16th february 2015: Startup of the week: CLINICLOUD
For this 'Startup of the week' post, I caught up with Dr Andrew Lin, CEO & founder of US startup, Clinicloud.
[Disclosure: I have no commercial ties with CliniCloud]
1. What is CliniCloud?
We make modern home health technology. The first product is a connected medical kit that anyone can use, containing a digital stethoscope and non-contact thermometer so anyone can track their health status (or their family’s) at home or get a virtual doctor's assessment on demand.
2. Could you explain the essence of CliniCloud, i.e it's core values?
We believe that the healthcare experience should be patient-centred. Everyone should be empowered with tools to not only help them better understand their health, but also lead them to actionable outcomes and insights. As healthcare becomes more based in the home, our tools will play a part in creating the virtual clinic which helps patients get these insights.
3. What's the business model you're operating under?
We sell home medical devices – designed for parents, but we believe our tools have universal appeal. We are partnering with telemedical systems and retailers to distribute the devices, but also selling online through our web store. Our app is free, and we will work to improve the feature set and will offer a subscription service in the future.
4. Is there anyone else doing the same as you?
There’s a number of other interesting startups creating tools for home healthcare, e.g. Cellscope makes an otoscope for iPhones (a great tool for parents!) and AliveCor makes a ECG device (great for atrial fibrillations patients). What makes us different is that we are more interested in enabling home healthcare overall, i.e. we see our devices as medical tools everyone should have in their homes to help deliver health insights.
5. Was there one moment which compelled you to begin the journey of working on CliniCloud?
CliniCloud actually started life as StethoCloud in 2012. We did a bunch of clinical research in hospital and every time we showed a parent one of our stethoscope devices, they would always tell us that they would find this very useful at home and would enquire where they can buy this. It started us thinking on how we can build a great home healthcare experience for consumers at home.
6. What have reactions to CliniCloud been? Do different people perceive it differently?
Overwhelmingly positive. People do perceive it differently – 1. parents can usually see how they would it straight away, 2. a lot of people are interested in how the virtual visit component of CliniCloud works, 3. Many of the thought leaders in this area believe this is the future, 4. Surprisingly, doctors are some of the biggest proponents of this.
7. What are the weaknesses of CliniCloud and what are you doing to address them?
I think EHR integration will be key and healthcare in the future will be seemless between the home and hospital/clinic experiences. We don’t have this yet, but actively working on it.
8. Two years from now, in 2017, what would success for CliniCloud look like? What are the barriers to success?
I hope in 2017, that much more of the healthcare experience becomes home-based and consumers are much better equipped to understand their health and the health of their families. Part of this is our kit and app being adopted by everyday consumers and part of it is more innovation in the field with devices and software, as well as medical infrastructure shifting to accommodate the change, e.g. more remote doctors, EHR systems more open. The unknown for me, is the timing because there are many factors which could accelerate or slow down the future as I see it, e.g. legislation.
9. What could be done to encourage more people to experiment with new ideas in Digital Health?
Investment, especially at a seed stage level, on people trying to take on bold ideas. As health ideas usually take years to build out properly (just look at Epic!), more appetite from investors on early stage ideas and teams is key to accelerating new ideas.
10. If people feel inspired by your journey, and want to do something with technology to improve Global Health, what would your words of wisdom be?
I would focus on what I want to create in the long term (e.g. empowering consumers to take charge of their health at home), and then back solve on what that means for the immediate next steps.