You may not know Ariel Katz’s name, but if you’ve ever surfed the web looking for the right doctor, you know his work.
A graduate of Binghamton University in 2015, he is the CEO and co-founder of H1, which connects global healthcare providers with clinical, scientific and research information. Today, H1 manages detailed information on over 10 million healthcare providers worldwide. In fact, H1’s data has been entered into the ‘find a doctor’ portion of his website for many insurers, perhaps the most public aspect of the insurer’s mission.
“Our mission is to connect the world to the right doctor,” explains Katz, a New York City native. forbes The magazine’s recent 30 under 30 list. “Patients don’t know it’s us because they can’t see our name. But if you’re a healthcare provider or a doctor, you know who we are.”
After all, H1 is Katz’s second most successful business. After stints at the University of Pittsburgh and the Hebrew University, he transferred to Binghamton in his junior year and soon began his first job. The summer before his transfer, a psychology major, he attended a summer study program at Columbia University near his home. However, once he arrived in Binghamton, he had trouble finding similar study opportunities. And he was not alone. Other college friends shared their difficulties.
“I was basically like, ‘This doesn’t make sense. I’m qualified. Something’s broken here,'” Katz recalls. He eventually joined his two laboratories and published his honors thesis while at Binghamton. “In the summer of my junior year, I said, ‘I have to work this out.'”
That solution became ResearchConnection, intended to connect students to undergraduate research opportunities and graduate programs across the country.
He and three other co-founders, Zach Feuerstein ’15 and Zach Lite ’15, computer engineering majors at Binghamton, and Kal Victor, a psychology major at Columbia University, collected the Internet and created searchable research profiles for all professors in . ResearchConnection boasted hundreds of thousands of student users during its operation, Katz said.
The second largest user base, after students, was from businesses and used as marketing leads. At the time, this was disgusting, but Katz later realized that companies could use such data to monetize. After his partner sold his ResearchConnection in 2016, Katz decided to do just that, with a focus on healthcare and medicine.
He co-founded H1 with businessman and entrepreneur Ian Sachs. ResearchConnection’s chief technology officer, Feuerstein, said in 2017 he became H1’s first employee and left last year to found Breadboard, a company that specializes in the electronics manufacturing supply chain.
Entrepreneurship has a distinct learning curve, as the ResearchConnection team discovered. Team members raised about $40,000 from investors to get the business off the ground, which was no easy feat for a student with no entrepreneurial track record. Ms. Katz read online for inspirational information, but ended up putting herself out there over and over again.
“You can email people and fail thousands of times, and only get one response. . “You just do it. If you fail, try something else.”
When it comes to student user sign-ups, the ResearchConnection team thought outside the box and donut box. They bought 10,000 Krispy Kreme donuts and distributed them to tables around the Binghamton campus instead of signing up as users. As a result, Katz says half of the college’s students enrolled within his 24 hours.
The Krispy Kreme campaign ran into a bit of a problem as we didn’t get prior permission to our table. However, in its heyday, ResearchConnection had the backing of university authorities, with Binghamton University as its official partner.
“Ariel was a completely different race than most of the students who approached me with entrepreneurial projects. ,” says Brian Rose, vice-chancellor of student affairs. “The experienced vendor I met was not as prepared as he was at our first meeting. I was not surprised to learn of his subsequent success.”
Today: Healthcare. Tomorrow: Space?
ResearchConnection raised nearly half a million dollars before going on sale, amassed hundreds of thousands of users, and employed a team of 20 people. By comparison, H1 is large, employing 500 people. It has raised a total of $193 million from investors and is currently valued at $773 million. Users (tens of thousands) he is based in 90 countries.
“It’s a whole different scale, a whole different ballgame,” says Katz. “It’s a much larger company on the data side.”
Unlike ResearchConnection’s original reliance on web scraping, H1 combines purchased data with its own data sources, all in one platform that powers its portfolio of products. The company also partners with life sciences organizations and healthcare providers, health plans and digital health companies around the world to power critical workstreams with authoritative information about healthcare professionals and the work they do. H1 also allows doctors to update their profiles to reflect the latest information. Achievements, research activities, affiliations, etc.
The data available about providers include their specialties and research interests, what care plans they accept, what clinics they refer to, from which clinics, and what medical conditions patients have. etc., very detailed. Data points also include academic publications and clinical trials conducted or contributed by the provider.
This depth of information allows H1 to serve three major customer bases. It’s probably most noticeable when a patient uses the Find a Doctor page to select a healthcare provider. Pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, medical device companies, and insurance companies are also using her H1 to identify, engage, and educate physicians about new treatments, evidence-based medicine, patient outcomes, and more. increase. Physicians also use this site to communicate with each other, even to refer patients for research purposes or to find clinical trials.
Today, Katz is committed to fulfilling H1’s medical mission, helping patients and physicians find the right opportunities. But he also has another idea that is just out of this world called “The Nature of the Universe”. Only a few humans currently live on the International Space Station. Decades from now, the math may change, but the basic human need for nutritious food remains the same.
That day had not yet arrived, and Katz had yet to find a backer for the project. Meanwhile, H1 satisfies the more specific and immediate need of accessing medical information.
“Ultimately, whether it’s two years from now, 20 years from now, or 50 years from now, someone will need to grow fruits and vegetables in space,” he says. “There will come a time when that thought will be born.”