Healthcare — A Click Away
Imagine a world where health care reaches billions in need through mobile technology. Carnegie Mellon University alumna Ting Shih is working hard to make it happen.
Shih (CS'01, CMU'04) is the founder of ClickMedix, a mobile health delivery platform for the diagnosis and treatment of disease in underserved areas around the world.
"The goal of ClickMedix is to speed up the delivery of high-quality healthcare, making it affordable when and where it is needed," explained Shih. "Health professionals, care givers, and patients themselves can use smart phones and tablets to securely send data, photos and videos to doctors and specialists, reducing time and cost for quality healthcare."
With her CMU core education intact, Shih began developing her idea as a graduate class project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The assignment? Impact billions. She won MIT 100K business plan competition development track, along with seed funding to pilot her software system in more than 10 countries.
To scale the product, Shih founded ClickMedix and launched in May 2011. Customers now include medical schools, hospitals, and health organizations in the United States, Philippines, Guatemala, Taiwan, Peru and India. She expects to launch in three more countries next year.
Recently awarded the 2012 Cartier Women's Award for North America, Shih believes CMU has been integral to her success in numerous ways.
"My computer science education at CMU provided the foundation for designing a technology platform solution that could scale to serve billions and reduce time to treatment to as little as under three days," said Shih.
Shih notes some of her own particularly helpful CMU mentors.
"VP of campus affairs Michael Murphy has been my inspiration," said Shih, having worked as a Resident Assistant for three years. "He showed me by example how to be a respected and benevolent leader."
She credits the guidance of director of academic development Linda Hooper, who she worked with as an academic counselor and Dr. Philip Miller, former computer science professor and founder of iCarnegie, now on the board of ClickMedix.
"Linda Hooper has encouraged me throughout my startup process," said Shih. "And Philip Miller taught me everything I know now about business development and being a CEO."
Shih also found support at CMU as a woman in technology, and was a founding member of Women@SCS. The creation of this group would not have been possible without the efforts of Lenore Blum, founding director of Project Olympus and Carol Frieze, current director of Women@SCS.
Mentors like Blum are part of a CMU's Greenlighing Startups Initiative, a consortium of campus incubators designed to provide young entrepreneurs — like Shih — key resources for success.
"I'd encourage anyone aspiring to leverage technology to create world-changing solutions to do so and follow their passion, relentlessly," said Shih.
"However, any startup journey can be an emotional roller-coaster ride — you can be high one hour and low the next," she added. "Emotional and spiritual support are such a critical part."
Grateful for CMU's support and in true CMU spirit, Shih is quick to offer her own.
"I'd be happy to make myself available to anyone at CMU interested in my experience and lessons learned."
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