In 15 Minutes With The Doctor, Vinay Shankar shares the stories of healthcare entrepreneurs and innovators who are growing their unique ideas. Learn from their journeys, including successes and mistakes, so you can make your change to healthcare and grow your OWN idea. Each show covers key strategies, interesting concepts, and has actionable tips and tricks for listeners.
41: Using digital & VR content to reduce the impact of concussions with Piya from TeachAids
Dr Piya Sorcar is the founder of TeachAids. She leads a team of world experts developing public health education content used in 82 countries. In this episode, we discuss Crashcourse, an education tool that aims to reduce the effect of concussions through interactive and virtual reality digital content. Learn about her journey, funding, creating compelling digital content and how universities, athletes and more are engaged in the initiative.
What you will learn from this episode:
What made TeachAids focus on developing CrashCourse?
After expanding HIV education, TeachAids looked to researchers to think about the problems of tomorrow. They studied history and learned that cybersecurity, sexual abuse and sexual assault, and concussions were three key areas. They focused on concussions, initially in athletes, because more than three million sports and recreation-related concussions occur annually. Unfortunately, most people don’t report them, and that leads to further injury.
What are the products in the Crashcourse suite?
The very first product is Crashcourse football. It has all the embedded messages about everything that you would need to know for concussions. It starts during an intense football game with a packed audience. The second product is the Brain Fly, which is in video as well as virtual reality. TeachAids partnered with Stanford University’s neurosurgical simulation and virtual reality centre to create an actual life through the human brain, showing the brain’s blood and nervous system. And the third product is the Concussion Story Wall Website, an interactive database with more than 4000 video narratives from those injured and impacted by concussions.
How does TeachAids fund its projects?
TeachAids is 100% a nonprofit. All of the products are made available for free, and most of the people they have are volunteers. All of the experts they had and all of the celebrities and athletes involved have all volunteered.
What is the WHY of your volunteers?
What almost everyone has pointed to is the quality of the products. People want to be engaged with something that feels like it’s going to have an impact. People get very excited to work on something that’s high quality, which then creates a broader reach. And also, motivation comes from within. Everyone who cares so much realises how much work the project is. So they only ask others that they know can truly invest in the work.
“When it comes to giving, people can either give their money or give their time. - Vinay”
What’s been one of the most influential and helpful resources for TeachAids?
Human capital has been the most helpful. They give all of their products out for free, and they cost many millions of dollars to produce. And there’s no way that they could raise that many millions of dollars to make it. And so, it’s a lot of people donating different kinds of talent to make it happen.
Get to know more about TeachAids & CrashCourse by visiting their website at: https://teachaids.org/
Connect with Vinay Shankar on LinkedIn
Once Daily: https://www.oncedaily.co/creating-engaging-digital-content-for-health-vr-in-healthcare/
40: The breastfeeding app answering over 100k queries a week with Enric from LactApp
Enric is the co-founder of LactApp, a mobile app that offers personalised answers to women struggling or needing breastfeeding support. The app is driven by a complex and well-designed “navigation system” populated with 76 000 questioning paths to provide more than 3000 unique answers using AI. Learn how an unforunate event led to the creation of the app, the features, how they create new content, their competitors, how they generate revenue and more.
What you will learn from this episode:
Why was the app developed?
One of the Co-Founders, Maria, got into a car accident and found it challenging to breastfeed. Empowered by her unfortunate circumstance and realising that not every woman has a strong support system, the company was founded to bring that “support” to other women who have difficulties breastfeeding and with other pregnancy-related issues.
Is the information about breastfeeding not already digitally accessible?
There are three big keys to their success: information, support, and network. Information is about the verified sources, evidence, and data on breastfeeding, menstrual cycles, menopause and more. Support is all about the professional entities who can corroborate or verify the given information, like doctors and other health professionals. Network is the amalgamation of experience from other women who had been in the situation, it’s the community that helps personalise the system.
What are its features?
The app has a symptom checker or Q&A navigation system with different areas of consultation. The mother will tap on those areas. Depending on the mother and baby’s profile, the app can guide her, with the assistance of the symptom checker, it provides an answer that is unique and highly personalised.
Through artificial intelligence, the app generates more content based on the questions asked by the user, and from there, builds it back to the system.
How do you create all these paths, and how did you know these are the questions people are asking?
The founding team and the rest of the team have more than 50 years of experience in one-on-one consultations and guiding women. Initially, they used notebooks and spreadsheets to populate questions. From there, they transitioned to using artificial intelligence that takes real-world implications into consideration. This way, they can create more content, more consultations, more paths, and eventually, more answers. Since the start, they surpassed 12 million consultations and currently handle over 100 000 consultations weekly.
