Treatspace: A Founder’s Personal Mission to Connect Patients to Doctors

January 26, 2014

12:00 pm

“It’s crazy how you can see who your ex is dating on Facebook, but we can’t find any doctors to save your life,” recounted Rick Cancelliere of what he said to his former college roommate, Adam, sometime during the week of his passing. With some background working with doctors and professionals in the health industry, Cancelliere was approached by Adam to learn more about any specialists he knew prior to seeking cancer treatment. Disappointed by the lack of this kind of medical information, Cancelliere would later create Treatspace as way to help people easily learn more about and connect with doctors online.

“There [were] sites that connect[ed] patient to patient or doctor to doctor, but no ubiquitous health network that connect[ed] everyone.”

Treatspace is a platform that allows doctors, patients, and practices to interact in various ways online. For patients, it provides them with an opportunity to research potential doctors and stay informed about, and connected with, their current providers. For doctors and medical practices, the portal not only allows them to stay connected with patients, but also affords them the ability to provide accurate, up-to-date, and verifiable facts about their practices.

“I was a young entrepreneur; I was looking to learn and to do really well.”

Cancelliere started his first business at the age 14 doing graphic design for people he met at church. One of his big breaks came when he got the chance to redesign websites for a bunch of medical offices – it was his entry into the health industry, and he took this opportunity to learn as much as he could. He then moved on to start his own advertising and design agency, focusing primarily on medical clients. It was then that he started really paying attention to how disconnected doctors were from their patients.

“I’m inspired by patients wanting this information and connection – helping people, like Adam, who needs [Treatspace].”

After Adam’s death, Cancelliere did extensive research and discovered that the available online information on health providers wasn’t helpful and that there was no efficient way for patients (and potential patients) to connect with them. Information on doctors – if it was available – was inaccurate, out-of-date, or was based on poor reviews from a small sample of patients. As a secondary cause, he found it unfair that presumably well-qualified doctors were getting bad representation online.

For Cancelliere, Treatspace is the solution for what Adam – and indeed everyone – looks for when seeking medical advice or treatment. It’s also a way to humanize doctors in a way that was previously unavailable, giving doctors an additional medium for connecting with patients.

Treatspace was most recently featured at Tech Cocktail’s Pittsburgh Mixer & Startup Showcase.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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