During this time of year it's easy to get caught up in the spirit of the holidays. It's also a time to remember that not everyone has the privilege of spending time with friends and family. Some people face tough decisions as they fight their battle with cancer. Let's face it, cancer sucks. I've lost friends and family to it. But I've also watched friends and family fight it to lead healthy lives after treatments.
Cute LA had the chance to interview female entrepreneur, Hannah Luu of OncoGambit. She along with her co-founder, Laura Bourdeanu, created the platform to assist cancer patients. In finding the right treatments and expert opinions. While helping to reduce their anxiety about this step in their lives. OncoGambit allows patients to concentrate on the best treatment. While saving time, money and energy.
Read on to learn more about Hannah Luu and the OncoGambit Platform:
// What's the inspiration behind OncoGambit? //
As a practicing oncologist, I have encountered a lot of confusion and worry from cancer patients and their families about their treatment recommendations. This truly concerned me because patients were usually more worried about their treatments than they were about their disease. Having experienced this, OncoGambit came to me in an ‘Aha’ moment as a great way to relieve the uncertainty around treatment. My goal in creating this platform was to help create a quick and easy way for patients. To get educated about their cancer and their cancer treatment options. The OncoGambit website validates their treatment recommendations and helps them become advocates for their own health and survival.
// What separates OncoGambit from similar companies? //
There are several reputable websites such as WebMD, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, and National Cancer Institute (NCI), to name a few, that provide general information about cancer and treatment.
OncoGambit takes it a step further and provides patients with specific treatment regimens. That include doses of the drugs, the frequency of the treatment, and the duration of the treatment that are in line with current guidelines. We do that by asking specific information about the patient’s information and circumstances such as age, sex, cancer characteristics, and cancer stage. To give them specific details for a recommended treatment plan. This way, patients know what to expect every step of the way in their cancer journey.
The information is updated regularly, as new data and studies become available. The most current treatment for a specific cancer may change year to year as new studies come out and doctors agree that regimen A, for example, is now better suited than regimen B. You don’t have the same updating in real-time or the level of accuracy in treatment recommendations that you get with OncoGambit on any other web-based medical platform.
// What were the first steps in creating OncoGambit? //
The first steps in creating OncoGambit were to figure out if it were possible to write a program that would result in a treatment recommendation based on the information provided by the patients. For this I teamed up with my brother, who is a software developer, to test it out. Once we learned that this was possible, we proceeded to build the software. We were able to compile and summarize the cancer treatments recommended by multiple national treatment guidelines. Which are based on the latest research and the consensus of over 1100 cancer experts.
// What are the most difficult & most rewarding aspects of entrepreneurship? //
The most difficult aspect of entrepreneurship is making decisions and not knowing whether they are right or wrong. Not all the decisions I’ve made have been right, but let’s say I learned to trust my intuition! There are so many rewarding aspects of entrepreneurship, but the most rewarding is certainly choosing the people I work with. Teaming up with my partners was key in having a happy working relationship. I also enjoy the ability to create my own opportunities by attending conventions and networking with like-minded people. I certainly feel like I shape my own destiny by being an entrepreneur.
// What advice do you have for someone creating their own tech start up? //
My advice for someone creating their own startup is to join professional networking groups. You will meet professionals interested in helping others develop their ideas. While networking and making life-long friendships. I have met numerous entrepreneurs who willingly help me either through offering advice on how to bring my business to the next level or letting others know about my business. I highly recommend this to any new business owner.
// Anything else you want our readers to know about OncoGambit? //
In order to win the fight against cancer, it's going to take everyone! Everyone being informed and everyone feeling like they have access to the best information. That is easy-to-understand and follow, when it comes to treatments. It is very rewarding to educate our patients about their cancer, treatments and that they can have a better chance of survival with our treatment validation tool.
We built this for the patients, not the oncologists. But the oncologists should want their patients to feel confident in their treatment. So patients can enter the treatment process with the most confidence as possible. As a doctor, you want your patient to be in the right state of mind when facing this challenging process, and that is exactly what patients will get from using OncoGambit!