But Did It Work? Podcast Episode 7: VSee: Enabling Superhuman Telehealth & Creating a Healthier World

VSee began as a simple question: how can we create trust over video calls? Which behaviors work to establish the human connections we seek through technology, and which behaviors inhibit it? 

As Dr. Milton Chen, Co-Founder and CEO of VSee, has learned throughout his career, these questions are vital as we work to integrate technology into our daily lives in a way that is meaningful, impactful, and human. In this episode, Dr. Chen shares with Dominic all about how his PhD work developed into the company that is now VSee, how the VSee team delivers streamlined telehealth experiences to physicians and supports NASA Space Station’s communication system, and how the company’s mission mindset guides their humanitarian work in Ukraine and other high-need areas across the globe. 

About Dr. Chen:

Dr. Milton Chen is the cofounder and CEO of VSee, telehealth company for McKesson, GE health, Optum, DaVita, NASA Space Station and 2000+ clients. He did his PhD research on the psychology of video communications, coding the original VSee video application to change the way we work together remotely. Dr. Chen became focused on increasing access to healthcare and bettering the telehealth experience during his numerous humanitarian and medical missions trips to places such as Iraq and Syria, as well as Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America on many occasions. He has also had the privilege of deploying VSee for former President Obama’s Inauguration, as well as notables such as Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie, and Mandy Moore. 

About Dominic: 

Dominic Marcellino is the director of strategy and business development at Kajeet. In this role, Dominic is responsible for expanding and strengthening Kajeet’s partnerships with system integrators, device manufacturers and solution providers, leading strategy for product and sales teams and refining customer experience. An expert in product, business development and sales with extensive expertise in bringing low-power IoT applications to market, Dominic’s strategic guidance strengthens Kajeet’s market position as a premier mobile virtual network operator for global enterprises.

About Kajeet:  

Kajeet is a managed IoT connectivity provider working to enable connections for good. Founded in 2003, the company provides optimized IoT connectivity, software and hardware solutions that deliver safe, reliable, and controlled internet connectivity to nearly 3,000 businesses, schools and districts, state and local governments, and IoT solution providers. Kajeet is the only managed IoT connectivity services provider in the industry to offer a scalable IoT management platform, Sentinel®, that includes complete visibility into real-time data usage, policy control management, custom content filters for added security and multi-network flexibility. Whether to enable digital access that ensures student success, empower companies to connect and control devices in the field, or offer support and a platform to launch a complex mobile solution, Kajeet is trusted by many to make powerful and flexible wireless solutions easy. Kajeet is available for hybrid and multi-network access across all major North American wireless networks, globally in 168 other countries, and on multiple licensed and unlicensed networks. Kajeet holds 39 U.S. patents in mobile technologies. To learn more, visit kajeet.com and follow us on Twitter.

Podcast Transcript:  

0:00:00.0 Dr. Milton Chen: And our metric of success is, today when people do telehealth, right, today you’re in person, you switch at Zoom, you get about 10-30% hit on productivity. I mean, you’re a physician, you make less money. You could see fewer patients because all the productivity things is not there. So our goal is to turn physicians into superhumans. You achieve like… Can you increase your revenue by 50%? Let me show you how I can do all of these interesting with telehealth. That’s, I think, probably the biggest things also we learned. 


 0:00:48.4 Dominic Marcellino: Hello, and welcome to another edition of But Did it Work? With your host, Dominic Marcellino. We’ve got a great episode today, I’m joined by Dr. Milton Chen, who is the co-founder and CEO of VSee. VSee provides video telehealth platforms for NASA, for telehealth in normal life and for refugees around the world. We have a great conversation today about how the company was started. He found his way from the computer labs of Stanford to solving problems in space and today, in Ukraine and elsewhere. I hope you enjoy the episode. 

 0:01:27.4 DM: Milton, welcome to the podcast. Why don’t we get started by learning a little bit about you and how you got started in this world of telehealth and remote patient monitoring?  

