Katie McCurdy, Founder, Pictal Health

WHO? Katie McCurdy

ROLE: Katie is the founder of Pictal Health, which began about 6 months ago. As a patient who has many years of experience in design consultation, Katie brings a unique perspective to the patient/provider interface. “I have a couple autoimmune disorders, and I spent years as a UX designer… as a patient I saw that visualizing my health was the best way to do it,” Katie explains.

The sentiment ‘I hope I explained everything well enough’ is a huge problem for effective healthcare communication. Spending ~15 minutes with a doctor usually isn’t enough time to paint the whole picture. Pictal Health seeks to alleviate such a challenge.

Pictal Health: Pictal Health uses visual tools to help doctors and patients work together better so patients can get the diagnosis and treatment they need and get back to their lives. Pictal aims to increase patients’ confidence and hope, help patients and doctors collaborate and communicate better, and help reduce providers’ feeling of burnout.

KATIE & THE FUTURE: “In the short-term, I’m working on getting some pilots going in a clinical setting. I want people using my service. I’m prototyping these services and get feedback from doctors/patients,” she explains. “Long-term, I want to develop the technology to scale this and bring it to many more people.” Katie believes that figuring out the business model and workflow integration is Pictal’s next big challenge.

BIGGEST WIN IN THE PAST YEAR: At just six months old, Pictal is a small startup with lots of potential. Katie believes her biggest wins have been from lot of small steps, especially from careful documentation and sharing her startup experiences.

“There’s two things… everytime I work with a patient one-on-one and they tell me how helpful it is, it’s a huge win,” Katie explains. “The second thing is writing about what I do… I post what I’m doing on Medium. I’ve had my writing make the front page, and that sort of thing inspires me.” Katie comments on her propensity to share her ideas: “I am the opposite of many founders. I want to put everything out there to get feedback. If people start stealing my idea, I would see that as a success,” Katie laughs. “It’s the change that I want to see in the world, not just the company”.

HOW? Quality > quantity. “I try not to burn myself out,” Katie says. “I’m a believer in putting in 4-5 really good hours of work each day. I come from consulting so I value my time well.”

“It’s so helpful meeting with informal advisors, people like Dave and Sam, Gwen from Center for Women & Enterprise, and so on. I’m a designer… so I don’t know everything about the business model. I want to team up with people who can handle that end of things.”

PIZZA OR ICE CREAM: Neither. “Dark Chocolate is my food… more than any other food groups,” Katie explains. “I like 88% cacao,” (so you know it’s real).

FUN: In her free time, Katie likes to hike, ski, and go to costume parties. “Oh – and make baskets!” Katie adds.