Health entrepreneurs are searching for better ways to prevent disease, not just treat it.
A New Jersey-based startup called MyHint launched its system today to make it easier for people to stay on top of their health. Patients can register for free on the website via Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google and opt to receive SMS or e-mail alerts when they are due for a mammogram, a prostate screening, a general checkup, and a variety of other health tests.
The system will match you up with a health coach (I choose Jillian for her maternal looks and encouraging smile) and then asks you to fill out a survey with your family and medical history. You receive medical alerts from the virtual health coach, which makes the experience feel more personal.
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Cofounder Clark Lagemann, who previously worked at pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline, believes that people have been overloaded with messages designed to make them feel guilty. MyHint won’t pressure you to go for a five-mile run at the crack of dawn. Instead, it will simply provide notifications when it’s time to see the doctor.
“We wanted to create an experience where the employee can choose their own path to wellness,” said Lagemann.”You can customize MyHint how you like.”
For people who still won’t remember to book a doctor’s appointment, even when they’re reminded (MyHint will send a maximum of six notifications over two months), you can sign up family members to hold you accountable.
The team of eight people behind MyHint plan to make money by charging employers for a subscription. They have currently set the rate at $5 per employee. With employers more accountable than ever before to offer health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, MyHint has a decent shot at selling a service that encourages employees to take advantage of their full range of benefits, i.e. a regular doctor’s check up.
In the future, MyHint plans to integrate its technology with fitness trackers and remote patient monitoring devices. If you suffer from diabetes and track your health with glucometer, MyHint would suggest that you see your doctor if your blood sugar levels spike too high. This kind of at-home monitoring and holistic care is often referred by insiders as “connected health.”
The company has raised about $600,000 in seed funding to date from angel investors.