He ditched med school for software that helps doctors

Eric King is the founder and CEO of Grand Round Table, a startup company that hopes to develop software to help doctors make complicated diagnoses. ( ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER )

ERIC KING, 30, of Northern Liberties, is founder and CEO of Grand Round Table, a startup on 3rd Street near Market that develops software to help doctors make complicated diagnoses. GRT, which launched in 2012, is getting the correct diagnoses about 70 percent of the time. The company, which was part of the first DreamIt Health accelerator in 2013, has three full-time employees and has raised $110,000 from the Wharton Venture Initiation Program and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

Q: How'd you get the idea for Grand Round Table?

A: I was a medical student at Jefferson but left in 2009. Studying medicine is a lot about memorization. The patients who really cost our health system are older and have many health problems at once, and memorizing for tests is different from knowing what to do at the point of care.

Q: What's the biz do?

A: We have a software app integrated with Allscripts, one of the biggest electronic health-records companies in the country. Our software parses those records, comparing the patient seeing a doctor with our database of records and research. We've indexed more than 8 million articles from PubMed and are testing 20 million claims from Independence Blue Cross.

Q: Value proposition?

A: We help hospitals and clinics save time and money by helping doctors find appropriate diagnoses faster and reducing the number of unnecessary tests, ineffective treatments and consults patients currently receive.

Q: The biz model?

A: We provide software to hospitals for an annual subscription. We're still working on pricing. So we charge hospitals on a per-bed basis, but it will probably come out to around $60 per provider per month.

Q: You have customers?

A: We have a pilot at Einstein Medical Center, and we're running the software as an educational tool for residents. By the end of summer, we'll be working with 10 independent primary-care practices in the region who use Allscripts and we'll be charging a fee per doctor per month.

Q: And the name?

A: "Grand rounds" are a time in a hospital when doctors come together to talk about their most difficult cases. We're trying to modernize that process at the point of care through technology.

Q: Who is your competition and what differentiates you?

A: The main companies we get compared to are diagnosis generators like Isabel. They give a doctor a list of possible diagnoses that a patient may be experiencing. The main thing that differentiates us is we're integrated with [electronic] health records and research.

Q: What's next?

A: By the end of this year, we hope to pilot in hospitals and have some paying customers, primary-care providers in small practices.


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