MedeStat, Inc.

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September 5, 2016 Issue



Medical Emergency Products that provide Healthcare Records Anywhere Globally – With or Without Internet Access



Brian P. Vickers

President and Chief Executive Officer


MedeStat, Inc.


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published - September 5, 2016


CEOCFO: Mr. Vickers, what is the vision behind MedeStat?

Mr. Vickers: Our vision is to bridge the gap in healthcare records and allow people to have more control of their information and most importantly make it available at their greatest time of need, which is a medical emergency. Our solutions have been created so that they will work anywhere globally, with or without internet access.


CEOCFO: That seems to have been an industry goal for a long time. Where are you today? What are you able to provide?

Mr. Vickers: We are currently able to provide three different formats of our printed solutions that are self-contained in their design which allow the offline capabilities that will not require internet access on the part of the care provider. Our business is commercial now with customers able to purchase through our website. We have had a lot of interest from insurance companies due to the time savings in accessing this information during the treatment process. They’re the ones paying for the inefficiencies of the patient care process, and the bulk of those costs are related to patient information access. With no other sources available care providers rely on the patient who many not be able to provide any information at all, resulting in thousands of dollars of unnecessary tests and procedures being performed that may do more harm either directly or through time delays in providing pertinent care once more information is known


Our solution improves significantly over what’s been available for fifty years since the advent of Medic Alert and the bracelets and things along those lines. These are certainly better than having nothing to allow communication of some information in an emergency on behalf of the patient if they cannot speak for themselves. However, the limited capabilities of these single piece of data solutions has remained relatively unchanged despite advances in technology. Therefore, we designed our solution to allow a complete set of information that is necessary in a medical emergency in our self contained package.


While every person could benefit from having our solution on their person as no one can predict when a medical emergency can occur our target markets are along traditional avenues. Those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiac emergencies, anyone with allergies are the most likely to have medical emergencies that certainly could be affected and unable to communicate should something happen. As a firefighter and EMT myself of over twenty years I’ve been in the position of having to interview a patient for anywhere from fifteen to forty-five minutes due to compliance with Department of Health protocols here in the United States and is also pretty common around the world as well. Therefore, EMTs and Paramedics have to have conversations with the patient in order to get this information from them so that when patients are finally transported the emergency room everything is already available. The same triage process occurs if a patient ends up in the emergency room directly it is still the same interview process that has to occur in order to provide what care is dictated based on their condition.


Our solutions allow that same information to be accessed in seconds so that care can now be more rapid, more efficient and more pertinent to that particular patient, instead of running a series of tests to find out why their symptoms are what they are with that information not being available. Certainly, electronic medical record companies are becoming more prevalent. They are growing. However, they are still not intercommunicating. You cannot have your records from your personal primary care physician easily transferred to a hospital in your own town, let alone if you are travelling across the country or even globally and that information is important in any emergency. Something can happen anywhere, whether it is a natural disaster, manmade or just simply a health issue. Everyone needs to have this information available just in case something happens, and the electronic transmissions are not going to be possible.


CEOCFO: On what formats do you have information available and how does it get onto that format from the doctor or from the patient? 

Mr. Vickers: Being a startup company and going through the proof of concept and the test markets, it is patient entered information through our portal with a goal of tying into Electronic Health Record systems at all levels to allow care providers to create our solutions for the patient during treatment. In terms of the physical products they are disaster resistant as we like to call them. The stock of the wallet card is military special operations grade, water proof and weather proof, tear resistant paper, so it is very durable. Then we use weather proof labels for printing out the information on. Therefore, anyone anywhere with any computer can create the printed out label and attach it to the wallet card. We also have a driver’s license ID size that is a little smaller. We have a magnet system for at home for those that do not travel very far.


