Meet Emma Fauss, CEO of Medical Informatics Corp

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Meet Emma Fauss, CEO of Medical Informatics Corp. (MIC), a software-based monitoring and analytics company that unlocks monitoring data from the bedside to enable data-driven medicine and patient-centered care.

How did you come to build this business?

Medical Informatics (MIC) began when co-founder, Dr. Craig Rusin, was working in a cardiology department and needed a way to take high-resolution physiological data to identify indicators of disease and predictors of patient conditions. At the time, there were no commercially available data collection tools that could collect, store, and process the volume of data needed to integrate with an analytics program. Dr. Rusin solved the problem by building his own grid-computing platform. Dr. Emma Fauss came along and realized that this platform could be used beyond medical research to solve other clinical problems across the healthcare environment. Dr. Fauss became CEO and commercialized the platform for wider adoption.

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What is the next business milestone that you are working towards? How will Health InnovatAR help with that?

Our next milestone is to get the core foundation of software-based monitoring tools into every hospital to provide them with data they have never had before beyond the point of care. Following that, we will want to leverage that foundational data to begin transforming data, across disparate devices and systems, into new software-based monitors that enable the care team to get ahead of deterioration and risk, improve care delivery and save lives. Health InnovatAR is helping with this problem by first installing the base to do real-time, remote monitoring and then helping to create Health InnovateAR-branded patient trajectory monitors and automated event detectors for their patient populations.

You've now made your initial visit to Arkansas as part of the program! What are your initial impressions of Arkansas?

Every person we have met in Arkansas embodies the warm, friendly, open, down-home spirit that the state is so well known for. It is clear that the healthcare teams and every member of the Health InnovatAR program are devoted to changing healthcare by not only looking for the best technologies to help care teams but also welcoming anyone and everyone into that environment with open arms to help realize that vision.

So far, what has been the best part of your participation in Health InnovatAR?

The best part of participating in Health InnovatAR is being a part of a culture that is on the cutting edge; that works together as a team to realize change.

How does Health InnovatAR compare to other startup programs you have interacted with?

We have only been involved in a handful of other startup programs but most are more theoretical and conceptual. What is different about InnovatAR is that we are actually installing the solution and taking action, not just talking about what to do. We have direct access to end users so we can really understand their needs and then ensure that we can track the impact that our solution is hoping to have. We truly feel like part of a team of change; not just a vendor.

What is the best piece of advice you ever got? The worst?

The best advice I’ve ever received is to think outside of the box and push the status quo. I also think being open and honest and willing to walk away if you don't think you have the right solution. Focusing on the needs of those you serve is what matters. When you focus on solving a problem and helping others that's when you can make a difference.  

The worst advice I’ve ever received is when you work for companies that want you to focus on their products and features. The product doesn't matter. It's what problem the product solves that does. And sometimes that problem is different to different people so getting into every person's individual needs is key.

What two pieces of advice would you give to someone looking to become an entrepreneur?

Don't sell your product. Don't focus on the revenue. Focus on solving a problem even down to the personal level of each user because every person has a different pain. When you do that work is no longer work because you are helping others and changing lives.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I'd like to share a personal story that I've heard from different users of MIC's solution. What's been interesting about the journey at MIC is that we are unlocking patient data from the bedside to empower care providers to have the data they need to save lives. What's so different is that every user has a different data pain. We develop apps with a name and they are typically built to solve one issue but we then find they end up solving others we hadn't thought of. We built our PatientHx app to enable the remote viewing of complete patient history from one second to one year — really to help solve the challenge around full disclosure and purging of data after 24-72 hours. There were the obvious benefits of full trend analysis, root cause analysis, getting a view of entire LOS, but then our users started asking us about strip printing. They kept talking about the manual process of printing strips to get into the patient record. In under a week our tech team was able to not only add an export to EMR feature so any trend and full strip could be sent to the record automatically but they can now automate strips with an entire PHI free URL to the record for customer-defined criteria such as Q2 or Q4, admit and discharge, and key events. Now we have been able to configure the system to automate those strips to not only save thousands of hours a year in nursing time but more importantly getting the data into the record right away to enhance documentation, make the record more meaningful, and give the clinical team access to data to really improve decision making. Again it came down to listening to customer problem and finding a solution. I am so proud of our ability to make those changes so quickly to really change care.

