By Brita Belli
November 9, 2015: At the recent Yale Tech Summit, held on October 30 at Evans Hall, YEI sponsored a panel discussion on the intersection of healthcare and technology. The panel was moderated by Richard Foster, Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company and YEI’s Executive-in-Residence, with three alum and student founders discussing how they’ve navigated starting healthcare technology companies. Panelists included Paul Fletcher-Hill (YC ’15), cofounder and CEO of PatientBank, a platform that makes it easier to share medical records; Ellen Su (YC ’13), cofounder and Chief Creative Officer of Wellinks, a wearable health technology company; and Elizabeth Asai (YC ’13), CEO of 3Derm, which provides breakthrough imaging hardware with secure cloud-based software for at-home dermatology assessment from a network of doctors. Below, seven key takeaways from the panelists.
1. On the question of charging patients: “In healthcare, you can’t charge patients for anything, but patients are the sparkplug for the whole process.” Paul Fletcher-Hill, PatientBank.
2. On finding acceptance for your device: “We designed our tracking device with a strap because it doesn’t affect the brace at all. That makes doctors more accepting. It turns a regular brace into a ‘smart’ brace. And it makes the regulatory process much easier. Ellen Su, Wellinks.
3. On designing apps for doctors to use: “We made it really easy to use. Some doctors don’t use technology. We give nurses access and we give them the option to print out paper reports.” Ellen Su, Wellinks.
4. On identifying your customer: “We sell 3Derm to integrated health systems that have dermatologists in network.” Liz Asai, 3Derm.
5. On the skills you need that you didn’t necessarily learn in school: “I’m a biomechanical engineering undergrad. I don’t use most of those skills. I use writing and speaking persuasively. Writing grants is so important.” Liz Asai, 3Derm.
6. On the role of open-source technology: “We’ve been using open source from the beginning. It has helped us with the process of HIPA compliance.” Paul Fletcher-Hill, PatientBank.
7. On the biggest hurdles: “There is so much changing in healthcare. Your business plan has to be really forward-thinking.” Liz Asai, Derm. “The regulation aspects are very complicated.” Ellen Su, Wellinks. “What matters more than the product is how you deliver it. Think critically about how you do that.” Paul Fletcher-Hill, PatientBank.Read More