Standing at the front of the screening room at the Shangri-La Hotel, Ann Kaplan looks radiant. She has been working the room for the past hour and a half, mingling with all the reporters and investors here to listen to her talk about her latest business endeavour, CosMedicList.
“We’ve changed. It’s no longer a one size-fits all and we are looking online to see what we want to get done. That’s where we come to CosMedicList, and we are gong to have a bit of fun,” she says with a twinkle in her eye.
Kaplan is president and CEO of iFinance Canada Inc., a money-lending company that offers loans for elective surgeries, veterinary services, dental, and home improvement financing — items that would otherwise be difficult to get a bank loan for. Her latest endeavour is a business she founded called CosMedicList, a website that connects Canadians with doctors, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons.
Beauty trends, Kaplan says, are great for the industry. “Women can’t make up their mind. They’re bigger, they’re smaller.” Sixty per cent of people will reference articles online when deciding what plastic surgery they would like to get. The other 30 per cent will go directly to a doctor. But, Kaplan asks, how do they find these doctors and how do we ensure the information they look at is reliable?
“The aim of CosMedicList is to provide people with a credible destination for all their cosmetic medical needs, questions, and any concerns,” says Kaplan. “By bringing the wealth of knowledge of many of the world’s leading medical professionals in the cosmetic medical industry into one place, it really allows users to trust the information they are provided with.”
The website is truly a one-stop shop for cosmetic surgery. It contains valuable information about different procedures, including the average cost, recovery time, level of invasiveness and pain, and finally the permanence of the change. It provides information on how the procedure is performed and whether or not it is right for you.
Once you know what procedure you want, you can plan it out by searching for a doctor near your geographical area. There are over 1700 doctors registered with CosMedicList, with full profiles and contact information available to users. All you have to do is choose the area of your body you are interested in modifying and then search the common procedures for more information. CosMedicList also offers a daily-curated list of news related to cosmetic surgery with the latest trends.
The other big feature of the website is the “Ask A Doctor” section, where anyone can post a question relating to cosmetic surgery and a certified doctor will answer it. That way, it ensures the information people get is accurate and comes from a certified medical professional instead of a random person on Reddit. A panel, including two plastic surgeons and two dermatologists, sits at the front of the room during the launch to provide sample answers to questions from the audience in a demonstration.
The only problem with this particular section of CosMedicList is that it puts the onus on those doctors to go through the website in their free time to answer questions from the public. While it could benefit them — people who are happy with the answers provided can contact that doctor directly through the website to make an appointment—it is also dependent on their time. I posted a question the night of the launch on March 2 —about a week and a half ago— hoping to see how it worked when the doctors weren’t on hand. Unfortunately, the question remains unanswered. It also looks like no other questions have been asked since the launch.
That being said, the rest of the website is clean and easy to use. The beauty industry is constantly changing, and with more women considering plastic surgery than before, it’s important to know where that information is coming from. It looks like Kaplan has once again found a niche market that was in desperate need of her services. And I wish her all the luck in the world.