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The presenters were the founders of Medcorder, LucidAct and Promaxo
At our recent Invent Health salon, which we host with UCSF Health Hub and HP, we saw three promising startups reinventing the role of the doctor. (Note: Thanks to UCSF Health Hub for being a big part of the selection process. They're also hosting their Digital Health Awards 2019, sponsored by Builders VC, Khosla Ventures, NEA and Mayfield Fund, on Oct. 10.)
Emceed by Mark Goldstein, Chairman of UCSF Health Hub, our salon titled - Reinventing the Doctor - featured three companies developing new and innovative solutions for how to help people get better care.
The first to present was David E. Weekly, CEO of Medcorder, a mobile app that lets patients securely record, transcribe, and share the audio of their meetings with doctors. The app creates a chat room for patients family members that will notify them after a patient has a doctor's visit and give them access to the audio to hear what the doctor said, along with a free transcription of the consultation.
"We're trying to help patients answer the question: 'What did the doctor say?'," said Weekly.
Having access to a recording is helpful to the patient, as it improves retention and adherence, he noted, and it also helps families who couldn't attend the meeting, putting everyone on the same page.
"It's super clear that patients struggle today to understand what doctors are communicating to them. Retention and comprehension is estimated to be about 10 percent by the next morning after the consultation. This becomes super critical for complex care situations like cancer; family members often want to help but those that can't come to the meeting have to rely on the patient's notes to about what happened to stay in the loop," Weekly said.
"We already know from decades of research that having access to a recording of the consultation is really helpful for a patient. Patients want recordings; when given a recording patients listen to the recordings and they share those recordings with family."
In addition to the benefits to families and patients, he also said that there are benefits for the doctor, namely that as patients that have access to a recording of their consultation perceive their quality of care to be higher, "so it's a great way for a doctor to boost their MPS with basically nothing to do other than consenting to a recording."
"Furthermore, they may offer the opportunity to dramatically lower malpractice insurance by offering evidence about what the doctor actually said."
The founding of the company comes from Weekly's own personal experience of his own family members dealing with serious illnesses.
"I built this company because my mom got cancer and passed, my brother got cancer and then my dad got cancer and passed last year. So, three times over I got to see what the family experience was like, and what the patient experience was like, and how much rich information was presented orderly, one time only in the consultation. Therefore the criticality of recording the consult and sharing the consult with family members," he said.
Medcorder is available for iOS and Android and is growing fast: at the time of the presentation the company had 1,700, up from 1,500 users the week before and 1,400 users the week before that.
Next up was Grace Chen, co- founder of LucidAct Health, an AI-Powered assistant for nurses and care managers. The company uses machine learning to read and detect patient statuses, socioeconomic characteristics, and behavior patterns, to help the care team do better for their patients.
"We are the next-generation AI solution. We empower nurses and care coordinators to be geniuses for their patients," said Chen, who was the first female data architect at Stanford Medical Center, and also at Sutter Health, leading teams to build data warehouses.
She told the story of how she was inspired to start LucidAct three years ago when her father, who has Parkinson's Disease and other chronic conditions became sick and then was in and out of the emergency room.
"I, overnight, became his family caregiver. Many times I found myself explaining his medical history, his medication history, to multiple primary care, and specialty care doctors. And I realized the system is really broken," she said.
The reason these patients are so expensive to care for, according to Chen, is that nurses and care managers don't have the right tools to enable them to do their best.
"Imagine they could instantly read and digest patient data and notes across different systems 10 times faster, what kind of productivity we would have gained? That's why we built Lucid Act Health," she said.
LucidAct can read patient data from multiple EHRs, care plans, as well as remote patient monitoring devices at patient's homes. The system understands each patient's care pathway, and the care team's workflows, and brings to the nurses' attentions what the patient needs at any given time. It can also automatically create patient outreach lists, sending predictive alerts when patients need transportations to make to the next appointment, or having housing insecurity or food insecurity.