 0:01:38.6 DC: First off, Dominic, I really, really appreciate the chance to be on your show there. So I wish I’m one of those persons to tell you gracefully, I had this vision doing that. I was pretty clueless and got lucky in some sense, eventually down the line. I was doing my PhD work at Stanford University. I was really intrigued by, what make you trust someone over video? So my thesis was, if I just point a camera on your face… 

 0:02:10.0 DM: Right. 

 0:02:10.6 DC: Does that make you turn… Now what if I distort the signal? So, for example, what if I spend the whole time not looking at your eyes? I look on the side. How does that distort the way you perceive me?  

 0:02:22.8 DC: Supposedly, there’s a long network delay and you ask me a question. Even though I answer right away, but in your mind, you perceive there’s a delay. Does that make you think I’m a little bit dumb or a little bit slower? I was really intrigued by this. I did a bunch of research around there. And then through there, after I graduated, I, to be completely transparent, had no idea what I was doing, [laughter] should I be a professor or whatever… So I say, well, professor seems like a lot of work… 

 0:02:54.4 DM: Right. 

 0:02:54.5 DC: [laughter] So, maybe I’ll do this startup thing… So I just started… Again like I said, I had no idea what I was doing. Thank God, I got pretty lucky that we raised two rounds of investment, we’re currently backed by Salesforce.com, and then our company pivot a couple of times throughout history, and now we’re knee-deep, 100% on telehealth. 

 0:03:14.1 DM: Sure. Well, let’s unpack that a little bit. So I’d really like to hear more about what it is that you learned in that research because now, we spend so much time at work, but also receiving healthcare, I’ve watched it for my children and I have it for myself, there really is something to doing this well, and I think a lot of people do it also poorly, but yeah, what were some of the findings of the research that got the journey started?  

 0:03:37.8 DC: My number one recommendation to everyone who’s maybe listening, who’re doing a bunch of Zoom call or Microsoft Team call, do not use virtual background, here’s why… Now of course, if it’s, you’re in a restaurant, whatever thing that you wanna do, it’s okay, but assuming you work on a home environment, here’s why. If let’s say you… I invite you to my home. People normally reciprocate then, like social cue, you’re gonna invite me to your home, right, back and forth… If I turn on the virtual background, what you’re really telling the other person is “Let’s keep it professional. I don’t feel comfortable with you to invite you into my space.” People reciprocate that. So that one actually is you’re breaking down one of the foundation of how trust created this. That’s first. Now the second thing is, is if you could actually make your camera field of view, as you can see your gesture, let the other person see your gesture, that also accelerate the trust. And the other thing… 

 0:04:39.0 DM: Which is what you’ve done here, ’cause as we’re recording, I can see you and you are doing exactly what you just described. Unfortunately, nobody else can see it, but that’s great. 

 0:04:48.0 DC: Yeah. Some other like subtleties, in the like, especially say you’re meeting with a client in a sales or maybe high performing… We know that in a Zoom call, you’re multitasking. Just let them see your hand, they’re not multi… It’s not like, I’m like, yeah… [laughter] We could tell, you could tell, especially this high performance in there, just to show that you are really engaged with this person. That should make a big difference. 

 0:05:19.1 DM: No, that’s fascinating and absolutely, I see that quite a bit. You can tell that somebody is likely not listening to you or not fully paying attention, especially with multiple screens, and I find that sometimes challenging because I put the view of the people I’m looking at on one screen and the material that I’m presenting on another one, and I definitely try to look back and forth, but those are just fascinating things. 

 0:05:44.0 DM: And so you did this research, you learned a lot, you’re practicing it, and you’re trying to figure out what to do. This is a common story for everyone, and like you, if I describe to you what I thought I was doing and how I ended up where I am today, they’re not connected with my original concepts. But that’s just sort of how life is. Tell me a little bit about getting started, ’cause I think the pivots actually are as interesting as the end, the end journey, not least because sometimes people gloss over those pivots. But I feel like that’s where so much is learned… Just a little bit more about what the original idea was, and then kinda how reality pointed you in a different direction. 

