OnCallPeople started the way many good ideas start—over a dinner conversation. Co-Founder and COO Hamza Jamil was catching up with some of his friends about four years ago when the topic of hospital communications was brought up. His friends, who were doctors, were complaining about how they would get calls when they weren’t supposed to and other issues stemming from a lack of communication between employees.
So Jamil set out to fix it, and thus, OnCallPeople was born. The Cary-based startup is a SaaS company focusing on the healthcare market that aims to make scheduling and internal communications as seamless as possible.
With potential customers ranging from private practices to large hospitals, employees can choose between using a phone app, a website or dialing a phone number.
Jamil has worked in tech for over 20 years and in healthcare-related jobs for about 10 years, most recently working as a Programme Director for the National Health Service in London. For Jamil, the combination of tech and healthcare services that OnCallPeople provides is a perfect fit.
Just over two years ago, the company held a seed round with private investors. They used the money raised to go from being a prototype to the actual product that is available now.
OnCallPeople was really starting to heat up right when the Covid-19 pandemic began—and began to negatively affect its business. However the pandemic also led the company to speed up earlier plans and launch a telehealth service to help virtually connect patients with their doctors for free.
The company takes safety precautions seriously and is HIPPA-compliant across all platforms. While other telehealth companies began cutting corners during the pandemic, Jamil said, OnCallPeople makes sure all patient data is extremely secure.
Pandemic takes its toll
Before the pandemic, OnCallPeople was a team of 10. Now, that number is down to six, with the sales and marketing team having to be cut due to costs. With the budgets of hospitals and health systems severely impacted and their time and energy so focused on Covid-19, they have been much less likely to consider a new product like OnCallPeople’s. That has made the sales and marketing team superfluous for now, but hopefully as things start to normalize, Jamil said, that team can be brought back on board.
For their core product, the company has one major user—a large hospital in the Midwest, which is about to renew its contract for the fourth time. OnCallPeople wants potential customers to know they’re out there, and can on-board practices with a trial period if needed.
In terms of competition, there are plenty of companies who tackle just scheduling, and plenty of other companies that tackle just communications. But OnCallPeople is the only company to target both issues in one platform, Jamil said, and even has a patent for it.
OnCallPeople was also a part of the RIoT Accelerator Program, where the company gained validation and picked up valuable tips on how to talk to potential customers.
In the future, OnCallPeople will keep looking for the next best thing, he said, though the health space is not always quick to react to the next best thing. Jamil wants to try to help hospitals understand that they don’t even need to buy new tech for his product because it can be downloaded on devices employees already own.
Overall, helping to keep employees on track is better for the patients, and that’s who Jamil ultimately wants to help.