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May 7, 2018 Issue

CEOCFO MAGAZINE

 

Q&A with Ardy Arianpour, CEO and Co-Founder of Seqster developing the first HIPAA Compliant, Secure, Consumer Friendly Platform that aggregates all Electronic Health Records, DNA, Fitness and Nutrition Data and allows Patients and Family Members to Share and Manage Medical Data

 

 

Ardy Arianpour

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

 

Seqster

www.seqster.com

 

Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – May 7, 2018

 

CEOCFO: Mr. Arianpour, Seqster launched your ground breaking platform recently. What is the concept behind Seqster? 

Mr. Arianpour: All of our health data has been siloed for many years from EHR or Electronic Health Records, to genomics, DNA testing labs, wellness and wearable technology. What we have done is for the first time in the world we have created the ecosystem, the platform where we bring all of this data together in a common form, putting the consumer at the center of healthcare and have the consumer disrupt those silos. We have accidentally solved interoperability by placing the consumer at the center of data collection. Seqster connects and standardizes all that health data so that it can be visualized in a very consumer friendly, intuitive manner. Then on top of that we create this very interesting consumer directed data sharing feature that makes it very easy for the consumer to give access to part or all of their health data to their loved ones or the caregiver continuum so that they can track, manage and preserve health data for the good of all.  Additionally, our users can grant access to researchers, foundations and pharmaceutical companies to contribute their data to accelerate medical advances and discovery.

 

CEOCFO: What are the mechanics of aggregating the data? What is happening on the backend?

Mr. Arianpour: That is a very, very good question! If you are familiar with Mint.com, the same way that you aggregate your Wells Fargo bank account, your Bank of America, your student loans and you get to see your net worth, we have taken that same approach and we have applied it to health data. Not just electronic health data, but genomic health data, wellness and wearable technology data. Therefore, we have essentially created the Mint.com of your health data. We put the consumer in front of their health data. They actually grab their data through their providers, through their genetic testing labs, through their wearables such as Garmin or Apple Watch or Fitbit if they have it. We have created the ecosystem where just with a click and one site, one log in; you never have to do it twice. The same way that your photos get auto-populated on multiple, let us just say, Apple devices if you are on the iCloud; we created that same essential infrastructure on the engineering side for your health data.

 

CEOCFO: What are the challenges in transforming whatever format the health data is on to a consistent format so it makes sense to the user?

Mr. Arianpour: That is the question that I love and hate. The reason I love it is that it really showcases the hard work and the heavy lifting that we have been doing and this is where my team gets all the credit. For the past two plus years the Seqster team and engineers have been going through the terminology and nomenclature of all of the health data that I mentioned, because if you have health data that is on an Epic system verses an AllScripts system or a Cerner system it is much, much different. This is even a challenge working with different health providers using the same EHR platform, for example, if you have data from, let’s just say UCSF, but then you move to San Diego and use Scripps that is on a different Epic version with different legacy data, there is no definite interoperability even between Epic systems! Therefore, what we have done is standardize and harmonize all that back end terminology of data in a common form so that when users, consumers and their families aggregate their data through Seqster, basically becoming Seqster’s - and I will tell you a little bit later what a Seqster is - they actually are able to visualize multiple data points in a way that they have never been able to before, number one. Number two; they get to visualize their data longitudinally and not just from one source but multiple sources. 

 

CEOCFO: Why are patient portals so challenging?

Mr. Arianpour: Patient portals are horrible! Do you know why? The patient portals are made so that you can just pay a bill. It was not made for the patient, unfortunately. It was made so that you stick to that health system.

 

CEOCFO: When it comes to the patient portal, can you take what is bad and make it better?

Mr. Arianpour: You are asking the right question! Our whole inspiration here was to ask what value can we create when we gather all of our health, genetic and fitness data in one place and how can we help create a world where not only access, but personal data ownership unlocks our optimal health. We have many examples already, even within our own team, where instant access to longitudinal health data has played a meaningful role in improving over health and wellbeing.

 

CEOCFO: What is the product? What is the cost?

Mr. Arianpour: The key thing here is that we have created and solved really two big problems. The problem as I said is that health records, wearable information, and genomic data are disconnected and have limited value to consumers and healthcare solution makers. We solve that by the aggregation of health data. We call that HealthOneTM. Then there is no platform that exists to preserve and pass on these data to caregivers, or family and future generations who could realize great value. We call that HealthTrust™. Let me give you thirty seconds of a personal story here that relates to Seqster. . We were about to launch Seqster when my maternal grandmother of ninety-two years passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease and it was at that point a light bulb went on. When she passed away, she passed away without passing on her health data to my Mom, the alpha daughter and the primary caregiver, myself and my brother. Now, why is that important? Because, wouldn’t my family be a nice cohort to study? We are even a nicer cohort, because my paternal grandmother also passed away from Alzheimer’s, but in her case I was too young and too immature to understand the broader societal impact of losing that valuable data forever. I did not really understand the value of health data the way I understand it now, even though I was an executive within next gen sequencing at the time. Now you can clearly see that when my grandmother whom recently passed away, passed away without passing on her health data to you and to your family, to the people in your city, to the people in your state, and to all of the  people who may benefit one day from a cure that my grandmother’s data may help to find. Just in this conversation that we have been having for ten minutes and fifty eight seconds, so many people passed away without passing on their health data. Therefore, we embarked on creating HealthTrust with the help of many health data policy experts and our lawyers at Paul Hasting. HealthTrust is the first HIPAA compliant legal framework that enables you to actually preserve and pass on that health data, assigning it to your son, assigning it to your daughter; you can assign it any way that you wish. Therefore, if you do not want them to see something and you only want them to see it after you are deceased we have built that within the system as well. This is a system that we have already built. We have spent several million dollars, putting it all into the technology and we could not be more proud to say that we have created the world’s first platform for multi-generational, longitudinally matched health records for you and your family.