 0:06:20.8 DC: So initially, when we started out, we wanted to create just like a secure video collaboration, too. So VSee was meant to capture a verb of video scene. The whole idea is, if you see someone by video, that experience is different than face-to-face or voice. It’s meant to capture all this, trust, human factor. So we thought we wanna create this idea… When you do video see someone, VSee is like learning a new language. You master eye contact, gesture, smile… You give a lot more effect to that, giving that promotion, giving that recognition. 

 0:06:58.3 DM: Sure. 

 0:07:00.5 DC: If you don’t understand the verb or the language of that, you could risk not getting that. So that’s how we started out. And then, initially, when our company started, we did a lot of disaster relief, military work in this, so we were fortunate to receive some investment through the US government agencies there. And then, the mistake I made in there, it was to say, we should hire someone who is actually based in Washington DC versus in the early days of DC, I would go to DC every two weeks. I literally having to fly, every two weeks, I’m there. But it just, it’s different from having a person on the ground because when you sell to the government, it’s very high-touch, very intensive… 

 0:07:50.8 DM: Sure. 

 0:07:51.4 DC: What we find is we were, we had a lot of really great clients in there, but the sales process was very, very, just challenging, long and so on. That’s a time that I reached out to Marc Benioff of Salesforce.com and he was gracious enough. And for my first contact with him, he made the investment in like three month. 

 0:08:13.3 DM: Wow. 

 0:08:13.5 DC: It was like really fast. So then we, through that, we pivot to… We expanded beyond government work to a more, the enterprise, how do you help enterprise think through remote work and all these things? Then the key mistake I made on that is, I did not raise enough investment. We got essentially outmarketing by Zoom. 

 0:08:37.9 DC: If you, for example, if you’re, take VSee, where we have this video software, it’s good enough to be on the NASA space station. By the way, Dominic, there’s no Zoom in space. Well, then you really depend on something NASA trust us, we’ve been serving there for over eight years now. Now, NASA pick us to go to the moon or picking out the system for… But so you feel like software-wise, that technology-wise, it’s very comparable. You wanna create a video, screen share, annotation, other thing. 

 0:09:05.9 DC: But I didn’t understand the sales and marketing, that part of the business, it’s like, I was this naïve, this PhD… You build this thing and it just instantly comes? No, it doesn’t come automatically. [laughter] Then of course, that Zoom just like took off, they had enough such a market presence in there, they just dominate. So we are finding it’s really hard to compete in the world with Zoom. They have so much momentum already in this. That was the time we decided to say, okay, we’re… What we have is really just… The future is not bright. 


 0:09:45.7 DM: Oh, so yeah. You focused on a… And basically, you, from a wide focus, went down to something very specific… 

 0:09:52.1 DC: Yeah. 

 0:09:52.5 DM: And have focused on telehealth since then. And you said that they were mistakes, but anything that you learned from isn’t really a mistake unless you’ve done it twice. [laughter] It’s just learning, but it’s critical to also recognize that continuing on a pathway isn’t gonna work, so you went in this direction. Now you’re focused on telehealth. 

 0:10:12.4 DC: Yeah. 

 0:10:13.1 DM: And maybe tell us a little bit about what you learned that was sort of unexpected in that approach and kind of how that… The early days of that started. 

 0:10:26.1 DC: Yeah. I can even share how we pivot to telehealth, that was… 

 0:10:29.4 DM: Sure. 