Meet Ben Fels, CEO and Founder of macro-eyes

Meet Benjamin Thelonious Fels, CEO and founder of macro-eyes, a machine learning company increasing access to care.

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How did you come to build this business? What is your company's origin story?

The roots of macro-eyes developed in the years I spent at a private fund in Chicago and London where he led quantitative, technology and market teams. The founding mission of macro-eyes was to bring effective pattern recognition to where it is most critical, to bring machine learning into the real world. Our co-founder and Chief AI Officer Suvrit Sra, Ph.D. is a renowned expert in large-scale machine learning and optimization and professor at MIT. Suvrit's vision for translating theory into practice has been instrumental in building our core technology.

We spent several years refining and deploying macro-eyes AI at Stanford, Providence St. Joseph Health, community health centers across the United States, and at a leading academic medical center in New York City. Immersed in clinical questions and working with physicians, physician-scientists, and administrators, we were told repeatedly about inefficient scheduling and the financial, operational, clinical problems that result when a patient does not show for a scheduled appointment (patients do not show for scheduled appointments more than 185 million times each year, in the U.S. alone).

There is a growing crisis in access to care in our country. U.S. patients wait more than 25 days between when they call to schedule care and when they see a caregiver.

 

The access to care crisis is compounded by clinics operating at an estimated 70% capacity due to ineffective scheduling, scheduling that does not anticipate true demand. Geisinger CEO David Feinberg recently commented that if he could fix anything in healthcare he would fix the waiting room. $150,000,000,000 is lost each year to inefficient scheduling; inefficient scheduling that brings chaos to the day of every provider, packing waiting rooms with triple-booked patients, while other patients wait longer to see a physician. The waiting room has extended from the facility to the home. While patients wait, their conditions become more acute, more painful, and more costly.

We built Sibyl to address the crisis in access to care. Sibyl is software for intelligent patient scheduling. Sibyl identifies when each patient is most likely to show for a specific medical appointment and uses this insight to build a schedule that maximizes utilization and increases access to care.

What is the next business milestone that you are working towards? How will Health InnovatAR help with that?

We are working to implement Sibyl at several institutions across the U.S. Some of our first implementations will be in Arkansas. Our work in Arkansas is moving forward because of the unsurpassed on-the-ground support of Health InnovatAR.

You've now made your initial visit to Arkansas as part of the program! What are your initial impressions of Arkansas?

Arkansas is a beautiful land filled with generous, get-it-done people.

So far, what has been the best part of your participation in Health InnovatAR?

The remarkable focus and dedication of the partners: Arkansas Heart Hospital and UAMS genuinely want innovation, innovation that can transform care.

How does Health InnovatAR compare to other startup programs you have interacted with?

Health InnovatAR is the single best program for healthcare startups we've experienced.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I got was from a mentor, Scott Armstrong: we never know, nor can we fully control, how people will receive what we aim to communicate; focus on how you make others feel, focus on the relationship with the other people in the room.

Great advice from Strauss Zelnick: raise less money, you will have more control and you know more about your business than any investor. Strauss is a legend and brings a rare perspective to building successful early-stage companies.

What two pieces of advice would you give to someone looking to become an entrepreneur?

Be very comfortable with people saying no; be capable of bouncing back from failure and don't be overwhelmed by success. (Before macro-eyes, I traded derivatives; financial markets teach you not to be precious about beliefs, how to think about risk in the midst of total chaos and that however successful you may be today or however the depth of your failure, you'll need to start again tomorrow with a clear mind.)

Learn to meditate.

