a lot enough first episode. I think having a sleek UI, sleek platform, you automatically think, OK, this these guys probably have the infrastructure. Anything to do with money needs a lot of trust. So it's good to see that.
Dylan Terrill [00:11:40] Yeah, absolutely. I think that's what it comes down to too. It's like they have to trust us, just like we have to trust them. And then if we can create that relationship, then we're we're doing well.
Adrian Grobelny [00:11:49] Have you seen a kind of transition or a change in mobile use as we're going more mobile? Everyone's using zoom now for work or working from home. Is there more users on mobile now? Are they getting more familiar with it, more comfortable with it, just better at using it and then against them using more mobile devices and being kind of less inclined to go in person to do to do things, basically being more open to using a Asaak.
Dylan Terrill [00:12:19] So I don't know, like specifically for numbers like, OK, did it increase 10 percent or 20 percent. But yeah, I mean from what we can see, like anecdotally for sure, I think people are more open to using or say working from from home, working remote or being able to use a mobile device. Absolutely. So one thing that we did, too, I mean, like all of our staff was working from home, is the first time that they're logging into Zoome and something that we never thought would be possible, like maybe lending operations or just like banking in general, can't be done remote. And we are proved wrong. I think much like all these other corporations in the US that never thought that that would be possible suddenly because they were forced to do so, we made it work. And that was really interesting as far as like an uptake of what people are looking for as far as like getting into the mobile economy. We launched a new product actually called smartphone financing. So we literally financed some of these purchases of the phone because we believe that that allows them to tap into this new economy, whether they can be now a taxi driver for something like Uber or Boulter or Sephora or they can just be able to to operate in this new. Year of financial services that are all available digitally, so we think like that is a productive asset in itself and it's been really interesting. I mean, we've gotten we've must have done like a thousand loans of those already so far. And it just so quick because it's automated. We can understand somebody really quickly and just give them a phone in the same day. So it's been a very, very interesting like last month and a half with that.
Jed Tabernero [00:13:51] Dude, it's crazy that all this stuff is going on and, you know, the geopolitical changes and the challenges that are that are facing all kinds of companies these days and you going through this difficult time and then you also working on gone into creating again and have started just in the recent few months. And something that I know know you as a friend is a personal passion of yours, just health in general. So, you know, in a world where the focus has been put on mental health anxiety problems, you know, in the Philippines, I don't think we ever thought that was a problem. We ever thought that anxiety was a problem. We ever thought, you know, these mental health issues were were like serious. So coming to the United States and getting all this exposure to it slowly surfacing to be one of the issues, there's been a lot of different ways to to heed that concern, I guess, and a lot of different nontraditional medicine and methods to address that problem. So one of the things that I thought about when I saw the company that you started to hear first was that, hey, this is cool. There's going to be a lot of different other people who are trying to get on the platform to to learn about how they can address certain problems that maybe medicine doesn't have. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into the process of starting this and maybe what the motivation was behind starting?
Dylan Terrill [00:15:20] So I think the journey for me started when I was around 10 years old, 10 or 11. And I mean, without getting too personal, I had I just had, like, general anxiety as a kid. It's like super anxious, had a bunch of panic attacks for whatever reason. It was pretty that there was no root cause. And so I started navigating the space of dealing with mental health and I was super young. Right. So speaking to a therapist, when you're 10 years old, it was very strange. And then getting medicine from a doctor. Right. All that stuff I thought was interesting, but I never really seemed to work for me. I think in common with a lot of people that have mental health problems is that there's no silver bullet to solving the issue. Right. So you may find one thing that works for you, but it doesn't work for somebody else and not knocking traditional medicine. But I just felt like it didn't really work for me. And so started exploring this space. I think the a recommendation from my mom or somebody like one of her friends of complementary and alternative health. And so that's encompassing of this whole alternative space. And it started working really well for me. So I met with an herbalist and I got hooked on some like herbal medicine and started seeing an acupuncturist and then slowly over time was like completely fine. Then when I came to college, I think, like general stress of things got pretty bad. So different periods of anxiety and stress during my time, like growing up and then going through different life changes, which I think is natural. Right. People people do deal with these and like mine may have been a little bit elevated. So I had to find a way that worked for me. And so my whole thing was like, wow, holistic health really works for me. This whole space of alternative health and speaking to other people, like maybe you had a little bit of stigma or maybe they didn't understand it in a definitely seem