Zeel Connects You With Mind, Body and Beauty Practitioners In Your Area
Name: Zeel Quick Pitch: Find qualified wellness practitioners in your area and book appointments online with this free web service. Genius Idea: Vetted practitioners for massage, skin care, weight loss and more on one site that lets you book appointments online. Finding wellness practitioners in your area seems like an easy enough task. Go online, search for "massage" or "dietician" or whatever other service you're looking for — then sift through a bazillion results. Peer review sites can help narrow down the search, but are often lacking information like pricing, qualifications and the ability to book appointments online. Meet Zeel, a new website that launched in January of this year. The site connects users to some 2,000 practitioners listed on the site. You can find massage therapists, dieticians, acupuncturists and skin care specialists in your area by searching with your zip code. Zeel was founded by husband and wife team Samer Hamadeh and Alison Harmelin. Both had searched for specialists for various reasons and found no helpful online service gathering all wellness provider information in one place. So, they created Zeel. "There’s a lot of noise in the area of health and wellness, particularly complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and the marketplace is fragmented," Hamadeh said in an email message. "Our focus isn’t life-or-death acute issues like heart surgery; most of our customers are looking for specific results -– pain reduction, improvement in a joint or muscle injured through sports, anti-aging skin care, or a stress relieving massage after a particularly rough week of work," he said. "In short, we help you book the care you need to maintain a healthy, pain-free life with highly qualified providers ranging from acupuncturists to massage therapists to dermatologists." Treatments that users can find on Zeel are not typically covered by insurance, although insurance companies are increasingly starting to provide complementary and alternative medicine benefits, he added. Using the site is free for consumers. Providers can also post listing for free, however providers pay a total of about 10-13% (depending on credit card fees) for every appointment booked through Zeel. Currently, Zeel is only available in the United States. The wellness practitioners listed on the site are mostly in the New York metro area, but also in Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Francisco, Phoenix, Atlanta and other areas. Sites like ZocDoc, Vitals and EverydayHealth are similar to Zeel's model, except for one major difference — most of these sites point users to regular doctors, not CAM providers. Hamadeh is a co-founder and former CEO of Vault.com, and Harmelin is an Emmy-nominated television news correspondent. Zeel is based in New York City and currently has 10 employees. It is in the first class of startups in former Time Warner CEO Jerry Levin's StartUp Health Academy.