“Episode 47: Finding a Better Doctor with Ari Tulla from Better Doctor”
by Stacey Richter

Listen to the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

Ari Tulla

While struggling to find the right doctor for his wife, Ari Tulla began to see major flaws in the US healthcare system. He realized it was easy to find information about specific diseases and illnesses online, but there wasn’t a way for consumers to find local specialists who take their insurance – a connection he calls “the last mile.”

His frustration with the system and belief that he could build a solution prompted Tulla to co-found BetterDoctor in 2011 with his friend and colleague Tapio Tolvanen.

Today, BetterDoctor aims to create simplicity and transparency in the marketplace. Tulla wants consumers to be able to type in a query and immediately be offered a list of qualified physicians in their area. Looking beyond that, he hopes to one day link the best mobile health gadgets and apps to his database of specialists so patients and their information are seamlessly connected to the doctors they’re about to visit.

Tulla comes to BetterDoctor from Nokia where he worked in game and application design. He brings 15 years of experience and a fierce determination to the young company. More than building a great doctor-finder app, Tulla strives to do it the right way: with trustworthy data, no advertisements, and a keen sense of independence.

It’s his four-month-old son Max that wakes him up every day, but his drive to fix the system that keeps him going.

In his free time, you can find Ari on Northern California’s steep cliffs, powdery slopes, big waves or on Twitter @umbar and @BetterDoctor

About BetterDoctor

BetterDoctor is a comprehensive doctor search tool that brings transparency to healthcare. Since the launch in 2012 BetterDoctor web and mobile apps have helped 20,000,000 patients find the right doctor. The 50 people strong company is funded by first tier VCs and growing rapidly.

BetterDoctor apps can be found at http://betterdoctor.com.

BetterDoctor’s marketing services help doctors focus on treating patients instead of worrying about their online reputation: http://doctor.betterdoctor.com.

BetterDoctor’s doctor API gives developers access to the best doctor data: http://developer.betterdoctor.com.


00:00 Ari tells the origin story behind BetterDoctor.
03:00 Ari talks the Affordable Care Act, and how it is increasing the number of people looking for doctors.
03:45 The two goals behind BetterDoctor: Finding a Doctor, and Qualifying a Doctor.
05:55 Value vs. Cost when evaluating a Doctor.
07:40 The metrics of selecting a doctor.
10:30 The metrics that BetterDoctor looks at and makes visible to users to give patients a better idea of how to think about their care options.
10:50 The different set of metrics used for PCPs vs. Specialists.
12:00 How evaluations that BetterDoctor uses take into account the “whole experience” that goes beyond the Doctor and his/her education and personality to include things like parking, wait time, and staff personableness.
13:50 How BetterDoctor accesses data to evaluate doctors better.
15:30 How reviewing a doctor and his/her practice differs from reviewing a business such as a store or restaurant.
18:30 “A hospital is only as good as the people in it.”
19:00 Analyzing from the bottom-up vs. the top-down.
22:40 Does user-experience correlate with care outcomes?
25:30 How a patient’s evaluation could change over time after a doctor visit or procedure.
28:20 How many people struggle to understand and process how they feel, and how a more holistic approach could ultimately benefit Western Healthcare.
31:00 The huge shift for healthcare practices to open up their metrics to be publicly visual to help patients make better decisions for their care.
34:00 The need for feedback to improve care.
34:30 “I think we have the best healthcare in the world, if you have the money to pay for it.”
35:20 Ari talks about his new book he is working on.
36:50 How tenacity can get you far as a talented individual in innovating the healthcare industry, whether you work in the healthcare industry now, or just have the desire to impact and improve lives.
38:20 You can find more information about BetterDoctor at BetterDoctor.com, or download the app BetterDoctor to your phone.