like if I had a friend that had this problem of anxiety or stressful time, I would recommend this stuff. And it seemed to work for them, too, without the side effects of traditional medicine. And I thought that was great. But if I didn't exist, it seemed like there's no way for them to find it right. Like they would have to find a referral. And if you knew someone who knew someone, then you would be able to get into the space. But otherwise it was like really hard to navigate. Like, if you Googled, like, OK, where can I find an herbalist? You might land on Yelp in like, OK, you look through some Yelp reviews, but also there's like restaurants baked in there. There's a plumber and like all this other stuff, there wasn't like one centralized place for this. And like, looking back, this is always something I wanted to do over the last few years, just like create essentially a marketplace, a centralized place where providers could lose their services. And then people that were interested could go on this and look through the right provider can match maybe or look through reviews that were trusted and verified and then be able to book an appointment with one of these folks. And really, it's just about like democratizing access to health and wellness. I think a lot of people just don't know about it or they don't have access to it. They don't understand it. And so I just want to make that as easy as possible. And so that was the genesis of it. Coming up with the idea was pretty simple something something that was like baked in my head for a while and just never put in the time to do it. So I started working with a friend of mine last year, late last year, around this time, thinking about like, OK, what would this look like? How can we build this out? And he's an engineer. So he's like coming up with all these different solutions. And then, like, as the pandemic was starting to hit, I was like, I need like a side project, as if I had all this time like. But I just I felt like I needed something that I needed to build something.
Jed Tabernero [00:18:46] And so I was busy enough. Man Yeah.
Dylan Terrill [00:18:49] It was a busy enough. And my girlfriend will tell you she's not happy with all the stuff that's being built in and working on, but, you know, sometimes if something's burning in you long enough, you have to do it right. And I think that's what it was. It was just like, OK, this is a necessity. I need to get this out there because it's just so close to my heart and started working on it with a friend. He got really busy as the pandemic started hitting. He moved to France and we kind of he was like, I need to go with my family and like X, Y and Z. So he couldn't I couldn't rely on him to build the platform. And I ended up finding like a tool that you could code without code low code or no code platform that you could build similar to like, say, a Squarespace for websites. But this is for like applications. So I started learning that and building out the what would be like our NDP and then wanted to build from there. So, I mean, it really came it all came together really quickly. I think it was just like very natural, like I have maybe a little bit of time every week to work on this. And then it started taking over more and more of my schedule as as it started to grow.
Jed Tabernero [00:19:57] How did you get the the providers on the platform like that? That must have been a huge piece, because when I opened it up, there was a shit ton of people there already.
Dylan Terrill [00:20:06] In any marketplace, you have an issue of supply and demand. Right? So the worst thing that I thought would happen is if a client is interested, he goes to the book an appointment and then there's no providers there. Right. And so I thought, OK, makes sense to just work on the supply only. So I only focus on supply. I don't really care about the client side for a while, just building up the provider base. So it started as like posting on job boards, like literally on Craigslist, reaching out to providers on Instagram, just blasting people, looked up on Yelp, call them up and then slowly got maybe the first hundred providers and that was probably the hardest. And then from there, like getting referrals from other people just through like email like, hey, can you please refer us to other people that you think would find this interesting? And then, yeah, I mean, we got flooded with applications. I think we have about twelve thousand people that have applied or. No, like twelve thousand five hundred, almost thirteen thousand people that have applied. And then I've only been able to vet about twenty five hundred people. So we have a little over twenty five hundred providers in the platform. In forty nine states we still can't get Alaska and then for whatever reason we have fifty one specialties across holistic health and wellness. So anything from like herbalism, nutrition, personal trainers, it's more of like traditional stuff to the kind of weird like Craney of psychotherapy which is a type of massage. We have like some energy healers, which is a little bit more obscure. Yeah. And all of these provider bases, like all these provider types, can be reimbursed through like an HSA or FSA. And it's all like regulated by the government, which I think is really powerful that a lot of people don't know. So if you have those proposed tax dollars that you want to use for an appointment, you can't, which is great. It might not be reimbursed by insurance, but still there's like steps being made into this space of why it's important. So, I mean, long story short. Yeah, wanted to work on supply. Now I feel like we're in this inflection point over the last couple of weeks where we feel very comfortable with the provider base. They're very happy with the platform. We've been building out different features specifically for them to manage their business. And now it's like, OK, how do we turn on marketing to go after clients?