 0:10:29.7 DC: Completely by luck, in some sense. Okay. We said… Okay, we need to, we need to make some pivot to focus in there because Zoom is going… I think Zoom’s going to dominate, they’ve done a phenomenally good job. So we did analysis of, who are people using VSee in there? We know there’s about 50% of our user were healthcare-related. We did not target hospital. And I always say, I’m like, what is going on? Why are they… Turned out that we built a number of features by accident. It was a perfect match with healthcare. We added ability to, you could remotely control the camera. That time it was really good for telemedicine card in an ER with stroke. 

 0:11:12.0 DM: Sure. 

 0:11:12.8 DC: We added ability to stream multiple video feeds; turned out, it was perfect for one camera at the patient, you have a secondary video feed of the medical device. We build this really fast way to do screen sharing, with the annotation. And that was really interesting. I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you wanna do a remote training in there. So now, the medical record is very important. You wanna only a certain section of a desktop because the other section maybe you have some notes, you don’t want the other person to see. You can’t do that on Zoom or Microsoft Team, so we had this in there. 

 0:11:52.5 DC: It turned out that initially, designing that was to say, let’s say you’re doing design, you have something you wanna only share this part of the screen, but nothing else you can see, but that was perfect for sharing medical records or like training. We have all these things, it was like literally, no one had those feature. We said, “Oh, all these people are doing that,” we said… Okay. I definitely had no idea about healthcare in this… It’s not like I go to hospital… [laughter] 

 0:12:21.4 DM: Sure, sure. 

 0:12:22.4 DC: We just spent, I think a good… A year and two. So me and my co-founder, we just went to a bunch of hospital. We just were asking: Okay. “What do you do… Actually do in there… ” From there, we learn a bunch, little subtle thing. One of the key thing we learned was, if you assume you can build a software product, give it to hospital, you could force down the throat of a hospital IT, say with a doctor. But if we go to the actual physicians, the nursing staff, medical assistant, they can complain. You find this with the electronic medical record system, right? How many people talk about, “I love my EHR.” [laughter] I’m always… All the extra click in there. And then our biggest thing we realized is, is that I cannot build a software for you because I don’t know you. I don’t know your workflow. Like for example, if you think about the million doctors out there, 5,000 hospital, they all have these unique workflows in there. 

 0:13:21.2 DC: But what I could do is, I could give you a bunch of Lego building blocks. Now, fast forward to today, right, we spent over 500 man years building this platform. The whole idea is like, “I don’t know you, but I have a good sense of what you may need, so I have all these Lego building block.” Once I know you, we have to come to no code, there’d be no programming. I can configure these to be exactly what you want, and then you get that. 

 0:13:47.5 DC: And our metric of success is today when people do telehealth, right, today you’re in person, you switch at Zoom, you get about 10-30% hit on productivity. I mean, you’re a physician, you make less money. You could see fewer patient because all the productivity things is not there. So our goal is to turn physicians into superhumans. You achieve like… Can you increase your revenue by 50%? Let me show you how you can do all these interesting with telehealth. So that’s like, I think probably the biggest things also we learned. 

 0:14:21.2 DM: Absolutely. So that is both awesome, I think, in terms of the flexibility of the platform is one of matching workflows that already exist to capabilities, instead of changing workflows. And I had, I suppose, the learning as well, years ago, trying to sell an asset tracking system to a couple of hospitals where we actually got into the hospitals and we began to use it, and it was only the people who were going to use it that they were the gatekeepers for us. 

 0:14:50.4 DM: We needed to be sure that it worked for them and if it worked for them, we had a shot at selling. But I think that the thing that’s fascinating about your story as well is that you realized you had a relatively good product market fit for a market you didn’t know that you were going to be going after, and then you spent the time honing your product to truly fit that market and recognized the need for this flexibility in order to serve it well. I think that’s a fascinating piece of your story, for sure. 

 0:15:19.6 DC: Yeah. In fact, I think like when we started out, this was a video company. Now, today, if you look at what we built, the video is like less than 5% of what we actually do. So that other 95% is how do we interface with a blood pressure cuff? How do you do… Connect to a OtoSkill to do remote physical exam? How to have this calendar system that we can do, let’s say, like very complex scheduling, coordination piece? How do you do electronic submission on claims? Because again, at end of the day, right… 

 0:15:51.0 DM: You’ve gotta be paid. 

