What is the critical gap in cancer treatment that you are addressing?
The current patient referral process is complex and labor intensive. In Hawaii, it is greatly hampered by slow processing times, processing errors, missing information, and communication failures due to slow and archaic systems like manual fax, mail, etc.
For cancer patients in particular, the time spent waiting to see a specialist can worsen their condition and impede the ability to effectively treat or cure their disease. This is especially pronounced for cancer patients in rural and remote areas of Hawaii, where the referral process is notoriously slow due to lack of automated technology. It is unacceptable that treatment and survival outcomes for cancer patients are impaired by how long it takes for them to see their specialist simply because of WHERE they live.
According to a 2017 study by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement/National Patient Safety Foundation (IHI-HPSF), only 50% (approx.) of 100 million referral requests were successfully completed and resulted in the patient receiving the recommended specialty medical care. This is an atrocious (and embarrassing) outcome in the U.S. where healthcare is considered state-of-the-art worldwide.
TeleMedicX is a Hawaii-based digital health tech company positioned to solve this problem. TeleMedicX has developed a unique platform called VirtualCliniX to address and eliminate many critical gaps in the referral process for patients, especially cancer patients, who reside on the Hawaiian Islands.
The teleconferencing portion of VirtualCliniX allows cancer patients faster access to specialty care via an easy-to-use, secure teleconferencing platform. One-click and they can meet with their specialty care team quickly, eliminating the need for inter or intra-island travel. This feature is critical to Hawaiian cancer patients, many who have transportation challenges due to distance, traffic, economic factors, or other cancer health disparities.
VirtualClinicX also automates many referral processes, including appointment scheduling and reminders, communicating patient health records via manual fax, medical billing, and insurance verification. By automating these processes, it ensures the referral is processed quickly and completely so treatment can begin as soon as possible. Our software also tracks the status of the referral, so no patient is left behind.
Combining an easy-to-use, HIPAA-compliant teleconferencing platform with automated referral features that address multiple inefficiencies currently seen in the traditional patient referral process, VirtualCliniX helps oncologists and other medical specialists treat cancer patients up to 10X faster!
While the current patient referral process is complex and labor intensive, the solution is not. Let’s fix the referral process so more cancer patients have a better chance of full recovery!
What is the key product development milestone you seek to fund?
We are seeking to fund the final phase of our VirtualCliniX platform. This includes fixing known bugs, completing all remaining referral features, and completing our pilot program to test both the user interface and overall operability and functionality of all features.
In addition, funding would allow us to conduct market research and assess the feasibility of enhancing the VirtualCliniX platform with specific features that would support the emerging field of Precision Medicine. We are aiming to help patients with rare diseases, including rare cancers, quickly connect with an appropriate, often difficult to reach, rare-disease specialist. The field of Precision Medicine is an emerging way of disease prevention and management and is expected to experience rapid growth over the next 5 years.
How will funds be used?
VirtualCliniX Final Phase: $250,000
Fix known software bugs
Complete referral platform features
Complete Phase 1 of Pilot Program
Precision Medicine Research & Feasibility Study
What key resources have/will you acquire to facilitate the accomplishment of the above product development milestone?
We have received nominal funds from our pilot clinics to help offset some of the expenses associated with administering the program. In addition, we are launching the Presale Phase of VirtualCliniX and anticipate receiving a modest amount of funding to help accomplish the above milestones.
We are currently awaiting a decision from the University of Hawaii to see if we will be awarded a 3-year Telehealth Platform Provider/Administrator contract. Should we be awarded this contract, it will increase the possibility of attracting additional investors and allow us to qualify for SBA loans and grants. We anticipate a decision by April 1, 2022.
We are also actively investigating additional funding opportunities with the help of the Oahu Small Business Development Center.
If your Technology were to disappear in the “Valley of Death” funding bottleneck how might this impact society?
It is agonizing having to wait to see a doctor while suffering cancer or any other life-threatening disease for that matter, and it is well-documented that early detection and swift treatment is crucial in reducing cancer mortality rates worldwide.
Our goal is to improve the patient referral process through automation and decrease patient wait time 10-fold and in doing so improve the recovery rate and peace of mind for cancer patients and their families.
If VirtualCliniX does not receive funding at this stage, millions will continue to fall through the gaps of the patient referral process, including cancer patients who will unfortunately, and needlessly, be diagnosed with a late-stage cancer that may have been successfully treated if diagnosed and treated sooner.
