Personalities

#CWIA18: Yiding Yu on accelerating life-saving care

Through Twiage, Yiding Yu has successfully revolutonise the delivery of life-saving care and Cartier gave her the stamp of approval, naming her one of the six laureates of the #CWIA18.
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An annual celebration of women entrepreneurs around the world, the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards (CWIA) is one watched closely by the world as it crowns its six laureates for the year 2018.

And one of such laureates includes Yiding Yu, the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Twiage, her company that created a unique digital platform that enables the transmission of real-time data from ambulance to hospital.

Through Twiage, Yiding pursues to accelerate the delivery of life-saving care and revolutionise communication between paramedics and hospitals with her mobile app innovation; and for that, she was awarded a laureate for #CWIA18.

As you all might have known, we are lucky enough to be part of this wonderful summit in Singapore and even got a chance to speak this amazing talent about her journey in creating Twiage.

When you started Twiage, you were just a trainee doctor. What pushed you to make such a big move into creating such a unique platform?

One of the greatest strengths of being a trainee is that we are all stationed on the ground level. We get to see things firsthand and we see the problems that patients face every day.

When I started, I couldn't believe that analogue radio transmission is still the standard communication method inside medical vehicles and I train at one of the top hospitals in the entire country.

That to me is a major problem.

 

So what are the challenges faced using radio for communication?

The more I learned, the more I realised the problem with radios. I realised that the radio uses public airwaves and that's why we can't get the names of the patient or any critical information when the ambulance is on its way to the hospital. This hinders and delays procedures for all medical emergencies!

Yiding at the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards 2018

And that led you to establish Twiage?

What came to me was there is a way to solve this. You can use technology to solve this issue. So I was lucky to be in a community in Boston that is very supportive and I went to a hackathon, where I met engineers and entrepreneurs who came up with me the idea of Twiage.

Immediately, The Boston Globe published an article about it.

 

Did you think that it would grow to the scale that it is today?

I did think to myself that maybe this will just be a small project. I knew I was busy but I just wanted to work on it a little bit and see how it goes. 

I actually didn't set out to be an entrepreneur. In my mind, I was just a doctor trying to solve a problem and it just became something bigger than myself.

See what Twiage is all about below:

Accelerate Emergency Care with Twiage - Explainer Video

And are you fully focusing on expanding Twiage or still practising as a doctor?

I am still a practising physician part-time in urgent care and emergency departments. The reason why I think this is so critical is that I believe that we need to be on the front lines to see what's happening and how I can make Twiage better.

Being a physician in the emergency department, I can see the benefits that Twiage has in many cases. So, the moment I step back from the front lines, I might lose what makes Twiage so successful in the beginning.

 

What is your biggest challenge to date since establishing Twiage?

There are so many equally challenging obstacles – be it funding, building a team or even finding our first client. None of these was easy.

Among them, I would say that the core is the team – who you choose to work with or your business partner – because that will make or break the entire thing. You can have funding, technology and all the clients you wish for but things might just fail because the founding members just don't get along and share the same vision.

 

And how do you overcome this?

I have made my mistakes in this but I have continued to realise what are the values matter to me and what values I look for in my team. In the beginning, I thought competence is all that matters but that's not true.

You need to make sure people you work with, share your common values and will build a company culture that you believe in as well.

In recent years, there has been a rise in women working in the previously male-dominant tech industry. What are your thoughts on this?

I think there are still not enough women in tech and we need to change that. It is a major problem!

There's a couple of reason – all of which are very complex – but to summarise it and do it justice is hard.

First is the cultural barriers. When growing up as a little girl, being a nerd or a geek was not cool. You'll never be considered popular or cool if you're into computers or good at math.

Women who made it this far to be in tech now are women who fought through it all and defied peer pressure but that shouldn't be the case.

It should just be something commonly accepted and until that change, we will still face a shortage of women in the tech industry.

And what are your future plans for Twiage?

As of April 2018, we officially have 53 hospitals that are partnered with Twiage and are using our platform in the United States. Since we started, we have been very focused in the United States but recently, I have spoken to the doctors from Singapore, China, Africa and Europe.

And they all face the same issues and they understand what we are doing at Twiage.

 

Since joining the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards, how has the experience affected/benefit you?

It has been such an inspiring experience. I came in not know what to expect but I have left the programme with amazing coaching over the week in Singapore.

The co-finalists are just incredibly inspiring women who are doing amazing things and I can't wait for their companies to expand to the United States. I am just thrilled to be part of the Cartier Women's Network.

 

ABOUT TWIAGE:

Twiage is an advanced cloud-based platform that uses best-in-class security technology to put telemedicine at the fingertips of emergency first responders and physicians to accelerate live-saving patient care. By giving hospitals a complete picture of all incoming ambulances in one central location, Twiage helps hospitals efficiently manage resources for Stroke, Heart Attack, Sepsis, and Trauma to save time, save money, and save lives.

For more information about Twiage, visit www.twiagemed.com.

To know more about the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards, visit www.cartierwomensinitiative.com.

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