Since Dan, Alex and I started Beam in 2012, we have been content to publicly call it a ‘smart toothbrush’ company, a startup pushing to smash as much technology as possible into a toothbrush. During that time, I have endured countless inquiries from prospective investors, competition judges, peers and colleagues, all questioning one thing: why would you connect a toothbrush?!
And they aren’t alone. There have been plenty of skeptics for the value, use case, or business model of the connected toothbrush since Beam first emerged back in this 2012 GigaOM article; try here, here or here if you care for specifics.
First, let me concede that this is totally fair skepticism. We have remained publicly buttoned up about large chunks of our vision with this technology for long enough to make it reasonable to question the entire concept.
However, when we were founding Beam, I was looking at one glaring statistic that I had come across from the dental insurance industry: there are over 100 million people in the US without dental insurance. Dental coverage is usually linked to employment and is also usually an afterthought or ‘nice-to-have.’ This is especially egregious given that the vast majority of oral disease is totally preventable. Lack of access to dental benefits is clearly ground zero for health disparities in the dental industry. We realized the key to bridging this gap was linking consumer education, awareness and engagement with preventative health.
So, we have spent months working to create a dental benefit product with a totally new distribution model, one that marries daily oral hygiene behavior with mobile technology to make going to the dentist easier and more affordable than ever before. Introducing the Beam StarCard ™, the first ever digital dental savings card. Dental savings cards are like a Groupon for a full menu of dental services, designed to save 20-50%+ off of retail pricing.
A $99 membership grants you immediate access to 20-50% savings with no waiting period, reimbursements or surprise fees. It’s as simple as presenting the digital card at dentist in our 95,000+ network.
1. Free Beam Brush
Along with your StarCard, we will ship you one Beam Brush in the color of your choice so you can begin accumulating rewards for yourself and the whole family.
The more you brush and engage with the app, the more stars you earn. Achieving different star levels translates into special perks from Beam, like free brush heads, additional beam brushes, and more.
3. Totally Digital
The ‘card’ part of the StarCard? Yeah, totally digital. Take your smartphone to the dentist, show them your StarCard, and rake in the savings.
4. Whole Family
One StarCard can be applied to dental visits for the whole family, so you can buy just one card to cover everyone in your household.
5. No Waiting, No fees
Everyone hates hidden fees and features. With Beam’s StarCard, you can use the maximum benefit right away, with no setup or processing fees.
6. Huge Nationwide Network
The StarCard is accepted at 95,000 dentists in 47 states. Our network provider tool makes it easy to find a dentist in your area.
This Beam StarCard is not only significant in that we have managed to create a superior product for anyone with limited or nonexistent dental benefits access, but also because of the emergence of Beam as a dental discount provider. The Beam Brush is a fundamental tool in this ecosystem as it creates an easy and passive link between the user and the amount of rewards and savings they can apply to their dental care.
Our goal is to make the economics of utilizing preventive oral health services a no brainer for any engaged patient. If you are doing a good job of brushing, flossing and getting consistent routine cleanings from a dentist, then we should be able to help you virtually eliminate more serious future dental issues and costs.