The American Epilepsy Society conference’s exhibit floor bustled for three days. Earlier, we covered what EpiFinder accomplished on day one of the exhibitions. Days two and three were even more exciting.
The exhibit floor was open on day two from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. As on the first day, EpiFinder had the opportunity to speak with conference-goers between their conference events, lectures, and presentations.
“We connected with a lot of folks from the community,” Neel says. “So many things happened!”
Neel, Robert, and the EpiFinder team forged new relationships with dozens of epilepsy professionals. Through ASET – The Neurodiagnostic Society, the EpiFinder team met Dr. Nikesh Ardeshna, a Michigan doctor who was highly interested in EpiFinder’s diagnostic tool offerings. Dr. Ardeshna and EpiFinder will be doing a future research study together.
The team also connected with Dr. Urvish Patel from Lincoln, Nebraska. “He has done a lot of research on epilepsy patients, mainly data analysis,” Neel says of Dr. Patel’s work. “He has collected data on 300,000 patients.” EpiFinder will be comparing and contrasting studies with Dr. Patel.
One of our goals during the conference was to connect with top epilepsy professionals and discuss possible future studies featuring our software. “The more studies we do, the more credibility we have in the community,” Neel says.
Right now, EpiFinder has the Mayo Clinic study in place. Over the course of the conference, we met many professionals interested in collaborating with us. The hope is to complete more studies and get more data on the EpiFinder app’s usefulness.
The Second Day
On the second night, the American Epilepsy Society held a reception from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. Highlights included chocolate mousse, wine from the open bar, and a DJ that played, in Kristi’s words, “the good stuff.”
The reception presented another golden opportunity for EpiFinder to network with fellow epilepsy professionals. “People loved the new concept,” Neel says. “There were so many questions asked to us and our team. It was really interesting to see how people think, and not only try to answer those questions but to build trust.”
The Final Day
Day three was a day of old and new meetings.
By chance, Robert reconnected with an attending physician he learned from back at Rush Medical School in Chicago. Ten years later, Robert’s attending physician still works at Rush. He and EpiFinder plan to collaborate on a future project.
Day three was the day EpiFinder presented its mission to the conference. Erin Okazaki of Mayo Clinic, one of the authors of the paper Neel and Robert co-authored, started. Then Robert and Neel took over, discussed EpiFinder for about an hour.
Actor Greg Grunberg, who appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was there on day three to promote his #talkaboutit campaign, which targets the stigma associated with epilepsy.
Some people in the epilepsy community believe that epilepsy receives less funding because of the stigma associated with seizures. Grunberg works to fight this stigma. The team met Grunberg and snapped a picture with him.
The same subject surfaced again at a speed networking event, which saw EpiFinder paired with a “mentor,” a long-serving committee member and experienced epilepsy professional.
Toward the end of the conference, EpiFinder met with even more doctors and organizations. These meetings often occurred over happy hours at the end of long days. At last, with new connections made and much info about EpiFinder shared, the conference ended.
Now, EpiFinder is on the road again.
The schedule for the return road trip to Arizona is filled with interesting sites and meetings. Check back and follow along as Neel and Kristi traverse the heart of America and finish their cross-country journey.
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