5 innovative MBA entrepreneurs in health technologies


The healthcare sector is ripe for innovation. And more and more, business school graduates are breaking into healthcare with their own high-tech companies.

EMLYON MBAs innovate in biotechnology, GWSB graduates launch telemedicine startups, and a team of Chicago Newsstand MBAs use nanotechnology to revolutionize cancer treatment.

We spoke to five other tech-savvy entrepreneurs from top five business schools to find out why they got into the healthcare industry and how they’re taking the industry by storm.

Seth Halpern, Georgetown: McDonough, co-founder and CEO of 1healthy.world

Prior to McDonough, Seth was CFO of Edward Saatchi’s NationalField, the social software provider for Obama’s presidential campaigns. After graduating with his MBA in 2015, he launched 1.healthy.world, a digital health start-up creating the first AI-powered receptionist to revolutionize patient self-service and healthcare administration.

On health technology … Health AI promises to achieve the three-fold goal of health care: improving the patient experience, improving the health of the population, and lowering health costs per capita.

To date, the Triple Aim has been a noble and elusive mission, simply because in most health settings today, no single entity or individual is responsible for these three dimensions. Healthcare AI exists in the space between patients and their healthcare teams. The possibilities are limitless!

On 1healthy.world … We are building the first digital receptionist. An AI-powered chatbot capable of engaging patients in plain language at self-service medical appointments without human intervention.

By leveraging our technology, the average primary care physician will see an additional 200 patients per year and can reduce front office labor costs by 15%.

And by providing our technology to NGOs and healthcare teams operating in areas of need, we’re raising the bar for the next wave of for-profit and for-profit businesses that can make money while doing good.

Jamie Wilson, London Business School, Founder and CEO of HomeTouch

Jamie worked for 15 years as an NHS psychiatrist before starting HomeTouch after his MBA. HomeTouch is the fastest growing home care platform in the UK, connecting families with high quality elderly care. A market model, it has already spread to London and is emerging as a national service.

On health technology … It’s been pretty obvious for some time that technology is going to have a big impact on healthcare. It’s such a massive industry and, in many ways, quite backward.

I was not particularly happy working in the NHS. In my experience, there was a huge gap in terms of technology adoption. I knew I wanted to do something entrepreneurial.

When starting HomeTouch … I ran dementia clinics. Home care received by patients was extremely spotty and unreliable; different people walked through the door every week.

I’ve found that most care agencies struggle to maintain good staff – they pay them minimum wage if they’re lucky – and this results in staff turnover of around 30-40% per year. year. The whole industry was broken.

My first business model – an app focused on early dementia care – didn’t work. While this solves a significant clinical need, it was difficult to find clients. But I managed to take advantage of the existing product and launch HomeTouch, in its current form, in January 2015.

Our mantra is around choice, transparency and control. We are trying to bring good caregivers back into the industry.

About the MBA … My president is from LBS, two of my investors are from LBS, my COO is an INSEAD graduate. An MBA accelerates your trajectory and strengthens your network. It gave me the confidence to communicate commercially; not to be intimidated by the folks at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey, but to see them as peers.

Rick Karr, Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, co-founder of Vertebration Inc.

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Rick was a Microsoft Account Manager for a decade prior to his EMBA at Fisher. There he co-founded Vertebration Inc. with a group of students. The goal: to develop revolutionary spinal implant systems. In 2015, its flagship product, XYcor, was licensed to medical technology company Alphatec Spine, where Rick now works.

On health technology … I left Microsoft for entrepreneurial opportunities. At Fisher, I helped build a business plan around a minimally invasive spinal implant as part of the entrepreneurship course. It really got me into medical devices. After winning Fisher’s annual business plan competition, we got the opportunity to market.

On XYcor … Back pain and degenerative diseases of the spine are very common. As they age, people have back problems because their discs start to degenerate between the vertebrae. The collapse puts pressure on the nerves. Our technology helps restore this space, decreases back pain and associated conditions.

Traditional implants with large footprints can only be introduced through the abdomen, which typically requires two surgeons, a spine surgeon and a general access surgeon. XYcor provides a less invasive spinal implant. It enters collapsed from behind and expands in the body. This means less invasive surgery, faster recovery, and better structural support.

About the EMBA … It was an essential catalyst and a basis for building the business and bringing the implant to market.

Marc Albanese, NYU Stern, co-founder of Smart Vision Labs

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Marc met his business partner Yaopeng Zhou in 2001, while doing a master’s degree in electrical engineering at Boston University. Marc received an MBA from NYU Stern in 2006 and a career in Wall Street banking. A few years later, Yaopeng followed the same path, studying at NYU Stern while working on his idea for a smartphone-based vision test. The two former classmates joined forces to found Smart Vision Labs in 2013.

On intelligent vision laboratories … At Boston University, Yaopeng first came up with the idea of ​​creating a portable vision test using a supercomputer. Back then, we had a huge computer, a huge camera system, and a big table full of optics.

Ten years later, the iPhone in my pocket is ten times more powerful than the computer in the lab. The camera is just as good, the optics smaller, and it is connected to the Internet. Now our telemedicine platform will perform a visual eye exam and prescribe glasses within five minutes.

We are really focused on improving access to vision care. All over the world there are huge pockets of people not having their vision tested.

About the MBA … NYU Stern was a great launching pad. We entered and won a business plan competition that gave us a crash course in starting a business. And there’s a startup incubator at school, where we were super focused on figuring out our first target market.

I had two careers at NYU Stern. First of all, I 100 percent funded NYU Stern for getting me involved. Then I had the opportunity to come back and again use all the resources of the university to help me with my business.

Ana Maiques, IESE Business School, co-founder and CEO of Neuroelectrics

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Ana is an award-winning entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in the field. She strengthened her leadership skills with an advanced management program at IESE in 2015. In 2000, she co-founded Starlab, a Barcelona-based scientific research group.

In 2012, she launched Neuroelectrics, a spin-off of Starlab, to bridge the gap between scientific research and reality. Winner of Wired Magazine’s Best Health Startup in 2015, Neuroelectrics markets and develops products related to neuroscience.

On health technology … I am a businessman but always wanted to have a social impact. Science is the ideal place to find solutions to great human challenges.

In health care, we are starting to see revolutions, and it’s no wonder people want to step into this world. The need for innovation is enormous. We are living longer, we are aging, and it is a fact that we are going to need more and more technology to live better.

Now we have a lot of knowledge that we didn’t have 20 years ago. And the health of the brain will change dramatically.

On neuroelectricity … With Starlab, we wanted to do good science and bring it to market. But we couldn’t do it with the same company. Starlab was research driven and its employees were scientists. With Neuroelectrics, we are focusing more on business.

We want to be the digital brain health company. This means being able to deploy our technology to diagnose early and personalize treatment by electrical stimulation at home. To make this happen, we are conducting our first clinical trial, using our brain stimulation device to prevent children with epilepsy from having seizures.


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