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What started as an idea when emergency paediatric specialist Dr Sidney Sunwoo looked across a crowded children’s hospital waiting room and thought “there must be a better way” soon became a start-up business which is already growing strongly in its first year.

KidsDocOnCall, a 24/7 Australia-wide service providing video medical consultations with paediatric specialists, launched last year after more than 18 months of research, development and trial – and after child protection lawyer Venus Behbahani-Clark and her businessman husband James Clark came on board.

And they are already looking to expand with partnerships in Australia and overseas.

KidsDocOnCall hopes to eventually become more widely available and accessible globally, and to partner with other health and children’s services across Australia to provide medical care, education and support.

Ms Behbahani-Clark is currently travelling overseas exploring potential partnerships. With her vision which stems from her background in child protection and passion to improve the health and wellbeing of children in the early childhood space KidsDocOnCall has already partnered with Australian childcare technology company Xplor due to launch 2022, and is currently in talks with global telehealth companies at board level.

KidsDocOnCall is manned by senior paediatric specialists located across Australia and caters to children’s urgent care needs, ie acute illness or injury that is not life or limb threatening but cannot wait, or where families cannot access appropriate medical care. There has been a strong take-up in rural and remote regions, including calls from as far away as Arnhem Land.

CEO Dr Sunwoo came up with the idea in mid-2019, during the 4th record month in a row for hospital emergency department presentations, as he looked around the crowded waiting room and realised most of the patients were not needing emergency care.

“I though there must be a better way for families,” Dr Sunwoo says, adding it was understandable that families turned to emergency departments when their children become ill or were injured outside normal GP hours.

“We always say if in doubt come to emergency, especially when children are involved. But there are always a lot of families in emergency who don’t need to be there. Of more concern, many don’t go to emergency who should. It is our job to determine if a child has a serious illness and we can help parents navigate the often-confusing health system.”

Dr Sunwoo, who was studying an MBA at Melbourne Business School at the time, spoke to his classmate Charles Coulton, a marketing research company founding partner, about his idea for KidsDocOnCall.

Dr Sunwoo said while telehealth was still very new and under-utilised in Australia at the time, it was a tested model that worked well in the US, and China and Indonesia with their large populations and limited health resources.

A sample trial revealed a “strong appetite” for a service such as KidsDocOnCall – and the business was born.

Dr Sunwoo’s colleague Associate Professor Sandy Hopper joined the team as chief medical officer, along with operations manager Janee Rutherford who now sits on the board.

“We were a start-up with a big vision but it all started with having to figure out the technology and the service model,” Dr Sunwoo says.

Dr Sunwoo says the initial team invested their own money in developing the technology and running a trial from mid-2020, before Venus Behbahani-Clark came on board in 2021 as co-founding chairwoman and James Clark as chief operations officer.

Dr Sunwoo says the couple’s involvement “was wonderful for us” – bringing with them investment, expertise on creative business models and expansion with top tier networks for global growth – and KidsDocOnCall was formally launched.

What began as a “tiny little company with just a few doctors trying to make a difference” has grown to a team of 20 doctors, with more currently being recruited, and a growing volume of calls from all over Australia.

Dr Sunwoo says the feedback from families that have used the service has been “wonderful, incredibly positive and supportive”.

KidsDocOnCall hopes to eventually become more widely available and accessible globally, and to partner with other health and children’s services across Australia to provide medical care, education and support.

Ms Behbahani-Clark is currently travelling overseas exploring potential partnerships. With her vision which stems from her background in child protection and passion to improve the health and wellbeing of children in the early childhood space KidsDocOnCall has already partnered with Australian childcare technology company Xplor due to launch 2022, and is currently in talks with global telehealth companies at board level.

Dr Sunwoo said their market research had highlighted two clear advantages for families – convenience and the fact the consultations are with paediatric specialists, the doctors you would see if you took your kids to hospital but without the hours spent in a waiting room.

KidsDocOnCall has the added advantage of relieving pressure on already strained emergency departments. Families download an app and register their children, then it’s just a click of a button to request a video consultation. Once a doctor is free – usually within less than 60 minutes – a message is sent with a video link. Families pay per consultation and can subscribe monthly for a reduced call fee, and Medicare rebates apply for some calls.

KidsDocOnCall can send prescriptions or referrals direct to parents, and will refer children to hospital where needed – an even call ahead to alert the hospital to the child’s condition.

Dr Sunwoo said while Covid had changed the telehealth landscape quite markedly, KidsDocOnCall was here for the long-term, rather than being a reactive service.

 
KidsDocOnCall is a 24/7 national children’s medical telehealth service which launched last year across Australia, staffed by senior emergency paediatric specialists. It provides urgent medical consultations for acute illness or injury for children aged 0-17 years. Find out more at kidsdoconcall.com.au




What started as an idea when emergency paediatric specialist Dr Sidney Sunwoo looked across a crowded children’s hospital waiting room and thought “there must be a better way” soon became a start-up business which is already growing strongly in its first year.