 0:15:53.1 DC: If doctor require a whole back-office in just to get paid, is not a good use of their money and resource. So this is now, I feel like, with all these things, now we’re actually just pretty knee-deep on every aspect of healthcare. In fact, our metric is to just, how to keep things so easy, the doctor get to do what they want? In fact, by the… This is a little bit self-serving, so it could be the things you guys are doing, I find is like, is like perfect, imagine, like, too… Because at the end of the day, physician, nurses, they’re so busy in there, right?  

 0:16:23.0 DC: Like here’s the tablet, give it to the patient. This could be the mantra or, you know, all the network, everything, security, you don’t need to think about it. Our motto is like one click on that button, connect and there is a doctor, just keep the whole thing simple. And then that’s part of our concept is, today, too many of these medical staff, they are forced to become IT. 

 0:16:42.5 DM: Exactly. 

 0:16:43.1 DC: I speak with them, ‘Oh, you’re in a Zoom call, I can’t hear you. What does the doctor do? Oh, could you go to the lower left corner? Can you click on that button and switch… Like how many background do you have there…’ [laughter] 

 0:16:57.6 DM: Right. And that’s like simple troubleshooting and I can only imagine people that are overworked anyway needing to also train people before it, like, if I were to give somebody a kit before they left and it’s complex, beyond turning things on and pressing applications exactly like everyone interfaces with a smartphone or tablet now, once you go beyond that, it’s a crapshoot about whether or not someone’s gonna do it effectively, not least when someone’s not feeling well. So even people like you, it’s much easier if you just turn it on, then you also get to play IT when you’re not feeling well, in order to get care. 

 0:17:31.9 DC: I just think like, what you guys are doing, you could essentially just stop worrying about it. Don’t be IT. Medical staff stay with the medical thing. Everything else taken care of. 

 0:17:40.5 DM: Yeah. I think it’s a great story. Speaking of stories that are interesting though, I do wanna… I wanna hear a little bit more about the journey that led VSee to working with NASA, which is really cool. 

 0:17:52.2 DC: Yeah. So, how this came about is… So, it started during the times we were doing the secure video work in this. So we were… The NASA, in their command center, you see all the movies that’s in there, they had a challenge. The challenge they had was you have… So everyone had the voice system, so you can sort of talk to each other in there. So they need a replacement… So that system was very expensive. It’s a purely analog switching, but what they… They wanted to replace that system with a digital system. The challenge they had with the digital system is they had a little bit extra delay in there. So the challenge for that is, you have a bunch… A couple dozen people in the physical room, at the same time the voice is going to the space shuttle, space station there. 

 0:18:43.7 DC: How do you minimize delay using… So that was a challenge they couldn’t… There’s no existing off-the-shelf solution in there. So they heard about, you know, this random guy out of Stanford, whatever, doing some weird stuff… We got a call from them saying like, “Can you solve that problem for us?” So that was the times when me and my co-founder, we took a bunch of trip there. So we actually built a system for them. So just like, what was unique about that system is we were able to delay the… Normally, when you do Voice over IP, you have a delay of a hundred, 200 milliseconds, at least, often it’s much higher. We were able to take that delay, shrink it down to sort of sub-50 millisecond. 

 0:19:30.3 DC: So, the way you could tell that is to say, how you could tell the delay was, like I say, like I said, take a pen with a strike on the, a table in there, so you would record the striking sound and the sound that come out of the speaker. Now, so the idea is, right, you should see two… Two spike in there. That’s how you can sort… Because you’re happening so fast, even our, like our… Human, it’s hard to tell a little bit, where you get down to sub-100 milliseconds… And we’re doing this and we were like… Shrink it down. And they were so impressed with this. “This is like incredible, how are you doing this?” “Oh because we’re a bunch of engineering nerds.” 


