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WICHITA — A Kansas teenager’s telemedicine nonprofit was selected as one of nine finalists for a local health tech startup competition — the only Sunflower State venture chosen for the NXTUS initiative that pairs entrepreneurs with community health organizations to improve health outcomes for Kansans.
Medic All, founded by 17-year-old Ayaan Parikh, leverages telemedicine to increase healthcare access for low-income patients, which the nonprofit defines as individuals earning 200 percent or less than the federal poverty line, he said.
“I was doing a lot of research in ninth grade about how telemedicine is being used, and I saw it was very much focused on privatized medicine,” said Parikh, a rising senior at Wichita Collegiate School. “As a result, many low-income individuals weren’t getting that access to telemedicine.”
On Sept. 28, he’ll showcase the Medic All platform for the 2023 NXTSTAGE Community Health and Vibrancy Pilot Competition and learn whether his nonprofit has been selected to partner in a pilot program with one of six community-based health organizations in Kansas.
Click here for more event information.
In 2022, two Kansas City startups earned partnerships through the NXTSTAGE competition.
Medic All fills the telemedicine income gap by offering free consultations, medical tests, and prescriptions to patients who qualify, Parikh said, adding that patients are not currently required to provide documentation in order to minimize barriers to care.
“Our goal is to always be focused on impoverished individuals,” Parikh said. “A pretty big barrier for a lot of people entering healthcare systems is finding those documents … so we’re still looking at innovative ways to show that someone is qualified for the services without adding very big barriers.”
Once patients book an appointment, they are matched with a licensed healthcare professional. Services are provided by partner physicians and clinics.
“I started going to clinics as a sophomore in high school with a basic idea in mind of free telemedicine,” Parikh said. “I spoke with a lot of clinics around Kansas, and there was a lot of rejection in the beginning. But in that process, I also got a lot of amazing ideas from these clinics. … Although it was a process of rejection, I learned from that experience.”
Eventually, Parikh secured his first partner clinic, then tapped into that organization’s network to expand Medic All’s services.
Currently, the company is in a soft launch with select healthcare professionals and low-income care providers in Wichita, the Kansas City metropolitan area, and rural Kansas.
The opportunity to surround himself with the other eight finalists in the NXTSTAGE Community Health and Vibrancy Pilot Competition will allow Parikh to grow personally and professionally, he said.
“I feel like that’ll be a great experience for me to grow and emerge not only as a leader, but also as an entrepreneur and a person,” he said.
Click here to learn more about the other NXTSTAGE finalists.
Participating in the cohort should also provide Medic All with a “stepping stone” toward growth, Parikh added.
“Getting access to so many investors who will be interested in Medic All will be really amazing,” he said. “I think this will be a great way to truly grow and solidify our impact that we can have in Kansas, and then around the nation.”
Parikh believes his youth can actually help him grow Medic All, noting that he has fewer demands than many adults and less pressure to move quickly.
“Everything that I select to do is because I truly enjoy it,” he said. “I don’t have any other competing projects that might interfere with my ability to put effort into Medic All.”
“I don’t really have an imminent or immediate deadline that I have to respond to,” Parikh continued. “That’s one thing that makes being young an advantage in this process — I have such an extended timeline to make my impact on this project.”
Though Parikh leans on the wisdom of six board members and five advisors, Medic All’s eight part-time employees are all younger than 30, he shared, adding that the organization’s youth should serve it well during future growth.
“Being able to create a team of like-minded youth who are equally as driven as me to have this community impact, I think that’s also a great thing,” Parikh said.
“We will be the future leaders in so many aspects of our nation,” he continued. “So, solidifying that experience from an early age is not only very rewarding, but also important, because getting this experience now will only better our chances of solving many of the issues facing our generation.”
This story is made possible by Entrepreneurial Growth Ventures.
Entrepreneurial Growth Ventures (EGV) is a business unit of NetWork Kansas supporting innovative, high-growth entrepreneurs in the State of Kansas. NetWork Kansas promotes an entrepreneurial environment by connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the expertise, education and economic resources they need to succeed.