Why this telemedicine founder lived in a nursing home for 3 months

Timothy Peck, MD, took an unusual career path to found his telemedicine company, Call9 — he moved from Silicon Valley to a nursing home in New York, reports CNBC.

Dr. Peck lived in the conference room of Long Island, N.Y.-based Central Island Healthcare for three months in 2015 while developing his startup company through the Y Combinator accelerator program in Mountain View, Calif. Dr. Peck, who'd always been interested in telemedicine, wanted to see how the technology could be used to improve nursing home care.

After he reached out to more than 2,000 nursing homes nationwide to test his telemedicine platform, only three responded. Michael Ostreicher, owner of Central Island Healthcare, viewed Mr. Peck's proposal as a potential way to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions.

"I was banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how to solve this problem," Mr. Ostreicher told CNBC. "I told [Dr. Peck] that if he stayed in my building every night until I was comfortable ... we'd give him a shot."

In exchange for lodging, Dr. Peck treated sick patients at the nursing home, retrofitted an old medical cart for use in telemedicine consultations and spent time with nursing home staff to better understand their clinical needs.

Three years later, Dr. Peck has expanded Call9's telemedicine services to nine nursing homes and rehabilitation centers and raised more than $30 million in funding from numerous investors, including 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki and actor/investor Ashton Kutcher.

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