The Indiana University-educated founder of California-based health technology company inTandem Health is a cancer survivor. Paul Hoffman says the loneliness a patient often feels during a health scare led to the discovery of his new venture. The platform is designed to connect patients with their peers who have experienced the same diagnoses.
In an interview with Business of Health reporter Kylie Veleta, Hoffman said patients who connect with mentors will feel empowered and better prepared to face the disease.
“They’re less anxious, and now they have all this information and knowledge. And now they’ve been given this roadmap from their mentor, and they’re going to have much better appointments, which hopefully lead to better outcomes,” said Hoffman.
Hoffman is an alumnus of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Earlier this month, inTandem received a $450,000 investment by the IU Angel Network and the IU Philanthropic Venture Fund.
The entrepreneur says while some health systems do have mentor programs, Hoffman says they’re clunky and require medical staff to do much of the legwork. He says his platform can actually help health systems.
“It will create community, bring more patients, retain more patients, and really make consumers feel like this hospital cares,” said Hoffman. “They humanize the healthcare experience by allowing me to talk to somebody who’s a grateful experience patient.”
inTandem is not Hoffman’s first venture in the health space He developed HealthCom Partners LLC, the first company to pioneer the patient-friendly billing movement in the U.S.
Jason Wadler, an alumnus of the IU Media School, is the president of inTandem. The company will use its investments from IU Ventures to further develop its digital platform.
IU sees value and potential in the product.
“The peer mentoring problem that inTandem is solving allows previous patients an opportunity to give back to the community by relating their experiences to new patients and providing comfort to those new patients by allowing them to hear, first-hand, what physical and emotional issues are going to arise during their treatment,” said Jason Whitney, chief venture officer at IU Ventures and executive director of the IU Angel Network.
Hoffman believes that human-to-human patient support represents the future of health care. He thinks that all health care system’s patients care team will include a peer mentor in the near future.
“Health care has been throwing cold, hard technology at patients,” said Hoffman in a news release. “With inTandem Health, there will be a massive unlocking of all the grateful patients at health systems to become ambassador-mentors and inspired guides for new patients facing a life-changing condition and who are scared, overwhelmed and needing help from someone who has walked in their shoes.”