The Backstory to MyHealthHatch

Levi: Hi. My name is Levi, and this is Unlimited Access. Unlimited Access is a twelve-part series where we’ll learn everything we can about MyHealthHatch, medical records, and everything you need to understand about medical things for you and your family. I’d like to introduce Shannon.

Shannon: Hi, I’m Shannon Aylesworth. I am the founder and CEO of My Health Hatch. I look forward to explaining to you what’s happening in the healthcare world with medical records.

Levi: Why did you start this business?

Shannon: So back in my thirties, dating myself, aging myself. My mother got sick with an undiagnosed lung issue. It was diagnosed, but they didn’t tell her what it was. And for about 12 years we spent, my family spent 12 years chasing her illness. And to try and get a better diagnosis, we were running around grabbing records and visiting different hospitals.

And after 12 years, unfortunately, she got very sick with a pancreas issue and passed away. After she passed, I started looking at what we could have done better and digging into all the things I had to do to try and help her manage her health and get her records. Look for education. Look for the best doctors. I flew her to Denver. To New York to find some of the best doctors in the country. Just chasing answers, and it was painful. It was expensive. My mother was stressed all the time. She went on disability.

And once she passed, I looked back and thought, how could I, how could somebody else, how could I help somebody not go through that? Went through the financial strain, the quality of life strain that could have been better because it was a difficult situation for us as a family.

And that’s when I started to embark on some things I could have done to help somebody who might be a caregiver and realized that the medical records system is messed up.

And I’ve been in technology for 25 years. I’ve never seen something this backward as the healthcare technology system is. I realized that I could help people by building software that would fix the records, provide records to the patients and their caregivers, and give them education, resources, and all the things I got while helping my mother through the system.

Levi: Yeah. I got excited about it. When I found out the solution from My Health Hatch, it was an all-in-one location. The scenarios that went through my mind were okay, so I’ve got three sisters and myself. And if we had to rotate, taking care of maybe one of my parents later on. I was just trying to transfer all of that knowledge and shared information.

So there are medical records and getting access to what’s essential. Still, not necessarily to me, cuz I’m not gonna look through the medical records. And take care of my father. I don’t know what I’m looking at. But at the same time, knowing that they’re all there, one of the elegant innovations I think you’re doing is who talked to who and when.

So I can imagine Dr. John Smith.

Shannon: Yeah.

Levi: Talking to my father about X, Y, and Z. And with my sister in the room, she takes those notes, and it’s recorded or whatever.

Shannon: Yeah.

Levi: And then six months later, or five months later, whatever I go, I’m now participating for whatever reason. And I can have access to that information.

It’s not like I have to get up to speed or maybe there’s not even like the knowledge that my sister might share. She’s trying to transfer that to me. She might lose something or say something incorrectly along the way.

Shannon: Yeah.

Levi: Whereas if it’s in My Health Hatch, it’s all right.

Shannon: Yeah, that’s a perfect point.

And that’s one of the major cruxes of the issue that we found, there were six of us, and again, two were nurses. And my brother lived near one of the best hospitals. So we had the resources to get my mother around, but we had to transfer her among family members.

So, my sister-in-law, Julie, took my mom to an appointment and wrote notes galore on a piece of paper. And we had to translate that to the next person who was gonna help pick up the, cause with my mom, depending on where we were moving my mom around. So yeah, communication between the family was really critical at the time.

Back when we dealt with it, it was a lot of text messages, and you can imagine how people love group text messages of here’s what’s going on with mom or here’s what’s going on with dad. Everybody plays a role. I’m fortunate. There are six of us. They say the average number of caregivers per person is seven.

So you think about coordinating seven people, including doctors, who don’t have a way to communicate. So there are many individual apps out there that say, ” Oh, if you wanna coordinate, who’s gonna take care of this person that week. Still, the records, the notes, the labs, the tests, everything you do that doesn’t transfer with that, you’re just constantly; I remember I sat in the hospital with a bag over my shoulder, 15 pounds of my mom’s different records.

Yeah. And then I would, and then it was like, nobody would go into the doctors with my mom. They would call me because I had all the records. And I was the most capable of handling that conversation. You can’t do that anymore. You can’t, especially with your kids, even with my scenarios, my mom, but with many people, it’s their kids.

They wanna send their husband. Let’s talk about wives, who are the caregivers. Generally, we all know that I hate to say the guys, but women are like, I think it’s like 76% of the caregivers are women.

Levi: Right.

