Spotlight Interview: George Kramb, CEO, PatientPartner

About George Kramb

George Kramb is the CEO of PatientPartner, a platform that connects pre-surgical patients with people who have already had the same procedure. With a background in healthcare working with medical device companies, he has assisted surgeons through hundreds of operations using medical machinery. He is on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for Consumer Technology.

About PatientPartner PatientPartner is a platform that helps patients navigate their surgical journey. It turns the daunting surgical process into a positive and comforting experience by connecting patients through relatable experiences. PatientPartner offers the first platform that connects pre-surgical patients directly with fully recovered patients who went through the same surgery, often with the same surgeon. This platform is designed to assist surgeons, hospitals, and device companies in building a long-term referral network of patients by creating a one-of-a-kind patient experience. This peer-to-peer patient advocacy platform gives users the opportunity to learn from real experiences, and helps empower patients to achieve more successful outcomes through connectivity. Visit https://www.patientpartner.com


Medical Travel & Digital Health News (MTDHN): Could you provide our readers with some background information on you and your company?

George Kramb (GK): I began my career in healthcare working with medical device companies.

I was a part of hundreds of surgeries, assisting surgeons across the West Coast with everything from orthopedic, sports medicine, plastics, and trauma.

After spending countless hours in the operating room, I routinely saw one consistency when it came to the patient experience: they seemed nervous and scared. I saw this as a massive opportunity to implement technology and consumerism to help patients in one of their most stressful moments in their life.

This was the beginning of PatientPartner, co-founded with my business partner Patrick Frank who has a background in consumer technology.

MTDHN: How does PatientPartner work? Do patients need referrals?

GK: PatientPartner offers preoperative patients a brand new way to experience and start their healthcare journey. It gives these patients the ability to connect with an experienced patient who has gone through the same procedure to learn what that experience is like.

We have built an algorithm that matches patients based on relatability to ensure we are giving all of our incoming patients a mentor that is very similar to themselves, so the connections provide a lot of value to the preoperative patient.

Most patients come to us without a surgeon and finding a reputable doctor who accepts your insurance is incredibly challenging. We have removed all of these frustrations and are able to offer our patients direct referrals to very trustworthy doctors.

MTDHN: What procedures are most common for patients using your platform?

GK: Today we are covering weight loss surgery and joint replacement but are very quickly expanding our reach into several other surgery lines like cosmetic, spine, and cardiac. 

Additionally, we realize that PatientPartner is much bigger than just surgery and are already exploring areas like oncology and fertility.

MTDHN: What are some of the benefits of medical travel for patients?

GK: There are several benefits. The reasons why patients travel for medical care include:

  • cost
  • finding a qualified and reputable physician that they trust
  • and support needed for recovery.

For example, if someone travels to a different city to have surgery because their mom and dad live there, it’s a better recovery situation. There is also a lot of data that shows people choose to travel to the US from abroad based on the extreme waiting list times in universal healthcare countries.

MTDHN: Now that travel is opening up, are you seeing that patients are ready to resume traveling for health care?

GK: Yes, we are already seeing this with a lot of physicians we work with, and this is only the beginning. We work with a lot of physicians in Las Vegas and the amount of tourism that is now coming back is foretelling of how patients are now feeling about traveling for healthcare.

MTDHN: Does PatientPartner operate direct to consumer?

GK: Yes, we are a platform that is designed directly for patients to engage and connect with mentors and surgeons, and source information you cannot find anywhere else.

Although our platform is DTC, our business is B2B, as we mainly work with physicians and industry professionals to make PatientPartner available for free to patients around the country.

MTDHN: What countries are your clients interested in going to? Do you make recommendations based on the procedures and what hospitals are best versus where the client wishes to travel to?

GK: We have so much opportunity here in the US that we have not put much thought outside of the country. Most of what we see is people traveling domestically.

That being said, we cater to our patient population and help them get the support they need and the ability to find the best surgeon in their area. We understand our role in the healthcare journey and want to make sure the physician can do their job as efficiently and timely as possible.

We want to make sure we stay in our lane since we are not healthcare providers but rather a technology company that offers patients support and navigation.

MTDHN: Why is it important to talk with a mentor?

GK: Every physician involved with the platform understands the importance of engaging with a past patient.

At the end of the day, physicians are operators and a majority of them have never gone through the procedure or treatment they perform. They can only talk to the mechanics of the procedure and not the personal or emotional side.

That is why we built PatientPartner, to give access to this type of connection to everyone. These conversations are already happening every day with family members, neighbors, and friends but not everyone has that network to learn from. That’s where we come in and offer that to every patient about to go through one of these procedures.

MTDHN: Is there anything else that you want to share with the readers?

When we launched PatientPartner we really did not realize what we were changing in the healthcare process. We created a brand new step in the healthcare experience and gave patients who are afraid to take the first step a new option by having a simple conversation with someone in the community who is very similar to them and had similar health conditions. This access to care is taking patients off the sidelines and getting them on the road to better health.

Find out more about PatientPartner here.

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