An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis
Teaching individuals how to care for themselves and their loved ones. I’ve learned medicine is rooted in patience, empathy, and a desire to see a system that keeps up.
As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Humza Khan.
Humza Khan is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of HealthIV. Khan is a multi-sector entrepreneur with a strategic focus in healthcare, digital technology, and international trade. With the launch of HealthIV, Khan aims to create unprecedented interoperability in healthcare for patients, physicians, pharmacists, and home care workers.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this career path?
I started off by being the sole translator/organizer of my parents’ health from early on. I am a first-generation child; therefore, a lot of responsibility was placed on me at a young age regarding choices for my family’s health. Being a medical proxy exposed me to the wirings of healthcare that are still commonplace today. My background was always in the digitization of modern practices, I’m a bit tech savvy so I believe we are entering a new era of virtualizing everything around us and I always gravitated towards things I can easily access. My mission is to enable custom-tailored, proactive, informed, fully guided healthcare that allows patients to guide their own health.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
My focus is on creating experiences with the user at the center, enabling high satisfaction, measurable health outcomes, and more cost-effective care from A to Z for the healthcare journey. Patients no longer need to wait around to get the care they want when sudden illness arises. Instead, medical attention and diagnostics can be provided in the comfort of your own home with a few simple clicks online.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
In our first year launching, our first event was at a very popular music festival held annually. We had a long list of volunteers and workers who wanted to make it, and so we allowed most eager volunteers to join. When we arrived for our first day of services we found out the legality of it wouldn’t allow volunteers or workers from outside of the state to practice using their licensure. We were out of commission for the weekend. It taught me to ensure all laws and regulations are met before any statewide projects as well as narrowing down the list of candidates to those who are qualified. We had a better outcome the following year and were a lot more prepared, and I am glad we learned early on exactly how to approach such circumstances.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
The cofounder of my company is actually my sister, Aysha, and she is the one I always looked up to — be it grades in school, extra-curricular competitions, or even in general etiquettes. She would set the bar so high in everything she devoted herself to that I always ended up beating myself up over it. But even after all those polarities, there were some hard-to-miss likenesses. One of which was genuinely cultured care for the disease dreaded. From childhood my sister and I both had known the pain of losing our loved ones and we never felt that the treatment given to them was just, or quite enough. Having someone who shares the same vision as you gives some familiarity in a new and unfamiliar road. She manages day-to-day operations and oversees/consults on all medical development.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
Disrupting an industry is positive if the industry refuses to keep up with the changing world. In the example of modern healthcare, the patient experience of diagnosis can be slow, costly, and inefficient, providing results that can be difficult to understand and interpret. The process begins with first scheduling an in-person appointment with a healthcare professional, after which includes travel to a separate testing facility. The sample is then couriered to a lab, during which time the patient may be subject to long wait times and left unaware of the quality or status of the sample. Several days later a result is provided through old technology that is difficult to interpret and understand. While this process is unfolding, the patient’s underlying condition is not being addressed or contained, with the healthcare provider unable to identify the optimal treatment path required. We believe this system results in underutilization of testing, healthcare professionals having to prescribe treatments without diagnostic context and a disconnected user experience that leads to suboptimal outcomes and hefty medical bills. When systems are put in place and are afraid of adapting it’s time to begin to ask why.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
‘There can always come about change.’ In November, I worked with the Together We Can Foundation to provide medical attention and care to schools being built in Arusha, Tanzania. Mornings would start with setting up the doors to open by 10am as the line began to form from 7am. I have no background in medicine, but I was able to direct patients, listen to chief complaints and provide with the limited resources we had. My group taught mothers how to care for wounds on a child, how to aid with a fever. We educated children on the signs of edema, colitis, liver failure, bacterial infections, and parasitic worms; diseases most rampant in the community. As a single person you feel almost helpless, but it is a slow progress. I cannot tear the foundation of the healthcare disparity that takes place around the world, but what we did as a group was slowly begin to bring about the change of sustainability. Teaching individuals how to care for themselves and their loved ones. I’ve learned medicine is rooted in patience, empathy, and a desire to see a system that keeps up.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
We are developing solutions to broaden diagnostic use cases for our platform. Our planned care offerings include tests in the categories of respiratory health, sexual health, cardiac and metabolic health, women’s health, men’s health, mental health, and chronic disease management.
Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?
I recently finished the book ‘How to Lead in a World of Distraction’ and I enjoyed how they broke it down, tuning out unnecessary distractions into four habits I can incorporate daily. I tend to get bogged down by minute tasks and overwhelmed easily and the greatest feeling comes from embracing challenges and exceeding my own expectations. I remember the first time I got my own apartment and had to work alone in a new and empty home and how hollow I felt. I should have been proud of the blood, sweat and tears that went into achieving this very moment, but I somehow felt alone taking on more than I could handle. But I constantly look to develop myself to become the best I can be; I just have to remember to sit with myself and actually allow myself to feel every milestone. There are a myriad of possibilities and resources available to young entrepreneurs today and I want to be a resource as well to positively impact those around me — my peers, organizations, and the greater community.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” So, to say the least, I want to leave a legacy of not only success but a helping hand. I come from a family that left everything and traveled overseas for a better life and I live to make that journey worth it. I don’t want to be remembered as a young eager kid grasping at straws. I want to be the forefront picture of coming from meager beginnings to finding a purpose for change.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Access to medical care no matter the socioeconomic background or insurance status. A new era where the fear of crippling medical debt is archaic.
How can our readers follow you online?
Our website, Healthiv.com
And on Instagram @GohealthIV
Thank you for these excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent. We wish you continued success.
Meet The Disruptors: Humza Khan of HealthIV On The Three Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.