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Boys 2 Men

Digital Concierge Doctor: DoctorOn

For several weeks this spring, Nahush Katti and Vikram Arunachalam Arun stayed at the office until nearly midnight to work on a business plan for DoctorOn, their teleophthalmology company, in preparation for a big pitch in Palo Alto, Calif.

They raided the Keurig coffee machine in their shared office space in the Downtown Incubator. They brought in a mini basketball hoop and played quick games of HORSE with each other when they needed a break from the grind.

The grueling schedule is not so different from that many new entrepreneurs endure, but there is one thing about these aspiring biomedical engineers that makes them stand out. Katti and Arun’s days were filled not with jobs or family obligations but with attending classes as Rock Bridge High School seniors.

Developing DoctorOn

The interest in telemedicine was prompted by stories of the difficult commute Katti’s grandfather endured for medical care in rural India, where he commuted two to three hours each way to see a doctor. Arun notes that “everything else is online,” so the two thought, why not medical care? Out of this discussion came the idea of DoctorOn, a digital concierge doctor. The business idea has undergone a few shifts as it progressed from the broad field of telemedicine to the more specific field of teleophthalmology. Because ophthalmology is heavily dependent upon imaging, that diagnostic technique seemed to be most easily replicated on a phone.

Two components form the basis of the DoctorOn device: a small machine called iOn which manipulates light into a slit and is designed to be attached to a smartphone; and an app, which walks the user through the necessary steps, utilizes the smartphone’s camera to capture images and sends the images to a professional to be read. One will be able to buy DoctorOn (app and iOn attachment) and a noncontract smartphone for about one-tenth the cost of the low end of current machines capable of producing the same diagnostic images of the eye. And DoctorOn is much more easily transported into rural areas.

 

Read the rest at the Columbia Business Times >>