Patients need easier access to their medical records, said Saroj Gupta, stressing the life-threatening outcomes for individuals who might miss important vaccinations — or erroneously obtain multiple doses — because of poor or hard-to-find documentation.
“We call ourselves a developed country, but our healthcare system is so broken,” said Saroj Gupta, the founder and CEO of MyDigiRecords — a startup developing an app that would allow for individuals and families to manage their immunization records from the palm of their hands.
Click here to check out MyDigiRecords.
Gupta and the eight other newest Comeback KC Ventures fellows — who are developing new technologies to disrupt the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic — pitched their startups Wednesday at the Comeback KC Ventures Innovation Showcase.
Program fellows who pitched their startups virtually in the fall also joined the showcase to demo their Comeback KC Ventures-backed products.
“I think it’s really interesting to be able to bring all these fellows together and give them this platform to speak directly to the community about their businesses,” said Charlotte Clark, project coordinator for UMKC Innovation Center’s Technology Venture Studio, which leads Comeback KC Ventures alongside KC Digital Drive. “There was so much captivated interest in the presentations and what these founders have done so far.”
Comeback KC Ventures
The Comeback KC Ventures fellows program supports select businesses that can solve issues related to COVID, create new jobs and find additional investment.
The 18-month program is designed to include everyone from first-time entrepreneurs to established businesses building new product and service lines. Types and levels of funding and support may differ depending on the stage of the business and the experience of the entrepreneur.
Click here to learn more about the fellowship.
MyDigiRecords, which originally launched in 2020, is able to verify COVID-19 vaccinations and is in the process of verifying all immunizations, Gupta said — adding that she would like to start with underserved communities that have a long history of missing vaccine records.
“There are half a million kids living in foster care, and no one knows their vaccination past,” Gupta explained. “If you don’t take immunizations on time, or take them multiple times, that can have adverse effects on your health or lead to more disease spreading.”
When Gupta moved to the United States from India, she did not have records of her immunization — resulting in her having to redo each vaccine, she recalled.
“Issues come up with that; one being that I was over an age where insurance would cover [the immunizations], so I had to pay from my pocket,” Gupta said, explaining that this is a costly expense that many individuals can not afford.
With vaccinations growing in importance and travel picking back up, Gupta envisions a world where every person has access to their medical records, she shared.
Click here to see a full list the newest founders added to the Comeback KC Ventures fellowship.
Another Comeback KC Ventures fellow, Jeff Blackwood, is working to provide patients and providers with affordable and convenient diagnostic imaging services — including cardiac, vascular and OB/GYN procedures — through his startup, New Frontier Mobile Diagnostics.
“During the COVID pandemic, we’ve seen that the rate of diagnosis of many cancers and heart diseases have dropped well over 50 percent, and that’s not because there was any kind of miracle cure,” Blackwood said. “It’s because people were scared of going into the hospital. And when they don’t, what happens now is that they are having to deal with a more serious condition.”
New Frontier Mobile Diagnostics is in a pilot with local hospitals and plans to expand nationwide to direct primary care facilities, corporate clinics and home-based care providers, Blackwood said.
Click here to learn more about New Frontier Mobile Diagnostics.
Blackwood, who previously founded and sold Pathfinder Health Innovations, joined Comeback KC Ventures to utilize the program’s resources, as well as share his expertise with the cohort, he shared.
“When I saw that Jill Meyer [who serves as the senior director at Technology Venture Studios] was involved with this, I knew it was going to be a phenomenal program,” Blackwood said. “My hope is to give back a little bit while also learning from others as a fellow.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.