Alumni create online platform, application for health care tracking
Hours of homework, a college diet and long, sleepless weeks topped with the change of season yields the perfect recipe for a sick Rutgers campus. Yet with the aid of Health Options Worldwide, a new healthcare startup launched by two Rutgers alumni, students may be better equipped with handling the seasonal bug.
Founders David Goldstein and Clark Lagemann developed HOW as an easier way for people to track their health.
Both graduates of the University and longtime professionals in health care industry administration, Lagemann said he and Goldstein dreamed up the business when they noticed their dissatisfaction with corporate America.
Leaving the business world to develop HOW, they hired another Rutgers alumnus, Dan Sorkin, to lead in business analysis, and formed a headquarters in nearby Somerset, N.J.
HOW provides clients with an online platform that asks them to take a two-minute survey, Sorkin said.
Based on their personal information, HOW lists what diseases put the user at risk, indicates the user’s health age and then recommends how the user can improve his or her health, Sorkin said.
“Healthcare is so complicated,” Lagemann said. “We wanted to create a system that was very easy. If someone could get an email or text with ‘Oh, I’m overdue for physical, a vaccine, a mammogram,’ it can help them stay engaged.”
Given the widespread use of mobile devices, HOW launched a new application yesterday called My Health Intelligence, or HINT, which utilizes behavioral economics by having four personalized coach avatars remind users to set up doctors appointments and maintain a healthy lifestyle, Sorkin said.
The company targets businesses that want to give their employees a simple, streamlined channel of information for their health care, along with regular, individual users who wish to improve their wellness, Sorkin said.
Sorkin said he made a connection with the company as a University student when getting involved in Scarlet Startups, an earlier brainchild of Lagemann. Scarlet Startups is a nonprofit that provides a network for University students and alumni to launch their businesses.
Initially hired as an intern, Sorkin impressed the rising leadership with his work ethic, bearing good news for any students looking to make potential employment connections throughout their undergraduate years.
“Honestly, I started there just kind of to learn, and doing a good enough job to meet two very successful guys with very high demands. … They have the highest standards with anyone I’ve ever worked with, and to know that I meet those standards was a great feeling,” he said.
The beauty of HOW is carried in its centralization, Sorkin said. Users of the application will waste no time waiting in doctor’s offices or trolling the Internet for solutions, as all the information will be provided right on the interface.
As the company grows in size, HOW plans to continue to employ user-friendly technology that is made accessible for everyone. Simplicity of design is a priority for the company and a core value of HOW’s mission.
Moving forward into the future, the firm looks to consolidate the confusing technicalities of the medical industry to declutter health care, Lagemann said.
Goldstein said students heading into the health care and technology fields should look ahead and consider where they want to be in five years, and then progress in executing it.
“Experience is one of the biggest writers of where you will end up … get the experience now to be able to do what you want later,” he said.