The company charges $1 per patient per month for the chronic care management program, and $60 per patient per month for the remote patient monitoring. The product was launched last year and is already in more than 10 primary care clinics and specialty care clinics, including San Francisco General Hospital.
"We help our customers handle five times their patients they used to with their existing resources, and help them increase their ROI," said Chen.
"LucidAct is currently helping care teams to manage over 30,000 patients, but this is just the beginning. There are 133 million patients with chronic conditions, just like my dad, in the United States."
"My idea is to bring an MRI into an office setting, and enable for the providers, payers and patients to have the best value proposition available," he said.
"Everybody knows about MRIs; MRIs are one of the best tools available in the market on the imaging side but MRIs have all kinds of issues as well on the infrastructure costs requirements. For patients, I mean you need to be inside a scanner for a while and more often than not it's not a fun experience. I've gone through it, I won't recommend people to go through it unless they really have to."
To help fix these issues, Promaxo's MRI is much smaller and doesn't require the patient to go inside the machine; the patient is completely outside the scanner. That means that if you're doing sports medicine, for example, the patient can scan their knee or their ankle without needing to get inside a big machine.
"For physicians we provide an opportunity to do live interventions as an MRI as well. So, we have our own robot that can guide live biopsies and treatments. Finally we have an AI piece as well, that's looking at our raw imaging data along with the patient data that we incorporate into our machines, to get to AI-based imaging," said Vohra.
The company is initially focusing on urology, specifically as it relates to prostate screening.
"As the data points show, the way they're doing screen and diagnosis today is not working; more people are dying. 'We play with PSA, we don't play with PSA. We do MRIs, we don't do MRIs.' It's just not the specificity that you want for detecting cancers," Vohra said.
Promaxo has 61 patents on its technology and is working with research partners at Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin Department of Radiology, Mass General, Vanderbilt, Harvard and others.
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Promaxo is a medical technology company commercializing office-based MRI system and compatible robotic systems. By bringing MRI to office, Promaxo aims to improve access to MRI, a proven technology for diagnosis and treatment planning for several medical conditions, for more patients in an outpatient setting. Additionally, by bringing MRI to outpatient settings, the economic burden on healthcare system reduces dramatically while obviating needs for unnecessary and ineffective screening methods and as many as 50% biopsies. The patients experience high quality of care on a device that is convenient and comfortable while physicians have access to technology at a fraction of the upfront cost and virtually no facility upgrades or maintenance.
Promaxo's technology backed by more than 60 filed and issued patents, is packed into the first single-sided MRI system and MR compatible robot. The system does not require any facility upgrades such as floor reinforcements, shielding, and high electrical power requirements in addition to not requiring hazardous materials like conventional MRIs. The system is small and light enough to be transported to different floor levels in commercial elevators and through the office doors to be easily setup inside an office. The product is currently being evaluated by FDA for 510k clearance.
Promaxo is initially focused on prostate cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment where MRI is considered the best modality for screening, staging and planning. However, its use is limited due to limited access to MRIs for urologists, who typically work in private practices.
The technology is built on the back of more than $8M in grant funding and nearly $7M in dilutive (Seed and Series A) funding. The company is currently closing its $8M bridge to series B at the lower of valuation cap of $32M or 20% discount to Series B and 8% discount rate.
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Lucidact is an AI-Powered assistant for nurses and care managers. We use machine learning to read and detect patient social-economic characteristic and behavior patterns, we help the care team to be champions and genius of their patients.
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Medcorder is a mobile app that lets patients securely record, transcribe, and share the audio of their meetings with doctors. We create a chat room for loved ones to immediately be notified after a patient has a doctor's visit with access to the audio to hear what the doctor said and discuss it with the patient and other family members.
Joined Vator onDr. Amit Vohra is a serial entrepreneur, business strategist and advisor to several healthcare and technology startups. He is the Co-Founder of Promaxo and currently serves as the Company’s President & Chief Executive Officer.