Jed Tabernero [00:22:18] The demand side seems like a little bit of a hard one to build. So there's there's, of course, people that will identify with kind of what problems you had in the beginning in order to, like, find, you know, now I'm thinking of how do you get the people who are interested to believe that it's something valid, people who have never heard of the trade and learn about, like what are the other types of alternative medicine that you can take or alternative therapeutics or something like that? Like how do you get them to start, you know, learning and understanding that these are beneficial and all this lack of information that we we have right now in the space of like, look, this this can maybe be something that the government can help. You would like tax dollars can help us like, you know, try out and whatnot. Like, what's the incentive that you're building for the demand side?
Dylan Terrill [00:23:09] So I think I mean, in general, there's usually like four barriers to either holistic health, wellness or mental health care. And so that's cost convenience, stigma and compatibility. Right. So those first three can be solved through technology. Right. So you can make something cheaper. You can make it more convenient by offering like telehealth, for example, and then things like stigma you can reduce by have like you can text with your mental health provider. Now, you don't need to be like on the phone where other people can hear you don't need to go into an office where maybe other people could see you so you can reduce that through technology. I think compatibility is the part where we can win like the market and make it more accessible for everybody else. And the idea behind compatibility is just like how do. We find you the right match for whatever you're facing, so maybe we have right now, we have on our app is like a quiz that people can fill out. So it says, like, OK, how do would you rank your health score right now from one to ten? What are you facing like? Are you working or are you trying to figure out, like, back pain issues? Are you trying to work on mental health issues, maybe some gut related issues? And then they go through a series of questions. And then from there we're able to say, like, hey, this provider type would be really good for you. Here's more information on that provider, whether that's acupuncture, working with the nutritionist, dietician or whatever. And then here are some providers that we think would fit you based on your your characteristics, based on whatever you would want. And I think that the idea is over time, as we are able to collect more and more data about people and what they want, we're able to create better recommendations. And then also we can loop in, OK, what worked for that particular person? Like, did they book five appointments before they were, you know, solve that problem, or were they working with a bunch of different types of providers and were able to provide like a certain journey path for them? And I think the idea is over time we get smarter and smarter about what those recommendations look like as more and more people fill it out. And then therefore we make that compatibility part really easy. And I think that's a promise of a lot of technology that are operating in digital health now, just like how can we make that as frictionless as possible? And it's a nice idea, but we'll just see if we can execute on it. So I think our side is like we really need to make sure that education is at the forefront of all this. We need to make sure that people understand the options that are available to them. Like, you don't have to just go see a doctor and then speak to them for ten minutes and get something prescribed to you, like there are other options for that. And it's our job as a company to make sure that we're doing that. We want to be able to educate you on all the options that are available.
Adrian Grobelny [00:25:36] I want to take a step back and go through a little bit of how you approach vetting providers, because health care, it's so structured, it's so rigid with how we've gone about it. Only recently have we actually had applications and mobile solutions to have an appointment with the doctor through Zoome, through covid going on the MIT. One of my cousins is actually working on a application that does appointments virtually so through apps. And that way you don't have to go in to check out what your symptoms are from a doctor. You can kind of just through video and they can kind of gauge, OK, you need a visit or can we just prescribe you something or do we just fill this out and wait it out? So how with so much rigidity and structure with health care, how did you kind of go about bringing in this new tech that, you know, allows way more flexibility, way more adaptability of the way we experience health care? And what was the what went into vetting these providers? Did you have to check there? Were they licensed in the certain state? Did they have everything up to date with their paperwork? What were the reviews like? What went into kind of vetting the supply side of providers on your platform?
