Connect remotely with radiologists: An interview with Rology Co-Founder, Moaaz Hossam

Rology, an on-demand teleradiology platform matching radiology scans coming from hospitals with radiologists, recently raised $860K in a Pre-Series A funding round, led by HIMangelDubai Angel Investors (DAI), The Asia Africa Investment & Consulting, and Athaal Group all participated in the round. 

Following Rology's successful funding round, we caught up with Co-Founder Moaaz Hossam to delve deeper into how the Rology platform works, his thoughts on some of the most transformative things happening in Healthtech, why the KSA market is a focus for them, plans for the future of Rology, and much more.

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How does Rology work?

Rology matches the radiology scans performed by hospitals with the optimum radiologist to report it. We match based on the subspecialty and availability of the radiologist. Radiologists can login to our platform remotely and view the scan and write the report. All they need is a laptop and an internet connection.

Could you share some more information about the tech you use and how crucial this is to Rology?

One of the challenges of building tech for healthcare in MEA is the connectivity and infrastructure of the region, you always have to make sure that your tech can run on machines with lower capabilities and on internet infrastructure that is not as stable or robust as the ones in more developed regions of the world. Our platform can provide the same level of stability and usability for hospitals in major metropolises like Cairo or Riyadh as it does for hospitals in Kisii county in Kenya. We also have some big plans in regards to the move towards AI, but it is too early to disclose this as of yet.

Rology gives radiologists the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. How did the current working climate affect Rology? Did you see an increase in users?

We have seen a substantial increase in the number of radiologists who have signed up on the platform. I think the pandemic has proved what we at Rology have been saying for three years now, that radiologists are misutilized. Radiologists have zero interactions with patients, yet they are expected to follow the same work model as a surgeon, pediatrician, or any other type of doctor who must have direct and face to face interaction with the patient.

What do you hope to achieve by expanding to KSA? And why is this market a focus for you?

The KSA market has always been very attractive to many growing companies in the region, and it's very clear that the KSA economy is about to witness exponential growth for the next 10-15 years as the economy expands into non-oil related sectors. There is a huge demand for Rology's services in KSA, and we can help a lot of hospitals there offer better service to their patients, so it makes perfect sense for us to focus on this market next. 

What do you believe are some of the most transformative or exciting things happening in Healthtech right now?

Definitely the introduction of AI - we are scratching the surface of AI's potential in healthtech. As more health data becomes available and accessible, more and more revolutionary healthtech companies are going to emerge and AI in Radiology and Pharma will lead the way.

Did the current climate affect your fundraising efforts in any way? 

Absolutely, the stress that the pandemic has caused the global healthcare systems has exposed the need for innovation and disruption in the healthcare sector. A lot of smart money is going towards healthtech startups now, maybe more than any other sector, as evidenced by our oversubscribed round. So for us, the current climate was actually helpful.

What were you looking for from your investors, beyond capital?

We always look for "smart money", as we believe it's never about who writes the bigger checks or gives you higher valuations. We always look for investors who have experience in our sector and in the markets we're targeting. The right investor can help with advice, and connections to the right people, and that is worth so much more than a temporary bump in our valuation or round size.

It’s safe to assume that after this round, you're going to have some exciting growth plans. Can you share some of Rology’s short-term plans for expansion with us?

I don't want to give too much away, but we will be focusing on the KSA market and Kenyan market in particular, and long term, we see the Middle-East and African markets as very attractive and exciting markets to be in. As for talent, we are always looking for amazingly talented people to add to the team, whether on the business side or the tech side, so if anyone reading this has experience in healthcare, healthtech, radiology, or business development in the Middle East or Africa, feel free to reach out on LinkedIn and let's save lives together! 

What do you foresee as the largest challenges to scaling Rology in MENA and beyond?

The adoption of new technologies typically takes a bit longer in our region, but we hope that our quick turnaround times as well as top-notch reporting and quality assurance will convince the market to move faster on this.

What are your hopes for the future of Rology and Healthtech in the region?

For Rology, I'm hoping for a day where we can celebrate saving a billion lives. That's our version of a unicorn.

For the region, I hope we can embrace technology and innovation at a much faster rate.

Finally, what advice would you give to yourself five years ago? 

On a professional level, I would advise myself to say "no" more and to not get distracted by anything else other than the core mission of saving lives.

On a personal level, I would say, just relax - it's okay to make mistakes and get things wrong every now and then, as long as you learn from it.

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