MATTER startup spotlight: LIVEMED Telehealth™
Reimagining telemedicine for hospitals
According to McKinsey & Company, telemedicine vendor revenues nearly doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic — a statistic we’re all familiar with by now. Although much innovation has occurred since 2020, many telemedicine solutions are still too fragmented and too expensive.
Experiencing this firsthand as part of his hospital’s COVID task force, Dr. Saamer Siddiqi wanted to create an integrated telemedicine solution for hospitals to improve access to care for patients and reduce costs for hospitals. In September 2022, he founded LIVEMED Telehealth to do just that. Read on to learn more about their solution and his journey as a physician turned entrepreneur.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
MATTER: Tell me about your solution.
Dr. Siddiqi: LIVEMED is an end-to-end virtual healthcare solutions company that provides a packaged solution of digital health technology and virtual multispecialty physicians for hospitals. Our solution helps increase access to care, address physician shortages, streamline workflows and reduce costs for rural communities and small community hospitals.
Our AI-powered, HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform for inpatient telemedicine enables two-way communication between physicians and other staff, as well as high definition video conferencing, and it connects to telemedicine devices for remote patient monitoring. In addition to the platform, we also provide cutting-edge telemedicine carts equipped with advanced diagnostic and monitoring equipment that are affordable and intuitive for staff to use.
We are among the first companies to offer telemedicine software and hardware together with multispecialty, inpatient physicians. Unlike costly alternatives, our unique advantage is our packaged solution, which is tailored to meet the needs of various hospitals and health systems at a significantly reduced cost. Our focus is primarily providing solutions for inpatient hospital settings.
MATTER: What’s LIVEMED’s story?
Dr. Siddiqi: I’ve always been a techie at heart, and at the age of 16, I persuaded my parents to let me join an intensive coding program in India. I then pursued computer science in college. However, with my family’s encouragement, I transitioned into medicine and have been practicing as an internal medicine physician in the Chicagoland area for more than a decade. As a professional immersed in the healthcare space, I witnessed a lack of timely medical attention caused by physician shortages, and I knew there had to be a better way to serve our patients. This, coupled with my tech-oriented mind, sparked the creation of LIVEMED.
In an effort to marry both my medical degree and passion for technology, I’ve also worked with multiple healthcare startups, including one that was part of the New Venture Challenge at the Polsky Center at the University of Chicago.
When the pandemic hit, I joined my hospital’s COVID task force, and we implemented telemedicine solutions which resulted in shorter wait times and decreased exposure risk. But the solutions we used were either siloed and only solved one part of the problem or were too expensive. It made me realize that if we had the right digital health technology, we could solve multiple gaps at the same time.
So I opened up a small clinic on the outskirts of Chicago where people could go to receive any kind of non-emergency, acute care, such as primary care services. We used this pilot as our proof of concept to refine our technology and workflows. Then, last September, we ventured into inpatient telemedicine and have been getting a lot of traction since.
MATTER: What milestones have you reached?
Dr. Siddiqi: We’ve secured pre-seed funding and established strategic partnerships with key technology companies. We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve recently signed an agreement with a prominent national provider that encompasses around 50 hospitals within its network. Furthermore, we are currently conducting several pilot programs. These include a project at a Chicago hospital and various clinics in the Chicagoland area, one of which is a medical spa specifically seeking physicians with a specialty in obesity medicine.
MATTER: What have you learned during your entrepreneurial journey that you’d like to share with other healthcare entrepreneurs?
Dr. Siddiqi: Everyone says you need to be persistent. As a first-time entrepreneur, I’ve learned you need to be patiently persistent along with having unrelenting determination. Especially in healthcare, you may be trying to move mountains, and you may only make enough progress to move them half an inch after working tirelessly for months. Keep working hard and eventually it will pay off.
For instance, I spent more than six months working on two separate partnerships for piloting and implementing our solution. Then one day, both companies called me just two hours apart, ready to sign off on the pilots. All that hard work finally paid off, and it felt amazing!
I also think you have to be at least a little crazy about what you’re doing, otherwise I don’t know how else you could get the energy to keep moving forward.
MATTER: What value have you gained from your MATTER membership?
Dr. Siddiqi: Well, first of all, when I posted on LinkedIn that LIVEMED was accepted to MATTER, multiple venture capital firms immediately reached out to us to learn more about our solution. Also, I find everyone to be really helpful. The venture acceleration team and mentors in the Expert Clinic have provided invaluable guidance in terms of finance and navigating the healthcare industry. The list of mentors available and their expertise areas are so exhaustive that I can find answers to any obstacle I face through that program.
We’re also in the process of recording a video in the OSF Simulation Stage at MATTER — a real-world environment that simulates clinical environments — to demonstrate to prospective clients how our technology works in a hospital setting.
At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 800 current and alumni startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit matter.health and follow @MATTERhealth.
About LIVEMED Telehealth™
LIVEMED Telehealth is at the forefront of medicine. They are a cutting-edge virtual healthcare solutions company that is revolutionizing the way medical care is delivered. Their team is composed of highly vetted board-certified physicians and healthcare technology experts, equipped with state-of-the-art virtual technology, allowing them to provide virtual ICU, hospitalist and multi-specialty physician coverage, as well as virtual nurse practitioners. They are dedicated to using advanced technology to improve the quality of healthcare and make it more accessible.