I started with Marché Health at its inception because I believe this company is going to help unlock the genius of medicine, technology and innovation to transform healthcare. This is an inspiring vocation for me because I am also a patient living with a chronic disease.
As a sophomore in high school, I started to feel weak and tired, frequently sleeping all afternoon after school. It took my mother’s persistence and visits to several doctors before I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s is “a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “It can be debilitating and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications.” I am very familiar with all symptoms.
With medication and diet discipline, my Crohn’s disease stayed relatively under control during high school through college graduation in 2017. Since then, it has gotten progressively worse – doctors don’t know why – culminating in a flare up of aggressive intensity in May 2020 that continues to this day.
Despite conscientious attention to diet and medication, pain and symptoms continue. I also experienced a fistula, a messy complication that occurs in one in five Crohn’s patients. The fistula caused infection and extreme pain - once so paralyzing I could barely walk or move – leading to further treatment, and more weight loss and weakness.
Finally, on April 30, I had surgery to remove two feet of my severely inflamed small intestine. I was told this would resolve serious problems and I would have my Crohn’s back under control six weeks post-op. I was optimistic and hopeful, looking forward to normalcy. The surgery went well. I pushed myself to follow all post-op instructions to speed recovery. I take four medications for Crohn’s and am meticulous with my diet.
And yet, severe symptoms still persist. I am 27 years old, feel like I am 80, and I am losing confidence in medicine’s ability to help me.
I know answers are out there. If not a cure for Crohn’s disease just yet, then treatments, processes and apps that would help physicians and patients more effectively manage the disease.
The problem in healthcare is that those making progress on diseases and healthcare challenges have difficulty connecting with each other and with those who need cures and solutions. Healthcare lacks a common convening space or platform where physicians, researchers, pharma, innovators, digital health experts and others can meet, share, evaluate their products and solutions, collaborate, and find each other. Now Marché Health provides that platform.
I am passionate about working with Marché because I envision a brighter future for patients, including myself …
Marché will make it easier for physicians and providers to find effective tools and solutions to treat specific illnesses. Performance and quality information is readily available on the platform, enabling digital innovators with truly effective solutions to emerge from the myriad of digital offerings so providers and patients can find what works in meaningful ways.
Marché will reduce friction in healthcare procurement and acquisition costs so more patients have access to more solutions quicker.
I envision my doctor finding an app to help me better manage my Crohn's, personalized to me, where I can seamlessly track bowel activity, other symptoms, diet, medication. The app will automatically share that information with my doctor so she/he can track progress.
I envision most Crohn’s patients using similar tools, all feeding that data to our providers. I envision metadata analytics innovators collecting the aggregate data and crunching the numbers to determine what medications, foods, treatments, practices, activities are best for managing Crohn’s.
Will Marché achieve all of this? Perhaps not all and perhaps not right away. But Marché will significantly accelerate advancement in medicine and healthcare to bring better care and outcomes to patients faster. So I work for Marché Health with enthusiasm and hope.
Michal Hipner has been Chief of Staff at Marché Health since the company was founded.