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Hidden Gems: Meet Atilio Spaccarotella of Rene Health

Today we’d like to introduce you to Atilio Spaccarotella.

Hi Atilio, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started my first business when I was 17 years old, creating an automated platform for hospitals and doctors that allowed patients to book medical appointments over the phone without the intervention of operators. Back then, the technological penetration in Argentina wasn’t very high and there weren’t apps or websites where you could get an appointment instantly.

The startup was very successful and the platform it’s currently being used by more than 600,000 patients.

Simplifying the lives of our users is almost an obsession of mine, I get very frustrated when I see outdated processes that I know could be improved to make things more efficient and cheap.

And I think that’s one of the reasons I started Rene, the company that I currently run as co-founder and CEO.

Rene provides our users access to medical services around the world allowing them to find a hospital, doctor, or get tailored travel insurance with the tap of a button.

I experienced first hand what’s like to have an accident abroad and not being properly protected, the entire ordeal was excruciating, besides the pain and fear from the accident, I had to deal with poor customer support, long international calls to the insurance company, and lengthy forms and questionnaires, all to find out that they didn’t even cover my bill.

That’s when I knew I had to do something about it, so everyone could get proper care when they are traveling. Especially now in the COVID era where travel is riskier and being protected as well as informed is a must.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I don’t think there’s such a thing as a smooth road for any entrepreneur. If you are solving a problem that truly hurts but no one has done anything about it. It means that you are breaking the status quo, and that will inevitably present challenges. From the big companies that are slow and don’t like change to people saying, “if ain’t broken don’t fix it, I’ve been doing things like this since forever” but that’s when you should focus on your users, they are the ones that will give you the validation that you need.

For us, that came after a few months of operations when we had customers calling us and sharing their stories. From a woman that had an accident in Tanzania and was able to find an English-speaking doctor that accepted her insurance to a girl that was admitted to a hospital in the US after a bad food poisoning and didn’t have to pay a dime out of her pocket.

That’s when we knew we were on the right path. After that, we had companies implementing our solutions to keep their employees safe and travel agencies from around the world partnering up with us to provide insurance to all their customers.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Rene Health?
We help the world get back to safe travels by providing users with access to medical services around the world, safety advisories, and updated travel restrictions.

We work with travel agencies and businesses to keep their customers and employees safe, finding the right policy for them with our proprietary algorithm and providing support while they are away.

We integrated policies that cover COVID so people that need to travel either for business or pleasure can rest assured that they’ll be protected if something happens.

But Rene is much more than insurance, we are very proud to offer a whole set of tools like telemedicine, travel advisories, and country restriction information that is helping travel agencies around the world provide a better travel experience to their customers, as well as businesses that are using Rene to navigate the complex travel scenario we are living.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
There’s a major trend in the travel industry happening right now that is being accelerated due to COVID, and that’s putting safety first.

The modern traveler wants to know what’s happening in the country where they are traveling, if they are booking a tour or an in-person experience, they want to know that it’s safe to attend. This is making a lot of companies more transparent in their policies, and the ones that aren’t are being exposed on social media for not living up to the standards.

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