KnowRX is a tech firm and app on a mission to impact and save lives by giving the world a tool to track medication management through scheduling, accountability, and engagement.
David Franklin, Founder of KnowRX, and his team have developed a way to securely exchange relevant information between those involved in clinical trial planning, execution, and participation as essential parts of developing and transitioning better data into better health care using machine learning.
KnowRX has developed a cloud-based digital healthcare platform that covers a variety of encounters that are critical to effective therapeutic care. Their machine learning platform, Maestro ML, facilitates a method of care and service, tailored to each patient. It helps with clinical trial participation, improved medication adherence, focused confidential surveys, daily wellness activities, and knowledge that empowers patients for better self-care. It is aimed at enhancing well-being by giving vital pharmacological information and reports to assist healthcare providers and their patients select the necessary therapy for them.
David sits down with Matt, our podcast host, to talk about KnowRX and how it’s on will soon be found in most healthcare facilities. David discusses the challenges he has faced as a startup founder and how his military experience has helped him overcome them, as well as how machine learning, through his Maestro ML platform, provides the healthcare industry with never-before-seen opportunities. You’ll also learn how David solves hiring challenges, notably with outsourcing, and why KnowRX’s ability to locate excellent specialists is hampered by a lack of sector knowledge rather than a language barrier.
Who is David Franklin?
David Franklin, a former military veteran, describes his past and path to creating KnowRX as a journey of self-discovery. Serving in the Navy during the Gulf War was crucial in guiding David through his professional career. Working mostly as a solution architect and in communications for the Navy, David claims that it taught him the importance of community service, advocacy, and outreach. The military, as often does for all who serve, helped him develop essential qualities such as resilience, grit, and discipline, therefore, helping him overcome the entrepreneurial challenges a little easier than many.
My time in the Navy mostly was pivotal for me because I was 19/20 at the time, going through the Gulf War, and learning. After eight years of service, I transitioned out and entered the tech community. Fortunately, after my stint in the military, I was able to take part in two IPOs. After that, I went into consulting as an Application Engineer, where I designed apps. These experiences gave me insight into how to be a creative innovator and how to integrate the inner and outer parts of myself. As much as it is a career, it’s also a personal one. On a personal level, I began to research awareness, awakening, neuroplasticity, and mindfulness meditation, which has greatly strengthened my resilience as an entrepreneur since I left corporate.
Having lost his father in 2018, who died while in IOC as a result of a medication side effect, David tells us how he was able to discover life and death as a result of this event.
I was upset and angry. I wanted to blame someone for my father’s death. However, as a technologist, I felt compelled to fix something and assist the community, patients, and healthcare consumers. This is what we mean when we say that technology has the ability to change lives. We have the Al app of care, which assists pharmaceutical firms in recruiting and retaining employees.
Eighty percent of medications submitted to the FDA had insufficient data for all people who take them, particularly those from underrepresented communities. And this, is what I learned from my father’s experience: assisting consumers, whether they’re on medication or not, as well as patients who are being actively monitored by a physician. To help you have better medication dialogues, enhance your health and health literacy, and improve medication adherence depending on the medications you’re taking, ultimately empowering you as a patient. And, hopefully, we will be able to enhance their standard of living. This is how technology can be used to make a difference in people’s lives.
David’s vast amount of experience, acquired over his career, surely had an impact on the type of leader he has become. We wanted to know how these experiences have helped him, specifically, how transitioning from a military background boosted his journey or made it even harder.
It’s really about making a commitment to serve a bigger cause, a bigger community. KnowRX is about how we can serve a larger community, not about us as individuals. Next, the military gives you resilience and grit, two attributes that are critical for surviving the entrepreneurial struggle.
So, as I’ve progressed through my professional career, whether it was in the military or in sales, operations, marketing, or customer service, being able to bring all of these things together has allowed me to holistically form a company and bring in strategic people, the highest qualified personnel, to help strengthen and take us where we need to go. But it’s actually about connecting with something greater than ourselves and realizing that we’re all connected. And that the common thread through us is through healthcare, healthcare systems, and healthcare for individuals. My experience has helped me in finding this path, and I can now ensure that what we do benefits everyone that uses KnowRX.
Patience. You’ll need a lot of patience if you want to join the startup train. When you are servicing a big problem for a large community, you need a big solution, and it’s difficult for people to grasp the scope of what we’re attempting to do. As a result, connecting the dots and aligning everything from end-to-end management of what we need to do to assist that person through this issue takes longer.
David highlights the importance of the mindfulness and meditation features of the KnowRX app, revealing how such practices have had an impact on his personal development, and so this tried and tested practice had to be added in.
I’m a certified workforce mindfulness facilitator. I’m a positive neuroplasticity teacher. So I’ve taken these things personally, I know their value and so I see it needs to be incorporated into this.
KnowRX’s machine learning capabilities are a little different from anything out there. Although it tracks and identifies drugs, the main aim is to identify the probable side effects of those medications.
Let’s say a medication’s side effect creates anxiety; in that case, we’ll provide free educational information on mindfulness and the likelihood of the side effect occurring. We want to use these things to counteract and complement the medication, with things such as nutrition as well. For example, what are some natural ways to enhance your fiber intake? This is how we think about medicine, and this is where machine learning comes into play. It assists us in determining which sources of information we will need to provide you with in order to increase your literacy, health literacy, and your awareness while you’re on this medication.
My co-founder is a clinical research physician with whom I’ve worked for the past ten years. So, after my father passed away, I reached out to him, and together we created this company. Then we brought on Brenda Conwell, a senior scientist with over 30 years of clinical research and operational experience and a member of our executive leadership team. Michael Johnson, who has previously worked with me on a technical level but also has a healthcare background and is a war veteran, has also previously worked with me on a technological level. Then there’s Anthony Andrews, who was in the military with me. So these are all people that are close to me, and I have already established a level of trust and loyalty with them. We’re all very well positioned in our careers but we also have different skill sets, which is important for building a strong initial team.
