We care for you, so you can better care for them.
Problem: While more than 10% of the global disease burden is attributed to neuropsychiatric disorders, 45% of the world’s population still live in areas that has one psychiatrist to serve 100,000 people. With the improvement of medical treatment in developing countries, there is a shift in disease burden from infectious diseases to chronic conditions requiring ongoing treatments (e.g. non-communicable disease is projected to account for 70% of deaths in developing countries). Furthermore, the World Economic Forum states that global costs resulting from mental disorders are estimated to increase from US $2.5 trillion for 2010 to US$ 6.0 trillion by 2030, about two-thirds of which are indirect costs.
Solution: Despite the complex challenge, the advancement of technology and medical science gives us an opportunity to improve accessibility, affordability, and efficacy of treatments. Instead of merely a single point solution, mDocPal adopts a network of solutions by creating a digital platform that enables healthcare providers to digitize their programs, deliver treatments through multiple channels, provide training and assist decision making for frontline workers, easily track patients’ activity/performance securely, and facilitate an easy interface with other healthcare programs. Content Creation: We will work with our healthcare provider (HCP) partners to digitalize their programs (e.g smoking secession) and upload into our platform. The content creator can set the program to private (for their own usage) or public (sharing with other HCPs). Shared public programs will extend the expertise of well-established HCPs and their vetted methods to those less with experience who can train with new methods, expand their horizons, and deploy a program upon diagnosis.
Program Delivery:The HCP will, through our web interface, prescribe the programs that will appear on the patient’s smart phone inside our app. Progress will be communicated back to the HCPs and can be monitored and adjusted as needed. For those HCPs who serve the population with no access to smart phone, SMS based programs will be implemented.
Track performance and Analytics: The HCP can track the usage/performance of their patients systematically, and leverage the analytics to develop a more customized treatment and improve efficacy. For public programs, anonymized data will be made available to content creators to adapt the programs accordingly.
Second Phase of AI supported recommendation system: As we collect more data through the usage of programs on our platform, we will develop a smart recommender system based on a hybrid model that would facilitate the HCP decisions on diagnosis and available programs based on HCP inputs, which would amplify their care and simplify the decision-making process. This can effectively lend support of a specialist to GP. Impact: It is estimated that mental disorders will account for an aggregate GDP loss of US$ 16.3 trillion Between 2011 and 2030 (exceeding impact of cardiovascular disease), not to mention the dramatic impact on quality of life. Our solution will empower the frontline workers (from primary care, nurses to community workers) to help improve accessibility, lower costs and reduce the disease burden of mental illness globally, especially in developing nations
Watch our elevator pitch:
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Boston, MA, USA
The dimensions of the Challenge our solution addresses:
If you selected other, please explain the dimension of the Challenge your solution addresses here:
What makes our solution innovative:
mDocPal addresses complex and multifaceted challenges with network solutions instead of point solutions. With the prevalence of mobile devices, and modular elements in therapeutic treatment, our solution would empower the frontline healthcare workers to screen, diagnose and provide routine treatment for mental health related issues. Furthermore, by systematically tracking the usage/performance of the patients/users, we can use the data to inform providers who can then customize and fine-tune the treatment for individuals and further improve efficacy. Finally, we will incorporate an AI supported recommendation system to assist the frontline workers to make treatment decision and deliver effective care.
How technology is integral to our solution:
We need ensure our platform can protect the privacy and data security of all our users across different platform. We also need to ensure portability and compatibility of our platform/market place on different operating systems and hardware. Especially for people who live in developing countries that might have computers/mobile devices with lower processing capability and wireless with lower speed. We also need to find AI algorithm that can facilitate the decision-making process, recommending digital programs, training of the frontline healthcare providers. We need to make sure integration with other apps or portals are seamless, especially with obsolete system.
Our solution goals over the next 12 months:
mDocPal will 1) complete the MVP of our app and web interface, imbed HIPPA compliance, secure data analytics; 2) conduct a phased pilot study by launch our digital platform with >10 early provider partners to digitize their programs and prescribe them to their patients/clients. In initial phase, we will monitor the usage data and performance of end users to measure the efficacy of each programs and our platform. In 2nd phase, we will incorporate the feedback (from both providers and users) and insight to improve the programs and platform while continuing monitoring the usage data and performance.
