When co-founders Danny Steiner and Krista Berlincourt made their debut last year, Kenshō Health, their directory and information service for holistic medicine, Berlincourt called it "the opposite of Goop".
During Gwyneth Paltrows The lifestyle brand startup offers an intoxicating mix of unconfirmed pseudoscientific claims and longstanding holistic practices. Steiner and Berlincourt focused on the verified and verifiable claims of the medical community.
The two founders and their Los Angeles-based team have brought together a group of health care providers from Stanford University. Harvard University, Columbia University and others – all with a focus on accreditation.
Now the service is publicly available, offering the latest information on holistic medicine – based on a partnership with academic publisher Wiley – and a verified list of local doctors for consumers looking for treatments.
"We have six checkpoints, ”says Steiner. "We look at accreditations, experiences, peer reviews and customer reviews and speak to the suppliers themselves to make sure that we are on the same page we want to offer our products on. We do a background check for first class providers."
This review has done a great deal to provide tens of thousands of beta users, according to the company's founders, with a search and discovery tool for information on holistic health and well-being, as well as direct access to holistic naturopaths.
While "wellness" is a nebulous term that often represents therapies with questionable clinical value, it is a huge business in the United States and around the world. Some estimates from industry organizations like the Global Wellness Institute put the industry’s dollar value at around $ 4.2 trillion, from medical tourism to personalized and complementary medicine.
According to GWI, the complementary medicine component alone offers a market opportunity of $ 360 billion, on which Berlincourt and Steiner are concentrating.
"We wanted to create something that intervenes at the right time," says Berlincourt, a former PR employee who started business after turning to holistic medicine to treat her chronic adrenal failure. “So we built and made a provider network [complementary medicine] easy to understand through research. "
The company encourages vendors on its platform to offer different services to improve accessibility and to ensure that "this doesn't just apply to the wealthy elite," said Berlincourt.
While the service is currently free, both Berlincourt and Steiner state that there are obvious ways to make money that the company will explore after building a solid user base. Various potential sources of income include selling treatment or teaching packages or uploading entries to the website.
Kensho's thesis of a broader market that embraces the principles of holistic medicine appears to be supported by the recent moves by the country's largest government healthcare providers. For the first time, Medicare and Medicaid now officially cover acupuncture as a verified treatment option for certain conditions, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services said last week.
There is also broader recognition of the role lifestyle and general health and fitness play in most diseases, says Berlincourt.
"Eighty-seven percent of deaths are lifestyle-related, according to the CDC," she says. "75% of our health care expenditure relates to the diseases associated with these chronic diseases. We don't treat the root cause and people don't know there are other options. "
With the public launch and financial support from investors such as CrossCut Ventures, Female Founders Fund and Evolve Ventures wants to create the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" for wellness providers, according to Berlincourt.
"Conventional medicine wants to play with holistic medicine, but there is no connection. Our goal is to make this connection."