Meet the Founders
Siva Mohan, MD Cardiologist and Entrepreneur
Tom Dorsett, Serial Tech Entrepreneur
Today’s most successful companies began with a great partnership: Jobs and Woz, Ben and Jerry, Gates and Allen, to name a few. An effective partnership has the usual ingredients – mutual respect, camaraderie, a shared vision. But game-changing partnerships have something extra.
For Tom and Siva, that something extra is “abiding optimism”. Neither sugarcoats the world around them, they simply see problems as opportunities for change. They constantly ask the question, “How can this be better?” and then challenge each other to answer that question.
Tom and Siva met in September of 2015. Tom was in discussions with a Venture Capital firm, Hatteras Ventures. He had recently founded his latest health tech company, ePatientFinder, and was running a process to select a VC to invest alongside their strategic investor, LabCorp. Hatteras contracted Siva to vet new health tech companies for potential investment. When they met in person, they talked through the investment potential but then moved on to discuss inefficiencies in the health care space, generally. They ended up talking for hours.
Tom and Siva talked several more times over the next few weeks. Tom came to the conclusion that ePatientFinder needed someone like Siva – his medical knowledge and keen insight into the medical field. One of Tom’s strengths as an entrepreneur is recognizing talent. Tom surrounds himself with A+ plus people, as he defines as people who are creative, self-aware, and display a ‘ride or die’ attitude.
On their next call, Tom made the offer, “Come work with us at ePatientFinder. Give entrepreneurship a try!” Siva was ready to make the leap. With similar problem-solving attitudes and backgrounds, Siva felt a kinship with Tom. Also, he was in a place in his career where he was looking for another challenge. He said, “I don’t want to be just a name on the website. I want to be more involved. I love what you’re doing. It’s a cool concept and is solving an unmet need. As a physician, I know firsthand that clinical trials are under-enrolled because the process to enroll patients is an uphill climb and it takes too long. I want to be an active part in the company’s direction.” This was music to Tom’s ears. Siva was named Chief Medical Officer at ePatientFinder.
Siva retained his work in cardiology and while the adoption of “entrepreneur” was exciting it was confusing to some people in his life. He says, “When people find out I am also an entrepreneur, I often see confusion wash over their face. I’m used to getting this question, ‘didn’t you study most of your life to be a doctor? Why would you want to do something else?’”
Siva explains that “interventional cardiology is intense and deeply rewarding, but I saw myself as offering more.” It surprises people that a cardiologist would be attracted to entrepreneurship because the road to MD is long, competitive, and linear. Siva spent his twenties and early thirties studying and learning to be a physician. It was a straight line, do well and conquer the next thing but there was no creativity. He loves being a physician and it gave him firsthand knowledge of the problems that patients and doctors face. As an entrepreneur, he can use his creativity to solve problems for patients in a different way.
ePatientFinder was acquired by Elligo Health in 2018. Tom and Siva did well with that company but were ready to climb the next hill. One thing that kept coming up for Siva was the rigmarole about prescriptions and the lack of patient-specific cost information.
Here’s a common example: After an office visit, a patient goes to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription and gets sticker shock. The medication is too expensive. The clinic gets a call by a very frustrated patient saying, “Hey, I can’t afford this medicine. Why would you prescribe something so expensive? Is there anything else I can take that is more affordable?”
We would have to tell our patient that we didn’t have access to that information and hence, had no idea if there was a less expensive equivalent.
We advised them to call and ask their insurance company and then call us back and let us know. Some patients would give up at this point and either pay the high cost or decide to not take treatment. Some did make the call to the insurance company and get an alternative and then we prescribed the less expensive medicine. The whole process made Siva uncomfortable. First, it was incredibly frustrating for patients because it was a cumbersome, consumer-unfriendly model that caused patients to get angry at the system.
The outcomes were less than ideal as some patients ended up not taking the medicine at all or stopped after a month because they couldn’t afford it. This happens across the medical field so frequently it’s hard to estimate.
Siva wanted his patients to have good outcomes but that was only possible if they could afford the treatment. He realized that he needed more visibility into the cost of medication for his patients. This became the driving force behind RazorMetrics’ mission.
Tom and Siva are seasoned and experienced professionals who are changing the health tech space. They are not the stereotypical 20-something programmers looking for a huge startup exit to billionaire status. In reality, to be genuinely effective in health tech, one must have a deep understanding of a very complicated system with numerous inefficiencies that physicians and patients are trying to overcome.
With maturity, also comes humility in the approach to healthcare solutions. Few start-ups garner almost immediate positive responses and traction from the product market. This reaction proves that Tom and Siva are on the right track, helping the right stakeholders, and changing the system in a strategic way.
Tom says, “It’s all about taking the right risk and thinking big. The possibilities are endless.”
“At RazorMetrics, we’re leveraging technology to make critical information ubiquitous for physicians, because right now, it’s very difficult for them to get this information. The platform can do this at scale to optimize the best outcome for health plans and employers, which always benefits the patient. The future is very exciting and RazorMetrics is doing great things.”