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Is there anything else you’d like to share?

macro-eyes was award Global Grand Challenge Explorations funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID in 2017 to design the first predictive supply chain for vaccines. This work launched in earnest toward the end of Q1 2018 and we're seeing strong results.

macro-eyes AI + routinely collected data = ability to anticipate shifts in demand and thus deliver the appropriate type and quantity of vaccines at the right time. Our aim is to maximize childhood vaccination coverage and minimize vaccine wastage.

Connect with macro-eyes:

Twitter

Twitter

LinkedIn

 

Meet Kenny Kinley, Arkansas Heart Hospital

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Meet one of our mentors, Kenny Kinley with Arkansas Heart Hospital. Arkansas Heart Hospital (AHH) provides extraordinary care through immediate/on-time access to providers, accessibility to meaningful data, timely access to follow-up and results, measurable quality outcomes for our family of patients, and innovative offerings, procedures and methods.

Which Health InnovatAR company are you working with and what are you helping them achieve?

I am working with Medical Informatics and providing mentorship and direction to accomplish a successful pilot project within AHH.

What have you been most impressed by from the company you are mentoring?

Emma and her team are very professional and have a detailed plan for what we need to accomplish for the pilot project.

So far, what has been the best part of your participation in Health InnovatAR?

There have been very organized status calls and a great team of people.

How does Health InnovatAR compare to other startup programs you have interacted with?

This program and the teams are far ahead of most start-ups I've seen over the years.

What makes Arkansas a great place to start and grow business?

Arkansas is home to many complex, large companies but also has a local, hometown feel to doing business.

What is the best piece of advice you ever got? The worst?

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is that friends come and go but family is forever.


The worst piece of advice I’ve ever received is that you need to move your family to a big city if you want your kids to have a chance to be successful in life.

What two pieces of advice would you give to someone looking to become an entrepreneur?

  1. Build or join a network of mentors and other entrepreneurs to grow and learn — don't go at it alone!
  2. Make sure you have something people will really buy — it takes more than just a good idea.

Meet Jared Greer, Lapovations

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Meet Jared Greer of Lapovations, a medical device company creating a platform of innovative products to improve minimally invasive surgery.

How did you come to build this business?

I'm an entrepreneur who's been in medical sales for 15 years. I've started multiple companies in diverse industries and had a successful exit from one of them. My co-founder is Dr. Chris Taylor, an experienced surgeon who has performed over 4,000 minimally invasive surgeries. Because of this experience, Dr. Taylor is able to quickly identify frustration points for minimally invasive surgery and potential solutions for them. He had been bothered by the existing methods for lifting the abdominal wall at the start of the procedure and brought me an idea for a new device that would be less invasive and more reliable. We are bringing this device to market as the first in a portfolio of products that address areas of needed improvement in laparoscopy.

What is the next business milestone that you are working towards? How will Health InnovatAR help with that?

We are validating that the product we've developed meets the needs of our stakeholders (surgeons and hospitals). Access to the Health InnovatAR partner hospitals provides a tremendous boost to these efforts.

You are the only team located in Arkansas for this year’s cohort. What do you think about Arkansas?

Arkansas is a phenomenal place to work and live. Lapovations is honored to be the only Arkansas company selected for the Health InnovatAR.

So far, what has been the best part of your participation in Health InnovatAR?

The willingness of the individual stakeholders within UAMS and Arkansas Heart Hospital to take time from their busy days to help us has been really impressive. Having this level of access to a customer base that can sometimes be difficult to get in front of is invaluable. We are grateful to the partner hospitals and the staff of Health InnovatAR for allowing us this access.

How does Health InnovatAR compare to other startup programs you have interacted with?

Health InnovatAR is a top-notch program for early-stage healthcare startups looking to move their business forward.

What advice would you give to someone looking to become an entrepreneur?

Be willing to get in front of as many potential customers and other key stakeholders as possible and ask tons of questions. Internalize the feedback and be willing to adjust your strategy based on what you hear.

Also, make sure you utilize all the resources available to you as an entrepreneur. In Arkansas, we have non-profit groups such as Innovate Arkansas and others who are willing to help you make your dreams a reality. Get out there and connect with them!

