UDENZ, a multi-sided dental engagement platform, connects patients with dental clinics through a convenient app
Dr. Hisham Safadi, founder and CEO of UDENZ, believes that everyone has a fundamental right to a smile. Born and raised in Dubai, and himself a dentist, he has first-hand knowledge of the industry – both its strengths and weaknesses.
“The dentistry world is very fragmented. There are more than 1.6 million dentists worldwide operating independently, forced to work on short notice by the current system of tariffs, settlements and insurances, and unable to achieve cost efficiency,” Dr. Hisham elaborates. “UDENZ works as an on-demand dental service platform and payment facilitator between patients and specialists, integrating proximity, booking, treatment specialties and services, insurance approval and fulfilment, all from the ease of one app.”
Connecting upwards of 4,000 dentists across 14 cities across the UAE and MENA region, the app has been downloaded 100,000 times, and used to book 32,000 appointments in just three years. Each registered practitioner on the platform is certified and thoroughly vetted before being added.
“UDENZ fulfils a niche where pioneering technology and intelligent design come together with connected health and advanced services, to improve the patient clinical experience, while reducing cost and prioritising prevention,” Dr Hisham explains. “Our assurance is timely service, quality, pricing and environment,” he adds. The application aims to support dental practices by helping practitioners get more clients through a system that is mutually beneficial for both patients and dentists. Dentists can create dental offers, as well as receive and exchange educational materials, marketing tools, and general tips, to make themselves more attractive to users.
UDENZ creates a fully-automated marketplace that connects users with dentists, by easing the process through a preapproved and supported insurance-claim engine. Preauthorisation and approval for treatments therefore become smoother, as the app automatically connects patients with insurance, to clinics accepting them.
As an application, UDENZ combines HealthTech, Fintech and InsurTech tools within the platform to stay ahead of the curve. The app was the first to introduce standalone dental insurance in partnership with local insurance companies in the UAE. It is also the first to develop a dental digital wallet that allows financial transactions through the platform. This sets up the platform perfectly in preparation for crypto currency, which is slated for launch in Dubai soon.
“The idea is to help dental practitioners gain more visibility. Point of sales or point of purchase systems are expensive and difficult for individual dental clinics to assemble,” explains Dr Hisham. “UDENZ fills the void by creating a fully-automated marketplace that connects users with dentists, by easing the process through a preapproved and supported insurance-claim engine. Preauthorisation and approval for treatments therefore become smoother, as the app automatically connects patients with insurance, to clinics accepting them,’’ he adds.
The startup application has upwards of 60,000 users from Dubai alone, and has logged more than 10,000 searches on its website. “UDENZ is such a huge success that through one platform-based interaction between patient and dentist, we have 100 percent return on investment,” says Dr Hisham.
Dr Hisham believes that the UAE works like an innovation lab for startups, aggressively encouraging an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Incubated by FinTech Hive, in Dubai International Financial Center, and crowdfunded through Eureeca, UDENZ launched in February 2016. Since then it has recorded a 500% increase in users over 12 months. It currently has more than 150,000 users from across the region registered on the platform, and in 2017 alone, fulfilled more than 800 appointments worth USD 75,000.
The platform’s success within the region encourages Dr Hisham to grow the application across a wider network to incorporate more countries. “The future looks immensely promising, and for that I must truly commend the regulations and legal framework within the UAE that help start-ups grow and prosper,” he concludes.