Reflections On Building Business Across The Globe & Different Cultures
Note: This blog entry is from Ram Fish, 19Labs Founder & CEO.
Building a global telehealth business requires a strong grasp of how to work with different cultures. Two weeks ago, I attended Arab Health Exhibition 2021 in Dubai as an exhibitor with Doctory, our partner in the Middle East who has been helping us bring GALE into the local market.
Reaching new markets with the traditional distributor model doesn't work well with enhanced telehealth. Instead, we look for smart, thoughtful, and well-connected partners who know both healthcare and its technologies. We found this in Doctory when their COO, Osama ChamsiPasha, emailed us two years ago inquiring about our technology.
Working Across Different Cultures Around The World
What does it mean to work across the globe in different regions? It goes beyond language translation, and one has to deal with differences in culture, work habits, and communication styles. For example, gender drop-down menus in the U.S. usually have more than two options. However, this is considered taboo in some countries. How do you accommodate?
Here's another example. While the U.S. has no national ID card, other countries do. In the UAE, it is used to access government services such as healthcare. This meant that we had to add this functionality to GALE.
There are differences in privacy and data laws as well. In the U.S., many startups are building businesses around big data analysis of patients' healthcare information. However, this is illegal in many other countries, especially in the Gulf. 19Labs' business is built around protecting patients' data, which was a great match for those countries (see this video interview about our unique privacy and security infrastructure). We also went the extra mile and co-located our servers locally.
Doctory: 19Labs' Trusted Partner In The Middle East
A "my way or the highway" approach doesn't work in building a global enhanced telehealth business. The industry is still in the early stage of development, so adapting and listening are key regardless of where your customer is. To end, I'd like to share quotes from Osama and me on how our partnership leverages both our organizations' strengths:
"To build enhanced telehealth in the Middle East, we needed more than just a supplier. We needed a partner, and that's what we found in 19Labs. 19Labs is flexible, listens to local needs, and works together with us to make healthcare accessible in the Middle East in the best possible way." - Osama ChamsiPasha, Doctory COO
"Doctory's insights on the local market have been tremendous from a business, product, and technology perspective. They are a great partner: smart, tech-savvy, healthcare-centric, and well-connected. Doctory truly cares about making a real difference in the Middle East with GALE enhanced telehealth." - Ram Fish, 19Labs CEO & Founder
19Labs is the creator of GALE, Next Generation Point-of-Care platform for pharmacies, schools, and rural communities. GALE brings together “best of breed” diagnostic technologies from industry leaders like Zoom, Elo, Amwell, Eko, Samsung Mobile, MIR, Omron, Viasat, and many others in one smart, efficient, and cost-effective platform. It was designed from the ground up to be operated by non-healthcare professionals, in locations with limited infrastructure and optimized for low bandwidth and intermittent connectivity. To learn more about GALE, please visit www.19labs.com/platform.