Startups Virginia

Tandem Medical Addressing A Big Problem In Healthcare

UVA Startup Tandem Medical Is Tackling Communication In Hospitals

Tandem-team-top Tandem Medical Addressing A Big Problem In Healthcare

There are so many different kinds of healthcare startups out there. There are medical devices, cancer treatments, pharmaceuticals, telemedicine, apps for healthcare, and many more. There is technology driving every piece of the healthcare industry. Yet medical environments still struggle with communication, especially hospitals.

There’s no real statistic out there that pin points how many patients have been adversely affected by the time it takes for doctors to communicate with one another and other medical staff, but if there were the number would probably be quite high. The pager (beeper) is still a relevant piece of technology in the medical environment. While in the 80’s and 90’s you had to be a doctor or a drug dealer to own a beeper, today, just about everyone in America has replaced the pager with a smartphone. Today though, pagers are used in emergency or important situations, but they still don’t help in the communication flow.

UVA Today, reported on University of Virginia startup Tandem Medical. The company was founded by Kamran Pirasteh, James Wang and Ripley Carroll (who worked for some great friends of ours at Speek).  Pirasteh came up with the idea after becoming enamored with Slack and it’s efficiency in just about every vertical possible. He identified a need for a communication system as efficient as Slack but also scalable with the privacy and HIPPA requirements needed in the medical environment.

While there’s a lot of startups out there tackling consumer facing issues, even startups at UVA like 1degree, Pirasteh saw a need for an enterprise health solution.

“I was looking for industries where a really efficient platform could make a difference, and health care is one of those industries,” Pirasteh told UVAToday. “So many student entrepreneurs focus on consumer-facing businesses, and while those can be great, they’re going to have the same kind of impact that health care can have.”

While working on customer discovery Pirasteh was able to find a mentor in the medical field that allowed him to shadow during the summer. That’s where Pirasteh discovered the communication breakdown.

The founders set up Tandem Medical to deal in role based communication to solve problems like tracking down missing labs and blood work. Doctors are losing lots of valuable time trying to track down blood samples, test and lab results, and specifically which lab techs, nurses or administrators performed these tests. If something doesn’t look quite right that doctor needs to get to the bottom of it quickly. Tandem Medical suggests that doctors spend up to 20% of their day just tracking people down.

With Tandem doctors looking for a test result could immediately be connected to the patients nurses and technicians. From there they can have a HIPPA compliant chat and quickly come to a resolution for the patient.


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