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525e1277b6bc8.preview-300/iPNN/ This month, the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, a not-for-profit global biomedical and healthcare innovation network, held its inaugural meeting by introducing a successful local physician turned entrepreneur.

Dr. Kourosh Parsapour, CEO of Hermosa Beach-based health technology firm 5plustherapy.com, helped kick off the local chapter by talking to attending physicians about making the transition from pediatrician to serial entrepreneur.

Despite many uncertainties, Dr. Parsapour believes that the current healthcare environment will open up tremendous opportunities for physicians contemplating entrepreneurship.

“Physicians make great entrepreneurs,” Dr. Parsapour said. “Because of the changing climate in healthcare, we are in the best position to see what the actual needs are in the healthcare community.”

He said doctors can recognize unmet needs, are trained in pattern recognition and know how to assess and treat patients, which are just a few of the many valuable skills IT people need to create better mobile health technologies and services for patients.

Dr. Parsapour told PNN that doctors in the audience were interested in learning more about his own experiences and lessons learned.

He said he earned his master’s degree in business administration, which offers business credibility and credentials, but, most important, opened the door to contacts.

“Ultimately building relationships is key,” he said.

This is precisely what the society’s LA Chapter can offer doctors and other local health professionals who are interested in learning about making the move into entrepreneurship, he said.

The society helps facilitate networking opportunities with people in the tech industries, other entrepreneurs, investors, attorneys and other key players.52615a83f0549.preview-300

More important, “We have to adapt and develop those outside relationships and learn to be more creative and think outside of the box and ask questions,” he said. “You need to be willing to look at things from the patients’ perspective and ask how you can make their lives better.”

When asked about his biggest lessons learned, he said that it’s tough to do both—being a full-time physician and trying to found your own start-up.

“If you make the move, you can’t do both successfully at the same time,” he said. “This isn’t for everyone. We are highly educated people. We want to implement change and revamp the system, but you have to start small.”

His advice: Find a small project that’s related to what you want to do and start small. It takes time to gain traction, establish credibility and accumulate movement. It also takes patience and the courage to embrace failure. Not all start-ups succeed.

The meeting took place on Oct. 3 at the Cross Campus in Santa Monica.





Student and faculty research highlighted in MedicalDesign.commagazine
Bioengineering faculty Craig Lanning, mechanical engineering faculty Dana Carpenter, adjunct faculty Arlen Meyers, and mechanical engineering student Lillian Chatham share insight and research on 3D-printing and medical device development in the May issue of MedicalDesign.com magazine.  
Read the entire article at medicaldesign.com/Medical-Manufacturing-Technology-3D-printing-medical-device-development/index.html


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Does this sound familiar? In the operating room, you use an instrument that is unwieldy or doesn't completely get the job done. At the bedside, you waste a lot of time changing dressings because all the wound-care materials are not in one convenient place. Or, while seeing patients in your office, the information you need isn't at your fingertips. Then, you ask yourself, “Why doesn't someone invent something to fix that?”

Physician entrepreneurs are accepting that challenge. Since practitioners are in a unique position to identify unmet healthcare needs and work with partners to develop and commercialize solutions, they are increasingly working to create new drugs, devices, diagnostics, health information technologies and healthcare delivery innovations.

That's why we created the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (www.sopenet.org). SoPE is a physician-led not-for-profit member organization. SoPE's core mission is to help doctors who have ideas for products or services that will improve healthcare. SoPE provides education programs, a networking venue and services, including access to sources of financing that can assist them in bringing their idea to life. On a bigger stage, SoPE is spearheading an effort to promote a better understanding of the processes involved in the introduction of new healthcare-related products and services and working with all stakeholders in healthcare to identify ways to improve and accelerate the process.

Entrepreneurship has many definitions. Bob Reiss, successful entrepreneur and author of “Low-Risk, High-Reward: Starting and Growing Your Small Business With Minimal Risk,” says: "Entrepreneurship is the recognition and pursuit of opportunity without regard to the resources you currently control, with confidence that you can succeed, with the flexibility to change course as necessary, and with the will to rebound from setbacks."

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