Arup Roy-Burman Explains his Roadmap to a Successful Health Startup
How Elemeno Health penetrated disrupted identified a gap within the Health Market
You have an idea.
A methodology to help people.
To make people’s lives better in a unique way.
How would you convince others to see what you see?
Many startups are created with the mindset of acquiring venture capitalist or angel investment to fund their solutions, without prior market validation or future planning of resources needed to attain success.
Not only has Arup Roy-Burman established himself in the health community, but he is also leading a successful health startup, collaborating with UCSF and backed by Silicon Valley tech accelerator Y Combinator.
Arup Roy-Burman clarifies how he started Elemeno Health, the components to a successful health startup, and the future trends of the health sector.
Q&A with Arup Roy-Burman
- What made you want to get into the Health field in the first place?
I love helping people. As a young child I lost my sister to congenital heart disease—something that would not happen today. That experience is seared in my memory. Some things could have been done better—both for her, and my family. When ill, we are most vulnerable. I went in to healthcare, because I want everyone to have the best experience and outcome possible.
- Can you describe the ‘light bulb’ moment you had with your current venture?
In the pilot work leading up to Elemeno Health, we created a solution for “just-in-time” microlearning—the ability to refresh and reinforce best practice on-demand, at the point and time of care. For decades, hospitals have expected staff to follow pages-long policies and procedures. Unfortunately, the translation of paper to practice is fraught with differing interpretations and resultant variability. Our pilot delivered a concise visual/video best practice for a central line dressing change—an experienced nurse looked at it and noted, “I’ve been doing it the wrong way all these years.”
- What lessons has the startup world taught you?
It’s all about the Team. Healthcare is tradition-bound and risk-averse. Bringing change is hard. Any of us can see the impact of mobile technology in our day-to-day consumer lives. However, mobile is just now entering the healthcare system environment. Though our emerging workforce is made of “digital natives”, our healthcare leadership is not. The drive to change healthcare must be led by entrepreneurs who understand healthcare and can relate directly to the healthcare leaders with whom they will partner. In other words, effective drivers of change are those who are willing to step out of traditional healthcare roles, embrace new technologies, and then bring these solutions back to their partners. Physician leadership is key to a successful healthcare startup.
- Health Tech is advancing so quickly. What health policy do you feel is critical to enact in this respect?
Healthcare costs are exploding. We must control costs quickly—delivering quality, safety, and improved outcomes—at a lower cost. Institutions have developed best practices—from both scientific evidence and internal institutional experience. However, the majority of these best practices are siloed within respective institutions. Through changes in health policy, we can incentivize the sharing of both best practices—and outcomes—allowing us to iterate and improve best practices as an industry. Data-driven evolution of best practices—helping all institutions equally, whether big or small.
- Any advice for health consumers of technology?
Health technology is changing at an exponential pace. The utilization of mobile technology is gaining momentum across all industries. The complexity of healthcare has exceeded the capacity of even our best doctors and nurses to master every task. Just as individual consumers are leveraging mobile tech to empower their own healthcare, we must create a culture supporting the adoption of such technologies to empower those on the frontlines who are actually delivering care. Incorporating mobile tech to support best practice at the point of care is not a weakness—it is a strength. Through tech, we can consistently deliver the right practice to the right patient at the right time—every time.