Meet Anthony Stedillie, founder of CompassMD
, a software platform that matches individuals and doctors based on compatibility. The company has three co-founders and six contract employees from Cleveland-based DragonID
How did you come to be an entrepreneur?
My grandfather and both parents were entrepreneurs. They taught me the joys and benefits of starting your own company and coupled that with the reality of the time, effort and risk required to be successful.
Like many kids, I tried the lemonade stand, mowing service, and several other ideas. It was experiential learning that my parents always encouraged. After working in the corporate environment for a few years, I realized that I was not content to simply help someone else achieve their dream. That’s when I quit a good paying job to start my first company. It was extremely difficult and laborious, but the effort was well worth the reward.
Why did you start CompassMD?
I started CompassMD when I found how difficult and frustrating it was to find the right doctor during a brush with cancer. My experience had a good outcome, but that’s not always the case. This compelled me to research why this problem occurs so frequently.
My conclusion was that most of the dissatisfaction in failed patient-doctor relationships stems from personality mismatches.
I realized that the technology already existed to match people’s personalities for things like dating, career paths and hiring employees. However, no one had attempted to use it for the second most important relationship in your life, your doctor.
Who uses CompassMD?
We license our technology to health insurers and hospitals to help their members and patients find the right doctor the first time. Our formula benefits all constituents of the healthcare system by reducing costs, increasing satisfaction, and ultimately improving health outcomes.
How do you match the individual needs of the patient with the right doctor?
We scoured through mountains of evidence-based, peer-reviewed research on the patient-doctor relationship. We also conducted our own internal research. Then, we took all of the data and put it in a multi-dimensional questionnaire called the Healthcare Personality Assessment.
The questions are designed to address issues like communication, decision-making, interpersonal style like attitude or bedside manner, and treatment preference. We run the responses through our proprietary algorithm and assign a compatibility percentage score to the doctors and automatically sort the list of doctors by compatibility.
What is the biggest struggle or hurdle you had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
Definitely the mistaken perception that all patient-doctor relationships are about clinical outcomes and that matching is too “warm and fuzzy” for the medical world. We’re still working to overcome this hurdle, but it’s going to take time because we are trying to change an entire paradigm.
Why is Cleveland an ideal place for CompassMD? Why did you choose to start the company here?
We decided to start CompassMD in Cleveland for many reasons: The amazing pool of talented and friendly people; the cost of living; and the incredible amount of healthcare innovation happening here make Cleveland uniquely ideal.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve ever met and why?
The most interesting person I've ever met was Ray Kralovic, co-founder of Steris Corp.
, who sadly passed away recently. Ray was a mentor and advocate of the LaunchHouse Accelerator program and we met during one of the program’s events. He was very quiet at first, but once the conversation started we talked for hours about how he was basically thrust into entrepreneurship. He even talked openly about the challenges and triumphs while starting Steris.
Ray helped me and several other entrepreneurs hone our business models and network with the right people to find investment and customers. Ray’s experiences provided some of the best critical feedback on our technology.