UA alumni launch medical startup at Auburn UniversityBy Sirui Shao | 01/14/2015 12:43am
Med Pass Health LLC recently developed a product called Med Pass that digitizes the yearly process for student health centers' collection and verification of incoming freshmen's immunization information. Photo courtesy of Hallett Ogburn
Med+Pass Health, LLC is an IT health care startup company based out of Nashville, Tennessee, founded by alumni Hallett Ogburn, CEO; Jim Wills, president and CFO; and Kevin Bond, adviser. A conversation with former UA Student Health Center Director John Maxwell helped Ogburn come of with the idea for the company.
“The cloud-hosted software is a service program that automates and digitizes the college immunization verification process,” Ogburn said. “We initially came up with the idea after speaking with John Maxwell. He told us about the painful process of verifying incoming student immunization records, he also advised that it was a problem for schools across the country.”
Ogburn said a majority of schools require proof of vaccination from incoming students as part of the admission process. Paper-based processes for student immunization verification is costly and requires manual collection of forms in multiple formats, manual verification and often manual data entry into other systems of record. The forms are typically received and reviewed in a small window of time and most students tend to wait until the last minute. Because of these issues, many larger schools are unable to verify all student immunization records before the first day of school.
Med+Pass Health, LLC struggled early on because of a lack of funding and difficulty obtaining early adopters for the program. Because of this, they were unable to develop the platform and hire contractors to build the initial prototype.
They eventually landed a five year contract with Auburn University Medical Clinic. The clinic launched the platform Jan. 12. All incoming students will be using Med+Pass to provide medical, insurance and immunization data for the school.
“We have several more ideas to add useful features and functionality in the future,” Ogburn said. “We are committed to solving problems at student health centers in order to promote a healthier student body.”
Ariel Doran, a University of Alabama graduate, was the project manager for the spring 2014 Med+Pass team. Her role in the organization included serving as liaison between Med+Pass and the team by facilitating meetings and managing expectations and other in-depth roles. Doran said her experience with the Med+Pass was valuable. She said she was able to develop her leadership skills while working with the startup.
“It was a fantastic learning experience for me,” she said. “It was an exciting and unique experience for the team to be able to work with a startup like Med+Pass. The team was able to have a lot more client interaction than they normally would on a project.”
A University of Alabama MIS team will help develop Android and iOS mobile apps this semester, which will be used by students to take pictures of completed immunization forms and automatically upload them to their Med+Pass account. Additional features and functionality of the app for the school may be added under their assistance.
The app can be used to send push notifications to students to remind them to get a flu shot, attend flu shot drives, update medical information or pay medical bills. It can also be used in an outbreak scenario to notify students and parents if an outbreak occurs on campus.
Ogburn said the team would also try to expand to the K-12 market, since there are similar requirements and problems that exist in schools outside of universities. He said their platform can easily scale to this market, as well as any institution that requires immunization verification.