On the up · 19 September 2017

Qure – The healthcare startup greeting Deliveroo’s managing director to its board

Charlie Harrington and Alex Templeton
Qure co-founders Charlie Harington and Alex Templeton

Just one month after launching in Clapham, healthcare tech startup Qure announced its expansion throughout London’s Zone 1 and SW postcodes due to rapidly growing demand.

Promising better access to primary medical care, the Qure app allows patients to arrange face-to-face appointments with qualified doctors and nurses in the comfort of their homes, without having to wait weeks for an opening at their GP surgery.

With 270 doctors registered on the platform, and projected revenues of £3.5m by the end of 2018, Qure has this month welcomed Dan Warne, Deliveroo’s managing director and a big name in the UK sharing economy, as a board member.

Business Advice caught up with Charlie Harington and Alex Templeton, Qure’s two co-founders who couldn’t have hoped for a better head start for their new company.

(1) Who are you and what’s your business?

Qure is an app that’s changing the way patients are able to access primary healthcare. Instead of the lengthy and inconvenient process of organising and attending a doctor’s appointment at the surgery, Qure provides medical treatment at a location that suits you, 24-hours a day.

With the Qure app, it is possible to access hassle-free private healthcare without the price tag. We believe there is no substitute for the reassurance of a face-to-face appointment with a highly-experienced practitioner at the time it is most needed. The patient simply downloads the Qure app and registers in six steps.

At the touch of a button, they can then book a doctor who will arrive at the chosen location within two hours.

Qure
Booked doctors will arrive at a chosen location within two hours

(2) How long have you been around for?

The idea behind Qure came about in May 2016. Health Technologies was incorporated in October 2016, with the Qure app launching in August this year.

(3) Where did the idea for the business come from?

Qure was launched in 2017 with one objective – to revolutionise the patient experience of primary care in the UK by offering affordable appointments, at a time and location that suits the patient, rather than the practitioner.

Every great idea starts with a pressing problem. We both, as new fathers, found that accessing healthcare for their families was either time-consuming and frustrating, or the alternative was prohibitively expensive.

Charlie: For me, the business came from a personal experience with struggling to get timely treatment for my young son, who had three separate minor conditions.

My local GP surgery’s answerphone informed me there were no appointments that day and, when I finally managed to speak to a real person, he couldn’t get my son seen for nearly two weeks.

I considered an online consultation, but didn’t feel comfortable about putting my young son in front of a screen, while going to see a private GP was both inconvenient and expensive. With only one condition seen per nine-minute appointment, it took what felt like forever to have all my son’s needs met.

We realised that we were not alone in the need for immediate but affordable healthcare for ourselves and our families, especially if it was also available out of hours. It is our belief that there had to be a way to deliver timely healthcare to your door, at an affordable price. Qure is the realisation of that vision.

(4) How do you make money?

We charge a commission on the appointment value as well as charging for ancillaries, such as prescription delivery or referral letters.

(5) What was key in terms of getting started?

Qure 2
270 doctors have signed up to the Qure platform

The absolute key for us at the start was understanding the current state of the NHS and assessing how we could solve a common problem: accessing primary care in the UK.

One of the first things we did was employ leading medical law firm Hempsons to write a regulatory report for us. The other aspects were, of course, doctor recruitment and marketing to prospective patients

(6) What setbacks have you had along the way?

Luckily, not many. As with everything technology-related, there are slight delays and issues but we were fortunate to launch in August, when it’s the quietest, so we could iron out any problems really quickly.

(7) What’s been your biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge for us is building a brand that is perceived by the public as trustworthy. As we are providing a health service, perception of trust, safety and reliability is absolutely essential. This will take time but we’re up for the challenge and believe we have the right ingredients to achieve this.

(8) What one tip would you give to others starting out?

Alex: Don’t hold back! If I could do it again, I would have accelerated everything by six to nine months. If you believe in your idea then you have to jump right in and commit to it 150 per cent.

(9) In five years’ time, I will be..

Hopefully running a very large health tech business that is known globally for providing trustworthy, convenient and excellent health care at an affordable price.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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