Spotlight on Carrie Yang / by Haley Smith

Meet Carrie Yang - Marketing guru and founder of telemedicine mobile app Sniffle, which will soon be launched nationwide. 

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Tell us about Sniffle Health.

Sniffle is a telemedicine mobile app that connects physicians with their patients for virtual visits with the goal of improving the efficiency, accessibility, and continuity of healthcare. Healthcare in the U.S. is pretty broken system. Around 75% of the 1.1 billion annual office visits are classified as unnecessary or could be handled via phone or video. In certain parts of the country, patients have to wait days and even weeks just to see a primary care physician and often resort to expensive urgent care centers and ER's to get immediate care. Sniffle allows doctors to see and treat their patients over chat, audio, or video for common non-emergency conditions and even electronically prescribe medications when necessary. This benefits everyone by unclogging the waiting room (patients with the flus, colds, rashes, allergies, UTI's) and allowing doctors to see more patients efficiently, especially those who need to be seen in-clinic.  

Sniffle is unique in that it's an open access mobile platform for both doctors and patients. Unlike competitors, we don't employ physicians or charge clinics a software licensing fees nor do we require patients to belong to a concierge group or membership. We've created Sniffle with physician input at every step and offer it to them 100% free of charge. They can use Sniffle to treat their current patients and also grow their practice when they're discovered by new patients on the app.  Doctors set up their Sniffle telemedicine practice just like their clinic, setting their own rates and availability.  For patients, Sniffle is also free to download and only pay when they actually receive care (just like an in-clinic visit). We monetize from a small $10 booking fee that we collect from patients when they book the appointment... think of it like a convenience or delivery fee. Most states also require insurance companies to cover telemedicine visits just like in-clinic visits too, so patients just owe the $10 booking fee and the normal co-pay. 

I believe that impact could be HUGE! Soon, when you're feeling sick, you can Sniffle your doctor, get a prescription, and even have the medication delivered without ever leaving your bed (or office if your schedule is packed to the brim)!  Or if you know you have a UTI, Sniffle your doctor and get a prescription and start feeling better. As a career-driven millennial, I ignore my symptoms and just suffer in silence simply because going to the doctor takes WAY too much time...and probably infecting some fellow humans along the way. Now, I don't have an excuse. 

I also believe Sniffle will greatly increase access to healthcare, particularly those who live in areas with very limited access to a doctor can now be seen by doctors without driving hours or waiting days or weeks.  Sniffle will also be instrumental for follow up appointments as well, which most people just skip simply because they don't want to spend the time driving, waiting, and then being seen for 5 min. 

We're currently in the midst of beta testing and will be launching nationwide very soon :) SO SO SO EXCITED. 

You gained acceptance to medical school then turned it down! Why did you make this decision, and how did it lead you to where you are today?

I went through most of my life believing I wanted to be a doctor. My dad was a doctor, and in the the town I grew up in, the most respectable careers were doctors and lawyers. I attended a math and science boarding school my last two years of high school, which just further funneled me into the sciences. Don't get me wrong, I am still fascinated with the biological sciences and the human body, but when I started interviewing for medical schools, I realized that the next 10 years of my life were scripted for me and that just didn't jive with my spirit.  I remember thinking to myself "If I don't become a doctor, I can literally do anything else!"   I deferred my acceptance for a year and accepted a position in institutional finance, where I learned I didn't want to just talk about great companies, I wanted to build one. Thus, my pivot into start ups. I turned down the acceptance and started interning at nights at a local start up while I was still working in finance, and within the month, quit my finance job to lead the marketing for Chef Shuttle. Chef Shuttle was acquired a year later, and I picked up and moved to NYC to lead the marketing at TUSHY, a bidet start-up. Sniffle was an idea that came to reality when my co-founder found other partners that had extensive industry experience and had the bones of the company built. I moved to Dallas, TX to launch Sniffle in March 2018 and that's where I am now.  

I never thought I'd be an entrepreneur growing up, but now in reflection it makes so much sense.  I was never very good at following the rules :) 

 

You're a marketing guru. Where did you learn your techniques?

I learned by doing, studying the techniques of successful companies, and by experimenting. When I started in marketing, I knew nothing! But, I was an avid learner and very perceptive consumer and channeled my experience as a consumer to how I wanted to sell my product. Of course, I studied up on the marketing acronyms, social media, SEO, analytics, and best practices all over the interwebs, but that was the easy part. I think the key to successful marketing is the figure out what people aren't doing. Over the last couple of years, I've found my forte in experiential marketing which engages consumers on multiple levels to create a lasting memory and to create a true connection with your brand. You can only learn so much by reading. You can learn everything by doing and testing your audience. At TUSHY, who knew customers would convert the most on a 10 min long demo video of me installing a bidet?!