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Digital health meets Shark Tank (and gets totally annihilated)

10:56 pm by | 9 Comments

Digital health made an appearance on Shark Tank tonight and got treated like the ultimate piece of chum. You would think that a couple of high-tech doctors offering the future of mobile technology in healthcare would just blow away the likes of Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary, right?

Instead, the investors on Shark Tank – a reality show for investing in startup companies – said the founders of RoloDoc delivered “the worst presentation ever.”

Another company setting the world on fire selling cake balls at 7-Eleven blew the doctors out of the water (and got a Shark Tank investment).


Drs. Albert Amini and Richard Amini clearly passed on checking out a Rock Health seminar or MedCity’s startup tips. The premise of RoloDoc is one you’ve heard of before: create a credible physician directory and mobile health app patients can use to reach out directly to a doctor that fits them perfectly. The site would become like a LinkedIn for physicians, and patients would use RoloDoc to upload and display their medical records.

“What we’re trying to do is bring social media and the social network to the medical profession,” Albert Amini said.

And with that, it went downhill. Cuban noted the presentation never demonstrated how RoloDoc leveraged social media and the doctor duo couldn’t effectively explain how they would convince doctors to join. They also couldn’t address why patients would upload their information, since many health systems have electronic medical records, the thorny issues of protecting patient privacy, and how they would verify the physicians.

They said they would make money through online advertising and could keep practicing medicine and running this business. “In this day and age we can do it with electronics,” Richard Amini said.

Cuban closed them out: “I am going to do this eye to eye face to face because you’re doctors: Worst presentation ever.”

Will any credible digital health company have the courage to show its face on The Tank ever? Will Shark Tank even consider them?

O’Leary, the black-hat character of the show, waxed scientific: “Protein is never wasted when a death occurs … I don’t mind sacrificing a couple doctors if it means the next couple doctors can make me money.”

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Chris Seper

By Chris Seper MedCity News

Chris Seper runs MedCityNews.com and contributes regularly to the site. He is the vice president of healthcare for Breaking Media, MedCity's corporate owners. Reach him at [email protected]
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Lisa Suennen
Lisa Suennen

Watching that RoloDoc thing was torture.  I was writhing on the couch from a combination of knowing there are 50 (bad) companies like this, that these guys had no clue how to talk to other humans and that there was no chance this business could succeed.  I was genuinely worried the Sharks might not know enough about healthcare to hate this deal.  Thankfully they proved themselves smart as usual.  Did these doctors never once show their idea to others to vet it?  Absent were answers on marketing, privacy, management, revenue model and basically every other topic that even a half-awake investor would ask.  What a mess.


@chrisseper it would great if the whole unedited @RoloDoc sequence was available to see if there was more that could have been done.


@mHealthSurgeon "I don’t mind sacrificing a couple doctors if it means the next couple doctors can make me money.” - Wow


@c4i I am always amazed at how disconnected the healthcare innovators are from opportunities to make themselves better.


@chrisseper I seriously hope someone would reach out to the Dr. brothers and turn around their idea for another chance on .


@chrisseper I'm a big fan of technology and healthcare being used to innovate, there was so much promise there, and well...