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.