Spotlight on: Medumo, StartHub’s Startup to Watch for Jan 2017

January 17, 2017

Each month as part of StartHub’s Startups to Watch Program, we connect with the winning company to learn more about them. Our January Startup to Watch is Medumo, a Boston-based digital health startup. Recently we had the pleasure of interviewing Adeel Yang, ‎Co-founder & President of Medumo. Here’s what we learned:

StartHub:  Tell us about your company. What does Medumo do?

Medumo is a startup based in Boston that offers healthcare organizations a cost effective digital program to automate patient instruction and check-ins with a series of precisely timed email and text messages that adapt to patients' needs. We give patients the right information at the right time in the most accessible way possible, without disrupting clinician workflow.

StartHub:  What is your background?

I am a physician passionate about medical education. Prior to starting Medumo, I co-founded a venture-backed e-learning company (Picmonic) that helps students in the allied health profession improve learning efficiency and knowledge retention. We raised over $5 million in grants and institutional funding and built an online community of over 150,000 learners in over 100 countries. I am also an active angel investor who previously worked for a medical technology-focused venture capital firm. I completed my medical degree at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. My current mission is to leverage the many innovations in the education technology space to drastically improve patient adherence and clinical outcome.

StartHub:  How did you come up with the idea for Medumo? Who is your target customer?

As physicians, my co-founders and I were frustrated by antiquated methods of delivering care instructions to patients. Many of the patients we saw struggled to understand their conditions, what they needed to do when, and why it mattered. Based on our experience building products in the education industry, we knew that many technology-driven engagement methodologies already exist that can be applied in the healthcare setting to better enhance patient adherence while reducing staff burden. Our target customers are 1) innovative value-focused major healthcare systems and 2) high volume, efficiency-focused, private practices and clinics.

StartHub:  How do you think Medumo is going to disrupt the market? What are the main differentiators between you and your competitors?

The vast majority of the market is dominated by traditional patient education companies that have built massive “patient education encyclopedias” with paper-based handouts and digital brochures. Some newer competitors have focused on multimedia education or enrolling patients in online courses. Medumo is taking a different approach by customizing provider-driven educational pathways that guide patients throughout their treatment, procedure or discharge via low friction, easily accessible text and email messages. Unlike traditional incumbents, we are not a content company; instead we partner with the best video libraries including Milner Fenwick and ViewMedica to complement the instructions already produced by our clients. We have also veered away from fixed digital classes that frontload information and require patients to log in weeks or months before their procedure or hospital visit. We are disrupting the market by creating intelligent standalone digital programs that eliminate the need for 2-way messaging, which significantly reduces staff burden.

StartHub:  Who are your main investors?

Medumo’s co-founders self-funded the company initially. The company also received private investment recently from a number of successful serial entrepreneurs, healthcare executives, and angel investors, and is actively raising a Seed round. 

StartHub:  Why did you decide to start your business in Boston? How long has your company been around?

Besides the fact that many of Medumo’s co-founders are physicians previously trained and currently practicing at the Harvard-affiliated hospitals, the team as a whole felt that Boston is one of the epicenters of the healthcare technology industry. Boston offers world-class healthcare institutions, biotech companies, digital health investors, and startup network and accelerators such as PULSE@MassChallenge. We’ve also had tremendous success recruiting talent in Boston from top Universities. Although the company was formed more than 2 years ago, it was funded and became operational in 2015.

StartHub:  What resources in the startup community have contributed to the success of Medumo? (For example, co-working spaces, accelerators, networking groups) 

PULSE@MassChallenge is a phenomenal program created by the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership that offers promising digital health startups a co-working space at Hatch Fenway and a large mentor network composed of some of the most influential institutions and companies in the healthcare industry. Through PULSE, we have gained invaluable partnerships with hospitals, recognition from the investment community, and connection with other digital health entrepreneurs. I encourage all entrepreneurs to apply for the next cohort. We've also benefitted from the Harvard iLab network and space prior to getting accepted to PULSE. 

StartHub:  How do you use StartHub professionally?

I use StartHub to keep up with Boston’s latest startup news and discover relevant companies, events, courses, and networking opportunities. I also plan to use StartHub to recruit talent and reach out to potential investors. StartHub’s website is intuitive and informative. I think it has done a tremendous job unifying and celebrating the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Boston.

StartHub:  What are the next steps for Medumo?

We completed our first three digital programs and a successful pilot study, so the next step is to convert our first group of clients and continue to market and sell our product. We are also in the midst of launching a series of research studies at some of the top institutions in the world including Mount Sinai Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess. The data from these studies will allow us to improve our product, gain validation in the scientific community, and expand our impact to more departments and institutions around the world.  

StartHub:  What is the most important thing our readers should know about Medumo?

We believe Boston has what it takes to become the digital health hub of the world, and we want to help. Our team offers a combined 30 years experience in tech, 50 years in healthcare and 20 years in education, and we want to connect with digital health entrepreneurs, healthcare executives, providers, patients and anyone else who cares about making an impact in reducing preventable health expenditure and improving health outcome. We know it takes a village, so come find us at PULSE@MassChallenge located at Hatch Fenway and let's collaborate!

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