 0:20:09.4 DC: That’s how we got into the command center in there. 

 0:20:13.3 DM: Sure. 

 0:20:14.2 DC: Then they told us, “You need to figure out a updated version of the video system for the thing.” And then they did a exhaustive research, again, just pretty much all the tools out there, from Zoom to Microsoft, like you name it, like just Polycom, Cisco, you know … back in the days Zoom there, like WebEx. They did a benchmark, everything out there. After they benchmarked everything, they actually rated VSee as the highest performance system by a couple of metric. 

 0:20:45.1 DC: One was, we did a really good job when you have a loss of signal. So the space station to orbit around earth, so the way the network is, at the station to orbit around earth, there are two satellites. So space station to satellite, down to Alabama, Huntsville from there. From there, they spread out. So they’re bouncing around there. So as a… It’s very much like you’re in a car driving down the highway. You go… You’re gonna go from one cell phone tower, gonna switch to another one, to switch to another one… During that switch, you could have loss of signal. So how do you handle that gracefully in there? So we did a really good job on that. 

 0:21:21.6 DM: Nice. 

 0:21:22.3 DC: The other piece they really like is, we had a really strong encryption in this, this give you just from a security perspective, again, is NASA is a very high profile target, they feel very comfortable with that. Then the final thing, which is the ease of use in there. For example, the way you share a screen, the way you send a file, the way… Or chat or make video, it was just really easy. One of the requirement was, the astronaut, they’re so busy, they don’t wanna do that, they had to go sitting, just on training. Their training is like, “Can I go look over someone’s shoulder for a couple minutes?” Okay, okay. I got it. That’s it. 


 0:21:58.0 DC: That’s their requirement for training. So that’s how we got into the NASA, we’re definitely really proud for the last eight years, again a 100%, that video call done by VSee from space station. 

 0:22:10.0 DM: That’s amazing. And it sounds like there’s more to come with them as the… The missions expand back to the moon and beyond. That’s exciting, for sure. 

 0:22:19.1 DC: Yeah. Now the really exciting thing, I think two weeks ago, you probably saw the news NASA wrote on the Artemis rocket. This is the one that gonna take people going back to the moon. And we’re pretty excited. Now we’re doing a lot of work with the astronauts in the office to figure out, what are the devices they will fly to the moon? And we wanna make sure, okay, our software would interface with all the devices, so we become a hub, in terms of where there’s an ECG, for example, from AliveCor, like ultrasound, OtoSkill, all the different things. So now you can actually pull in a unified framework, again make it easy. But one of the really exciting things for the NASA is… So at the HIMSS conference, a couple weeks ago, I was asked to speak about, how does the stuff we do in space apply to terrestrial, right? So if you think about, across America, all the rural health in there, and of course, all over the world, right?  

 0:23:18.6 DM: Sure. 

 0:23:18.8 DC: Like all these places where the challenge of taking care of the astronaut to the moon or Mars is almost identical to taking care of someone in the rural area of Texas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, right? Very similar. There’s no specialist, they’re far from the physician. How about the chronic disease, how do you monitor them? So in fact, now we have a framework, a project to say, I think anything we do for the space station and the moon, that actually… That entire software framework directly apply to American and the rest of the world as well. [laughter] 

 0:23:56.5 DM: Absolutely. And let’s talk a little bit more about that because I know, not only is it applicable in that case, but you actually have done a lot of work with vulnerable populations already, including some recent work in Ukraine. Do you wanna maybe tell a little bit about those experiences, too?  

