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There’s an app for health care: Website developer invents Medytex

FNS Photo by Dave Wallis Saurabh Tyagi, CEO of Medytex, shows a page of his software that lets patients take a survey as they leave a clinic. Medytex is developing the patient feedback systems for health care facilities.

FARGO — It started as an idea for an app that could give instant feedback to restaurants. Now, it seeks to make health care better and more affordable.

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Medytex is the most recent addition to the Technology Incubator at the North Dakota State University Research and Technology Park.

Saurabh Tyagi, a website developer, is CEO of Medytex. He worked to develop the restaurant survey app, called Eathos, at Fargo’s Startup Weekend in March 2013.

The pitch was the winning idea at the entrepreneurial event. But based on the judges’ feedback, the app’s purpose changed.

“We thought patients need a platform for their voice,” Tyagi said.

In the next couple of weeks, Medytex will begin being tested at local clinics. The next step is to sell it locally, then nationally and eventually worldwide, Tyagi said.

It’s a clean, straightforward tablet application. Users answer a couple of questions about gender and age and then tap one of four squares to describe their experience. The ratings of excellent, good, fair or poor correspond with face drawings — a toothy smile for excellent, a scowling frown for poor.

A follow-up screen offers the chance to leave written feedback. The providers can customize questions. The feedback is anonymous.

“You can leave feedback for doctors or departments, how their service was and the overall experience,” Tyagi said.

Medytex is currently available in three languages, with more planned. Tyagi said the app will offer audio feedback for people with visual disabilities in the future.

On the back end, clinics can see the number of responses, the demographic breakdown and a bar chart of the responses. The results can be exported into a PDF or spreadsheet.

Tyagi said health care facilities currently don’t have a good way to receive feedback. Mailed surveys take months to produce results, and only a small percentage of people send them back, he said. Random phone samples are unreliable, he said.

“Clinics don’t get the feedback they need,” he said. “Patients don’t remember an appointment one month ago.”

But with a patient feedback system at checkout, “Their ideas are fresh. They remember what happened 5 minutes ago.”

Tyagi said the system is much less expensive and easier to use than the few other instant feedback systems on the market, which would save health care providers money. He also described Medytex as green, secure and reliable.

The Affordable Care Act requires practitioners to measure patient feedback or face reduced reimbursements.

John Cosgriff, Incubator manager, said Medytex fits well there in that it’s developing a new technology, and could benefit from the advice and mentoring of Incubator coaches.

“We believe they’ve got a target market, they’ve got a product that can solve a need in that market,” Cosgriff said.

The Incubator is currently home to 12 companies and is about 80 percent occupied, Cosgriff said.

Tyagi said the Incubator has connected the company, which includes his wife, Ashley, as chief marketing officer, with helpful resources, including government grants.

“It’s just been a blessing for us,” he said.