The printing process is what allows our solutions to be self-contained using the high compression Quick Response (QR) codes. Traditionally QR codes in marketing and other solutions are used to link to a website for more information. We do have that available as well but the issue is in many areas the commercial internet in the US is not robust enough to provide timely cloud-based access. Certainly overseas in many cases they are blocked by the government or other entities, but even domestically certain building types like skyscrapers or earth-quake resistant buildings aren’t conducive to cellular signal access from inside. That is where the high compression QR comes in. Rather than the encoded text being a URL to take the scanning device to a website it is actually the patient information that shows instantly instead of dealing with bandwidth and latency issues.


Any smart device, whether it be a smartphone, a tablet or a webcam attached to a computer if it has a QR reading application it can decode the data and pull it up instantly. We do have our own app for iPhone and Android that are free and display the information in a more readable format, but any QR app will work. With the US we obviously have to deal with HIPAA and privacy, but because it requires physical access to scan the QR that passes the HIPAA requirements for information privacy. That is because physical access implies consent. We also do not store social security or driver’s license or health insurance information because it is not necessary for treatment, only billing which is not a concern for us. Our goal is to help save the life and improve patient outcomes through information accessibility so we only store what is necessary in terms of patient information to treat them based on their medical history, which are allergies, diagnosed chronic conditions, recent surgeries, and of course current medications.


CEOCFO: How are you reaching out to the medical professionals? What has been the reception? How do you even get a foot in the door with so much going on in healthcare today?

Mr. Vickers: That was one of our biggest questions when we started and also why we became a Houston Technology Center client. We joined their business accelerator program to get that very assistance. When it comes to our solutions there are champions who will encourage people to carry our solutions, there are of course the end users (patients), and there are customers who are those that are willing to spend the money to ensure the end-users have our solutions. Our biggest challenge has been to find what population and/or group is in which one of those buckets.


Certainly, anyone could be a user as emergencies are unpredictable, such as being involved in a car accident or having an allergic reaction. Customers could be the users themselves, a family member taking care of the user, an employer, or even an insurance company. Then there are champions who are the care providers and the ones who have extraordinarily high operating costs because patient information isn’t readily available. Champions include hospitals, EMS & Fire Departments, doctors, and more. With healthcare spending being what it is these groups have enough challenges on their own and they are not going to be able to provide these out to the end users and their chronic patients. The more we have contact with the more they love it and wish people in their area had our solutions already because information sharing in emergencies is one of the biggest if not the biggest inefficiency in the healthcare system. Those trying to solve these issues are focused on the computers, networks, databases, and other high-tech means to transfer information but there are so many standards and too much data to effectively be accessed across a network.


To me the simple question is: who is having the medical emergency? The patient is, and if they are the ones having the emergency and they are the ones right in front of you, why is their information right there on them already? That is why we created our solution in order to make it easy for the patient to see their information, verify their information, and carry their information wherever they go instead of hoping that the network isn’t down when they have to call 9-1-1. With instant access ultimately it will save money in terms of hospital costs. The Texas Medical Center in 2013 said in an article in the Houston Chronicle related to their Electronic Health Record initiative that if they could save fifteen minutes on the in-patient processing that is nearly a $500 savings. When an ambulance has to be called those same 15 minutes in time saved correlates to a $300 savings.


One of the other things that we found during discussions with doctors in the ER setting is what is valuable to them that our solution can provide are the tasks that they not have to do based on the information gained. With as many humans as there are, there are certain conditions that could exist that are abnormal for a human but normal for that individual. Hemoglobin count was one of those pieces of information and that is easily a value that we can capture in our solutions. The normal human is between 12 and 12 on hemoglobin count, however someone could be a 9. In terms of normal humans that is an anemic person, and when the basic blood test is done as required in an ER setting a result of 9 for hemoglobin is going to result in the order for a $6,000 series of tests for anemia which could take up to 2 hours. In this case the time is spent waiting for the results to find out that they are not anemic; that is just their normal condition. That’s time and money wasted that could have been spent trying to find the true cause of their symptoms, and unfortunately for some it may be time they didn’t have.


