How It All Started
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Let me tell you about myself. I am an emergency physician with epidemiology and research background. I have been on the administration track with a large healthcare company during my early career. I learnt a lot about how things worked in healthcare. Things were very slow to change. Maintaining the status quo was rewarded. I felt very uncomfortable in my position, not being able to make the changes I thought were needed. Then we had our first child. She was diagnosed with autism. This was devastating news for our family. It was a relatively new phenomenon where there was a growing number of children being born with autism! Being a healthcare researcher, I wanted to find answers. I had no access. No funding. No mentors to guide me. Working in a large healthcare organization felt suffocating.
I had an opportunity to take a sabbatical to do a startup in Silicon Valley during the dotcom bubble. It was exhilarating! All I thought was possible can be done. It was very satisfying to see what I imagined could be built. Unfortunately the startup died during the dotcom bust. I went back to my job with renewed enthusiasm. Fresh with new ideas. After trying out various projects and many years of trying, one project clicked. It was an ambitious one. I wanted to create a platform that sat on top of the EHR, extract relevant information from it and deliver insights to the emergency physicians at the point of care in real time. And do this with millions of patients in 21 emergency departments. I was able to build it after several months of campaigning and fundraising. It worked like a charm! We developed several modules, did many research projects, published over a hundred papers and I felt accomplished. This process took me 10 years!
I felt things could be done much faster. After I finished my stint at the healthcare company, I started InnovatorMD. I wanted to help physicians who want to make change happen but don't know how. I wanted to scale this knowledge and experience I gained to many more physicians. Although physicians are considered the scientific leaders in healthcare, they are not seen as the ones pushing for change and improvement. Physicians have been delegated to be figureheads and accept change as it happens to them. I wanted to change that. We have seen physician innovators working on some amazing things in different areas around the world. InnovatorMD exists to showcase their work, inspire others to learn, and ignite innovation in healthcare.
I hope you will join me on this exciting journey!
Uli K. Chettipally, MD, MPH.