19Labs' Vision for Global Healthcare Solutions:
Telemedicine with Ultrasound

Picture of Ram Fish

Ram Fish

CEO and Founder, 19Labs

Ram Fish, founder and CEO of 19Labs, recently connected with Luke Baldwin, VP of Global Marketing at EchoNous, to shed light on the impactful role of ultrasound technology in advancing patient care. Here’s what you need to know about the vital work that 19Labs is facilitating around the world.

Meet Ram Fish

Meet Ram Fish, the innovative founder and CEO of 19Labs, who practices what he calls “Digital Carpentry.” Fish is an enterprising executive specializing in the intersection of product development, business strategy, and entrepreneurship. His expertise spans the healthcare, social media, mobile device, and consumer electronics industries, driven by a passion for crafting innovative and customer-centric products.

Holding both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer engineering from Case Western Reserve University, along with an MBA from Yale, Fish brings over 25 years of experience from technology companies including Apple, Nokia, and Samsung. Beyond his corporate achievements, Fish actively contributes to the academic landscape, mentoring and teaching digital craftsmanship at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University.

Innovative Care: 19Labs' Global Health Vision

In 2014, Fish and co-founder Dr. Peter Fitzgerald started 19Labs with the vision of providing modern healthcare to underserved communities globally. They developed a new model of care where community workers, trained to use medical technology, would provide hands-on care to patients, while AI and human doctors in urban areas would perform the diagnostics. This approach would make healthcare accessible and affordable, regardless of location or socioeconomic status. When they started, they developed “smart first aid kits,” but they soon realized that cost was a significant barrier to making this technology accessible to developing countries.

From there, they transitioned to a model that leveled access to existing technologies and solutions, integrated them, and brought them together in rural areas to help provide health services. Fish emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships with governments, where a government’s Ministry of Health, for example, provides medical staffing and funding, and the 19Labs team helps with operations, monitoring technology, connectivity, energy, and even training. 

This service business model has proved to be the most advantageous for their target customers, who are typically global health buyers with budget constraints.

“We often use it as a model of public-private partnerships with governments, where the Ministry of Health provides the medical staffing and the funding, and we help them with operations, monitoring technology, everything, and becoming the problem solver from connectivity to energy,” Fish said.

Unlocking the Potential of Ultrasound

For Fish, ultrasound technology’s potential reaches beyond traditional applications. He likes to highlight the seismic shift in the accessibility and affordability of ultrasound devices.

“Ultrasound devices used to cost between $20,000 and $50,000 and were mainly used in hospitals for prenatal purposes. However, the costs have decreased with time, and the technology is improving,” he noted.

In identifying ultrasound as an underutilized resource, Fish recognizes the impact the technology can have on global healthcare. “We can expand the usage of ultrasound technology to cater to a broader range of medical cases, making it accessible to more people,” he said. This shift can empower healthcare providers in developing countries with limited access to expert clinicians. From emergency cases to prenatal screening, respiratory, kidney, cancer, and breast cancer, Fish envisions a future where ultrasound becomes a versatile and indispensable tool in the hands of healthcare workers.

A Hollistic Approach to Rural Healthcare

Beyond technology, Fish’s passion lies in addressing the multifaceted challenges of rural healthcare. His journey with 19Labs began with a personal experience in a rural community in Baja, Mexico, where the limitations of existing healthcare infrastructure became evident. The vision that emerged was a new care model where technology empowers the community health worker as the “hands and heart of delivering care” in remote communities while AI and human doctors handle diagnostics in urban centers.

Fish’s dedication to solving global healthcare challenges also transcends the conventional focus on devices. Rejecting the notion of building its own AI or devices, 19Labs instead positions itself as an integrator and aggregator of AI and existing technologies. “Our unique GALE e-Clinics need to be much more cost-effective, sophisticated, and flexible than some of the closed proprietary solutions we see today,” he asserts.

On his commitment to rural healthcare, Fish noted, “I’m dedicated to solving global healthcare, and there are a lot of dimensions to it. My friend Uri Levine often says, ‘Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.’ We are in love with the problem of solving global healthcare in all of its dimensions.”

As 19Labs continues to push boundaries, Fish’s intentional approach positions the company at the forefront of transforming healthcare for underserved communities.

“Ultrasound devices used to cost between $20,000 and $50,000 and were mainly used in hospitals for prenatal purposes. However, the costs have decreased with time, and the technology is improving,” he noted.

In identifying ultrasound as an underutilized resource, Fish recognizes the impact the technology can have on global healthcare. “We can expand the usage of ultrasound technology to cater to a broader range of medical cases, making it accessible to more people,” he said. This shift can empower healthcare providers in developing countries with limited access to expert clinicians. From emergency cases to prenatal screening, respiratory, kidney, cancer, and breast cancer, Fish envisions a future where ultrasound becomes a versatile and indispensable tool in the hands of healthcare workers.

Stay tuned for our upcoming Q&A article, where Dr. Fish shares his perspective on how his company is transforming medicine.

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