Our vision over the next three to five years to grow and scale our solution to affect the lives of more people:
In the next three year mDocPal will roll out our platform in >100 major cities in US and > 30 cities in Canada and increase our total number of subscribers by 100X. The data and analytics we gathered will help fine-tune our AI algorithm so that in year 4 to 5 we will launch into developing areas. This will enable frontline healthcare workers to easily identify digital programs for screening, treatment and training with the portable device supported by AI. This increase the reach of evidence based program significantly and enable us to collect even more data and insights.
Our promotional video:
The key characteristics of the populations who will benefit from our solution in the next 12 months:
The regions where we will be operating in the next 12 months:
The countries where we currently operate:
How we will reach and retain our customers or beneficiaries:
We will reach out local hospitals, clinics, and institutions to recruit providers, and work with them to recruit their patients/clients. Our development team will work with the providers to digitalize their programs as a complementary to their current treatment, then onboard with their patients/clients who are prescribed to their programs. To retain users, we will offer our service for free with the basic features for all early provides, and continuously gather feedback to improve UI/UX and performance efficiency; including community features as an avenue for sharing experience, gathering support, and offer customized reward system for each end users etc.
How many people we are currently serving with our solution:
Our plan is to recruit at least 10 providers in Boston area who will co-develop at least 10 digital programs on our platform. Our provider partners will help recruit at least 30 end users/subscribers from their current patients/clients for each digital program on our platform. This would help us evaluate the efficacy of our platform as a complimentary to their current treatment. We would then roll out the program to new patients/clients have no or limited access to mental healthcare providers. We will do this by leveraging social workers that may have suitable need cases.
How many people we will be serving with our solution in the 12 months and the next 3 years:
We expect to serve at least 10 healthcare providers and 250 end users in the next few months to start our phase I pilot study. In 3 years, we expect the number to increase by about 1000 times through recruiting healthcare providers in a few major cities in US (Boston, New York, Chicago, Huston, San Diego, Seattle etc). As we increase numbers of programs on our platform, we can reach out to people having limited access to mental health providers (e.g. people living in rural area or underserved area) leveraging on mobile devices they have and AI technology we developed.
How our solution team is organized:Not Registered as Any Organization
How many people work on our solution team:2
How many years we have been working on our solution:1-2 years
The skills our solution team has that will enable us to attract the different resources needed to succeed and make an impact:
Sophie’s PhD research give her insight on complexity and network effects while inspiring her to utilize the framework to solve complicated multifaceted social problems. She was named in Forbs 30 under 30 in 2014 for her work on renewable energy, and learned about product management/design, leadership, selling, team management, strategic planning throughout the journey. John, a seasoned entrepreneur, has innovated in industries including athletics, education, and biotech where he is commercializing IP from his PhD research, and has been trained by the NSF I-Corps, and SBIR programs. His prior experience working in a mental heath facility provides unique perspective.
Our revenue model:
Our revenue model would evolve as our solution continues to grow. The freemium model would be our initial revenue stream as we start to gain tractions and efficacy data on our solutions. All providers will be able to use our basic services for free, we will charge providers a subscription fee to upgrade to get access to more features and content. Free providers will share their programs with us to help develop our library of content. As the public content expands, we will take a commission fee if the doctors charge their patients/clients for prescription of the programs they have developed. After we prove improved efficacy through a pilot study or studies, we will identify self-insured employers to co-develop an enterprise-wide mental health suites and charge subscription/service fees. Eventually, we will also conduct clinical studies to seek FDA approval so that payers can cover this cost, which would lower the financial barrier to use our platform. As we continue to roll out into developing countries, we will work with local governments and communities to identify the most appropriate way help the most vulnerable groups have access to our programs, e.g. Community health funding, government assistance programs, sponsorship...
Why we are applying to Solve:
We applied for solve because we would like to join an amazing community where people would like to tackle the most challenging problems by pushing the boundaries in technology. I would like to meet like-minded people and share our journey together. I want to find mentors and learn from their vast experiences, specific knowledge/expertise, and domain proficiencies. I would also like to contribute to the community by helping and supporting peers who endeavor to tackle the seemingly unsurmountable problems. I would like to be a change agent that form meaningful connections and build bridges.
The key barriers for our solution:
Key barriers to our success would be data security, user acquisition and retention, and potential threats from established technology. The privacy and safety of the patients/clients would be paramount to our solution, we need to find a cost-effective solution that ensure the security of our patients/clients while minimize inconvenience for the patient/clients. Recruiting end users/patients and ensuring engagement levels would also be challenging as we are still in infancy for behavior science. Given the novelty of the idea, a technology giant can afford more resources to work on the solution.
The types of connections and partnerships we would be most interested in if we became Solvers:
Dr Sisi Ni Co-Founder, Butterfly Projects