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.
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:
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.
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.
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.