 

CEOCFO: Are people ready for it? Do they understand the concept? How do you spread the word about why it is much more important than people might think?

Mr. Arianpour: Like anything, you have to take it step-by-step. Therefore, the first day that we came out of stealth was February 28th. It has been out for seven weeks and I have had to turn down opportunities because we have had overwhelming interest and overwhelming response from the investor community and the media. That is a double edged sword, because at the same time we want to make sure that we do not put the cart before the horse, per se. Therefore, we took this very strategic approach, where we announced two partnerships. One was with Boston University for a TBI or traumatic brain study, where Seqster is the platform of choice for the aggregation of longitudinal participants data into the research study. This study is important because we demonstrate our value by instantly populating any denovo study with longitudinal health data for all participants without any impact to the IRB (Institutional Review Board) process because it is the study subjects themselves that are bringing in their data. Our second partnership announced on March 13th is a Alzheimer’s deal where the the George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers, where they are offering HealthTrust to all their Alzheimer family members. Therefore, we have done this strategically, as I said, by giving it to the people who need it the most first. We will have a direct to consumer launch at some point. However, our first day that we came out of stealth our website crashed, because over thousands of people hit our website the first day. It was pretty miraculous! We were not really expecting that, because we did not have much press. However, I think the story itself; the people of the United States are ready for that, number one. Number two, the people in the world are ready for this! This is something where everyone in some fashion or form has a problem. Your medical records do not follow you. In your lifetime, the average American has three health systems where they had it from undergrad, to grad school, to moving from Texas to California, to Wisconsin, to go into the ER somewhere, when they are in the city and they fall and break their hand. Having your health data in your hand, in your pocket, on your phone, on a platform digitally, is a must! We should all have that. Therefore, we are very mission oriented and our vision is that everyone will be using this one day.

 

CEOCFO: What is your business model?

Mr. Arianpour: The business model is very simple. First, access to Seqster will always be free for consumers and we will never sell your data without your explicit involvement. That is what is so great about our platform. We have build data privacy and security in from the start.. Revenue will come from our partners that share our mission and want to engage with their audience in a new way. Seqster will be their backend user engagement engine that enables their users to aggregate their health data and use it in ways that are consistent with our mission and values. Our partners can deploy our technology so that they can have a custom, branded experience for their members. For example, this company has a million employees or members and they want to give a benefit tool to their members.  The partners are the ones that will be our evangelists and will help us get the word out that you not only you own your data, but you can benefit yourself, your family and society for generations to come. The value of Seqster will grow exponentially not only with the users we get on today, but as we get multiple generations on board aggregating their health data. You own that data, no one else, and we put you at the center of actually breaking down all of these silos.

 

CEOCFO: When someone is looking for specific information on Seqster, will you also show them something that is relevant to what they have searched for? Such as, if I look up my last blood pressure readings, might you have information about controlling blood pressure?  

Mr. Arianpour: I love it! You totally get it! This is so good and this is what is great about it! That is because you are not a scientist, you are not a doctor, but you get it! You are the perfect consumer that understands it. You are asking the right questions. The answer to that, in short, is yes! That is because when you have all of the data in one place and all of your health data is living in one place, in one location, magic happens. We have seen that with one thousand plus people who came into our alpha studies eighteen months ago. We have built this because people like you told us what you want it to be and what you do not want it to be and what you want it to look like and things like that. We obviously had the idea and the concept, but we let our customers, our consumers, the clinicians, the users, the participants, tell us what it is that you want it be. How do you want to view your blood pressure? How do you want that overlaid with your diet? How do you want that actually overlaid with your DNA testing results? Therefore, we have created an integrated view where you can see your most important data in one place. Since we created this ecosystem where any data can actually connect with Seqster, because of the standardization on the back end on the engineering side, this brings another huge opportunity for other companies that have various different devices or data in general, where they want to actually mix it with some other things for the populations to partner with us. We have had an overwhelming interest there. For example, blood glucose monitoring companies are contacting us, because they see the value of having this electronic health record and your  step count, for example, all on one page. That has never been possible until Seqster. Let me tell you what a Seqster is! A Seqster is someone who is seeking more information about their health. A Seqster is someone who is seeking more information about their loved one’s health. A Seqster is someone who has been sequenced, like me. A Seqster is someone has yet to be sequenced, but wants to be sequenced. A Seqster is someone who wants the security of their data. That is what a Seqster is.

 


 

“Let me tell you what a Seqster is! A Seqster is someone who is seeking more information about their health. A Seqster is someone who is seeking more information about their loved one’s health. A Seqster is someone who has been sequenced, like me. A Seqster is someone has yet to be sequenced, but wants to be sequenced. A Seqster is someone who wants the security of their data. That is what a Seqster is.”- Ardy Arianpour


 

Seqster

www.seqster.com



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