Shannon: And the dad’s like, what do you want me to do? And he doesn’t know what he’s doing. So you think about that scene where he can walk in with the records, with the questions mom wants you to ask of the doctor. My dad’s doctor actually called me his parole officer because I’m the one who asked the questions to get what needs to get done so that when you leave the office, you’re, you’ve got a quality of life, and that’s where it goes back to you and your sisters is how do you, it’s not about how do we just make our own lives more accessible, but how do we make sure that patient gets everything they need so that you’re not spending half your time chasing this information?

Levi: Yeah, it’s such it is a stressful time of life for anyone. When anybody’s ill, whether it be a spouse or a sibling or a parent, or even horribly, maybe even a child of yours, and you have to maintain them, you just don’t wanna be dealing with the minutia of paperwork.

It’s so much better when it’s just all right there. And surprisingly, nobody’s thought of this. I’ve seen people trying to solve bits and pieces of this. Yeah. And I know Fideles has an app or some other all these different people have apps, but it’s nothing comprehensive.

Like even my apple has, my apple watch and my apple phone and stuff. I have apps that do it, but don’t this is where you come in, right?

Shannon: Yeah. Yeah. That’s. That’s an excellent way to explain it. You probably explained it better than I could. They do it, but they don’t.

And I find myself saying that when people say, what are you different? And I say we can pull everything, all of that data. And one of the challenges with the technology system that the healthcare system has built upon is it’s made in silos. That is traditionally the way the medical community takes care of records.

So let’s talk about a medical record when you go into the office and see the ample filing cabinets. Your file gets pulled out, and all that medical history data is in every doctor’s office. Now you’ve got wearables like your apple watch, and your medical information is starting to disperse.

And so it’s everywhere. And so, the ability to pull that into one app or view has been a big challenge for the medical community. We’ll say in other communities, other industries, I should say. We’ve actually solved that problem. If you look at the financial system there, there are things like that, where Bitcoin and cryptocurrency and mint are good examples.

Of how they solved that problem is the QuickBooks, where you can log into all that data at once. The difference between them and what my health hatch is doing is the data’s not standardized. So the reason people can’t do all of it, and you say it does some apple watch can connect to your doctors, they can pull some of your records, but that data isn’t standardized. So you can’t. They can only pull it at different times where we are actually, we’re creating MyHealthHatch at just creating this layer of we’ll call, like just digging through data and making it intelligent so that it’s easy for you.

As, a layman to just read that data, often, and the other piece that’s challenging is that traditionally, and this is nobody’s fault. Traditionally medical records are written in medical language. The reason I was lucky is I had two sisters who were trained in nursing and could translate what does my lipid panel mean?

If you’re just looking at a lipid panel and you see the numbers are sky high, you’re like, oh my God.

So that’s the differentiator between MyHealthHatch and all of the other apps, apple, they’re like, Hey, we’ll get you your data. We’ll collect it, but you still have to translate it. You still have to sort through it. You still it’s no different. All they’ve done is taken what I had in my backpack. A 15 pounds of paper and basically scanned it in.

So now. Not as heavy

Levi: so we’ve got this kind of this data collection everything’s being translated in, layman’s term and confirmed. So that way other people can read it and you’re doing that side to it. But I think most people are in the world are familiar with HIPAA, right?

Shannon: Yeah.

Levi: So HIPAA says it’s all top secret data and

Shannon: that is true.

Levi: Explain HIPAA and how you guys are navigating that and making sure that everybody has access, but not necessarily violating the law .

Shannon: Yeah it was intended to set rules so that you, as a patient, know that your data is not being shared. So it is, it’s very important. You look at Google, you look at apple, you look at all these Microsoft, and you’re worried that they’re tracking you. The idea behind HIPAA is standards and rules of sharing of your data.

Now here’s the thing. What we are doing is we are not signing up to share your data. We play a completely different role than the providers would play. So in the legacy networks, I’ll call them legacy. You’re saying, Hey, I say, Dr. Newnan can send my data to St. Joe’s, right? That’s HIPAA defines what the rules are there.

I’m not sharing your data. All I’m doing for you is you say, so how HIPAA applies to me is I say, Levi, do I have your blessing to go collect all of your records, deposit them, sort them and share them with you. Nobody in my organization sees it. You say yes. Dr. N and whoever your primary care is, right.