David told how they initially employed outsourced workers from other countries in order to save costs and accelerate the operation but this is obviously only a part of the hiring challenge, stressing the necessity to actively seek assistance from tech specialists and individuals with expertise in healthcare, gaming, and wellness management, as we may lack that technical background. This is especially hard to find, a ‘rare bird’ if you will. But, nevertheless, possible. Although, underlining the fact that all these attributes aren’t necessary from the onset, as the majority of these can be learned. However, the desire to learn must be there.
When it comes to soft skills, we search for people that share our passion, for example, people who are making a difference in the lives of others. They must be connected to our mission, values, and enthusiasm. Everything else can be learned.
Outsourcing comes with its own set of issues and obstacles. The first is the time difference. The answer to the time difference problem, on the other hand, is relatively simple. All you have to do is plan ahead of time to get the team to move forward rather than trying to catch up. As a result, we don’t expect them to be on our timetable; rather, we require them to be ahead of schedule. We need that small overlap of time, but not necessarily on our timetable. Timing can be difficult at times, but it is doable.
The language barrier is rarely a problem. From a business standpoint, it’s usually easier for us because English is the most widely used business language. So it’s not so much a language barrier, but rather a problem with task comprehension. It’s difficult for someone to work in healthcare, regardless of language, if they don’t understand healthcare. This gap becomes even wider when you go overseas if they don’t understand the industry or how we manage our medication and timetables, which might differ from country to country. As a result, finding not only technical but also industry terminology is crucial for us when we outsource.
There’s the default… India. I’ve also used companies from Mexico, which worked on a niche or model I’ve employed in one of my present operations. Previously, my co-founder and I worked with a company in Ukraine, which is clearly going through a terrible period right now. But I know they’re working hard in that area, and I know they’re continuing to work hard there. And being resourceful in their efforts to reinvest in their country. So it’s vital for me to realign there rather than elsewhere.
David explains how having a military background, compels him to want to support Ukraine in any way possible. Stating his desire to continue to work with Ukrainian specialists and invest in Ukraine, because this is his and other tech founders’ responsibility – to contribute and support Ukraine by working with companies that have been caught in terrible circumstances yet continue to deliver results. He tells of the Ukrainian commitment and how, even despite the conflict, they continue to impress with their work ethic. Therefore, his message being to continue to invest in Ukraine, but understand the risks. Using Ukrainian professionals, we made great results.
David was shocked when he heard from previous vendors how Ukrainians continue to work and try to keep a feeling of normalcy in their workplace. Noting ‘Many of these businesses had strong contingency plans in place, such as moving west or to Poland, or relocating essential people to continue operations. And that is incredible, and we want to be a part of it.
We were unaware that businesses had taken such major steps to protect their personnel and responsibilities, not only to their country. From what I understand, they take profit after they secured their people, and then reinvest it back into the country to help their people. As a result, it’s critical to strengthen them right now.
The risk of working with Ukrainian vendors still exists, but much of it has been mitigated, and, from a business point of view, there are ways for companies to utilize this moment and Ukrainian companies. There’s risk everywhere. Not only when outsourcing in Ukraine. Take, for example, India, where there is a high risk of turnover, particularly staff turnover, and we have to adapt around that. To the best of their abilities, Ukrainians have taken the necessary procedures to help limit the probability of risk.
It’s really the aggregation of data standing where the data is coming from. Out data is pulled from hospital systems and ICD-10 codes. So we have to understand the translation of information between medical or clinical to the consumer. We have objective data from consumers coming in from the mobile application, wearable information, Bluetooth-connected information, and then we just have a credible source of documentation that we’re pulling in. If you imagine 4.5 billion prescriptions, and you look at the schedules associated with them, the schedules are going to be 346 times that. So you’re looking at 20/40 billion records of data there. We’re not there yet, but at some point, this data matures and so the volume increases. This is why it is important. So when we start looking at all this information, we hope to be able to identify a more accurate probability of side effects.
When looking at the data from the patient, over time you are able to see DNA markers and the uniqueness of the patient – the train of the patient’s analysis. From this, we would not only look at the probability of side effects but then provide additional complimentary services such as the nutritional information, the wellness information, and the holistic aspect. All this information is there, to help the patient.
The outcome, eventually, will be that the ML will lead to an AI service that we have planned out and roadmap both for the clinician and for the patient – an interactive AI widget inside the application or platform for the patient to engage with and interact with, but it’s really the machine learning that’s driving that behavior.
You’re looking at hundreds of millions to billions of records of data, where there are beyond millions or tens of millions of records. That’s only in a single year. If you multiply it by a large number of years, the wealth of data is astronomical.
We wanted to find out, where KnowRX plans to go in the future. David spoke about the primary objective, on the clinical side of things, becoming the primary vehicle for pharmaceutical companies’ sponsors in recruiting and retaining new patients within a few years. And therefore, better drugs will be developed for everyone. On the consumer side, David mentions medication adherence and its importance to what they are doing, being a leading application in reducing the likelihood of readmissions and enhancing everyday people’s quality of life.
I know, in losing my father, I couldn’t help in that scenario. And I’m well aware that we can’t and don’t understand the timeline of life. As a result, we are unable to change the course of life. But each day while you’re on medication, we can help improve or give you the availability to improve the quality of your life. Whether it’s through mindfulness, meditation, dietary changes, or exercise, we can assist people in this way and improve their health outcomes.