Susanne Kreimer graduated from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in 2010 after completing the Bachelor in International Business Administration program. Unlike her peers who were drawn to finance, consulting, or even IT careers, she followed a childhood dream to study medicine. Not only is she now a medical doctor, but she is also an entrepreneur, a podcast host, and an innovator. “I think entrepreneurship is driven by curiosity,” Susanne explains. “Even as a child, I did not like sitting still. I always look for the next step and ways to develop my skills.”
When she talks about WHU, she looks back at her time fondly. She remembers a close-knit group of students and describes how many of them remain in her life. “One of the most important things I took from my time at WHU is the value of the network and how important it is to build one in life. Not only to leverage it during your career but to also exchange with inspiring people who help you to broaden your perspective. I felt fortunate to get a place at WHU. It didn’t feel like a normal university; it felt different from the others and special. It was the perfect step for me at that time.”
Technology to benefit health.
Some years after graduating from WHU, Susanne achieved her goal of becoming a doctor. For two years, she worked in the urology department at Charité, a university hospital based in Berlin. “I formed some deep and meaningful friendships during my time there. You experience a rollercoaster of emotions with the patients. However, I still had this business mindset, so I combined my two interests. This is why I started Hello Inside and Doktor.de.”
Hello Inside is a self-care company in a more practical sense: it empowers people to use data to better understand their bodies and take control of their health. “When I was a student, my genetics professor always repeated the phrase “Genes load the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger.” Despite our genes, we have the power to alter our lifestyles to improve our health. Our blood sugar levels show the results of everything we do, from sports to how much stress we are experiencing to the things we eat; it even shows when we get sick. I believe what we measure will improve because it keeps us accountable when we see this data and the impact these events have on our bodies. I wanted to make continuous glucose monitoring technology available to everyone, not just diabetics, to see how our lifestyle affects our overall health.”
Digitalizing the patient journey.
Susanne has a warm personality, an open mind, and a dry sense of humor. She has an innate drive to learn and a steadfast belief in following a passion in life. “I always wanted to be a doctor. Even since I was a little girl. When I was a teenager, both of my parents died of cancer. It became obvious to me that we only get one life, and if we do not pursue our dreams, we might not get a second chance. So, after WHU, I decided that I wanted to pursue that dream and study medicine.”
Susanne is also managing director of Doktor.de, a hybrid healthcare company. The goal of Doktor.de is to not only digitalize the patient experience but also improve it and merge it with the existing analog system. “We are so old-fashioned here in Germany. Thousands of patients sit in a waiting room for hours and return home after receiving a prescription. No one looks at the true cost of such a process. Healthcare is one of the slowest moving industries when it comes to digitalization. There is a lot of distrust and a lack of acceptance. We must find new ways to offer healthcare to patients, as they are becoming more like consumers. As the demand for healthcare increases, the supply falls behind; we already face under-supply, especially in the GP space in many areas in Germany. We are using the digital setting as an easily accessible entry point for patients of all age groups; if additional care is required, the patient comes to our practices or our partner practices. Ultimately, the digital tools must benefit the doctors as much as the patients to overcome reluctance to accept such changes.”
Susanne is optimistic that, although slow, such digitalization in healthcare is on a good path. This push to transform the industry she loves is also part of the skills she acquired at WHU. “Studying business administration is an excellent foundation for everything you do later in life. At WHU, you receive profound knowledge of a lot of different topics. I think it is important to pursue what you love doing and then have the boldness to just do it because you truly can achieve anything you want in life. Even if you study business administration and then do something completely different such as a career in the arts afterward. We must be courageous and dare to fail. Henry Ford said it once: “There are more people who succeed than those who fail.””