Dylan Terrill [00:26:57] I think that's the most important part, is we want to make sure that not only we have quantity, which we do, we want to make sure that those are actually quality people. So we want to be able to reject some as well. And so is a force that process. I think one we just looked at the certifications. So we there's like national databases, luckily in the US for the majority of the modalities that we operate in. And so we're able to say, OK, this particular person has a license number of X, we can type it into this database is a valid. Yes, great. How long is it valid for? OK, they're still in that phase where it hasn't expired. Fantastic. Then we move on to the next step. We run a background check. So it's a company called Checker and they do like automated background checks through like some sort of API where I think we pay about ten dollars for a background check and the person gets like a full criminal history. We can look at employment verification. There's a couple of other steps that they do, which is great. So we've relied heavily on them to make sure that this person is who they say they are like a verifies ID and then also make sure that they're not a criminal. And then we also speak to references. So calling up this person's like a couple of references, just like any job would. And then I think they also look at reviews. That's the last step of the process for. Yeah. So it's like trying to be as comprehensive a possible like obviously we haven't met these people in person, so there could be some risk there, but we feel like pretty comfortable after we've gone through all those processes that this person is pretty trustworthy and we're comfortable matching them with a random client.
Adrian Grobelny [00:28:27] And then after they go through all that, they're on the platform. How do you kind of manage the provider? The providers like the making sure that everything's up to date them getting reviews, collecting the data and then trying to also get feedback from the providers, how your application, the UI, the UX, making sure that it's really intuitive. Easy to use and just kind of iterating, making it better to make sure that you make it way more seamless and user friendly.
Dylan Terrill [00:28:57] A few things that we do. One is that we have a provider council, so we have a certain provider base that is part of this council where we get direct feedback from our providers. And so we have people if 10 people across 10 different specialties and different parts of the country think some overlap there, but we like to get that feedback directly from providers through them. And then also we can come up with ideas like, what are you guys seeing that would be better on our platform to have? And so we get things like product features or just different parts of the business that we can start elevating different ideas there. And I think that's really powerful for us to stay connected to our user base. The other is through surveys, so it's relied on those heavily. In the beginning, we would just send out like a weekly email survey. How are things going? What could be better? Like what features are you needing in your business that we don't have? How can we support you and then me just literally calling all these different providers like I've spoken to nearly all of them, if not all of them, and then asking them, like, what? How is your business? Like, how can I be better? Like, what do you need as far as us is like what can we do as a platform? And I think it's really important to just be connected as much as possible to your user base and it'll change over time. I think there's a lot of things that they want built that we haven't built yet. And so we'll see how the platform evolves. But yeah, I mean, I think it's really just coming to understand your users, where they're coming from and just keeping that line of communication open,
Shikher Bhandary [00:30:16] not to kind of hop on covid a whole lot. But I mean, it is a big, big, big catalyst to what's happening right now where I think hip hop and Medicare started allowing telehealth to be covered. That itself is such a big you're breaking down these walls that have existed in an industry like health care, which is so archaic in many, many aspects. Just as someone who was who's worked on like pacemakers in health care for like two and a half years, it's it felt like the software can be built. Right. It's still one half of the equation. The other half is getting the hospital records and all of that synched up to make sure that there's a fit, there's a match. So firstly, just wanted to get your take on that whole this whole telehealth space. And and the reason why I'm asking is because it leads into, OK, not only urgent care and that sort of thing, but also wellness and and say I'm feeling, you know, a pain in my leg. Acupuncture can solve that. So there is there are many, many aspects even to this day. I don't know if I've ever taken the ibuprofen. It's it's just being ginger and lime because my mom's like, you better take that and you'll be fine next day and I'm fine. Right. So things like that is is kind of getting into the consumer's mindset now. I think that's changed. Where I need to have a drug to fix my stuff is probably not the scenario anymore. So just touching on that, how do you see the space kind of evolving?
