As part of our weekly member spotlight, Deskhub Scottsdale is proud to present Gobiquity Mobile Health. This past May, Gobiquity relocated their headquarters to Deskhub Scottsdale in order to become a part of the city’s “Cure Corridor”. Gobiquity, formerly iCheck Health Connection, was founded in 2011. David Huang, MD, PhD, is the co-inventor of their application “GoCheck Kids”, which officially launched late last year. According to Gobiquity, it is “the world’s first and only pediatric vision screener on a smartphone, incorporating a cloud-based HIPAA compliant platform that screens a child’s eyes for risk factors that lead to vision loss.” In an interview with MedCity News, CEO Andrew Burns stated:
“Our overarching mission as a company is mobile vision diagnostics to prevent blindness. Early detection is crucial to avoid serious vision problems. We are addressing a huge medical need.”
Their initial market entrant, the GoCheck Kids application, assists pediatricians in detecting Amblyopia Risk Factors (ARF’s) in children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. According to the NIH, Amblyopia, or lazy eye, refers to the phenomenon when the vision of one eye is diminished because it “fails to work properly with the brain”; for various reasons, the brain favors one eye over the other. While amblyopia itself affects approximately 2 to 3 out of every 100 children, it is estimated that 15 out of every 100 children have risk factors for amblyopia. Amblyopia may result in permanent vision loss if not discovered by age 7 and is the most common cause of one-eye visual impairment among young and middle-age adults. Treatments are much more successful the earlier they begin, and risk factors are commonly missed in traditional pediatric vision testing. Stand alone medical devices that could screen for Amblyopia, such as The Welch Allyn Spot Vision Screener and the iScreen Vision mobile screener, can have upfront costs between $3,000-$7,000. On the other hand, Gobiquity requires no up-front costs.
We spoke with Jason Laramie and Torey Brooks about their experiences with Gobiquity at Deskhub:
Deskhub: How did you each find yourselves here at Deskhub with Gobiquity?
Jason: “I have a background in the medical device field as well as quality engineering, so I felt that Gobiquity was really a great fit for my expertise and background.”
Torey: “We both have a background in the medical device field or healthcare. I was a co-worker with some people who were early employees and they contacted me because I had a background in account management. As for how we found ourselves at Deskhub, we relocated from California to have a consolidated office in Arizona. Since we are still a small company, moving here really helped keep the communication alive.”
Deskhub: What stage would you say your company is in?
J: “I would say we’re still a startup. In terms of our business as a life span, we’re still in our adolescence. Essentially, we are a lean startup focused on validation and scaling.”
Deskhub: What would you say is the most exciting thing happening with Gobiquity right now?
T: We are the first mobile vision screening application so that in of itself is cutting edge. Combining healthcare with smartphones and applications is right at the forefront of a revolution.
J: “Yeah so our product is definitely exciting right now. Being able to see a child at 5, 4, 3, 2… seeing those children get the help that they need, help that could’ve otherwise been undiagnosed or have pediatrician unaware of the condition until it began having some real consequences, is in itself exciting. It’s so much better to catch any potential issues sooner than later.
T: “Exactly. The efficacy of the treatment is increased the earlier you catch a potential problem, so if you can catch a child at 2 or 3 year old when they start exhibiting risk factors, you can support their healthy development.
J: “And just expanding our platform is exciting. Seeing where and how we can this take to the next level.”
T: “We are putting visual acuity on the smartphone so that it becomes more of the complete application regardless of the child’s age. The application will develop into a suite of products.”
Deskhub: Looking ahead, what ultimate plan or goal do you have for Gobiquity and/or GoCheck Kids?
T: “We want to expand mobile platforms and our suite to include complete vision screening and diagnostics. We really want to do our part and #EndAmblyopia and provide #BrighterFutures.”
Deskhub: That sounds like some pretty exciting stuff. Can you both describe your company culture in five words or phrases?
J: “High Intensity, especially being a part of the medical field. Exciting.
T: “Comradery. Passion. I mean to be a part of start up you have to have passion.
J: “And of course humor. Having a sense of humor is pretty essential here at Gobiquity.”
Deskhub: As an entrepreneurial venture, how has working in a coworking space like DeskHub affected you as a growing company? Would you recommend it to other startups and why?
J: “The networking here is great for us, as there are some people that are in somewhat similar fields as far as development or application or web-based. For the most part, it really keeps people upbeat and is such a stark contrast to sitting in a quiet office. I remember working in an office and it was so quiet everything felt like slow motion. When you have other people talking or moving it keeps you more energized. Essentially, here there is shared energy, and that’s really comes in handy.”
Deskhub: What has been your most memorable moment here at Deskhub?
J: “It’s not a single moment, but the diversity of people and businesses is great to see. There is always so much going on.”
T: “There was this one event I enjoyed. We all gathered and talked about our companies over pizza; the whole event was great. I really enjoyed it. That brings it all down to a single moment of diversity.”
Deskhub: Well thanks so much for taking time out of your day to speak to us! Last question, any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs or individuals thinking about working at a startup?
J: “Be ready to wear multiple hats. Be passionate or you won’t want to be there because it is fast-paced, and you will have your ups and downs.”
T: “Be realistic about how working at a startup may be different from a medium to larger corporation. You need to be passionate and realistic.”
To find out more about Gobiquity or GoCheck Kids, you can visit http://gobiquity.com/ or http://www.gocheckkids.com/. You can also follow them on twitter at Twitter.com/GoCheckKids.