Dr. Ali Esmail, BSc, MD, took a break from his residency as a head and neck surgeon at the University of Manitoba to pursue a Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET). To Ali, the MBET program was as a way to differentiate himself in the medical field. He also wanted to seize the opportunity to be part of a technological renaissance that was beginning in medicine.
As a physician, Ali saw many opportunities to leverage technology to improve patient care and workflows. In particular, he noticed communication challenges within medical teams; Ali wanted to improve the way medical professionals communicate with each other, their patients, and patient's families.
Ali co-founded Koronis Health Inc with fellow MBET student Vejey Gandier. Their first product, Medlinx, is a secure mobile collaboration platform that allows every medical professional to access the information they need quickly and easily, and to share information with patients. Further frustration with outdated software in the medical field led Ali and Vejey to India, where they launched Koronis Health, a specialized software development firm.
Meanwhile, their second venture, PopRx, is making waves in the pharmacy industry with its goal of improving pharmacist-patient relationships by digitizing their interactions.
The MBET program was the perfect fit for me; the focus on practical experiences was perfect for someone who has spent enough time in a classroom.
Impact of MBET
MBET helped Ali succeed in his aspirations to be at the forefront of the technological renaissance in medicine. Ali and his team are developing and implementing much-needed technologies in hospitals across Canada.
In the MBET program, Ali met his co-founder, fellow MBET student Vejey Gandier.
During the MBET program, Ali and Vejey founded and incorporated Koronis Health Inc., which creates specialized software for the health and medical field. Their products include:
- Medlinx, a secure mobile collaboration platform.
- PopRx, a mobile app for medical prescription management.
- During MBET, the Medlinx team won $5,000 in the 2014 RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge for their suggested uses of big data.
- To start the software development arm of Koronis Health, Ali and Vejey travelled to India with the support of the Conrad Centre.
MBET has opened up my options. It has made me an asset to any hospital as a surgeon who understands the health information technology landscape.
Success to date
- Koronis Health and Medlinx have attracted seed funding investment, including over $100,000 in cash and $250,000 in grants.
- Koronis Health opened 3 offices and employs over 140 people.
- Medlinx now has over 600 users at 26 different hospitals and clinics.
- Meanwhile, their second venture PopRx is growing quickly, with over 350 pharmacies and 4,000 users on the platform as of January 2017.
- Ali and Vejey pitched PopRx on CBC's webseries Next Gen Den, securing $100,000 in investment from OMX founder Nicole Verkindt and Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein.
- PopRx's success has been featured by Canadian Business, ProfitGuide, and BNN.
MBET is the only program I know that seamlessly mixes classroom and real-world experience launching a startup, and it helped me gain the skills to launch two growing companies.
> More about the MBET program.