As a 12-year-old, Huda Idrees was already building websites for clients. Idrees, who learned computer-programming and web design in Saudi Arabia, is also an Industrial Engineering graduate from the University of Toronto. At just 26, Idrees possesses a stellar resume, having worked for numerous successful startups including Wattpad, Wave, and Wealthsimple, all calculated choices in moving her career forward.
But that’s not enough for the ambitious entrepreneur. Most recently, she founded a new venture in the medical tech field. As the creator of Dot Health, Idrees is keen on creating a new kind of company that helps eliminate the convoluted paper trails and lost files when it comes to patients accessing their own medical records.
The aim of the company is to make patients’ health records directly available to them via smartphones, tablets, computers, and other devices for an affordable monthly rate. This way, clients can receive the best possible treatment when they arrive at a hospital or clinic, and doctors can feel more secure knowing that all of the information they need is present, saving them time and energy.
Idrees was inspired to create Dot Health after a friend’s father failed to receive the correct treatment during his battle with cancer, as he struggled to collect all of his past medical records and bring them together. While many other companies have tried to combat the issue, most have failed, in part because they were charging considerably more per month than what Dot Health is currently offering.
For example, other companies may charge $89 per record retrieval, with a monthly subscription anywhere from $20 to $75; most doctors’ offices and hospitals charged over $30 just to release a patient’s records in the first place. Idrees essentially sought to secure a deal with medical professionals to release the medical records at a reduced rate, or even for free, allowing Dot Health to charge patients much less. But in order to accomplish this, trust and rapport must first be established between all of the parties involved – patients, physicians, and Dot Health. If Idrees can prove to medical professionals that her company’s service would make their jobs easier, everyone could thrive under the system. The end goal for people to receive the best treatment possible and not have their health put at risk because they couldn’t locate some documents.
For Idrees, Dot Health is about more than just money. Her focus is on making an impact on actual issues that affect people’s lives. Her stellar reputation and her track record at multiple successful startups is reassuring to investors, though right now Dot Health remains a relatively small team based in Toronto.
In a world so often driven by profit, it’s refreshing to see someone like Idrees using her talents for good. Transitioning from her previous roles as a designer to that a leader and now the founder of a company, Idrees doesn’t shy away from pushing boundaries or being vocal about why she feels pursuing positive change is important. According to her, if the project you’re working on is inherently socially good, then you can’t escape it; it will become a part of your company’s philosophy. If you say you’re going to build a new platform on behalf of the consumer and do what no one else is willing to do, then you have no choice but to follow through on that promise.
Rhea Braganza | Staff Writer