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Behind the Breakthrough: Q&A with Meena Mallipeddi, AmplifyMD

Meena Mallipeddi is one of the visionary leaders behind AmplifyMD working to empower healthcare and revolutionize specialist access.

Meena Mallipeddi and her husband Anand Nathan co-founded AmplifyMD to address the limitations in healthcare access, particularly the lack of timely specialist expertise, by creating a comprehensive virtual care platform that integrates seamlessly with existing clinical workflows.

By: F-Prime Capital

Raised in families immersed in the healthcare field, Anand Nathan and Meena Mallipeddi, husband and wife Co-founders of AmplifyMD, are no strangers to the limitations faced by many doctors today. “Coming from families of doctors, we’ve watched frustrations grow when physicians are not able to practice medicine and deliver patient care in the way they had hoped,” said Mallipeddi. She noted one key shortcoming is a lack of timely access to specialist expertise, which prevents patients from obtaining the care they need when they need it.

Access to specialist physicians in the U.S. now largely depends upon a person’s zip code, Mallipeddi pointed out, and this access disparity impacts hospitals, patients, and their communities.  As a result, most hospitals in the US experience unnecessary transfers, prolonged hospital stays, excessive utilization of tests and diagnostics, and increased healthcare costs. Outpatient services also struggle with issues like patient leakage, avoidable readmissions, and delays in care, which all exacerbate the clinical and financial burdens on the healthcare system.

Determined to solve the glaring supply and demand gaps they consistently observed, Mallipeddi and Nathan set out to redefine how hospitals, clinics, and patients access specialty care. Mallipeddi explained, “Hospitals and health systems have been trying to solve the specialty shortage issue with telemedicine for years, but they haven’t been successful in their current piecemeal approach. Until recently, virtual care has been a glorified video call. But it must be so much more if we want a seamless experience with broad adoption and impact. The technology must integrate bi-directionally with the EMR (electronic medical record) and the health system’s existing clinical workflows. Just as important, it’s got to be incredibly functional and efficient for a remote provider to see patients across multiple systems without a million different logins and applications for them to wade through. Anand and I knew we had to offer something smoother, better, and faster so medical facilities and providers could use the technology to its full potential.”

And so Mallipeddi and Nathan created AmplifyMD, a next-level virtual care platform that took into account the pain points above and gave hospitals a built-in multi-specialty physician group to simplify access to specialist services. “By developing a network of providers alongside our fully integrated virtual care platform, we can support hospitals, health systems, and clients of all sizes in a way that hasn’t been done before.”

What motivated you to start AmplifyMD?

My husband, Anand, and I have backgrounds in healthcare and technology, and were constantly exposed to the firsthand frustrations of our family members who are medical professionals.

The recurring narrative we encountered was the limitations caused by their lack of access to specialists. This often led to unnecessary patient transfers, excessive testing, and, at times, suboptimal care, all because a clinician lacked a piece of critical information or a consultation from a specialist. Recognizing that knowledge in medicine is highly shareable with the right technological infrastructure led us to the founding of AmplifyMD.

What have you learned along the way from “peers” in the field, and how is AmplifyMD different?

Most of our learnings were around the need to develop a comprehensive solution versus a narrow focus on only the clinical or technological aspects of virtual care. Hospitals are seeking a holistic solution, and the fact that we offer 15 different specialties through one platform, across any device, use case, or clinical care setting is so key to them. Our approach also minimizes their need for the myriad point solutions they struggle to manage today, helping our clients achieve operational efficiencies they otherwise would never have managed. It’s one training, one integration, and you’re done. That has been huge for us.

What makes you most hopeful about AmplifyMD’s future?

It’s hearing the impact we are making on patients, providers, and hospitals each day. I was just visiting one of our clients the other week, and the CEO was raving about our doctors and how much she loves having them on staff. And it wasn’t only because of the impact they were making directly on patients by seeing, treating, and discharging them efficiently. It was also because they’d simultaneously lowered the burden on her in-house hospitalist team. Her staff is keeping and treating more complex patients on-site with more confidence, and we’re helping the hospital as a whole run at a higher level of performance.

That’s just one story, and it might seem minor compared to the more dramatic tales of life-saving consults we do every day, but it’s precisely these everyday successes that illustrate the profound effect we’re having on healthcare in America. Our ability to efficiently address common health issues, which traditionally might have led to prolonged hospital stays and escalating costs, showcases the potential of AmplifyMD and “virtual care done right” to streamline and improve patient care and healthcare outcomes.

F-Prime has played a pivotal role in our journey, particularly through the support of Carl, who has been instrumental in expanding our network and enhancing our credibility. Carl’s willingness to share his extensive contacts has opened doors for us, connecting us with key figures in the healthcare industry, fellow founders, and potential investors. These introductions have been invaluable in fostering relationships and building a solid foundation for future collaborations.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your tenure with AmplifyMD to date?

Witnessing our remarkable growth and the impactful milestones we’ve achieved. Our team has more than tripled in size over the past year, which just blows my mind.

Equally exciting is our leap in patient care, from serving 10,000 to over 50,000 patients annually. Currently, we collaborate with over 150 clinical sites and offer services in more than 15 specialties, supported by a robust medical group nearing 300 doctors. And we recently launched tele-stroke in our suite of specialties, with 100 activations in a mere two weeks, which marks another significant achievement. This exponential increase underscores our expanding capacity to make a real difference in patients’ lives daily.

From the foundational days of brainstorming ideas to reaching these milestones, the journey has been a testament to our collective effort and dedication. Witnessing these achievements unfold has been profoundly rewarding, and our team’s ongoing shared commitment to our mission continues to make AmplifyMD incredibly fulfilling.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Fundamentally, I am driven by results, and hold a firm belief in setting ambitious targets. The essence of my leadership involves not just setting ambitious goals, however, but also ensuring that the team believes in their ability to meet them. I see a crucial part of my role as inspiring and instilling confidence in my team, convincing them of what we can achieve together. Otherwise, I’d never have gone into the start-up world!

I’m also always very direct and transparent, a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due, but also in calling out areas for improvement as soon as they become apparent. Celebrating a job well done is just as critical to our team’s continued success and morale as making sure everyone knows we are all being held to the same high standards. We’re all in this together, everyone is giving it their all, and I think the more our employees see this in action, the tighter it makes us as a team.

Who is the one person who’s had the most professional impact on your career, and why?

That one’s easy: my co-founder and husband, Anand. As a husband-and-wife team, our dynamic is unique. Anand not only conceived the initial idea and vision for our company, but he also brings a level of empathy to our partnership that complements my more results-driven approach.

His extensive experience as a people leader has been instrumental in shaping our company’s internal culture. Anand excels in managing our team, effectively communicating our vision, and fostering a collaborative environment. His ability to provide unwavering direction and product guidance for the company and our platform has kept us at the forefront of the industry and helped us build a clear defensive moat around our offering. The balance between our skill sets allows him to focus on the internal operations of our company while I take on the external challenges.

Anand’s impact extends beyond professional guidance. He provides unwavering support during challenging times, and we rely on each other for strength. This mutual support system has been a cornerstone of not just our personal relationship but our professional success as well. Moreover, his ability to offer candid feedback whenever necessary has been invaluable in maintaining our focus and integrity throughout our journey.

By developing a network of providers alongside our fully integrated virtual care platform, we can support hospitals, health systems, and clients of all sizes in a way that hasn’t been done before.

— Meena Mallipeddi, Co-founder & CEO of AmplifyMD