Saving Patients Lives, One Line of Code at a Time
Medication errors injure an estimated 1.5 million people every year in the United States and the medical costs for drug-related injuries are $3.5 billion a year. That’s according to two reports from the Institute of Medicine Committee on Identifying and Preventing Medication Errors.
Weili Huang, the founder of Miracle Query, aims to help solve the staggering problem of medication errors by developing a smart system that efficiently queries and retrieves information from healthcare systems.
A recent participant in the RAIN Eugene Accelerator program, Huang sat down to answer a few questions about what got her started in the healthcare industry and why she chose to create her business.
What inspired the idea for your company?
Before starting the company, I was a clinical pharmacology reviewer for New Drug Application (NDA) and Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). I attended University of Washington in 2001 and obtained my Ph.D. in pharmaceutics in 2006. I joined the FDA and have worked for the agency as a pharmacologist reviewer since 2008. The primary goal for starting this company is to provide systems for the general public to access health care information and enhance the knowledge sharing between the public and the FDA.
So what does Miracle Query do?
Miracle Query is building “smart” systems to query and retrieve healthcare information. The systems can query complex questions, unlike the current existing systems which can only handle relatively simple questions most of the time. Our systems can be used to assist health professionals (physicians, nurses and pharmacists) in practice to make better clinical decisions, reduce medical errors and improve patient safety. Our system can provide real-time, comprehensive, evidence-based answers for complex queries at the point of care for disease and medication management.
How will your service deal with patient privacy concerns?
Currently our system does not require users to input any patient information. The information users need to input will be knowledge queries, to help users find best treatment strategies. Compared to the current medication searching tools, which answer simple questions, Miracle Query aims to provide a more intelligent and more efficient way to answer both simple and complex questions.
What is the biggest challenge your company has faced so far?
Finding a diverse team of experts. Though I have a background in research and regulation in clinical pharmacology, it is not sufficient for the current and future needs of my business. We need experts in medicine (doctors), pharmacy (pharmacists), computer technology and business development. Within the past four years, I have been searching for experts and networking opportunities for further collaboration, but I know I have a lot more work to do.
Is that why you applied to our Accelerator program?
Yes! I hope to learn how to be a “successful entrepreneur” from the mentors and resources I receive in the accelerator program. Trained as a scientist, I think I have many things to learn in regards to business entrepreneurship. I believe the RAIN program can help me learn how to choose good business models for my company, how to apply for venture capital funding, and how to solve legal and patent issues.
With the feedback I am receiving from RAIN mentors and other entrepreneurs in the program, I believe we can gain valuable advice and experience to help the company grow.
Find out more about Miracle Query at the RAIN Eugene State of the Startup Ecosystem Address on January 13th at the Hult Center. Register Now