Meet Jennifer Fried, ExplORer Surgical

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Meet Jennifer Fried, CEO of ExplORer Surgical, an interactive digital playbook for the OR and interventional suites.

How did you come to build this business?

We started our company out of a research laboratory at the University of Chicago Medical Center that was studying Operating Room (OR) workflow and OR efficiency. We founded our company to solve an unmet need for intra-operative team coordination to make surgery safer and more efficient for all of the team members in the room!

What is the next business milestone that you are working towards?

Our next business milestone is growing our commercial user base both in ORs and in the cath lab and EP lab. We are excited to be working in procedure suites at Arkansas Heart Hospital as well as in the ORs at UAMS.

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What are your initial impressions of Arkansas?

As a Southerner (I grew up in North Carolina), I feel right at home in Arkansas. Our team has been lucky to work with great people across the program — and we love the food, too!

So far, what has been the best part of your participation in Health InnovatAR?

The unfiltered access to senior leadership and team members across both hospitals.

How does Health InnovatAR compare to other startup programs you have interacted with?

Health InnovatAR is different because of its deep-rooted connections to its hospitals. I really like that there are not weeks and weeks of one-size-fits-all content — the program is really tailored to each individual company, so we get a lot for our time invested. It is also beneficial being part of a small cohort of companies — when programs have 20+ companies, you have to sometimes fight for attention.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve received is "Culture eats strategy for lunch." The people you work with will define the company you build, and the bar is set by the worst behavior tolerated.

What two pieces of advice would you give to someone looking to become an entrepreneur?

Make sure you are working on something you are truly passionate about. This is an all-consuming job, and if you love what you do it will never feel like work.


I'd also say to take each day one at a time and to try to step back and enjoy the learning that comes with the process (and struggle). You will quickly get to a point where there is a fire drill every day, and the sooner you can train yourself to step back, fix the immediate problem, do a post-mortem to make sure it doesn't happen again, but to take out the emotion and drama, the better you will sleep at night!

Is there something you work on outside of your business that you'd like others to know about?

I volunteer with the Chicago Student Invention Convention, where I mentor a 4th-grade classroom as they go through a program to create their own STEM innovation. I love seeing the passion and curiosity in these students, and to see it applied toward entrepreneurship in STEM is really amazing.

Connect with Jennifer:

LinkedIn

Twitter

Magnolia Reporter: Consortium Announces Health Care Innovation Developers

Winrock International, Arkansas Heart Hospital, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and BioVentures announced Tuesday the six companies selected to participate in the 2018 Health InnovatAR health care accelerator program. Magnolia Reporter

Arkansas Money and Politics: Healthcare Accelerator Selects Six Startups for 2018 Program

Winrock International, Arkansas Heart Hospital, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and BioVentures today announced the six companies selected to participate in the 2018 Health InnovatAR healthcare accelerator program, which is supported in part through a grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. The selected startups include: Day Zero Diagnostics (Boston, MA); Ejenta (San Francisco, CA); ExplORer Surgical (Chicago, IL);Lapovations (Fayetteville, AR); Macro-eyes (Seattle, WA); and Medical Informatics Corp (Houston, TX). Arkansas Money and Politics

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: UA Startup Chosen For Accelerator Spot

A University of Arkansas, Fayetteville startup company is one of six chosen to participate in the Health InnovatAR health care accelerator program.

Lapovations LLC recently won the graduate division of the annual Governor's Cup competition. In all, Lapovations has won five business-plan competitions, finished second in two others and won $300,000.

Lapovations is developing a noninvasive alternative for lifting the abdominal wall in laparoscopic surgeries.

The other health care startups in the program are Day Zero Diagnostics of Boston, Ejenta of San Francisco, ExplORer Surgical of Chicago, Macro-eyes of Seattle and Medical Informatics Corp. of Houston.

The six companies were selected from hundreds of applicants from 20 countries.

The announcement was made Monday at Arkansas Heart Hospital. Other partners in the program are the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and BioVentures. Winrock International is administrating the program.

NWA Democrat-Gazette