Azalea Health Innovations: Eye on Business

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Coming up with that million dollar idea is a lot easier said than done. But for a trio of Valdosta State students, their idea came pretty easy. And three years after winning a business contest, their company is thriving.

Baha Zeidan, Doug Swords, and Dan Henry are not only great friends---but they are great business partners. The three Valdosta State grads came up with an idea to create software for health care. So they presented the business model to the Lowndes County Chamber of commerce, entered a contest and won. A $15,000 check in 2008 kick started what is now a national health care automation company based out of Valdosta, Georgia.

"Our ultimate goal is to help the patients. We automate things for the physician so the physician will have more time with patients," said CEO Baha Zeidan.

"It's their accounts receivable we manage. Physician have to file medical claims to get reimbursed and we provide that service for them," said CFO Doug Swords.

The company has two focuses, physician and hospital markets. Their products are used nationwide and continue to grow. Azalea began with four employees and is now up to 16 workers, mostly VSU grads.

"The software we developed for physicians, clients, and hospitals--we have pieces that run our own business. So we developed our own client relations management software that manages our relationship with our clients," said Zeiden.

The guys found out that health care lacks digitization. So they made it their goal to simplify the process. Azalea can manage the business part of a doctor’s office, handle back office duties, or anything else that an office needs.

"We're a Silicon Valley type company in Valdosta, Georgia."

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