Pavan Katepalli Talks Health and Diet Management Software

What made you create health and diet management software for Warfarin patients and what purpose does it serve?

The best thing anyone can do is to listen and be aware of everything around you. My girlfriend had a blood clot and was put on a blood thinner (Warfarin). She had to change her diet and lifestyle so much that it became a burden on her. It was stressful because if she faltered in diet, she could get another blood clot or suffer internal bleeding.

pavan-f925ecec4cf922023a077f15ebd655abThat motivated me to build something to help her, and that’s what I embarked upon doing. I taught myself to code from books at the public library, and leveraged advice from the one friend I had that also taught himself to code. My girl friend joined in and dealt with the front end of the website.

Fast forward today and INR Tracker let’s people track their vitamin k which directly interacts with their Warfarin dosage, print easy to read reports for themselves and their doctor and log other factors that may affect their Warfarin therapy.

How long did it take to develop your software to where it is today?

Launching a dynamic site doesn’t take too long if you’re obsessed. My girlfriend and I built and launched the site in 2 months using PHP as the programming language and MySQL as the database. However, building it to scale was another story. What we built worked, but it didn’t scale for additional features such as email notifications or integrations with other sites (APIs).

So it took 3 months of long hours, 7 days a week to rebuild the site with Ruby as the programming language and PostgreSQL as the database. I ended up doing things that I’ve never done in my life, and that few developers experience, but in the end our site became scalable for new features and easily malleable for changes.

Surprisingly, writing our content took longer than coding our software.

INR Tracker uses its content to get its users such as this warfarin and vitamin k article, which explains the interaction and relationship between warfarin and vitamin k.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered related to your business and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge we’ve had is prioritization. We have hundreds of things to do and new things are always added to the list. So we have to constantly prioritize. This makes task management software just a big archive.

To solve this, we got a whiteboard and wrote the most important tasks on it in order of importance. If we couldn’t fit tasks on it, we didn’t put them on. This helped us only work on the most important things and not get distracted by everything else we had to do.

Where do you see your business going in 2015?

In 2015 we aim to help our users with the Medicare/Medicaid and insurance process they need to complete to get certain benefits. We also aim to grow our community section so we have vibrant conversations going on our website.

If you could leave our readers with one last piece of business advice, what would it be?

Having repeat usage from people is good and dandy, but as an entrepreneur you need vision.

You need to see the bigger picture. What is it that you intend for your app or business to ultimately become?

You need to be able to answer that. You need to be able to articulate exactly why that would happen and how that would happen step by step.

Instagram saw that pre-teens didn’t want to be on Facebook with their parents on it, so they built a new social network to capture that market.

INR Tracker has its own vision. This vision helps us prioritize what to do next. If a task doesn’t fit into our vision then we axe it or push it to the end of the list

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