Interview with Katherine Curtin, PhD
Doctoral-trained Behavioral Neuroscientist specializing in integrative and behavioral medicine. Skilled in clinical research, wellness program development & curriculum creation. Experienced Instructor with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry.
What's next for Neolth, as well as your own career?
The next step for Neolth is getting our initial funding investment so we can finish building the MVP and start beta testing. Beta testing is really important to us because we want to make sure we are building the best program that we can, that really provides value to patients and healthcare professionals. We are interested in our clients' opinions. We were excited to get positive feedback during market research and we're looking forward to results from the beta testing. Of course, after the beta, we will do the full commercial launch. Our mission is to be the leading Integrated Health platform that doctors can recommend to patients to support them with mental and chronic health conditions. In the meantime, we would like to get incorporated into insurances. We feel that partnering with healthcare professionals, medical institutions and conducting medical research on our product are the key steps in achieving that goal. Personally, I'm so excited to see what will happen over the next few years with Neolth. I'm committed to this company and this product. I'd love for the company to be a thought leader in the wellness space, being a model for digital health companies about the importance of Integrated Health and using a holistic perspective when it comes to stress reduction as well as the importance of patient safety- putting the patients first and making sure that their products are scientific.
What are some of the features of Neolth? How does it determine the correct path to wellness for each client?
Neolth has a few features that we feel are critical to the success of a wellness platform. One is that we involve healthcare professionals in their referral of this platform to the patients, as well as allowing HCP monitoring to help with adherence. Another is that we comply to HIPAA privacy standards as well as FDA regulation for wellness products. Of course we use scientific algorithms to personalize the stress reduction plans for patients and we allow patients to report their symptoms in real time. I think one of the biggest keys is that we use AI to monitor individual and collective engagement on the platform and as well as patient health symptoms, so over time we can determine which wellness practices are best for which patients and update their wellness recommendations to ensure that we're providing them with a medical stress reduction program that really is scientific and gets real results.
What is your ultimate goal with Neolth? Is it a culture shift regarding how treatment is administered, new insights into how treatments affect long-term wellness, or anything else?
Our goal is to become the leading Integrated Health platform that doctors can prescribe to their patients for support with stress reduction. We’re really passionate about providing a high quality and scientific medical program to support patients with mental and chronic health conditions and we want to make sure that we're doing so in a way that anybody, regardless of their financial status, can access our program. So ultimately this means shifting the medical culture in a few ways. One is having digital products prescribed by doctors because we know that can reduce costs, involving the doctors in a holistic treatment plan because we know preventative medicine can reduce future health costs, and demonstrating efficacy of our program so we can be covered by insurance companies and reduce the costs for patients, which is really key for us. Medical literature shows that stress reduction is a huge factor in improving health and preventing future problems, so for us it makes sense that this is a service that can be covered by insurance companies. We want to shift the conversation and get healthcare providers, as well as patients and insurance companies, involved in thinking about how important it is to change behavior and how that can reduce stress and how that can be a large indicator of health and being healthy.
What has been the feedback from testers and potential partners of Neolth?
Our feedback so far has been really positive. Actually, 100% of the doctors who we've spoken with over the phone have signed up to beta test and for me, this positive response is probably due to incorporating our market research into the platform design. From talking to healthcare professionals we know that there is virtually no referral system that can be used to connect patients with stress reduction techniques. Because they're not Integrated Health Specialists they can't give the recommendations on their own so they would really like a platform like ours that is scientific, that is structured to reduce patient burden, that has a monitor system for the HCPS to help with adherence and has a centralized approach with multiple wellness techniques for a more complete approach to wellness. From talking to patients we know that there are a few key factors that a platform like this has to have. One, of course, is using the HCP and having them monitor patient progress for additional support. The other is really having practices be personalized. Many apps use a one-size-fits-all standardized approach to wellness but we know that's really the past, that's not an effective approach. Personalization is the future and that's why we use multiple wellness techniques and AI on our platform. We have a model that assesses where a patient is and then grows with them as they progress on their health journey, updating one's recommendations as the patient progresses. That so that's why we’re using AI and that's part of the reason why some of our feedback has been really positive.
At what stage of development is Neolth? When can we expect a launch?
Neolth is in the initial stage of development. We're working on building a platform- the medical logic and the wellness practices and the digital assessments. We’re currently bootstrapping and we're in the first stages of talking to investors about initial funding. Once we do receive funding we expect within 3 months to launch the Beta. We have right now 15 doctors signed up to use our platform with about 450 patients per months for Beta testing. After about 3 months after we complete Beta, we would like to launch the commercial product, hopefully in early 2019. In the meantime, we're continuing to partner with healthcare professionals, private practices, medical institutions and of course looking for potential employees and investors who are also passionate about Integrated Health and using stress reduction practices to improve patient health.
Could you please introduce Neolth and what gave you the initial idea to create a platform to help health care professionals match patients with personalized wellness practices for stress reduction, using a scientific self-learning algorithm?
Hi, I'm Dr. Katherine Curtin, a Behavioral Neuroscientist and an Integrative Health Specialist. I'm here to talk to you about my company Neolth, which is a digital medical platform which healthcare professionals can recommend to their patients for stress management. Neolth really has two functions: one is for healthcare professionals to monitor patients' wellness behavior and health symptoms in between office visits, the other is for patients to receive a personalized stress management plan for support with mental or chronic health conditions. This stress management plan is personalized using AI and it's based on their unique health profile. The programs will contain structured video, audio and written content that is updated monthly. As a Neuroscientist specializing in Integrated Health, I’ve spent most of my career working clinically with patients or conducting medical research and I found one thing is always true: patients are always stressed out. There's really no referral system that doctors can use to connect them with stress reduction practices, which has been a great frustration for me. Actually, 70% of office visits are related to stress. This is a huge problem for patients because it increases the risk of health problems in the future and they need a way to reduce stress. This is why Neolth was created. I chose to design the platform in such a way that optimizes patients success using principles of behavioral science, including personalization and using AI to personalize these stress reduction plans. The standard wellness plans just don't work, personalization and AI is really the key for the future and that's what we’re doing with Neolth.