 0:24:13.3 DC: Yeah. That was it. As… I mean, again this is to be completely transparent in there, right? So when I was a graduate student, my sense of the world beyond like the basement of computer science building was not there. Like literally, my life was in the dorm. I ride my… I was roller blading, I’d roller blade… It was the CS building. I go to the basement, I write code whole day. Then you go home and repeat. It was that. So, then when the VSee, the company get going, I was very fortunate, a number of the key people we hire in early days, like Penny, Erica and so on, so they were really passionate, I would say, they had a much better view of the world than I was, so they saw that we should do… There’s these, all these projects. So because of that, we just started doing these for medical missions overseas. 

 0:25:15.7 DC: And then I think probably the most, the thing that got us on the personal level that maybe instilled my sense of mission to do this was, we took a trip to Gabon in the… This was a small African country on the Equator. And this time it was a group of Harvard physicians at Albert Schweitzer, they have a program. They’ve been going to Gabon for like 20 years. Of course, before that, it was purely just as a in-person care. So we went with them to support adding a digital. And it was a tragedy. So we had this one woman, she’s probably early 30s in there. We set out a ultrasound, took out the VSee our telemedicine kit, we were doing ultrasound. Like I saw her heart beating on the ultrasound machine. You could see the thing. And then probably like 10 minutes passed, and she passed away. 

 0:26:10.6 DM: Oh, wow. 

 0:26:11.4 DC: It was… The first time you have someone who passed away, like literally like in front of you, literally I was standing here and my team, we’re seeing the… Like the from this sense, alive to now… It was… And then, outside the room, like all her family member was there, crying… It was just very… Like really, very, like… I don’t know, just very shocking. 

 0:26:39.2 DM: Sure. 

 0:26:39.3 DC: And just… For me, it’s like, I was mentioned before, it’s not like I go to the hospital, I’m relatively healthy and my parents are pretty healthy, you’re just like, a hospital just such a… But now you’ve gone through this and… I was chatting with a Harvard physician, I said like, “For example, could we have saved her life?” Unfortunately, so she had a tumor, it was so large, you can see it was there, it was like too late in there. So, if we actually, if we saw her earlier, yes we could have saved her life because she’s pretty young in there. But in those cases, the way you get to hospital, is it’s a swampy area, you came to those boats, it’s like the size that you went through, you could travel hours to get to this. How are you gonna go to… It’s not like you’re gonna go to the hospital that easily in there, right?  

 0:27:29.0 DC: And literally, back then was, there’s nothing you could’ve done. So because of that, after that, we just got, our fire got burned up in the sense that I’ve been to Iraq three times. I went to Syria and I had worked in Philippine orphanages, and we’ve just been like working like around the world, doing all of these work in there. We definitely now like having, so this, we are a for-profit company, but we probably do more medical volunteer work than all the other company combined. Like, I could tell you, I’m the only CEO of a telemedicine company who actually went to Iraq to volunteer. 


 0:28:07.6 DM: Right. Well, that’s tremendous, at a mission-driven company as well, I find the stories, both… they’re heartening and certainly see how you’ve built tools that can help exactly what you described, maybe not happen for someone else. And I’m sure that that was a very shocking experience. 

 0:28:29.9 DC: It was. 

 0:28:30.6 DM: And there are plenty more shocking things that happen all the time, but to be building something that has that kind of application and to start figuring out how to use it and to help people, that must provide a tremendous fire to you and your team, to keep going every day and continue to do the work that you’re doing. 

 0:28:47.4 DC: Yeah. I think that way it’s definitely, I think we’re putting… Take that mission-driven, not just a slogan to the extreme in this, it’s about our team to have actually not just reading code but they actually like went to refugee camp, too. Like we encourage them to say, like, get that hands-on experience, just to see what’s it like in there. In fact, our biggest project now, focus our time is in Ukraine in there. So what we’re doing for that is, we built a dispatch system. So we model after the US 911. So the idea, anyone from Ukraine, they could go to our website, it’s called seeaimee.com. 

