One of the main principles of lean start-up is to ‘get out of the building’. We came to India this week to do just that; to get out to the places where our POC sensor might be used in the “real world” – which turned out to be a world away from our home in Utah.

Through our market research we’ve learned that disease mapping and test tracking is a feature many public health-related organizations are looking for to improve patient follow-up, reduce costly repeat testing, and get a better understanding of the behavior of disease in a population.

As we’ve traveled around India we’ve seen just how valuable an accurate tracking system can be. Unlike the US or many countries in Europe, many homes in villages do not have a ‘discrete’ address where a patient can be easily found for follow-up testing or treatment. It’s clear how the availability of GPS data can help to overcome this problem when screening is done at a household level by providing an exact location that can used for patient or family follow-up. Although we’d received this feedback from our customers, we saw this firsthand as we explored the villages of western India.

Another one of our hypotheses was that a rapid point-of-care screening device could be particularly effective where people gather in large numbers such as a school or workplace. As we’ve spent a significant amount of time on college campuses presenting at conferences this week, we’ve seen just how quickly large numbers of students can aggregate. While this can contribute to the transmission of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, it also presents a great opportunity to change the course of these diseases if the right screening tools can be developed and deployed.   Further some of these facilities might even wish to utilize POC devices if they are easy enough to use and can stand up to the setting.

students

While you can learn a lot about the right business model through research and customer interviews, there is no substitute for getting out into the world where your product will be used and talking to people. There is nowhere in the world where this is more true than a place like India where cultural norms, living conditions, even an address can be a world away from my own reality.

Jason Young

Prior to joining DataMural, Jason completed a Health Economics and Outcomes Research Fellowship at the University of Utah where he designed and implemented research studies in fields ranging from diabetes to cancer. He is also currently the CEO of Nanosynth Materials and Sensors, a developer and manufacturer of point-of-care diagnostic sensor technologies for diseases such as tuberculosis. Jason graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine (AOA) and the University of Notre Dame Graduate School of Business (MBA).

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