Interview with BoardVitals’ co-founder and CEO Dan Lambert

Dan Lambert

Today we “talk” to Dan Lambert, co-founder and CEO of BoardVitals. Prior to starting BoardVitals, he was a management consultant at IBM and completed an executive leadership rotation with the company. Even before, Dan was founder and CTO of Pushpins, a venture backed mobile grocery shopping startup, where he led the technology and operations team, and integrated the company into 8,000 grocery stores across the U.S. Pushpins was later acquired by Ebates parent company Performance Marketing Brands in 2013. Dan received his MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from BYU. He holds over 20 healthcare and analytics patents. Here’s how our interview went…

How would you pitch your company? What’s your elevator pitch?

BoardVitals helps physicians prepare for medical boards, re-certification/certification exams (MOC), and in-service exams, offering high-yield content in over 30 specialties. The company brings together content from major publishers, universities, and top healthcare professionals, creating the largest training ecosystem in medicine.

BoardVitals contributors are experts from top tier academic and practicing institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Duke, and Mt. Sinai helping us create the best content on the market.

What’s your business model?

We sell on a subscription basis to individuals as well as to institutions. Health Science Libraries, Medical Schools, and Hospital Systems purchase Board Vitals on a recurring annual basis.

What sets you apart from competitors?

Board VitalsWhile there are many providers for the MCAT and early Medical Exams, such as Kaplan and Princeton Review, there are very few offerings for the Medical specialties. Our competitors primarily offer in-person courses, and paper based exam.

We provide a dynamic, continuously updating ecosystem. Many are involved in making sure that we have most recent and relevant material, meaning it’s peer reviewed and vetted by hundreds of physicians every day.

Our software and questions are several years ahead of anyone else in healthcare education.

Can you share some numbers? How many users do you have?

We have now trained over 30,000 doctors and nurses.

Where do you see the company going from here?

We are one of the few platforms that provides training for an entire hospital, with over 30 specialties, nursing, dental, and pharmacy question banks. We are frequently asked if we can provide CME in a similar manner to the entire organization. All of our specialties will be certified by year end.

In many cases, organizations spend millions of dollars per year in CME compliance. We have an opportunity to provide a platform that offers complete compliance for EVERY doctor on staff at a much more affordable price point.

Where do you see the mHealth industry going?

We see doctors using mobile devices and tablets to help make differential diagnostics (DD). Differential diagnostics are when patients present with similar symptoms, but the underlying conditions are very different. We’re reaching a point where intelligent differential diagnostic tools are starting to compete with MDs in certain specialties. DD tools can comb through hundreds of thousands of cases to identify underlying causes that may not be readily transparent to a doctor. MDs will likely use these tools as “assistants” for quite a while, as many of these tools still need refinement.

Board Vitals is involved in this process in that we are regularly used to assess the viability of AI differential diagnostic tools. We test algorithms in much the same way as we currently test these physicians – questions and answers. We then tell the algorithm what it got right and wrong, and where the material is that it needs to learn from.

How long are we from seeing modern mHealth technologies going mainstream?

The major barrier for adoption of mobile technology is that the EHR and EMR systems are very closed. As organizations, people, and regulators become more comfortable sharing anonymized information, more apps will become available. Mobile differential diagnostics are likely 7-10 years away from becoming mainstream as the barriers are removed.