How do you generate revenue to make it sustainable?
They have a brick-and-mortar clinic in Barcelona to do one-on-one activities, academic activities and bootstrapping to generate revenue. Added to that, corporates and health insurance companies are now starting to propose partnerships. They are also launching a premium version of the app that operates in a monthly subscription model.
Connect with Enric Pallarés on LinkedIn
Connect with Vinay Shankar on LinkedIn
Once Daily: https://www.oncedaily.co/lactapp-breastfeeding-app/
39: Using tech to help improve male intimate health with Patricia from MYHIXEL
In this episode, Vinay is joined by Patricia, the founder of MYHIXEL. The company was founded in 2017 to improve male intimate wellness and to help men suffering from premature ejaculation. The product combines an app, a registered medical device and uses CBT concepts. Learn about the design and manufacture process, the research so far, and how the product uses gamification.
What you will learn in this episode:
What is MYHIXEL?
MYHIXEL is a male sexual health brand that supports men suffering from premature ejaculation and difficulties with climax control. It combines science, tech and gamification.
What’s the medical problem?
Premature ejaculation is the most common male sexual dysfunction. 31% of men from 18 to 59 suffer from premature ejaculation at some point in their life. Also, climax control is one of the main concerns for men because they are worried about lasting longer in bed, and it is a common googled question.
“We are also eliminating the barrier of those men that are feeling shame, or taboos when they have to face this condition because 80% of them don't want to go to a physical consultation because they feel shame. So we are creating something for them.”
The solution combines a medical device, which is a male stimulation device combined with cognitive behavioural therapy for teaching men to control their body in the process of climaxing. The therapy has been translated into a mobile app that has been gamified and anonymised.
During the research, how many trials have you done?
The chief of research is Dr Rodriguez. He and his team started in 2014. They conducted a three case series and then a randomised control trial. In 2017, Patricia decided to bring to the table a group of engineers to the researchers who were working in the field. It was then they designed the specific device. Around 150 patients have participated in their study. But around 2000 men have tested their solution.
What do you say to those critics who might say that this is just a toy?
They realised that sexual health professionals were recommending the use of these kinds of products to their patients because they didn't have any specific tool for them. So from these conversations and research, Patricia decided to create and design something that met the needs of the health professionals and users.
Learn more and connect with Patricia: https://myhixel.com/
Connect with Vinay
38: Harnessing Big Data & AI in Healthcare with George Batchelor from Edge Health
George Batchelor is the Co-Founder and Director of Edge Health, a data-driven agency that helps healthcare providers be more efficient through better and more intelligent use of their data. The company has various data products that have supported various hospitals, charities and supported nationally with Covid-19 analytics. Learn about how they harness data to improve efficiency, how their journey started and why they value trust so much in their business.
What is Edge Health?
Edge Health started in 2017 to help the health service better use the data they routinely collect. Their work broadly covers a consultancy-type service and developing data products, which are tools that use the data collected to help with day-to-day decision-making.
Why aren’t hospitals using their data effectively?
It’s a combination of several things, and some of these areas are changing every day now. These data are often collected for different purposes almost routinely. For example, within an appointment booking system. The tools used often are not well suited for linking all of the data together.
What are some of the data products that Edge Health uses?
Edge Health saw an opportunity where they could use historical data that’s been collected to provide insight into booking processes. The company developed the data product Space Finder, a mini-software that runs routinely on the healthcare system, which sees outputs every time there’s new data.
How accurate are the predictions that Edge Health makes about operating rooms?
It’s very accurate because there’s so much data that’s being collected over the year. They look at factors such as the consultants, the operations, the patients, and basically anything they can get a hold of. They use machine learning algorithms, which allow them to take a massive amount of previously unmanageable data and make good sense of it and good predictions.
How much does the Data Product cost?
Edge Health has all of its data products on a framework called G-Cloud, which is publicly accessible. The space finder costs £ 36 000 to set up, which effectively continues indefinately. Hospitals can use that tool to enable their transformation program with one organisation saving £3 million.
Advice for somebody setting up their own consultancy in healthcare
Having solid relationships where you know what people want and giving them what they want is really helpful . Set up your infrastructure well at the start.
What is the crucial factor for Edge Health?
Where is health tech in 5 years?
There will be a degree of consolidation around the market offering. There will be more prominent organisations offering bigger suites of solutions. There’s a big question about how hospitals and new electronic patient records will evolve and how they will be accessible or not accessible to developers or organisations who can add a degree of intelligence to some of the databases they provide.
