Company Spotlight: Steve King from Oshi Health
As an intern at OhanaHealth, I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Steve King, the Head of Growth at Oshi Health in New York City. Ohana placed two fellows at Oshi beginning in summer 2019, Haley Harder and Lavanya Rajan. Oshi Health is an all-in-one application that helps those with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis navigate daily life with the ability to track their symptoms, gain knowledge about their conditions, and access health care professionals with inquiries. More about his career path and his current role at Oshi Health.
Steve, please tell us about yourself! Where are you from, and how long have you been with Oshi?
“For quite some time, I was on the agency and consulting side of growth market strategy. A little over a year ago, I decided to move out of the agency side, and toward the client side. I was interested in healthcare, specifically digital healthcare. At the time, Oshi Health was looking to expand its team and hire its first few employees. I became the second employee. And we launched the mobile app in June 2018.
Oshi Health is structured into four departments, or teams. These include Growth, Content, Partnership, and the largest team, Product. There are currently 15 full-time employees. As Head of Growth, my team consists of a Growth Manager, who handles event planning and management as well as social media.”
What problem is Oshi solving? Who is your target customer?
“Roughly 3 million adults in the U.S. have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). People with IBD are looking for help with symptom management and pain relief. Specifically, Oshi assists those struggling with flares. Users have the opportunity to report symptoms in real-time, and our tools help them track trends in symptom presence and severity. Our app also provides access to experts and educational materials.
Simultaneously, gastroenterologists (GIs) and healthcare providers can see an updated dashboard of their patient population. If a user reports severe symptoms, but they do not have a regularly scheduled appointment for 6 months away, the patient-provider connection can now be expedited. More features are in the works and will be revealed in our next launch.”
What do you like most and what do you find most challenging about working at a startup?
“I love the ability to pivot and work quickly. There are relatively few surprises in the big picture, because we can all discuss things together to speed up their completion. However, we are working in a space where there are few answers. I try to see this as an advantage, because there is no one answer. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem, but it keeps the work innovative and engaging.
I appreciated the transition from agency to client-focused work. At a rapidly-growing start-up, I enjoy the fast-paced environment and the ability to make immediate changes in the way we do things, when necessary. On the contrary, there are certain slower aspects in the healthcare industry, including clinical validation.”
What do you consider your biggest win-to-date?
“Oshi Health is the #1 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) app, with 50,000 downloads! We monitor and celebrate this accomplishment with a statistics tracker on our website. The most rewarding aspect of this accomplishment is knowing Oshi is able to help and educate so many of our users.
There have been other apps introduced, but Oshi is in the lead. We see this mission as a marathon, and we’ve only just passed the first mile. We are confident that Oshi Health will continue to gain traction and maintain this momentum.”
What advice would you give a college student or recent grad preparing for the professional world?
“One boss once told me, ‘You’ll never be short of work if you become the deepest specialist in one area.’ I agree. At the same time, I think there is a great benefit to being a generalist. I encourage working extra hard and be both a specialist and a generalist!
As a college student, you should take advantage of the ability to dip your toes into many different departments and fields. I always recommend really understanding different parts of a company you’re with. Start generalist… And discover what you do (and don’t) like. And then narrow into a specialty that sparks your spirit.”
You can learn more about Oshi Health here: https://www.oshihealth.com/.