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NH entrepreneur believes the help data can provide to healing

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 25. 2016 8:02PM
Subhankar Ray, left, and Chris Adams of in front of the product’s homepage at the Alpha Loft in Manchester. Ray said the startup was designed to help patients stay informed about whatever ails them and keep up with the latest options in treatment. (DOUG ALDEN/New Hampshire Union Leader)

A New Hampshire entrepreneur believes in the power of big data.

While logarithms and formulas have not led to cures for chronic diseases, Subhankar Ray believes the data can help patients stay informed about whatever ails them and keep up with the latest options in treatment.

“What it means is that we have more data storage and you have computers that are more powerful so the cost has dropped significantly,” said Ray founder of Boston Predictive Analytics and the company vice president for platform development.

Ray’s latest venture is in healthcare, corralling essential data as it relates to particular diseases and streamlining it for patients as a way to advise them about their health issue and have a better understanding of treatment options to discuss with their doctor.

It’s called “TeddyCanHeal,” a variation of other products Ray has created under the “Teddy” umbrella — a name his daughter came up with for a tutoring service initially called “Tutor Teddy.”

Teddy, in this case, is basically a search engine designed to go deeper into the web and dig out information that is more pertinent than a general search, which provides results based more on popularity.

“We are not playing doctor here. What Google does, we do similar things. It’s just we do it in a more focused way,” Ray said.

“For each patient, we start a particular crawl so that the information is very focused for that particular person and their chronic disease or symptoms,” Ray said. “That’s the big difference between us and other search engines.”

Ray and his team have designed the searches to include research papers, clinical trials and studies otherwise difficult to find and bring that information to the surface.

“We use the term ‘collective experience and intelligence of the world community.’ That’s really what we’re tapping into,” Ray said last week at the Alpha Loft in Manchester, where he has been fine-tuning the latest Teddy product. “Our model is that we are empowering the consumers. Let them take it to their doctors and say ‘OK, here are the things that I’m seeing. Is there something you’d like to do?’”

Treatment options include both traditional medicine and more holistic approaches.

Although TeddyCanHeal launched in July, Ray said it’s still in the early stages with a few users running trials. Ray and Chris Adams of Manchester, TeddyCanHeal’s customer experience director and marketing leader, are still trying to sell the product and sell people on the idea.

“We just wanted a simplified way for people to be able to manage their health and have a better understanding of where they stand and give them options,” Adams said.

TeddyCanHeal is a direct consumer product now as Ray and Adams consider other options. Ray said there have been some preliminary discussions with insurance brokers and benefit companies to gauge their interest.

“Right now we are still selling ourselves,” Ray said.

Ray said TeddyCanHeal developed out of his efforts to channel data from online search, then considered how it would work in the field of healthcare and in particular, chronic diseases.

“With all the math I do, I think I should have been a doctor. I always get into the medical field,” Ray said.

Ray said he lost his father to cancer when he was studying electrical engineering at Texas A&M, and he knows the significance of how cancer and other illnesses like diabetes can affect the patients and their families.

“We believe that the information that we can bring to them can make a big difference,” Ray said. “Like I tell my guys, that drives me in the morning. We need to get going quickly. We need to get to that sad mother so that her child no longer suffers.”

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