KidsDocOnCall, a 24/7 Australia-wide service providing video medical consultations with paediatric specialists, launched last year after more than 18 months of research, development and trial – and after child protection lawyer Venus Behbahani-Clark and her businessman husband James Clark came on board.

And they are already looking to expand with partnerships in Australia and overseas.

KidsDocOnCall hopes to eventually become more widely available and accessible globally, and to partner with other health and children’s services across Australia to provide medical care, education and support.

Ms Behbahani-Clark is currently travelling overseas exploring potential partnerships. With her vision which stems from her background in child protection and passion to improve the health and wellbeing of children in the early childhood space KidsDocOnCall has already partnered with Australian childcare technology company Xplor due to launch 2022, and is currently in talks with global telehealth companies at board level.

KidsDocOnCall is manned by senior paediatric specialists located across Australia and caters to children’s urgent care needs, ie acute illness or injury that is not life or limb threatening but cannot wait, or where families cannot access appropriate medical care. There has been a strong take-up in rural and remote regions, including calls from as far away as Arnhem Land.

CEO Dr Sunwoo came up with the idea in mid-2019, during the 4th record month in a row for hospital emergency department presentations, as he looked around the crowded waiting room and realised most of the patients were not needing emergency care.

“I though there must be a better way for families,” Dr Sunwoo says, adding it was understandable that families turned to emergency departments when their children become ill or were injured outside normal GP hours.

“We always say if in doubt come to emergency, especially when children are involved. But there are always a lot of families in emergency who don’t need to be there. Of more concern, many don’t go to emergency who should. It is our job to determine if a child has a serious illness and we can help parents navigate the often-confusing health system.”

Dr Sunwoo, who was studying an MBA at Melbourne Business School at the time, spoke to his classmate Charles Coulton, a marketing research company founding partner, about his idea for KidsDocOnCall.

Dr Sunwoo said while telehealth was still very new and under-utilised in Australia at the time, it was a tested model that worked well in the US, and China and Indonesia with their large populations and limited health resources.

A sample trial revealed a “strong appetite” for a service such as KidsDocOnCall – and the business was born.

Dr Sunwoo’s colleague Associate Professor Sandy Hopper joined the team as chief medical officer, along with operations manager Janee Rutherford who now sits on the board.

“We were a start-up with a big vision but it all started with having to figure out the technology and the service model,” Dr Sunwoo says.

Dr Sunwoo says the initial team invested their own money in developing the technology and running a trial from mid-2020, before Venus Behbahani-Clark came on board in 2021 as co-founding chairwoman and James Clark as chief operations officer.

Dr Sunwoo says the couple’s involvement “was wonderful for us” – bringing with them investment, expertise on creative business models and expansion with top tier networks for global growth – and KidsDocOnCall was formally launched.

What began as a “tiny little company with just a few doctors trying to make a difference” has grown to a team of 20 doctors, with more currently being recruited, and a growing volume of calls from all over Australia.

Dr Sunwoo says the feedback from families that have used the service has been “wonderful, incredibly positive and supportive”.

KidsDocOnCall hopes to eventually become more widely available and accessible globally, and to partner with other health and children’s services across Australia to provide medical care, education and support.

Ms Behbahani-Clark is currently travelling overseas exploring potential partnerships. With her vision which stems from her background in child protection and passion to improve the health and wellbeing of children in the early childhood space KidsDocOnCall has already partnered with Australian childcare technology company Xplor due to launch 2022, and is currently in talks with global telehealth companies at board level.

Dr Sunwoo said their market research had highlighted two clear advantages for families – convenience and the fact the consultations are with paediatric specialists, the doctors you would see if you took your kids to hospital but without the hours spent in a waiting room.

KidsDocOnCall has the added advantage of relieving pressure on already strained emergency departments. Families download an app and register their children, then it’s just a click of a button to request a video consultation. Once a doctor is free – usually within less than 60 minutes – a message is sent with a video link. Families pay per consultation and can subscribe monthly for a reduced call fee, and Medicare rebates apply for some calls.

KidsDocOnCall can send prescriptions or referrals direct to parents, and will refer children to hospital where needed – an even call ahead to alert the hospital to the child’s condition.

Dr Sunwoo said while Covid had changed the telehealth landscape quite markedly, KidsDocOnCall was here for the long-term, rather than being a reactive service.

 
KidsDocOnCall is a 24/7 national children’s medical telehealth service which launched last year across Australia, staffed by senior emergency paediatric specialists. It provides urgent medical consultations for acute illness or injury for children aged 0-17 years. Find out more at kidsdoconcall.com.au


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