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Spotlight on MedAux, Digital.NYC's Startup to Watch for October 2017

Each month as part of Digital.NYC’s Startups to Watch program we connect with the winning company to find out more about them. Here's what we learned in a recent talk with Elnaz Sarabchian and Behzad Jazayeri, and Ryan Kennedy, Co-founders of MedAux.

Tell us about your company. What does MedAux do?

MedAux is a physician to physician company.

MedAux is a HIPAA compliant patient education and messaging app among patients, physicians, and nurses. MedAux enables physicians to send daily patient education materials to their patients and stay in touch with them.

Currently, we are working with a community hospital to optimize the health of diabetic patients. MedAux facilitates the patient education process via automated content delivery through email and mobile notifications.

Physicians are using MedAux to stay in touch with the patients between the visits and track the delivery and comprehension of patient education materials. Patients are using MedAux to get personalized information from a trusted resource. Medical assistants and nurses use MedAux to send follow-up messages, answer patients’ questions, and decrease office workload.

The interaction of the patients is recorded in the platform, and patients get a short survey regarding comprehension of the contents after each video. We are working on an AI technology to personalize the video contents based on the characteristics of the patients.


Digital.NYC: What is your background?

Behzad Jazayeri is a physician, technology entrepreneur, published researcher, and inventor with numerous international awards. Behzad’s passion is healthcare innovation, quality of life improvement, and personalized care. Behzad was selected as the top research award winner by AOSpine Foundation in 2015. In 2013, Behzad founded ReLinking, an application for Iran's medical student research market. Behzad earned his MD at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2013. In United States Medical License Examinations, Behzad scored among the top 10% in 2016. Behzad has published two books, and more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals including Urologic Oncology, European Journal of Spine, Cancer Epidemiology, Neuroepidemiology, Urology (Golden Journal). Currently, Behzad is a researcher at Lenox Hill hospital and works as co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at MedAux.

Ryan Kennedy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and hold a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science from New Jersey Institute of Technology.  He created and maintained a Hospitality Point-of-Sale Software System which he sold in 2012. After five years in the corporate private sector, he has turned his sights back to entrepreneurial pursuits and is a co-founder of MedAux, a cutting-edge telemedicine startup.

Elnaz Sarabchian is a Doctorate of Education student at Hofstra University. Elnaz co-founded ReLinking with Behzad in 2013 when they were working together in Iran. Elnaz has published more than 15 peer-reviewed papers. Her passion resides in personalized education, free access to health information, and use of technology in transforming healthcare.

Digital.NYC: How did you come up with the idea for MedAux? What problem or market does it address?

Office visits are on average 20 minutes, leaving no time for the physician to provide patient education regarding diet, exercising, taking medication, and general lifestyle changes after treatment. With this limited time, physicians use printed materials and verbal conversations to educate their patients. Data published in recent studies show that patients forget 86% of what they learn during office visits with 48 hours after the visit, 30% of medications are never filled, and 50% of medications are not taken as prescribed, leading to more than 100,000 deaths annually and costs more than $100b to the healthcare system. MedAux mission is to fill the gap in patient education by providing access to responsive healthcare teams and daily personalized patient education materials.

Digital.NYC: Who are your target customers?

MedAux helps hospitals to reduce their costs, physicians to decrease the workload at the office and patients to stay on top of their health. The main customers of MedAux are healthcare organizations and healthcare plan providers.

Digital.NYC: How do you think your company is going to change the market? How are you different from your competitors?

MedAux provides patient education materials to the patients 24/7. MedAux helps hospitals to empower patients and reduce complication rates, especially in chronic diseases. Reduction in complications not only reduces the direct cost of chronic diseases to the health care but also reduces the burden of chronic diseases on the society. On the other hand, reduction of chronic disease complications has a direct and robust impact on not only increasing the lifespan of patients but more importantly increasing the quality of life of patients. In all, the changes in the behavior, knowledge, and attitude of patients suffering from chronic diseases are of utmost importance for the next generation. The changes in diet, exercise, and lifestyle of parents have a direct impact on the children. This impact ensures a healthier society in the future.

Digital.NYC: What else might our readers be interested to know about MedAux?

MedAux is now working with NYU department of education in creating contents personalized to the specific diagnosis, culture, geography, and language of the patients. We are running a crowdfund campaign at which will help us to further the development of our products.

Digital.NYC: Why did you chose New York City as your base for the company? Are there resources or support systems in New York that don’t exist elsewhere?

New York is rapidly becoming a hub for healthcare startups. The opportunities in NYC are unmatched compared to other startup friendly cities including Austin, TX and San Francisco, CA.

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