Shannon can act as a conduit to my records. That’s how HIPAA applies to us. We don’t share the data. Now we may, in the future look at enabling you to share, but the difference between MyHealthHatch and what everybody else is doing. you sign off at your doctors and say, yeah, I agree that you can share it with you.

Can’t control who they share it with. In MyHealthHatch, you get to control who you share it with. That keeps me completely out of the HIPAA rules and the security that, that puts the data completely in your hands today. I’ll tell you, we’ve seen where you say you sign one form and you can send it.

They can send that data anywhere you want. So that’s not to do fear instilling, but it’s to help. Consumers understand why you would want control of that data, because then you can say, Hey, I walk into my doctor’s or let’s say you go to a new doctor, cuz you need a specialist. You can walk in and say, Hey, I wanna send this data.

You control what kind of data you send? It’s not a blanket approval. We don’t just send all of your data. We say, okay, you get to pick and choose what you wanna send to your doctor. So that’s how HIPAA applies to us.

Levi: So we went through the software and, what you guys are doing. Let’s go back to your mother.

Shannon: Yeah.

Levi: She tragically has passed, correct?

Shannon: Yes. That is correct.

Levi: The thing that most stands out to me about my health hatches is not gonna technically save a life, but it of could in the sense because there’s all this information kind of moving between all these different people, things get lost and yes, if something happens right, that could be really tragic.

there’s that aspect of it. And then the final piece to it is if it’s simplified I spend less time worrying, trying to collect information and I get to spend more time just with my mom.

Shannon: Yeah.

Levi: Or my dad. So I think there’s two parts again everybody’s gonna die. So the tragedy does exist.

But some people don’t have to necessarily die because of accidents. And I think my health hatch can help solve that.

Shannon: Yeah. Yeah.

Levi: And then the second part to it is I no longer am I navigating the world of medical stuff?

Shannon: Yeah.

Levi: I take it to focus on quality time.

Shannon: Yeah. It’s a that’s a loaded couple of questions.

Yeah. Yeah, so I think what you’re describing is. somebody with a chronic illness. Versus acute.

Levi: Okay. Yeah.

Shannon: And I think that’s very valid. Like with my mother, I would say I did save her life a number of times, but had to go through the fear of it, of her possibly dying. That didn’t have to happen.

So yeah. So people die. It’s going to happen there. Things are out of our control, but. The resource shortage continues as the chronic illnesses continue to rise. And there are more instances where the doctors are saying, Hey, we want you to take more control of your health because you know yourself best that’s what they’re saying is yourself best.

So it’s an excellent scenario to explain was with my mom; she actually went septic. So she was chronic with this lung issue until she had a pancreas. So she was chronic. And you see this with people like a diabetic. Who deals with a chronic illness and then something acute kind of jumps in. And then all of a sudden what happens, their whole system goes off the right track.

And that’s when you’re trying to get them back on track. And that’s what happened to my mother’s pancreas, inflamed. It shut her bile duct down. She went septic. They sent her home with the wrong meds. The mistakes happen; no blame mistakes happen. They didn’t give her enough of the meds for the thing she had going on.

I couldn’t figure it out. I was there. Putting she had a pic line. If you don’t know the pic line, it puts antibiotics right into your heart. So they usually do chemo right into your heart. And I was the nurse at home, injecting her with meds into her heart.

Levi: Oh my gosh.

Shannon: And this is what they’re expecting you to do.

And you can see it now. And it’s not. It’s not that they expect you to do it because they don’t want to do it. They’re saying the caregiver and the family are part of the healthcare team. We all have to own this together; should that have been the scenario? No. My mother went septic three times.

The third time I caught it before she ended up back in the hospital, I was again fortunate. I had my sister, who was a nurse. I had all the lab results and could see them going through the doctors. I didn’t see it because their systems weren’t talking to each other. So what they could see was they’re one thing.

That’s why I was always running around mom; she didn’t go to a doctor or talk to a doctor without me. Because chances are that doctor didn’t have a holistic view. And when you go to, you end up in the ER; if you don’t tell ’em which hospital you wanna go to, you might end up in a different hospital than you were before. And those guys are not communicating records. So now, the hospital doesn’t know that hospital already treated you for sepsis and gave you a particular antibiotic. It didn’t work. Now you’re in another hospital. They gave you the same one, and I’m sitting there.

Don’t give her the same one. And then, a week after they send her home, all of a sudden, she’s going septic again. So it’s your point. There are things that you can do as a caregiver that you should watch for that. You should be educated, that you should understand. The medical community and all of us believe that people are healthiest at home.

