From the beginning of the road, our efforts have been directed at the challenges faced by those delivering care in the ER, and indirectly, their patients. This is a vastly different orientation than many technology startups. (It’s instead quite common to develop exciting new technologies, and search for markets that might be interested in that tech.)

So what has happened over the time that we’ve been focusing on “problems plaguing ER workflow,” is that we’ve come up with a single tool that must solve many annoying problems.  The tool I speak of is of course the QiiQ Assistant.

What can elude a team that targets a market problem, is that introducing a solution inevitably creates a new problem:  the hassle of adoption. As my partner always provokes: “…is the juice worth the squeeze?
This question couldn’t be more relevant than it is with emergency physicians. The people to whom we’ve committed our efforts are already some of the most stressed in all of healthcare. A new routine is hard won. That is, a new habit won’t form unless it has a huge payoff.
This fact has forced us to ask a bigger question of ourselves:  what is it that we’re really doing here?
If the answer isn’t meaningful, we can’t expect loyal adoption by people who are really too busy to bother with the hassle of adopting new habits.
We’ve learned this requires we must therefore be driven by a big vision…  a “north star” that compels us to survive the knocks and disappointments of launching a startup, but that also really resonates with the people we most hope to help.
Here is an early attempt to articulate that vision:

QiiQ is developing a general AI assistant to healthcare workers, enabling deeply fulfilling work delivering high-quality care.
Worker needs are complex and broad. Areas of need include:
  • productivity
  • scheduling
  • wellness
  • professional education and growth
The breadth will increase over time, especially as organizations compete more and more aggressively to lure new employees.
Productivity for ER physicians is our beachhead, but we will grow our coverage to include healthcare workers throughout the acute care hospital.
At the same time, the scope of value will widen too – to quickly cover all four support domains.
In many cases, we will provide support in collaboration with other vendors, to ensure we’re delivering the best services available. Running throughout all domains is a core promise of the QiiQ Assistant – ease of access and use.
The number of vendors stepping into workers’ solutions space is growing, thanks to the explosive pace of technology innovation, AND the increasing ease of launching ventures to commercialize these innovations. We can expect this trend to continue, and can station QiiQ as a platform provider that other ventures want to work with.
Over time the way we describe this vision will evolve. But the core ideas won’t change. I can say that because I know they’ve been here right from the beginning. And they really are why we bother.