Financially either the insurer or patient bears the costs for these procedures and resulting poor patient outcome due to the time spent chasing down something that was not the cause of their current reason for being in the emergency room. That is are the core of the inefficient information sharing design currently in place with no end in sight. Instead if they had our solution all it would take was a simple scan and could be more like this instead of 2 hours of waiting:


“What’s the hemoglobin count?”

(scan code) “It’s a 9 normally, 9 on the test”

“Alright, that is not the issue. Let us look at the symptoms. What else could be the issues? What other medications are they on?”

(scan code) “Coumadin, and they’re a Type 2 diabetic”


All of this information helps narrow down potential causes and determines treatment protocols specifics to those findings. Not having this information results in time delays which reduce the overall quality of the patient outcomes.


Another major finding in recent years has resulted in major media campaigns attempting to educate the general public to identify someone having a stroke. Three different studies, both in the US and two internationally have shown that if you can identify someone having a stroke and start treatment protocols 15 minutes earlier that could save up to a month in rehabilitation for that patient. This also potentially saves them from a lifelong effect of that stroke such as paralysis or loss of memory, medications, rehabilitation, wheelchairs, special assistance, or dependent care. Saved time during a medical emergency is directly related to the post-emergency quality of life when it comes to medical emergencies the only way time can be saved and more effective medical care given is through the timely sharing of information. This is the whole premise for Electronic Health Records management but the implementation is 20 year experiment that is still failing and will continue to do so for another 20 or more years at the rate things are progressing. We solve this issue right now in an easy to create, inexpensive, and easily portable manner.


CEOCFO: How do you move it along? What are you doing? What else might you do?

Mr. Vickers: As we have gone and made more contacts we have gotten more feedback about what information could be included in our solutions. We are continuing a test market right now to ensure that we are making improvements that will be effective and beneficial to patients and care providers alike. Included in these tests are those with chronic diseases that we are reaching through the local chapters and national organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the Diabetic Association.


We have also gotten a lot of great feedback and interest from employers as an employee benefit. Many larger corporations are self insured, so they are paying the health insurance premiums entirely for their company and their employees. Just like there are incentives for employees to work out and exercise and keep their body mass index within a certain range, they will see discounts on their health insurance premiums or such things as alcohol dependency treatment or smoking cessation also sees such discounts, the opportunity exists for our solution to help provide additional discounts through the insurers. That is because we are showing that having our solution on the person reduces the cost of care by the rapid information sharing and the fact that more pertinent care that can be provided once that information is known.


Therefore, we have gotten a lot of interest from many different areas and not just an employer from that benefit standpoint that may not be self-insured, but larger corporations or even municipalities. Many large oil companies are the self insured type and they have a cost associated with employee benefits. As our test market coverage grows and we continue to show that our solution can help reaches that effective level and reduces costs, we will be able to make more inroads and we are certainly going to accelerate. That was the definition that we clarified earlier between our champions, customers and users. Growth will give us that Business to Business opportunity so that insurance companies and these large employers are going to be the customers in addition to the everyday person that wants the protection.


CEOCFO: What where the challenges in technology to create such a system? What are the barriers to entry for others who should realize this is a good idea and want to get involved as well?

Mr. Vickers: In terms of technology we have a method patent pending. Obviously, QR has been public domain since the 1990s when it was developed however, the usage of it as a self contained item rather than just a link to a website was something that we developed. It was critical to the patent application and the only way we could get that type of protection. The method patent also allows for us to change technologies without having to file for additional protection. We considered technologies like RFID, which in the past had been utilized in credit cards but we chose not to pursue that because of the same security issues and unpermitted access that caused the credit card companies to move to the smart chip. It does not take physical access to read an RFID card and meeting HIPAA compliance was one of our needs to avoid additional barriers to initial market entry. In terms of cost-effectiveness RFID added additional user hurdles because at that point we have to have RF readers and writers available to users which would significantly increase costs and barriers to adoption. In addition since Apple does have a large slice of the smartphone market, until it was released no one knew if they iPhone 6 was going to even have the NFC communications capabilities to read an RFID solution if we had one.


