Thursday May 22, 2014 by Josh Boyle - Director of Community & Marketing, VentureFizz
In the latest episode of HBO’s hit series “Silicon Valley” the writers pushed the satire at TechCrunch Disrupt where entrepreneurs pitched their “world-saving” or “life-changing” companies and products. This is often the case in the real world as well, but one Boston-based startup out of Techstars may actually be on that track.
Founded by Dr. Mark Singh and Akansh Murthy, HermesIQ is setting out to change the way information is shared regarding patients’ results. Dr. Singh, who has been practicing since the 1980’s, has long seen a flaw in the way medical information is managed.
While Dr. Singh had been working on a solution on his own for some time, it wasn’t until he went to a hackathon sponsored by Athenahealth & MIT and met Murthy that this idea started to shape into a realistic solution and business opportunity. Singh and Murthy worked on the idea which would go on to collect second place at the hackathon.
They followed up this success by taking home the top "Hacking Medicine" Prize at a Brigham and Women’s sponsored hackathon. The back-to-back “wins” validated a need in the market and drove them to work on building a business together.
Next up was Techstars
Techstars, according to both Singh and Murthy, provided them the ability to figure out their direction and get the product out there quickly. Murthy told me that along with the direction & guidance from the Techstars mentors and resources it provided them “peace of mind.” Singh added that the Techstars experience also helped them form their story and refine their presentation and sales skills.
Today, the product allows data collected from outside sources (faxes, EMR systems, etc.) to be scanned and tracked by a computer rather than a trained nurse or other employee, reducing the possibility of important medical results being missed. Think to your personal experiences, perhaps as a patient or caregiver, where complications may have taken place. Often times these complications could have been avoided if the doctor was made aware of a certain result or previous finding.
The HermesIQ system automatically scans and alerts on specific key words, phrases or findings, but users can add their own custom terminology as they see fit. The goal is to avoid medical mistakes, but early feedback has proven an extreme added value through increased efficiency.
So where is HermesIQ at this point?
Other than the $118K initial funding through Techstars, HermesIQ has bootstrapped the company while focusing on customers. Currently, they have one paying beta customer and there is another one that will be on board soon. They have partnerships in place with Nuance Communications and AllScripts, a major player in the EMR space. They have also built partnerships with enterprise clients who will upsell the HermesIQ solution to their existing clients.
Singh and Murthy tell me they are constantly hearing feedback from everyday people who are anxious to see this product implemented. Too often people suffer from easily avoidable mistakes. Having a system in place that significantly reduces those mistakes actually would be “life-saving.”