Funded Science Q&A – Nick MacKinnon on eTreatMD’s mobile health app

Funded Science Q&A – Nick MacKinnon on eTreatMD’s mobile health app
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Nick MacKinnon is a founder and CEO of eTreatMD, a Vancouver-based mobile health startup. The company is currently running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to support FDA and Health Canada approval of its first product: the eTreatMD myHand app.

myHand is a mobile health app that lets arthritis patients automatically track the condition and stage of their hand arthritis by taking photos with their smartphone camera, and helps them to manage their condition. You can find eTreatMD’s campaign page HERE.

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Q: Why did you decide to use crowdfunding to help get the myHand app approved?

There are two reasons:

The first is that we need to have feedback from potential users on the features of the app, such as what users expect to see and what they think about what we are proposing. We wanted to communicate directly to people who could see value in the app, either as something for themselves or somebody else. There are a lot of health apps out there that help people with wellness, but what we’re doing can have real medical value. We need to distinguish ourselves, to let people know that this app is very powerful on the one hand, and very easy to use, on the other.

It is important to for us to understand our user’s needs, and it’s also part of the requirements for securing medical device clearance that we seek “stakeholder input.” You need to have this clearance to be able to say it’s a medical device, and we want people to know that, to let them know we want to give them something that is truly helpful and meaningful. © Used with permission from eTreatMDBy giving them a stake in helping to secure clearance, we’re hoping to also give them a stake in their own treatment.

We have some of what we need in this regard, but we need a lot more, particularly for the second phase of our clearance process as a Class 2 diagnostic device and following our expected clearance as a Class 1 measuring device.

When people select any of the perks for the IndieGoGo campaign, even just the $5 one, they validate themselves as potential users, making their input meaningful.

The second reason is to create awareness about us, about this particular app for people struggling with arthritis, and about the future apps we plan to develop for other chronic diseases we’re targeting.

 Q: What types of patients will the myHand app benefit the most?

 This app is for anybody struggling with hand arthritis, but it will be welcomed especially by anyone who knows how difficult it is to get any kind of extensive care and treatment from our current healthcare system. Continue reading

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