Joella Almeida (BA 2018), co-founder of MedEssist, streamlines healthcare access through entrepreneurship

March 22, 2022 by Bay Street Bull Staff

For Joella Almeida (BA 2018) and Michael Do, the Co-Founders of a revolutionary patient relationship platform for pharmacies called MedEssist, a gap in the healthcare industry needed to be filled.

While working as a community pharmacist, Do saw firsthand the issues patients faced every day and how challenging it is for pharmacists to provide personalized care within traditional pharmacy workflows. For Do, the primary role of community pharmacies within the healthcare system is in offering accessibility. And this characteristic was even more crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

“MedEssist came out of this idea that technology could be used to address or challenge systemic problems to improve patient outcomes by getting them (patients) to access, understand and manage their health with technology,” said Almeida.

In early 2019, Almeida was running her own business as a freelance marketer and Shopify partner with a steady roster of recurring clients, yet she was craving something new and in her words, “building MedEssist was a dream worth pursuing.”

“Many business owners who switch paths from working a corporate job or freelancing see entrepreneurship as an aspirational profession,” said Shadi McIsaac, CEO of Ownr, the small business legal management platform that the MedEssist Co-Founders used to incorporate their business. “We consistently hear that one of the top reasons an entrepreneur chooses to start their business is to gain more purpose in their lives while reclaiming creative freedom.”

With Do’s expertise in pharmacies and Almeida’s background in tech sales and operations, the duo put their heads together to scale MedEssist’s customer base to 100 pharmacies in less than six months. “We saw the impact we could have and were committed to working together to change the way healthcare could be accessed through pharmacies,” said Almeida.

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