Dylan Terrill [00:31:50] It's been interesting to see the spike within our business. I mean, it's very much correlated to to the pandemic. And that could be a good thing or a bad thing. It's a good thing that wellness is top of mind and it's a good thing that providers were also looking for a new way of tapping into clients that they wouldn't normally be able to see. Right. All of a sudden, all these providers that had an in-person business and they only did that are now finding a way like, OK, how can I see people virtually I've never done that before. And then they come across Chara. We're like an instant fit for them. Right. And I think that's really interesting. At the same time, I mean, launching a business at any point is tough. So that's been interesting, too. But I think the pandemic I mean, yeah, it's putting this top of mind for a lot of people. And as we talked about, like for a sock all of a sudden, things like working remotely and that type of of nature of work and mobility as far as like, how can we do it digitally and now health care, how can we do it digitally? It's the same sort of path where people weren't doing this before. Now they're forced into doing that and they'll probably not go back because it's so convenient. It's cheaper. It's a little bit better for them. And I think that's part this is pretty cool. So we'll see how it evolves. I think from our side, we never wanted to be just digital. We wanted to also allow people to go in person as well. So we've had some appointments that were booked in person where people thought that they were comfortable to do that and in different places where maybe it's a little low risk. But yeah, I mean, I would say a lot of our care is going to be virtual for the time being and it'll continue to evolve that way. As far as wellness is concerned, I think like because of the pandemic, too, it's putting that top of mind, like, how can I boost my immune system? What can I do as far as, like eating myself healthy, I think is top of mind for a lot of people. And so they're looking for alternative ways as well. And I think people are getting more and more conscious about this idea of functional medicine. So not just looking at my symptoms that I have and trying to cure those, but thinking about how can I prevent from even feeling that way? And so doing the things like your mom said, not taking ibuprofen, but doing stuff like. Chincha and Limor, like on the day to day, like, what can you do for yourself to prevent stuff from happening, then? I think we'll see that more and more as people are getting interested in maybe traditional medicine doesn't really work for me or works for me in different points, but I want to be healthy overall. And so that idea of like achieving optimal health and wellness, I think will cascade to other types of people and they'll be more and more inclined to book appointments with companies like Chara through the different providers that we have.
Jed Tabernero [00:34:16] I was sick one time when I was in Arizona and she got his girlfriend over and they gave me exactly that. I think I was they're afraid of me having covered and they gave me some drink and she was like, Pallavi was like, this is going to taste like ass essentially, but you got to drink this, you got to finish this. And she had the same sickness. That's all we thought it was COVID. And they were just like, yo dude, you got to like, fuck and just take this down the pipe and just we'll get better. Look, it it did work, dude. It did work. OK, so so nothing against that. I swallowed some shit and it worked out. I felt great the next day.
Dylan Terrill [00:34:54] Yeah. My girlfriend is from India. Right. And so she has like this I think like built into her idea of like taking certain types of medicine and for a while like she would not take ibuprofen at all. She's like has a headache like, yo, this will help you in like 20 minutes. She's like, no, I can't take it like take something else and no work for you. Right. It just depends. And I think now she has like all the the drinks concoctions, whenever I get sick or anything, it's like, all right, you to take this all the, you know, drink this down and you'll feel way better. And it's true. I mean, that stuff works. I think, like if more people knew about it than they would do it, too.
Jed Tabernero [00:35:30] Are there any aspirations to be something more than a platform? Are there any because listen, I know you as a friend like this stuff is pretty important to you and you've looked at this for quite a while now. And I was just curious as to if you were thinking about Chara having a fucking line there of products you can incorporate on the platform, like, yo, you just went to this provider. He uses this one product. That's fucking amazing. You should get it from the terrorist or just curious.
Dylan Terrill [00:36:03] No, I mean, it's kind of funny you ask that, because I had two ideas before this side project took off. One was called Adapt DPD, and I was going to look at that adaptigen based products. And so they'd be all tincture based, which I took like for literally the last 10 years and loved for different categories and try to make those cool. So like really cool packaging and just like market that out to like the millennial audience. And I put that on the backburner for Chara. But now I'm thinking I thought about this for like the last couple of months, like, how can I integrate those two together? And so I think it'll only be natural that Chara comes out with its own product line at some point. Not a huge focus right now, but yeah, I mean, I think there's many things that we could do in the space, and I think that would be perfect in kind of very much aligned to our ethos. So don't be surprised if you see that coming soon. But no telling us the one, OK?
Jed Tabernero [00:36:55] Yeah, I was just thinking with the data that you have, it must be I mean, the data that you will have once this becomes like more operational and people are starting to figure out the ways of the feedback cycle and whatnot, you'll have a lot of data to base on like what kind of product these people would would appreciate. So anyway, just put that out there.
Shikher Bhandary [00:37:14] So I just wanted to get your thoughts. Now, you've been in the finance space, you're still in that. And now with all that regulation, it's not easy building a fintech company. It's goddamn hard. Right. And then you move to the hottest industry possible to build a company, which is healthcare, just because of everything that's in there from, you know, liabilities to onboarding. If cash equals trust, well, health equals trust on steroids. So people really need to trust your platform, trust your API, and it takes kind of years to build it. Right. But obviously, covid has jumpstarted that. You've got big companies, Teladoc, one medical really going on it. So how do you see Chara kind of creating a niche? Because already, you know, the stuff that I'm seeing, your platform really needs to have a sense of trust and community that people can go to. And one look at the Instagram page and just the ethos of the website, it is different. You can tell you've put a lot of thought into making it into a space that people can feel comfortable with. How do you see yourself creating that sweet little niche within this industry, which is just so, so, so ancient? In many ways? There are many things happening that is improving that, but still there is still a fundamental wall that you're going against.