Connect with George Batchelor on LinkedIn
Once Daily: https://www.oncedaily.co/healthcare-data-analysis/
37: A digital platform to create 3D printed braces & splints with Manuel Opitz from Mecuris
In this episode, Vinay is joined by Manuel Opitz, the Co-Founder of Mecuris, a digital workshop to create orthotics & prosthesis to save cost and time, and be more patient-centred. He aims to link the gap between digital manufacturing and medical technology. Learn about their platform, how the platform is being used to help 3D printing, and their plans for growth.
What you will learn in this episode:
What is Mecuris?
Mecuris is a provider of medical services to help medical practitioners and orthotists digitalise their manufacturing process. Through 3D tech, Mecuris can create an orthosis process, from posture correction of a user scan, to modelling and configuration. It translates the traditional process into digital workflows and tools.
What are the digital processes involved with platform?
With 3D scanners available on smartphones, Mecuris is a portal to upload the 3D scanned image. It offers digital manufacturing like 3D printing and CNC milling using orthopaedics technology. They have partnerships with high-quality printing centres to support their users.
How much does it cost?
The basic version of Mecuris costs 65 Euros per month. They also offer a free basic version of the platform. The free version comes with a limited number of allowable downloads per month.
What is the market size of Mecuris platform?
Current software platforms cost an average price of 15 000 Euros and are used in over 1500 to 1800 workshops in Germany alone. In a workshop, usually, there are at least 10 medical professionals. This equates to approx. 45 million euros as a minimum in Germany alone.
What’s next for Mecuris?
One of the next steps is to roll it out for upper limbs and other areas like the neck and head. In the future, Mecuris also wants to specialise in other joints or partner with other manufacturers to integrate solutions that will cover more orthotics-related issues.
Where do you see healthtech 5 years time?
“There will be new business models, there will be diagnostic business models, therapeutic business models, or in our case, manufacturing business models around it. There will be a lot of new companies addressing patient needs that couldn't be fulfilled before, especially on a much more economically level.”
Once Daily: A digital platform to create 3D printed orthoses and prosthetics
36: Can you prevent & detect falls with a lamp? With Roeland Pelgrims from Nobi
Nobi is a smart lamp with a mission to enable older adults to live at home comfortably for as long as possible, by using fall prevention and detection tech. It has other care and comfort functions to make independent living possible. We are joined by Roeland Pelgrims, co-founder of Nobi. Today, he shares his unique expertise in smart home technology for older people while providing insight into creating the product and plans to scale. Plus, we learn about all the features of the lamp.
Why Nobi was founded:
With the rise of an ageing population, the current system of intramural care (i.e. nursing homes) will not be sustainable due to pressures on budgets and staff.
One of the main reasons that elderly people seek out residential care is due to falling, or risk of falling.
One out of four 65+ people falls at least once per year, and one out of three results in hospital admission.
By providing technology that both prevents and detects falls, Nobi aims to make it easier for older adults to live at home, comfortably and independently.
“I think falls are very common, but there’s so many reasons behind falls, and not all are medical. There’s social things, and often, we say falls are multifactorial, which means there’s so much going on and lots of reasons for them” - Dr Vinay Shankar
How Nobi lamps work:
It uses sensors and an AI model to analyse the behaviour in the room.
If an older person suffers a fall, the lamp can place a call to trusted contacts, who can ask diagnostic questions, provide comfort, and call for further help if necessary.
The Nobi lamp also connects with a smart lock on the front door, in order to be able to unlock the door when help arrives.
The lamp also includes a burglary alarm that connects with the police and social functions that track how often an older adult receives visitors and can send alerts to trusted contacts to suggest they drop by for a visit.
The design process, pricing, and launch plan
The massive jumps in AI and processing power in the last decade have made the Nobi lamp function in a way that could not have been achieved 5-10 years ago.
The technology that exists today has made the Nobi lamp very effective and reliable. But, there are hopes that a few years down the road, this tech will become more accessible, and the lamps will be able to be made at lower cost.
Currently, Nobi is in the pilot phase and still fine-tuning the product with its first-generation customers, but there are 20+ units currently in use.
Nobi will begin its rollout to residential care facilities this May and will undergo a large consumer rollout later this year.
“If we see how fast the field of AI is evolving and how fast the computing power is evolving. I really have good hopes that the next big jump will not necessarily be one of even higher effectiveness and reliability, because there we are already very very well off, but of extreme low cost.” - Roeland Pelgrims
Once Daily: Smart lamps that provide fall detection & wellbeing monitoring
Website: Nobi: https://nobi.life/
Really helped me in the process of setting up my own medical practice.
Nailed it bruv
Very insightful podcast. Easy to understand.
Learning about the journeys of health entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses trying to make a difference is great. As a physician, Vinay adds an interesting perspective and focusses on the key messages to take home!