RoloDoc was a phone application created by two physician brothers, Albert and Richard Amini. The idea was to connect all healthcare workers with patients and each other through social media to streamline the process of communication.
This was to allow patients to book appointments with doctors in their vicinity more efficiently and quickly. They appeared on the popular Television show ‘Shark Tank’ in the hope of receiving an investment worth $50,000 for a 20% stake in the company.
They felt that pagers were outdated, and there needed to be a quicker and more efficient means of communication on their smartphones. What they were trying to project was something like a LinkedIn for the medical field.
How Did The Shark Tank Pitch Go?
The pitch bombed terribly. Unfortunately, the Amini brothers had created no prior prototype of their suggested model and had not done enough research on their business model.
There were many flaws with their idea as they had no idea how they would make any money off it. Nor did they have a plan to guarantee security and privacy. They had no method in place to verify that the doctors using the app were even licensed ones who are allowed to practice.
They suggested that once a patient selected a doctor of their choice based on their specialty and vicinity, they would upload their medical records.
But the Sharks were concerned about whether this was a safe platform and would it maintain the confidentiality of every patient’s medical records. The brothers could not answer that, and neither could they answer if there was any way to prove that the doctors joining the app were real doctors.
The Sharks were really struggling to understand how the app was any different from just picking up the phone and making a call, which was still more reliable than using the app. The Amini brothers kept mentioning the term ‘social media,’ which infuriated the Sharks.
Mark Cuban lost his patience and said he didn’t see how their idea had anything to do with social media. He said it sounded like a one-way communication and called it the ‘worst pitch ever.’
Barbara Corcoran also called it the worst sales presentation she had ever heard and did not want to invest.
Kevin O’Leary was neither convinced nor impressed and did not want to make any deals with the doctors.
Lori Greiner was quite confused about the business model as well and did not want to invest.
Robert wanted no part in it either.
No one was convinced about the app, and they all agreed that the app may have been good but they pitched terribly, and that was the end for them. Disheartened, Albert and Richard Amini left the stage with no deal.
Our Review of RoloDoc
Due to a lack of planning and testing out their application, the business model sounded incomplete and immature. There are many unanswered questions about how they would market their app and get physicians to even sign up for it. They were unsure how it was going to be a social media application or how physicians.
Despite mentioning that it is a social media application, the inventors of the app were unable to answer how they would use social media on their platform. Their idea had no clarity and no incentive for investors to provide the funds and be a part of the company.
We think that the brothers did not think their idea through and should have spent more time testing it out to show its workability. There were no numbers to show how well the business was doing, and hence, the Sharks shot it down completely.
Pros of RoloDoc
- It is meant to connect physicians with patients in their nearest vicinity
- No need for pagers
- It was meant to streamline communication between patients and doctors
Cons of RoloDoc
- No prototype testing was done
- No clarity on monetization and execution of the plan
- No security and confidentiality of medical records guaranteed
- No way to verify if the doctors that use the app are actually licensed
- The FAQ page on the website was blank with only a sign-up form for the Doctor’s app but no incentive to sign up
- No promotion was done for the product before they came on the show
- There were no stats done to prove the success of the app
- There was no evidence of the usability of the app or how the users would benefit from it
Who Is RoloDoc For?
RoloDoc was meant to be used by physicians, surgeons, specialists, vets, nurses, and patients seeking physicians. It was meant to streamline the process of finding a physician and setting up a physical or virtual appointment more efficiently.
Are There Any Alternatives?
There are many similar apps connecting doctors with physicians to schedule appointments on the phone as well as virtual ones. They allow patients to check their signs and symptoms and connect with the physician of the relevant specialty. The following apps are similar to RoloDoc:
These apps are successful and are being used today very actively by physicians and patients alike.
Our Final Thoughts
For any business model, all aspects of the business must be thoroughly thought out. From looking at their experience, we learned the importance of delivering the perfect pitch to investors, as it can make or break your idea. Without that, it is impossible to make investors believe that your idea can be a success.
The Amini brothers left the Shark Tank stage without any offers, but they may definitely have gotten a lot of publicity in their private practice after being on the show, even if they became famous due to negative press.
RoloDoc never made it into the market, and their business never kicked off. The Amini brothers went back to pursuing their respective careers in medicine. RoloDoc made it to the list of the worst Shark Tank pitches of all time.