About Ugur Samut
Ugur is the CEO and co-founder of MEDIGO. He drives MEDIGO’s overall strategic vision while overseeing all facets of the company’s operations. He brings years of experience in marketing, branding and strategic partnerships from his previous work in the travel industry. Ugur holds degrees in Marketing and International Management, and is always up for a good round of squash.
MEDIGO (www.medigo.com) was founded in November 2013 with the mission of connecting patients with affordable and high-quality medical care – anywhere in the world. Patients can access internationally accredited clinics and hospitals with a free-to-use, user-friendly platform. For more information, watch our How It Works video. To request a media kit, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medical Travel Today (MTT): Tell us how the MEDIGO platform differs from others in the marketplace.
Ugur Samut (US): MEDIGO connects patients to high-quality, affordable medical care – on a global scale!
Our job is to cater to patients – from the time they initially visit our website until they return home from treatment.
Currently, we have clinics in roughly 20 countries, and there have been patient inquiries from 113 different nations.
MTT: Can U.S. patients utilize MEDIGO’s services to seek care domestically and abroad?
US: When MEDIGO first started in this industry, we analyzed all of the global markets, including: cost variation, waiting times, accessibility, insurance coverage, surgical procedures, etc. Based on our analysis, we felt that the U.S. was a difficult location to market, and we ended up postponing our U.S. launch date.
After closing in on almost $7 million in funding, we plan to open an office in San Francisco, California, and will officially launch our services in the U.S. this year.
Right now, we are receiving many inquiries from U.S. patients regarding treatment in Latin America, mainly due to the accessibility and inexpensive costs.
MTT: How do you determine what facilities to work with?
US: Before we decide to partner with a facility, first we will visit. We are very selective in this process, and will only work with organizations that already accept international patients. We also look for facilities that offer procedures that we are interested in.
Additionally, not only do we extensively research and analyze the facility, but we send industry experts to observe the facility, as well.
MTT: How many employees work for MEDIGO?
US: Currently, MEDIGO employs 35 individuals, and we would like to expand to roughly 60 employees by the end of the year.
MTT: What marketing strategies will you utilize in the U.S. to attract patients to your website?
US: We plan to target business audiences rather than direct to consumer, with online and offline tactics.
Compared to Europe, there are many more stakeholders in the U.S. For example, in Germany, there is one insurance company that covers 50 percent of the market. In the U.S., there are so many more layers within the industry.
In Europe, we do utilize a main marketing channel. Of course, we network online, but we also like to take advantage of other techniques, including: print advertisements in magazines, conferences, meeting with industry professionals, etc.
Based on the U.S. market, I think it is most important for MEDIGO to first connect and partner with private insurance companies.
MTT: Will MEDIGO contract with hospitals and providers within the U.S.?
US: We would love to contract with hospitals in the U.S. because these facilities hold the power to attract patients from all over the world.
MTT: Do you think patients from outside of the U.S. will want to travel here for care?
US: Right now we are seeing two distinct profiles of patients. One group consists of the global patients who want to seek high-quality care at the most affordable rate, and the second group comprises patients from emerging markets who are forced to travel from their home countries because care is not accessible.
If high-quality care is accessible in the U.S., then yes, I think a large number of patients will be willing to travel.
MTT: At this point, does MEDIGO have any competitors in the U.S.?
US: Based on the level of service we are providing, we do not feel that there is any competition.
Of course, there are insurance companies that allow patients to search for local providers, but we do not consider this competition. In fact, this emphasizes exactly what makes MEDIGO stand out in the marketplace: we help patients find affordable, top providers all around the world, not just locally.
MTT: Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
US: What we are trying to do right now is “shop the market,” because within a year’s time there is guaranteed to be other platforms.
It is really incredible what is going on in the world right now in terms of healthcare, and we want to implement our services as early as possible.