Several years ago, Anil Kshepakaran saw his wife track family info with her mother and four sisters. Living across states, they wanted to use a common tool to provide records and an update of health events in their lives. The main technology tools, however, were a Microsoft Word document, and email.
As a software developer, Kshepakaran’s wife asked if he could figure out if there was another way to track the info. After doing a little more research, he found that there was also a business opportunity.
Health tracking, he said, is usually boiled down to indicators around “what you put in your mouth, activity and heredity.” He found a lot of apps that looked at eating and exercising.
“We looked very carefully at the marketplace, and no one had looked at concept of heredity,” Kshepakaran said.
That’s where ICmed comes in. Set to be released in the coming weeks, it’s an app that’s designed to help track family health info so users can see what’s happening with their loved ones. The info collected in the app also helps provide a portrait of family health history, which can be an indicator of cancer, heart disease and other diseases.
And instead of selling to doctors, the app is being designed to be used by patients. The app has security measures at the “highest level of encryption,” said Kshepakaran, but the data being shared does not fall under the purview of healthcare privacy laws.
The app’s release comes on the heels of an article in the journal Nature, where authors Leonard Kish and Eric Topol call on people to take back control of their own health data. The authors call it the unpatient movement. Given that the authors point to the lack of a central place to store all of the health data that is being collected, the ICmed team believes their app addresses that issue.
The app is not trying to solve the vexing issue of integrating Electronic Medical Records. Instead, team members say, they’re taking a social approach.
Kshepakaran initially developed ICmed in 2011, and released a beta version. However, people who used the app asked for more features. In the last two years, he pulled together a team to complete a more complete buildout from their offices in the same building as the Emerging Technology Centers’ Highlandtown campus on Haven Street.
At this point, he envisions revenue coming from advertisers who would pay to offer content that offers guidance. Right now, they’re actively seeking outside financing, which has Kshepakaran putting the word out in D.C. and New York. But he wants to keep the company in Baltimore. And for the initial release, the company is focusing on bringing in local users.
“We’re focused heavily in Baltimore as our release zone,” he said. -30-