A Product in Motion: The Startup life
This Startup has been one of the biggest adventures of my life. There are many highs and lows in a startup. They say the typical startup lasts 7 yrs and the way to not become a statistic is to love your product so much you basically wish it into existence and don't give up! Thats the way I feel about this startup and the 'virtual stethoscope/otoscope'. Every time I talk about it or discuss the ways it will change telemedicine I get excited and get people excited around me.
So what has been going on since my last post? Quite a bit actually. I tell people if I'm moving forward, even just a little bit I'm making progress. Over this summer I hired an electronic engineer to refine my stethoscope circuit and to improve the sound quality. We needed to add safety features that are required for FDA approval which included a low battery indicator light and an on-off switch, Plus we wanted to add rechargeable capabilities. My electronic engineer has 13 yrs of experience and is completing his PHd. He has been the perfect person for this work! Both his mother and wife are in the medical field and he shares in my excitement and passion for this work! He also sees the future benefits of this device in telemedicine. He lives in Pakistan and has been exactly what this startup needed! By living in an impoverished nation he sees how access to medicine is limited world wide and that this device can transform any smartphone into a mobile doctor's visit! It's important to have a team with the same vision and drive. It makes working on the project fun and exciting!
I am also very grateful to have my biomedical engineers still on my team. Just yesterday I was meeting with my circuit electronic engineer from Pakistan and my biomedical engineer from Santa Rosa California virtually by zoom. We were discussing design options that will reflect my patent designs. We will be making the stethoscope housing designs remotely as all of my engineers live in different parts of the world. Plus my electronic engineer from Pakistan has some manufacturing options he has been looking into in Pakistan. Whats nice about my electronic engineer potentially overseeing my device production is that he will be able to keep an eye on quality control during production! He can test each device before it goes to market for quality control. I also was contacted after my patent was filed by a company that basically is like an agent that will market my device to bigger companies like Medtronic, 3M, Littmann, etc for possible production. If I'm able to have a larger company take over production of my device and still keep the cost at an affordable enough rate for people in impoverished areas then I may go that route as well. Startups are all about taking what is presented to you and trying to decide which road to take towards your ultimate goals and trying not to compromise too much on your values along the way.
If the medical device world wan't enough to work on as it is, I'm also getting my House Calls Mobile ® Apple IOS App off the ground! I have been fortunate enough to have some amazing providers who want to join our network of providers and provide care on our App! That in itself is a lot of contracts and decisions to make. I need to decide what kind of electronic charting we are going to use as a collective. Plus I need to work out all of the glitches in the App. Thankfully my providers are very understanding and flexible as I work through this process. Once the glitches are worked out the House Calls Mobile ® IOS App can be marketed for telemedicine care.
I am thankful for all of the people who have been supporting this startup along the years and have been my cheering squad during my million tiny step journey toward production!
"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way." Martin Luther King Jr.