 0:29:28.4 DC: If you go to seeaimee.com, that’s A-I-M-E-E, the spelling. So from there, you could just fill out an intake form and just like after… You called 911, so when you click Submit on the intake form, you’ll be automatically translate to one of our Ukrainian-speaking dispatches. So the idea, they can, through chat, gather additional information about… Because just to make sure we know exactly what the case is. Then from there, we connect to American physician to do a telemedicine session to provide service for them. 

 0:29:58.7 DM: Wow. Wow. That’s crazy. That’s amazing. 

 0:30:02.3 DC: In fact, what’s interesting about it is, we were able to stand up this system in three days. I was mentioned, one of the big thing for our VSee platform is, no code. 

 0:30:10.9 DM: Right, exactly. You put the blocks together, you knew what… You came up with the concept and you were able to do that. That’s… 

 0:30:18.7 DC: First day was to shuffle the building block. Second day, translate to Ukrainian, third day, to the training, then live. [chuckle] 

 0:30:26.6 DM: Wow. That’s incredible, and thank you to you and your team for doing that, that is very timely and important work. And it’s very impressive. Thank you for doing that. 

 0:30:38.9 DC: Well, thank you. In fact, another big piece we’re doing is, we’re also doing the, in addition to dispatch externally, inside Ukraine, we actually are setting up these with internal, like the, if you click a button, a doctor will show up. We’re doing a lot of the trauma, battlefield wounds, like amputations, like cardiology service, so the idea now within Ukraine, they have like a telemedicine network, they’re able to pull in the expertise quickly to support them. 

 0:31:09.7 DC: And then the third thing we’re doing is, is we’re actually doing a lot of work with supporting the refugees who’s now in the rest of Europe. And we’re working with NGOs to provide, use VSee as their electronic medical record system. One thing, this was something I learned, like, for example, when I go to like, under this 50-plus country in there. So when we go there, typically some NGO provides service already. If you look at what they do, they’re paper and pencil in there. 

 0:31:35.8 DM: Sure. 

 0:31:36.7 DC: There’s no electronic medical record system. Of course you can imagine the overhead of that, that’s pretty insane. So we actually have this tool called EMR light, it’s on purpose, it’s so light, that’s make it really easy. You could be in a refugee camp, process patient, keeping track. Okay. Here’s a set of patient that has a medical condition, let’s keep a close eye on them. So we have a light EMR that’s perfect for that, so that’s just the third piece we’re doing for the Ukraine. 

 0:32:07.7 DM: That’s just amazing. I think that you know, having done this show and been in IoT for a long time, it’s the first time that the visceral nature of the impact of the technology work has been so poignant and clear. And I think that the story you told about how your team, everybody goes and does some of this work to connect the technology work which, I think can definitely sometimes feel maybe a little bit like your academic work, where if nobody made you do it, you would just sit at your desk, but to know the impact of it, to see the effect on people’s lives, and to know that it’s doing good in the world, that’s just incredible. And selfishly, I’m delighted that that we have a chance to work together in the future and think that it’s gonna be really outstanding to do so. 

 0:32:50.9 DM: Well, so Milton, other than all of the amazing things that you do, what do you do when you get to do something else? Do you play an instrument? Do you like to read, do you roller blade still? What sort of is the fun side of… 

 0:33:03.8 DC: I’m big skier. 

 0:33:05.3 DM: Okay. 

 0:33:05.8 DC: Skier, snowboarding and in the summer, I’ll wakeboard. 

 0:33:10.4 DM: Awesome. 

 0:33:13.1 DC: And then the thing I’m hoping to pick up is kitesurfing. 

 0:33:16.8 DM: Oh, wow. That’s cool. 

 0:33:17.9 DC: Now that I have all the training kite, I’m learning how to fly well… 


 0:33:23.5 DM: Well, that’s incredible. Well, have fun with learning that and thank you so much for joining me today. Appreciate your time very much. 

 0:33:30.2 DC: I really appreciate it, Dominic, thank you so much for the opportunity. 


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