Therefore, we used the QR code because it is the lowest barrier to market adoption and entry because any smart device with a camera can have a QR app on it; whether it is a tablet or smartphone or a computer or even smart watch, if it is developed with a camera in it, would be able to consume it. We are continuing to look at other technologies that might provide us those capabilities, but at the lowest level we have to let the patient themselves be able to make updates to the information. Right now that is a printer and despite advances over the last couple of decades printers have not gone away. Everyone is connected to the internet, so they can use our portal and at make their solution and have it available. Therefore, the method patent is really our biggest barrier to others entering, but it is also a great protection which has allowed us to have several conversations with foreign companies for licensing our technology out. We have talked to several in the UK as well as we have some ongoing discussions and the Asian markets, too. Obviously, the US here is an open market system as far as healthcare and there are numerous solutions and standards, but even in those areas where there is a state run single source healthcare system for information they are still having the same issues. Their most remote areas are not fully connected to the internet and disasters happen. China has had several mudslides and typhoons and there have been many other issues after disaster in the region where there was no infrastructure left. Rescuers came in and they barely had two-way radio communications, let alone internet access. That has been the basis for many of our discussions with care providers, responders, and investors those areas. Many stated that they easily could have helped save additional lives during those situations if they had been able to get some of that information about those patients under those conditions and give them more accurate treatment, especially when it comes to medications. Our solution is a perfect fit which is why we are continuing to gain traction in foreign markets as well as the US.


CEOCFO: How do you help the individual enter their information easily, correctly and most effectively?

Mr. Vickers: We have made our user interface as simple as possible. We wanted to make it very straightforward so that anyone of any age, such as senior citizens who might not be as computer savvy could use it. We have designed it in a way that if you can send an email or browse the Internet, you can fill out your information in our portal quickly and easily from start to finish. We certainly encourage everyone to have everything they need right there to be able to fill out their records with them such as their medications, however we wanted to make all of the heavy lifting behind the scenes. This way they did not have to do a much more than just type and click, add their information, hit a print button, and they are protected in mere minutes. Simplicity in user interface design is critical to adoption and that is why we spent and continue to spend a great deal of time on our online engagement experience because we wanted to make sure that we were going to see those types of results.


CEOCFO: What is your funding situation? Are you looking for investments or partners? Where are you today?

Mr. Vickers: We are in fundraising mode as well as sales mode and like any startup that is a very long, ongoing process. We can always use more investments to help us grow faster, hire the staffing, make some programming improvements by having that additional support staff as well as sales personnel to make additional contacts. We are looking for additional personnel at all levels, from advisory board to board of directors to employees as well. We are looking for partners to open up several channels within major insurance groups that deal with employee benefits to be able to make those partnerships happen. We are basically looking for everybody at all levels.


As a bootstrap startup we need to bring more people on board to help us achieve our vision, which ultimately is to make healthcare more efficient and save more lives. As I said I have lived through these difficulties on the street myself as an EMT trying to take care of people and not having their information is very frustrating. The idea is to save lives and provide that information in someone’s most critical time of need and do it in a very inexpensive easy to read format. That is why we spent so long in development; to make sure that we could achieve those goals that we had for the product and the solution. Now that we are at that point, not that we are not going to improve things as we move forward based on feedback, but now it is time to get our solution out there and really start to save the lives that we know our solution can help with.


“Our vision is to bridge the gap in healthcare records and allow people to have more control of their information and most importantly make it available at their greatest time of need, which is a medical emergency.”- Brian P. Vickers


MedeStat, Inc.



Brian P. Vickers

855-345-6333 x101







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