indicatorGrowth Management

PurposeMed: Revolutionizing healthcare with technology

March 2024 edition of Business in Calgary, and Business in Edmonton.

By 15 March 2024 5 min read

From left to right: Founders Dr Husein Moloo, Amaan Banwait, the CMO Dr Shukalek, CMO and another Founder Pete Macleod

PurposeMed is a ground-breaking company that's redefining what it means to receive and provide medical care. With its roots firmly planted in technology, PurposeMed is making waves in the healthcare sector, offering a unique approach that improves access to complex care for underserved communities.

PurposeMed empowers those living in rural areas, those without access to family physicians and the LGBTQIA2S+ community to receive compassionate, judgement free, virtual healthcare within days – instead of months.

The current brands under the PurposeMed banner include:

  • Freddie: Canada’s largest and highest-rated sexual health and HIV prevention service
  • Frida: Mental health care with an initial focus on ADHD assessments and care
  • Foria Clinic: Virtual gender-affirming care and hormone therapy for trans, non-binary and gender-diverse Canadians

The driving principles that guide their patient-first care are: building an 11/10 experience for the patient every time, being inclusive for patients and teammates, delivering rapid access to healthcare and taking ownership of the PurposeMed mission.

“Dr. Husein Moloo, Pete MacLeod and Amaan Banwait founded PurposeMed in late 2019,” says Dr. Caley Shukalek, CMO. “Husein saw how difficult it was for so many people to reliably access healthcare services while working as a hospitalist physician in Calgary, so he pitched the idea of PurposeMed to Pete, his future brother-in-law who had experience in a tech start up and investment banking, and Amaan, a good friend and experienced entrepreneur in the healthcare space.”

The initial concept was to create a tech platform that could be used by both providers and patients. Dr. Shukalek was brought in to advise the team in 2020 as the founders refined this concept to create the patient-accessible, specialty services it offers today.

Dr. Shukalek
"Tech platforms were a great idea and not nearly as common as they are now, even though that was just 4 years ago. However, we quickly realized that while the technology was useful, it was challenging to disseminate, market and commercialize to health care professionals. "

Dr. Shukalek


Despite these challenges, the arrival of COVID-19 presented an opportunity for PurposeMed to pivot and serve a critical need.

"With COVID, it was a good platform for that, but our main purpose – and even more so now – is access for rural, remote and underserved patients," Dr. Shukalek says. “It’s important to note that not every physician is comfortable working with sexual health, the queer population or the other issues we focus on. We offer services that are very much affirming and meet people where they are."

For example, Freddie offers routine sexually transmitted infection testing as part of its care and acts as a gateway to other healthcare services.

"We've had many patients that access our care say, ‘This is the first time I’ve felt heard and cared for by a healthcare professional,’" Dr. Shukalek says, demonstrating the profound impact of their work.

Freddie offers routine sexually transmitted infection testing as part of its care and acts as a gateway to other healthcare services.

Freddie offers routine sexually transmitted infection testing as part of its care and acts as a gateway to other healthcare services.

PurposeMed's approach to growth has been both intentional and sustainable. The company is keen on maintaining a balance between expanding its reach and ensuring that it continues to provide high-quality and compassionate care.

"We have been very conscientious of our growth as a company. There is luck but also a lot of hard work and a thoughtful approach," says Dr. Shukalek. “Everyone contributes to what we build. Our expansion strategy involves both patient-facing services and the internal workings of our company, such as our tech team. We are very conscientious and careful about who we bring in and how we create more impact for patients.”

While PurposeMed has been successful in its growth endeavours, it has not been without challenges. The company operates in a competitive tech space where giants like Google and Shopify have established a strong foothold on talent.

"We are limited by geography and those companies have such a bigger operating base compared to smaller entities like us," says Dr. Shukalek.

Despite these hurdles, PurposeMed continues to thrive, attributing much of its success to its dedicated staff.

“We have had success and will continue to have success in finding people and launching platforms. We are very grateful to everyone that contributes to our company.”

ATB has also been a significant influence on the success of PurposeMed.

Dr. Shukalek
"For businesses like ours, ATB's presence has been a game-changer. Access to non-dilutive funding through ATB has provided a sense of relief, ensuring we have the capital to delve into when needed for significant growth investments or expansion into new markets."

Dr. Shukalek


“While there are numerous ways to raise funds in a startup or scale-up environment, our journey has been somewhat unique. We've managed to accomplish what we have with the support of a few close investors, without having to resort to venture capital fundraising. This approach has allowed us to retain control over our direction, a luxury not all companies can afford. ATB's provision of non-dilutive funding enables us to grow in the continuous, controlled manner we desire, without the pressure of external influences.”

He adds, “ATB's support extends beyond financial backing. The recognition we've received through awards from ATB has significantly raised our profile. Their belief in what we're doing, coupled with their promotion of us as an Alberta-based business, has undoubtedly helped elevate our status.”

When asked if ATB differs from other entities in the world of corporate banking, the answer is a resounding yes.

“The interest ATB shows in Alberta-based enterprises is a real benefit to companies like ours. Their advisors and connections within the ATB network provide invaluable support, helping us navigate the often tumultuous waters of business growth and development. ATB's commitment to fostering Alberta's business ecosystem sets them apart. Their dedication to supporting local businesses, combined with their innovative approach to non-dilutive funding, make them a unique and valuable partner for startups and scale-ups.”

Dr. Shukalek points out that the University of Calgary and its Innovate Calgary program were also helpful for PurposeMed’s launch and growth.

“The early funding received from the university, along with the invaluable advice and mentorship from investors associated with the Innovate Calgary program, have been crucial in kicking things off and sustaining growth,” he notes.

Looking ahead, the company is focused on mindful growth. With a myriad of potential services and offerings on the horizon, the team at PurposeMed continues to innovate, aiming to create a high-quality array of services for people who struggle with healthcare access.

Reflecting on the company's journey so far, it's clear that the sky's the limit for PurposeMed. With a strong team at all levels, the company is well-positioned to expand its offerings and reach even more individuals. As the company continues to grow and innovate, it remains committed to its purpose: creating accessible and high-quality healthcare services.

PurposeMed's journey is a testament to the power of innovation, partnership and a strong belief in one's purpose. The company's growth and success serve as an inspiration for other startups, proving that with the right support and a dedicated team, anything is possible.

See where they will innovate next by visiting and following them on Facebook.

From the March 2024 edition of Business in Calgary, and Business in Edmonton. Shared with permission.

Let's move your business forward

Reach your next goal—and every goal—with customized solutions, services and advice from a partner as future focused as you are.

Need help?

Our ATB Business Solutions team will be happy to assist.

Chat now
ATB Virtual Assistant
The ATB Virtual Assistant doesn't support landscape mode. Please tilt your device vertically to portrait mode.