BackTable / Innovation / Podcast / Episode #50
Empowering Doctors in the Developing World: The Medisetter Story
with Founder Anirban Lahiri
In this episode, Dr. Aaron Fritts interviews CEO and founder of Medisetter, Anirban Lahiri, about his experience with digital health innovation within developing countries and lessons he’s learned about building sustainable physician communities.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, April 14). Ep. 50 – Empowering Doctors in the Developing World: The Medisetter Story [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Anirban Lahiri is the founder of the Medisetter Doctor Network.
Dr. Aaron Fritts
Dr. Aaron Fritts is a Co-Founder of BackTable and a practicing interventional radiologist in Dallas, Texas.
Anirban starts by describing his journey into entrepreneurship and the digital health space. Due to frequent international moves during his childhood, he grew interested in different countries and was open to the idea of being a global citizen. During business school, he explored Southeast Asia and recognized that this was a sector that had tremendous potential for economic growth. After graduation, he joined a Scandinavian private equity fund and moved to Vietnam where he learned about the economic landscape there. The idea behind Medisetter spawned from a personal injury that he suffered while playing football in Vietnam. He experienced an arduous and frustrating search for medical specialists who could accurately treat his condition, and he ended up receiving differing opinions and multiple procedures from doctors in different countries. This experience sparked an idea in him: Anirban wanted to create a platform to facilitate patient travel to doctors and centers of excellence, especially when the patient’s immediate local area did not have these specialists.
However, these plans were halted when the COVID pandemic presented challenges to medical care and travel. Anirban pivoted Medisetter’s focus towards helping pharmaceutical and device companies create high-quality medical educational content for physicians in developing countries. By addressing the physician side of the supply-demand mismatch for medical care, there is an opportunity to build up medical knowledge and networks in under-resourced settings. The market research behind this idea was mainly built on interviews with individual physicians about their unmet needs and behaviors. The pandemic turned out to be a major catalyst towards webinar education, which was well-received by both physicians and companies.
As for advice regarding digital health innovation, Anirban encourages entrepreneurs to learn about the regulatory landscape before diving in. In developing countries, it is common for regulatory guidelines to be catching up with new innovations instead of outlining their path. Additionally, he notes that simply copying and pasting models across different locales is not advisable. It is important to strike a balance between local patient/provider nuances and exposure to global medical advances.
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