Founder & CEO
Nour is a passionate entrepreneur with an IT background. He attended multiple universities majoring in both Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering in Syria, France, California, and Hawaii. He built and launched Meccasoft LLC which provided enterprise software solutions to the healthcare and mortgage industries. Nour was also an integral part of a California-based startup called MedXM and worked closely with the founders to grow the company substantially. MedXM was acquired by Quest Diagnostics in 2017 for $168M. In 2018, Nour suffered a major injury while paragliding and as a result of the challenges in receiving medical care after the accident, Nour founded TeleMedicX and VirtualCliniX. Nour and his talented and diverse team are committed to providing innovative healthcare technologies based on Telehealth & AI innovations. Nour currently resides on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer
A deep thinker and technical strategist with a knack for business, Kamal received an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a master’s degree in Business Administration. Kamal worked with a startup company as a systems engineer after college graduation and developed a strong affinity for startup companies ever since. For the past 20 years of his career, Kamal has turned down several very lucrative opportunities to work in “corporate America” because of his desire to stay in-touch with technology and wanting to explore and pursue his own business ideas. Kamal has extensive experience in architecting IT systems and databases as well as recruiting and managing technical resources. Kamal currently resides in California with his family.
Co-Founder & Product Designer
Ina holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science as well as Bachelor of Science Degree in Architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park. Ina has broad experience with a wide variety of research methods applied across the product development process and collaborates closely with clients to better understand their needs, translating them into a prototype for several features of the platform. She assists our programming engineers with understanding client requirements, provides quality assurance testing throughout the development cycle and has researched potential opportunities for AI/Machine Learning Integration within the VirtualCliniX platform. Ina currently resides in Washington, DC.
Vice President, Sales & Business Development
Kim is a high-energy Senior Sales Executive with over 12 years of success in business development, relationship management and account turnaround in consumer products, pharmaceuticals and now healthcare IT. Kim is a dedicated, customer-focused leader and with demonstrated ability to capture and grow strategic flagship accounts. She has worked for larger corporations such as Roche and Igloo Products as well as small, successful start-ups. She has made a career of managing national, high-profile accounts such as Marta Stewart, Five Below, Big Lots, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods and CVS. While she has extensive experience in consumer products, her true passion lies in the healthcare space, so much so she changed industries to focus on healthcare IT during the pandemic. Consistently recognized as a resourceful high performer, combining confidence, integrity, and a strong work ethic, Kim is excited to be in the healthcare space once again and is passionate about applying her talents and experience to assist in the growth of TeleMedicX. Kim resides near Cleveland, Ohio with her family.
SCRUM Master & Development Manager
Amir comes to TeleMedicX with a tremendous amount of experience and credentials. He is CSM and PMP certified and has worked in senior management position at Unify Consulting, Cognizant, Accenture, IBM, Blue Shield, and Kaiser Permanente. Amir specializes in agile web application development and network infrastructure and has extensive experience in a variety of industries such as healthcare, banking, government, public utilities, and legal. Amir has also worked for a diverse set of companies such as Uber, eBay, Kaiser Permanente, Cisco, Blue Shield, BT, McKesson, Cardinal Health, BB&T, PG&E, State of Texas, and King & Spalding. Amir resides on the island of Maui in Hawaii with his family.
Rebecca Maestas, PA
Rebecca possesses extensive medical knowledge as well as clinical administrative knowledge and is a key stake holder in TeleMedicX. She has been an integral part in the development of the VirtualCliniX platform and is now leading the test pilot phase of the program. She is a well-rounded professional with excellent communication skills and wide range of experience in the areas of Urgent Care, Emergency Medicine, Minor Surgery, Wound Care and Family Medicine. Rebecca currently resides on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
Christine Von Raesfeld
Patient Outreach & Advocacy
Christine Von Raesfeld is a leader in bringing the critically needed patient perspective to cutting-edge medical innovations. Committed to providing support to patients with chronic and rare diseases, Christine works with patient advocacy organizations, industry representatives, and individual patients and their loved ones. Christine is leading the TeleMedicX Precision Medicine Initiative and other innovative programs designed to enhance the VirtualCliniX platform, so we can continue to improve patient outcomes worldwide. Christine is the founder of People with Empathy (read more at https://www.peoplewithempathy.org/team) and resides in the Silicon Valley area in California.