Dylan Terrill [00:38:40] The idea behind Chara is that it's not going to compete with the one medical of the world. Right. It's not preventative health care for your primary care doctor that you would go and see once a year, once every six months. It's really supposed to be complementary to that. So understanding that, hey, you want to be healthy, great. Go see a primary care doctor. We're not knocking that. We want you to do that. And we want to work alongside that. So with this space of alternative health, it's like meeting people for mostly chronic issues, I would say. So like seventy five million people, I think in the US right now are in chronic pain. Twenty five million Americans have diabetes. One in three are obese. Twenty five percent are stressed. Like these stats are terrible. And people have these chronic conditions that they need help with that they're not getting help with from their primary care doctor. And so we want to reach those people probably first that are dealing with chronic health issues. And so that's kind of one space. The other would be people that are just wanting to improve their health and wellness. So they might already know a little bit about the space where there might be young. And it seems like millennials right now, according to the National Institute of Health, like really distrust the traditional health care system. And so we want to create that trust. I think it's really important. So in our brand messaging, how do we get that across? That's something that we're trying to figure out, like how do we make it seem like a safe space, a community? And I think how we build community and try to create that trust is through our events that we have. So we have events, I think, like two, three times, four times a week that are hosted by providers on various different topics that give the education component, but also create a space where people can share what they're dealing with on a particular topic. And I think that's interesting, too. It's like how do we make that more popular? And so we have, you know, maybe anywhere from five to thirty people attending a particular event, depending on what it is. And if we can get more and more people into those because they're completely free, I think that'll be interesting. How can we teach more people about all those different things that are happening? And some of them are exclusive to just the app. Some of them are completely public. So we'll see how that evolves. But yeah, I mean, I think it's something that we'll have to figure out is like how can we isolate those two audiences and then from their scale? Because I want to be at a place where it's not just the people that know somebody, that know somebody, not in that one percent, not in that just like in the know type of audience that can access these types of services. I wanted to be completely democratized. And so that takes time. I think there's definitely certain audiences that are completely ignored by health and wellness. I think that in and I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way. But I feel like a lot of people that operate in this space, a lot of companies market to millennial white women, right. But if you think about groups like ethnic minorities, LGBTQ plus community, other minority groups experience the low lowest levels of access to health and other services, like how can we get those people into the space? I think that would be really impactful. So I think it's over time we'll figure out like our brand messaging and kind of align that stuff. But I think for now it's like how do we isolate two proven groups that really need this that might not know that exists and then we can scale from there.
Shikher Bhandary [00:41:35] People forget to realize that health care is so, so, so big. Like, if you thought tech was big, healthcare is bigger because there's a stat 17 percent of the US GDP is just healthcare. So taking a percent off of Apple is still a billion dollar company. Right. So imagine 17 percent of U.S. GDP and then you have big platforms, but they are cater to a different audience. So it doesn't really mean that there's nothing else left. There's actually a lot of untapped stuff that is still there that is just waiting to discover. So that's and also it like on Instagram, how many of these wellness products have started to pop up? Now, that's because people are actually open to new trends that make them feel better, which is totally on point. Almond milk. Yeah, no, absolutely. Yo, yo, yo changed my life. I have not I have not drug milk from an animal in eight months.
Dylan Terrill [00:42:36] Wow. Wow, that's impressive. I mean, if you'll see like for example, like what I mentioned earlier, how do you do which I'm sure you know. Well I'm working on.
Shikher Bhandary [00:42:45] It's terrible but also so good. I mean, terrible for you while you're drinking.
Dylan Terrill [00:42:51] Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's what I mean. But it's no good, right. Unless you put a bunch of honey or sugar in there. Oh, you do that. Yeah.
Shikher Bhandary [00:42:57] That is that is the hardest.
Dylan Terrill [00:43:00] I got to get the antioxidants from loga what you'll see like people creating these turmeric lattes from milk. It's been around forever and now it's getting popular because they changed their name or they made it cool.
