The founder and CEO of ZiphyCare shares how her digital health company is bringing physicians to patients’ homes with the help of state-of-the-art technologies.
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Dr. Rada Sumareva is on a mission to bring quality healthcare to the country’s most vulnerable communities. As a healthcare provider, entrepreneur, philanthropist and advocate, she works around the clock to bring her innovative solutions to help those in need. She sat down with Jessica Abo to discuss how her latest venture, ZiphyCare, aims to bring physicians to patients’ homes through technology. Currently, ZiphyCare is operating in New York and New Jersey with graduate expansion plans to Florida in the next few months.
Dr. Sumareva, tell us about your new venture.
As a healthcare provider, I was involved in setting up and running programs for people with disabilities, the elderly, and other vulnerable groups. I have firsthand experience with gaps and barriers to care. Seeing challenges over the years through both the provider’s and patient’s lens inspired me to start this venture, which allows access to high-quality healthcare for those most in need, in a manner that is user friendly for the patient and the provider, and cost-efficient for the payer. We are using the most advanced FDA-registered proprietary technology to blend virtual and in-person care. The business model and technology are easily scalable and adaptable to be used by various healthcare systems.
How does Ziphycare work?
It all starts with a patient, social worker or a patient’s caregiver, booking an appointment using the Ziphy app or by calling the office. Once that appointment is confirmed, the onsite care coordinator is assigned and dispatched to the patient’s location. We have a useful feature on our app that notifies the patient and the physician about the estimated time of arrival for the onsite care coordinator and sends updates if there is delay. Upon arrival to a patient’s location, the onsite care coordinator connects via video conferencing with a physician, and from then on becomes an extension of a physician’s arm.
How is the onsite coordinator an extension of the physician’s arm?
Our onsite care coordinators are navigating the equipment, directed by a physician. In a way, they enable the physician’s five senses. For example: they apply a stethoscope to a patient’s chest, and the physician, who is located remotely, is listening to the patient’s heart and lungs sounds. The onsite care coordinators can also communicate to the physician if they observe certain living conditions that can compromise a patient’s health. For instance, in case of an asthma patient, they can note if an apartment is excessively dusty. We train people who are in the patients’ environments to equip the physician with additional information.
How is Ziphycare different from other health tech companies?
We provide physicians with exam data, which expands their diagnostic abilities, and allows for more accurate diagnosis. Our model of care does not require the patient to own any technology or have skills to operate it. We bring it all, including the high-speed internet, to the patient’s home. There is also a high degree of accountability for our exams, because all of the data is synchronized with our cloud in real time and is available to be shared with other providers, or the patient, if and when needed. This allows for centralization of care, which is extremely important in cases of chronically ill patients, who require up to five or more providers or teams of care.
Coordination of information between multiple providers is challenging for the patients in general and sometimes impossible for patients from at risk communities. That’s when our technology makes the process seamless for both patients and the multiple providers: by sharing stored data or connecting them on the same visit and helping them to decide on the plan of care. We bring hospital-grade equipment to a patient’s home and a medical professional specifically trained to operate it.
How did you come up with the name ZiphyCare?
ZiphyCare is a hybrid word that consists of zip and physician, and zip actually has two meanings here. It means fast, and it means geography-based (local).
I love that. How are you working with the New York City Mayor’s Office?
We have a community partnership with the New York City’s Mayor’s Office, where all of our onsite care coordinators are trained to identify domestic violence cases, which have been on the rise. According to some sources, 400%, compared to the start of the pandemic, compared to March of 2020.
One of our core values as a company is to invest back into the community-based programs. For example, we are working toward employing onsite care coordinators from the local communities. This will create new jobs and enhance the trust between the physician and the patient.
What advice do you have for other health tech entrepreneurs?
Be creative and thoughtful, always remember to put yourself in the shoes of your end-user. And make sure that your solution really meets their needs and resources.