Doctorpreneurs: Dr Frenn Aben
Doctorpreneurs of Doctology is pleased this week to showcase an interview with Dr Frenn Aben.
Frenn was educated in the Philippines and he attained his medical degree at the age of 23. He moved to Australia in 2007 where he specialised in rehabilitation medicine.
He has been providing rehabilitation services to the Sydney and Central Coast populations for the past 10 years, and he is now aiming to scale the efficient delivery of quality healthcare services with the Kalinga Health App.
What organisation / startup did you found?
I founded Kalinga Health, a mobile app platform that directly connects clients to highly qualified nurses and carers.
Our model eliminates the need for the agency middle man that adds on high commissions and administration fees to the cost of health care.
With Kalinga Health, clients pay less for more hours of care, while care providers are better compensated for their services.
What is its noble purpose?
Our purpose is to improve quality of life for the elderly, people with disabilities and health care providers.
Tell me about the first 10 years of your life?
I was born in 1980 to a middle-class family in Manila, Philippines.
My biological mother died from a car accident when I was 3 years old. My Dad supported myself and my younger sister by working as seaman.
I grew up enjoying music, comic books, and basketball.
What age were you when you had your first paying job? What was it?
My college and university years were spent studying full time in the pursuit of medicine.
I got my first job as an Emergency Room Doctor at the age of 23, after I passed the medical board exams.
What made you want to be a Doctor and what speciality did you choose?
I have always been interested in Science and Medicine. I am fascinated by how the human body functions and interacts with its environment, in both the molecular and the physiologic levels.
I chose to specialise in Rehabilitation Medicine. I like how this field emphasises on the holistic approach to patient care and treatment. We deal not only with a person’s medical issues, but as well as his or her functional and psychosocial concerns.
Seeing my patients return to work, or return to their loved ones and families give me much fulfilment.
What made you want to be an Entrepreneur? When exactly did you decide?
I am passionate about improving Quality of life. Working in the aged care and disability sector in Australia for over 10 years, I became aware of the growing need and demand for health care services in these sectors.
There is also an increasing number of carers and nurses looking for better job opportunities. I decided to create a platform that efficiently matches these 2 groups to each other so they can fulfil each other’s demands.
Our model can potentially open up a whole new source of care providers willing to work a few extra hours a day to provide care for others.
Are you still practicing as a Doctor now? If yes do you intend to stop if your organisation takes off?
Yes, I am still practicing as a rehabilitation physician. I intend to work full-time on Kalinga Health, but I think I would still be doing Medicine in one form or another, as it is my first love.
Why do you think traditionally many Doctors struggle with entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship was not part of medical curriculum when I studied medicine. The demands and the lifestyle associated with medicine makes venturing into business very difficult.
What is your favourite quote?
“The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do".
What would you do in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse?
Go on a new venture. I would call up my surviving colleagues to set up a Medical Centre that specialises in the treatment and rehabilitation of flesh wounds, amputations, brain injuries, and even partial brain loss secondary to zombie bite.