Shikher Bhandary [00:43:11] You wouldn't believe the kind of stuff my mom used to give me and then I should be like that. That doesn't work. And then I go and walk into Whole Foods or sprouts and see what I used to. I drink that. Why is that a a package? And then when you go and Google the company, it's like a million dollar company. I'm like, what? Why didn't I think of this?
Dylan Terrill [00:43:30] It's crazy. It's crazy. And that's all about like brand positioning. Right. And isolating a niche audience and everything that you said. So it's interesting to see, like, I think trends are becoming more and more mainstream and hopefully we can attach ourselves to that
Adrian Grobelny [00:43:42] touching on scaling and trying to grow your platform. How are you approaching or thinking about approaching partnerships with insurance companies? Because I feel like that is a huge challenge that any health care provider has to deal with, with basically tapping into a larger market and being able to really create a seamless way of having people be able to use your platform and get help from providers by also using their insurance and making it just more accessible. So how are you approaching that and what kind of challenges do you see with trying to integrate that with Chara?
Dylan Terrill [00:44:21] That is a huge potential for us right to scale. If you think, as I talked about some of the stats, like 60 percent of people have a chronic condition. Right. The majority of which are reversible, according to the CDC. And then research from the American Medical Association, National Institute of Health say that complementary and alternative health can be just as effective as drugs and surgery for treating those conditions. And cam so complementary and alternative health medicine can save. I think that's something that's send seven to ten thousand dollars per patient if they use that, rather than going the traditional way of surgery and drugs. And so I think it's educating some of these insurance companies about how we can integrate doctors and patients, providers into these medical treatment plans to make sure that, hey, we're we're recognizing that these services are available and making sure that people are getting access to them. So it may be working directly with these insurance companies and maybe working with an affiliate of them. But, yeah, I mean, I think they'll be huge is like getting us to integrate completely in the medical treatment plan of a particular patient or working directly with doctors back and forth and were able to manage some of these chronic conditions. So some trends that I think are interesting, acupuncture just got listed as an acceptable service from Medicare and Medicaid, which I think is is just crazy. Right. And that will open up for all these other services that have been around forever and allow people of all income levels to tap into that services. So I think it's just a matter of like educating that, pushing that forward, maybe even legislation, I don't know, and then figuring out, OK, how can we integrate with these systems?
Adrian Grobelny [00:46:02] Education is huge. You already know this, but just the education of preventative medicine and, you know, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, a balance, using natural remedies, it's I feel like it's really underrated with Western medicine and just their their thoughts that, oh, we need to come up with the drug. We have to come up with something effective, like the one pill that solves all your needs. That's been it's really outdated. But, you know,
Jed Tabernero [00:46:28] Dylan gave me this focus medicine bill and gave me the link. You really get a podcast or it's
Shikher Bhandary [00:46:36] like it's like a limitless that went to.
Adrian Grobelny [00:46:40] That's huge. Education is really important. I feel like I've only glazed the surface and I've had I'm really fortunate that I have a lot of friends that are from all different parts of the world, and they all have their own cultures or traditions where they've had natural remedies for certain things. My parents are super, you know, into, you know, not doing the the pill solution, but rather going the natural way of like you eat a whole garlic clove raw like that.
Shikher Bhandary [00:47:07] So, like, I did it, it burns and hurts you. But it does the job.
Dylan Terrill [00:47:12] Yeah, it works. It works. Right. I think that's interesting too. Is like talking about food culture. And I think that is becoming more popular too, of like how people are interacting with other types of cuisines, like a lot of Netflix shows are about people going around the world and trying different cuisines. But it would be interesting to have like a segment about the type of healing powers that other types of cultures have and how we could use those remedies for different ailments. Yeah. So, I mean, in conclusion, guys, thank you for the time, as always. Love talking to you. As far as reaching me. I'll force everyone to just go look at go check out on events. Go, go look at provider, go follow us on Instagram. Just go see what we're doing. So Chara health outcome at Chara, Health on Instagram, Facebook, everywhere else. And thank you for the time.
Shikher Bhandary [00:48:02] Hey, thanks so much for listening to our show this week. You could subscribe to us and if you're feeling generous, well, you could even leave us a review. Trust me, it goes a long, long way. You could also follow @thc_pod on Twitter and LinkedIn. This is things have changed.