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Meet Neel Mehta of EpiFinder in Scottsdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Neel Mehta.

Neel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My story is one of persistence, determination, innovation, and leadership; the backbone of the American dream. After graduating from Biomedical Informatics, most of my peers took full-time jobs in corporations like Google, Amazon, and PayPal – not in health care or biomedical research. I found this disappointing, but it gave me an even stronger motivation to continue pursuing my passion for the healthcare industry. I gave up a six-figure salary and a stable career to co-lead an 18-member team for a more significant cause of serving and effecting change in the medical community. I am dedicated to taking research results far beyond the lab and creating applications that can be used by doctors to make a difference in people’s health. My passion is bringing about a positive change in people’s lives through the use of healthcare innovation and technology, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to pursue this dream today.

As Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of EpiFinder, I have presented at and participated in more than a dozen conferences so far to create brand awareness. I also routinely meet with customers and industry partners. We have raised close to $1M in investments and grant funding from investors, Flinn Foundation, Arizona State University Foundation, among many others. We were one of the top six teams to win Epilepsy Foundation’s 2017 Shark Tank Competition; a recent Mayo Clinic study demonstrated their ability to accurately screen for epilepsy and published that study in a peer-reviewed journal. Our collaboration with BioAccel, SeedSpot, and Arizona State University’s startup accelerators and incubators have resulted in expediting our company growth. I was honored as the one of the 2018 AZ Top Tech Executive by Phoenix Business Journal and Healthcare Innovator 2017 by AZ Big Media. Also, we were awarded the 2018 Stevie Silver ‘Tech Startup of the Year’ and had been featured by Epilepsy and Behavior, MD Magazine, mHealth Intelligence, and Epilepsy Foundation!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My business partner, Robert Yao, and I applied to Arizona State University Edson’s entrepreneurship program multiple times with separate ideas, and we weren’t selected. However, that didn’t stop us. We collaborated, applied together, and got accepted into the AZ’s best startup incubator program in 2015. Thus far, our company has been able to conduct a clinical study at Mayo Clinic, where our diagnostic tool has demonstrated its ability to yield accurate results by over 25% compared to the current methods. We are starting two additional clinical studies in Fall 2018. Additionally, we have received tremendous support from Philips Neuro, which has expressed that our tool has the potential to serve as a standalone epilepsy screening tool and bridge the enormous global treatment gap in epilepsy.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the EpiFinder story. Tell us more about the business.
EpiFinder, Inc. is a neuro spectrum differentiation company that is developing diagnostic tools for seizures, epilepsy, and self-management to help doctors improve epilepsy syndrome diagnosis and management at the point-of-care. This tool enables doctors to diagnose 62 epilepsy syndromes virtually and furthermore simplifies healthcare assessment and seizure event management. Through its unique algorithmic methods, our application guides the data collection of the first responder or primary care professional, standardizes data usability, screens the information with evidence-based, peer-reviewed research and data, and provides a guided differential diagnosis of epilepsy syndromes. In doing so, EpiFinder improves the efficiency of the diagnostic process, reduces health care costs for hospitals, and strengthens doctor-patient relationships.

In the company, I play a vital role in drafting licensing agreements as well as presenting and strategizing the business development of the company with investors and the executive team. I am incredibly proud of our company’s multidisciplinary and diverse group, and we are on a mission to improve patient outcomes, reduce the treatment gap, and end misdiagnosis globally.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck; it’s all about the persistence, patience, and taking a proactive approach to both life and business.

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Image Credit:

Phoenix Business Journal, Cronkite News, Arizona State University

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