Jeff Arnold Inducted Into Georgia Technology Hall of Fame

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So I grew up with five siblings, my four sisters, and I attended the University of Georgia. And one of my sisters got me a job selling pharmaceuticals. So I left college a few hours shot of graduating thinking I'd go back to University of Georgia and finish because I had this great opportunity to get into the healthcare field selling pharmaceutical for Mac.

Did that for about six months, ran into a doctor at Egleston Childrens Hospital. My girlfriend at the time was in nursing school of Emory, and was working the grave yard shift, and I got to know this doctor as I'd go around and have breakfast with him, waiting for my girlfriend to get off work and he taught me about this concept of monitoring hearts remotely.

So in 1994, I quit Mac, borrowed $25,000 from my girlfriend's dad and started a company called Quality Diagnostic Services to monitor patients' hearts remotely. 1998 rolls around, the internet is starting to take off and we had this idea of instead of sending out 60, 000 faxes a year, what if we could put this information on the internet.

The light bulb went off in our heads and we thought to ourselves, and this is in 1998, that it didn't matter if you were a little EKG company in Atlanta Georgia, or you were the biggest pharmaceutical company in the world. There was going to have to be a website in which health had its own homepage.

And with that we came up with the idea of WebMD. After WebMD, got involved with various ventures and then ultimately found a company based in Raleigh North Carolina, by the name of How Stuff Works, that was started by a professor by the name of Marshall Brain, that you almost couldn't type cast any better, he was like a Jimmy Neutron.

Bought How Stuff Works for a couple of million dollars and used that as a sandbox to really start to deploy content in scale based on what people were searching for. 2007 we sold that business for $250 million to Discovery Channel and as part of that transaction myself and kind of my key team that I've worked with for several years we went to work for Discovery, help them integrate How Stuff Works into the largest curiosity company in the world.

When I was there, I got a chance to be introduced to Oprah Winfrey, who introduced me to a gentleman by the name Dr. Mehmet Oz who was about to launch his own television show, and we had an opportunity to brainstorm with him, if you could do WebMD over in a kind of 10 years later.

How would you do it? And so we thought about it, and we said that, it's really a shame that in this day and time that there is only one WebMD, and wouldn't it be great if we could develop technology, and then we could create partnerships that could inspire digital care giving so that every doctor can be their own WebMD.

As I've looked kind of back on my career, what I try to do is really take key learning lessons along the way. So when we had the heart monitoring business, it was all about building relationships. How did you make that patient feel like at two o'clock in the morning, you were there for them, and so that they would pull that monitor out and they would capture their EKG when they were having symptoms.

Then there was WebMD and WedMD was all about building trust and brands with other partners, and so if health was going to have an homepage, no one company could do it by themselves, there had to be a brand, that consumers and healthcare organisations trust it so they wanted to be a part of it.

How Stuff Works was all about making the complex simple. We live in this world of information overload, how can you just bring the right information at the right time to the right person, so it's understandable. And now we're moving into this world with Sharecare of being the humble host, how do you become the facilitators? It's not just about our brand, it's about providing the tools that enable the digital care giving for other brands..