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Jonathon Fialkov to Share Rational Surgical Solutions Story

Des Moines Startups Rational Surgical Solutions

September 19, 2016

"When I see a problem I start thinking of solutions. In fact, I get a little OCD about it," explained Dr. Jonathan Fialkov, President & Founder Greater Des Moines' (DSM's) of Rational Surgical Solutions, LLC (RSS), and October guest at Square One DSM's Startup Stories. "During my 14 years as a practicing urologist, I saw ways to improve the quality of care and I pursued them. That's really the story of my startup." The episodes of OCD that led to Fialkov's entrepreneurial adventure were at the end of a long and somewhat circuitous journey, both professionally and physically.

Born in South Africa, Fialkov came to the United States at seven when his father, also a physician and an academic, began exposing a young Fialkov to some of the more prestigious American University venues, instilling in him an interest in both medicine and academic research.

"I've always had an interest in academics and research and served as a principal investigator on several dozen clinical trials at the Iowa Clinic," he recalled of the position he took after his residency at the University of Iowa specializing in Urology.

Improving Patient-Doctor Communication

At his urology practice at the Iowa Clinic, Fialkov saw that patient-doctor communication was a recurring problem. This became the focus of his problem-solving obsession. "It's very difficult for patients to make informed choices about the pros and cons of treatment options," he said. "And physicians lack resources for educating patients."

Fialkov explains that multiple studies show that patients remember only 20-30 percent of what they are told minutes after informed consent is administered. This can result in confusion, poor patient satisfaction and, in some cases, open the door to malpractice suits.

His desire to improve the informed consent process led Fialkov to work on what is now the Rati-Fi® Informed Consent System. The Rati-Fi app uses high-quality medical animations to educate and engage patients, evaluate patients' comprehension using a brief quiz, and then record the doctor-patient consult and the informed consent process. A copy of the video and a PDF of the signed file is stored securely in the cloud.

Working at the Iowa Clinic by day and working on his idea at night, Fialkov outsourced the coding to QCI and partnered with Boston-based PreOp.com to provide the educational video content. When the idea engendered great interest in both the medical and insurance industries, and when the 120-hour work weeks became too much, Fialkov left his position at the Iowa Clinic to focus on his newly incorporated RSS and its inaugural software product.

Along the way, he enlisted an all-star team of local advisors including JD Geneser, Sheldon Ohringer, Tej Dhawan and of course Mike Colwell who will serve as his questioner at Startup Stories.

During that questioning, Fialkov hopes to share several insights. "People need to know that the resources and support necessary for a successful startup are present in abundance in Des Moines," Fialkov said. "Especially for a medical startup, the proximity to great hospitals and university medical programs is essential."

Fiscal foresight is another topic he hopes to touch upon. "You absolutely have to make sure you have enough funds," he advised. "You can have a great idea, but you need to have enough money to execute it." Fialkov has recently completed a $1.4 million fund-raising round with angel investors, building on his own initial investment.

"I'd also like to shatter the misconception that startups are just for kids right out of college," he said. He believes that gravitas may be an underrated asset to the emerging entrepreneur. "I would not have been ready 14 years ago just coming out of my residency. It took some real world experience to understand the issues I'm now trying to solve."

For these and other insight, join Dr. Fialkov at the October Startup Stories.

Startup Stories Event Info

$15 admission fee (includes lunch) or free (if you don't want lunch).

11:30 a.m.
October 19, 2016

Greater Des Moines Partnership
700 Locust Street, Suite 100
Conference Center (street level)

Contact us at info@squareoneDSM.com for more information.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.

About Square One DSM
Square One DSM's mission is to connect entrepreneurial needs with qualified community and state resources and to provide guided professional and business direction. Square One DSM helps entrepreneurs maximize their successes by helping them navigate resources, strengthen knowledge, improve skills, form strategic alliances and secure proper capitalization. Learn more at SquareOneDSM.com.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization serving Central Iowa for more than 125 years. Together with 21 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce and 5,700 business members, The Partnership drives economic growth and careers through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration. We foster an environment where residents are empowered to live their passions and shape our community, making Greater Des Moines the best place in the world to build a business and life. For more information, visit DSMpartnership.com.