“Kris Jenner Can Help Us Make A Huge Stride In Preventative Care” A Fascinating Conversation with Surgeon and Inventor Dr. Dana Rice
“The person I would most like to get in front of would be Kris Jenner. She is a powerful influence on social media and in the perfect demographic for women who suffer from UTIs and dysfunctional voiding. In addition, she has five daughters all at stages in their lives who may have urinary issues as well. UTIs have a huge impact on our medical society and if the Kardashian-Jenner clan could help destigmatize the problem I believe we could make huge stride in preventative care.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Dana Rice, a board-certified urologist who is the owner and creator of the UTI Tracker app. Dr. Rice has an active surgical practice, is a wife and mother of two small children and was recently named to the Washingtonian’s 2017 Top Doctors list.
Yitzi: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I created the app to improve communication and access to care between patients and physicians. As a female urologist, I realized that millions of women and men, worldwide suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) without ever fully understanding why or how to prevent the next infection. Many patients have symptoms when they are traveling, on weekends or after hours, all times when they may not necessarily have access to their regular physician. For this reason, many people are treated in emergency rooms (ER), urgent cares or over the phone. This can prevent patients and physicians from having a complete history of urine cultures, medications taken and symptoms log. Often many patients are treated incompletely or unnecessarily because the quick test to check for a UTI may be positive, but the final culture may be negative. All of this is important for physicians to know in follow up care to develop long-term care goals and prevention strategies with patients. With multidrug resistant bacteria on the rise, it is crucial that patients work closely with physicians to limit the use of unnecessary antibiotics. This app allows patients to easily track their symptoms, organize their laboratory results, learn tips and tricks to prevent UTIs and keep detailed voiding diaries.
Yitzi: Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company
The funniest thing that has happened to me since owning the business has to be my I Don’t Get It PodCast with Ashley Iaconetti from the Bachelor. I have never felt so old in my entire life. I trained for 6 years in residency, so I consider myself young only being in practice for 4 years, but I am quickly reminded how old I am when talking about UTI risk factors with 20 year olds. The girls were fantastic and so sweet, but oh the questions they asked! Let’s just say I was blushing in my own kitchen during the interview.
Yitzi: What makes your business stand out? Can you share a story?
My business was developed and is run by myself and my husband. He has worked in sales and advertising for over a decade and assists/supports me with this venture daily. We were lucky to be introduced to a great web design and development team at Creative2studios. As a urologist, it is very important to me that patients have accurate information easily accessible. I did not want to have extraneous information that might be misleading. I have tried to keep the app educational and easy to use. There is nothing more discouraging for a physician then spending the first 10 minutes of a 15 minute visit trying to explain to a patient that the internet is just plain wrong and then only having 5 minutes to educate, examine and treat the real problem at hand.
Yitzi: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
One of the major goals of this app is to help track UTI patterns and reduce antibiotic resistance. It is possible for patients and physicians to work together to establish care plans that reduce the use of antibiotics when treating UTI-like symptoms. Not all voiding dysfunction or irritative symptoms are bacterial and continuing to treat patients with antibiotics for nonbacterial infections will just breed resistant organisms.
Yitzi: What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I Started my Business” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
1: Social media and advertising is a full-time job all its own.
Being a full-time surgeon, I don’t have time during the day to look at or respond to social media. Since launching the app I have enlisted my husband to help with this aspect of the company. Responding to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. is another full-time job for us. Thankfully he has a bit more flexibility and can respond in a timely fashion. If it weren’t for him I would be up tweeting at midnight every night.
2: Being somewhat technically proficient does not prepare you for technical world that is app development.
I naively thought that my medical school and residency presentations, papers, and electronic health record experience would prepare me for the app world. After about two conversations with my development team, it became clear that my medical degree could have been a kindergarten diploma when it came to technical conversations.
3: Test audiences are your best friend/worse enemy.
In medical practice, no two patients are the same and in the app world no two customers are the same. Our test audiences consisted of physicians, patients, family and friends. We received tons of great feedback both positively and negatively. For instance, some of our female audience reported that answering “no” everyday to the question “Are you menstruating?” made them feel old. So we had to revamp some of the initial questions into an algorithm that separated menopausal women from menstruating women.
4: There is always more you can do for you company.
I wish someone had told me how all consuming owning your own business and bringing your ideas to life would become. I love my job and can not imagine not practicing medicine, but I also love creating this app that can help millions of people have affordable, better access to health care. It is rewarding to see people getting better medical treatment and breaking the cycle of recurrent UTIs. Everytime I learn or read something new I think, “how can I get this information out to people?”.
5: Make sure people see your passion even if they don’t fully understand the drive behind it.
I have been passionate about helping people overcome UTIs and UTI-like symptoms for years. Many of my friends, family and even myself at one point suffered from this issue. However, when I first pitched the idea to the all young-male development team, I think they thought I was crazy. I went over my vision and why it was important to me. I explained they should ask around and see how many people they knew show were affected by similar situations. After our initialy brainstorming sessions, we were all on the same page. In fact, we were even throwing out ideas that their girlfriends wanted answered too!
Yitzi: Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)
I have people in medicine and politics who I would love to have a deep and meaningful conversation with, but when it comes to my app, the person I would most like to get in front of would be Kris Jenner. She is a powerful influence on social media and in the perfect demographic for women who suffer from UTIs and dysfunctional voiding. In addition, she has five daughters all at stages in their lives who may have urinary issues as well. UTIs have a huge impact on our medical society and if the Kardashian-Jenner clan could help destigmatize the problem I believe we could make huge stride in preventative care.
Yitzi: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Originally published at www.buzzfeed.com.