Location: Milwaukee Founders: Tiffany Mullen and Alex Yampolsky Founded: July 2018 Product/service: Full-service platform for functional medicine Website: wellnessscript.com Employees: 3 Goal: Create the largest virtual medical group specializing in functional medicine Experience: 31 years of combined experience
Dr. Tiffany Mullen has gotten a good look at the state of health care, both as a physician and as a patient at an early age.
Mullen, along with Alex Yampolsky, who has more than a decade of experience as a pharmacist, founded WellnessScript just over a year ago to virtually connect patients with clinicians who practice functional medicine, an alternative approach to traditional medicine. The company also provides customized supplement and medication packets and home-based testing kits, based on physician recommendations.
In Mullen’s view, transactional relationships and 15-minute patient visits characterize traditional medicine. Doctors often write prescriptions to cover up symptoms without addressing the root causes of a patient’s ailments, Mullen said.
“What we do in functional medicine is we dive deep under patients’ symptoms looking for root causes,” Mullen said. “So, once we’re able to establish that root cause, we can highly personalize a patient’s treatment. For example, my reason for fatigue might be very different than your reason for fatigue.”
WellnessScript is developing its own telemedicine-based electronic heath record platform using video conferencing and other tools, because existing options lack the functionality Mullen and Yampolsky needed. Using a virtual network removes geographical barriers for both patients and physicians, Yampolsky said, noting more functional medicine clinicians are located on the coasts and many clinics have long waitlists.
“In Tiffany’s practice, people would travel across the state to see her, if not across state lines,” he said. “There’s just a shortage of people.”
During its first year, WellnessScript tested market demand, created an inexpensive prototype and began establishing operations, including a licensed pharmacy. The company also raised $900,000 from investors and has another $400,000 committed.
“(We) were able to attract quite a few patients and physicians right out of the gate,” Mullen said. “So, we clearly identified that we had product market fit pretty early, and at that point felt as though we could invest in our platform development.”
WellnessScript is focusing on bringing more patients and physicians onto the platform and establishing a good operational foundation. Yampolsky added a primary goal is to ensure people do not feel on their own when dealing with health issues.
“We’re really focused on building and maintaining that relationship,” he said.