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SAN FRANCISCO — A startup called Healthvana sends test results for sexually transmitted diseases directly to patients, so they can know the latest on their health and even share results on online dating sites.
“It’s a giant zipper on the app,” Healthvana founder and chief executive Ramin Bastani said as he showed GeneSolve’s Molly Maloof a user profile in the Healthvana iOS app at VentureBeat’s 2014 HealthBeat conference today. “This looks much more like Instagram than your health information.”
Now Healthvana, which depends on partnerships with health care providers, plans to push its way into the health care information ecosystem, by surfacing information on people’s pap smear results and even vaccinations.
“It’s exciting for us to go beyond that part of sexual health into cervical cancer,” Bastani said.
Even so, the company’s legacy was formed in the bedroom.
Bastani had just gotten out of a long-term relationship, he told Maloof, when he met a woman and brought her back to his home. Everything was going well until she noticed some hesitation in him.
“Hey, what’s your deal?” she asked him, according to his account.
“Nothing. What do you mean?” he said. Things got awkward from there, he said to Maloof.
“Do you have HIV, an STD (sexually transmitted disease), or something?” the woman asked Bastani.
But the woman jumped to conclusions anyway.
“Oh, you have an STD,” she said.
“I’m just afraid you might,” he told her.
That’s when she smacked him in the face and walked out of the room.
“I thought, ‘There’s got to be a better way,'” Bastani explained to Maloof.
What Bastani and his team ended up creating was a tool to get information quickly and then show it to people who, well, might want to know. At the same time, Bastani said, the application can cut down on clinicians’ workloads and spend more time focusing on their patients. That’s where the money comes from — Healthvana directly charges providers.
Four years after starting, the startup is plotting an expansion into other types of testing in order to provide even more information to patients.
“We wanted to get the use case right for sexual health,” Bastani said. “It’s the most sensitive health information and a really difficult topic to talk about, right? Now we’re shifting into additional results.”
HealthBeat is a two-day conference covering how new ways of tracking our personal data can improve our health and health care system.
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