They don’t want you in the hospital with all the germs floating around. They want you to be educated. And they’re trying to push education out to the patients, but it’s going to the patients. It’s not going to the caregiver. And let me ask you when you’re sick, do you feel like reading about your sickness. Generally, you’re, gonna migrate to the thing that says you’re gonna die in six months because you want everybody to know wrong.

You, that’s right.

Levi: WebMD is the worst. Yeah.

Shannon: Laugh but not laugh. It’s true. You have to. And that’s where we call it information overload. I used to. Jokingly. Send my mother this meme where this kid at it’s here going down his cheek, and it said I, don’t feel well, I’m gonna die. And I just Googled it, and I’m gonna die in six months.

So that panic, you don’t want to feel the patient doesn’t want to think that you always go to the worst thing. So that’s the acute you’re gonna scenario. Can you get some help? There are lots of tools we’re gonna integrate with a company. I just found it has clinical resources where you can call them and say, Hey, I’m in this situation; you’ve got the medical community at your beck and call, which was really a massive part of my life was my sisters that I could call up and say again, I don’t know what this means.

And they’d say no, you’re not gonna kill her. If you shoot this antibiotic in her heart, I’d have to tell you the one time I realized I didn’t put the heparin, and my mother, does that need to be in there? And I. Ah, that’s just extra. I called my sister, and she goes, that’s what we do as nurses.

No fear as caregivers, getting his caregivers as parents, children, and friends. Honestly, I have a chronic illness with friends I work with all the time. And then you get the typical scenario or somebody’s just trying where you do not feel like you gotta save a life. Still, you just feel terrible and can’t get better.

And a lot of it is most chronic illnesses can be managed yourself. Unfortunately, that information is buried. It’s buried in the, again in the WebMDs, in the apps. There are many apps out there, but which one do you follow? And that’s one of the things we strive to do with MyHealthHatch is just go, okay, here are all the apps we’ve seen.

Here’s how they’re categorized because each chronic person’s illness is not the same.

Levi: So, my health hatch hatched from an authentic experience.

Shannon: Yeah.

Levi: And your expertise and basically this kind of, this, everything kind of culminating at this one spot.

If you had one final thing to say about my health hatch and what people should expect, people, being the app users, the moms, the dads, the children.

Who’s gonna use this app to be the caregiver. What would you tell them?

Shannon: Oh, I would say that MyHealthHatch is gonna be a tool that gives you peace of mind. It frees up a lot of your stress and pain. And it’s gonna be an utterly consumer-facing app. We’re still gonna go through the various medical groups. But we are the only building specifically for the consumer, And as you come on, you’re I, know a lot of people say it’s a little bit cliche. Still, the experience is what you make it. We’re gonna create this tool with all these different functionalities and try and customize it because everybody’s life is different. So you have to be willing to look at it that way and say, what do I want this app to do for me?

And then let us help you customize it for you and make it for kids and parents who might have chronic illnesses. You may not have anything. I have friends. Who has no issues whatsoever that have found a shared calendar in communicating different doctor’s appointments, just to ensure I don’t have an ICE in an emergency?

I realized, listen, this is funny. I built software to admit that I don’t even have somebody with all my information should something happen to me. Yeah. So think about that. Who’s gonna help me. My 78-year-old dad. No, I’m gonna go to the hospital, and he’s gonna do. He’s gonna have a panic.

So I would say the thing to think about is how you manage your health, what you want to accomplish, how we can help you, and how we can make this app more useful for you. I’ve seen a couple of apps that are very consumer-facing. We wanna do we’d love a forum for the users where you literally vote on the features that are most useful to you. So we’ll pull all the data, we’re gonna pull all the data, but then how we make that valuable data for you is gonna be based on feedback. And that’s what I would say think about, we never think about this.

We’ve had multiple people that came up with ideas that we never thought of, we asked one family, and they said, oh my god. a QR code. If I end up in the hospital, if I end up in an ambulance, yeah. I want a QR code on my phone that has what hospital I wanna go to and what my blood type is. That one was when I just got it last week.

They’re like, I wanna know my blood type. So I would say try it out. Try it out, see what you don’t get, and then tell us because the data is only as good as you’ll enable it to be and will allow us to help you right with it.

Levi: All right. Thank you so much, Shannon.

Really appreciate it. This is episode one of unlimited access. Hopefully, we’ll come up with more information to help you discover about this app and ways to be a great caregiver.

Shannon: Awesome. Thank you.

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