Class of 1992, Paralegal, A.A.S., Herkimer College
In the past, the process of selecting qualified candidates for medical clinical trials has been time-consuming at best and haphazard at worst – studies show that over 70% of qualified study candidates are never identified or are identified too late and therefore never took part in a study that could have saved their lives.
Mike Margiotta ’92 found this figure staggering. So, he decided to do something about it.
The result was the Patient Identification Platform (Patient I.P.), an automated identification system that matches qualified patients to the specific research requirements for each trial. Besides saving lives by allowing qualified patients access to the latest medical treatments, it also saves researchers tremendous amounts of time and money. Previously, researchers would have had to manually search through hundreds of thousands of patient records to find just one candidate who could take part in a specific trial. With Patient I.P., the researchers can simply use the software to find fully-qualified candidates in a matter of minutes instead of the weeks it would have taken before.
But creating the software wasn’t a piece of cake. “Starting a new venture, especially one that is focused on providing a “first-to-market” innovative solution, then combining that with the international healthcare technology field, is quite challenging,” Margiotta admits. He is thankful that this wasn’t his first venture: previously, he founded eHealth Technologies (eHT) with over half of the top 100 hospitals in the country as customers. During that time, he identified, developed, and launched two other first-to-market healthcare technology solutions. “Luckily, this is my second time around, so the path is a little easier to follow,” he says.
Margiotta transferred from SUNY Morrisville to attend Herkimer College. “My most favorite memory of HCCC was when our 1991 lacrosse team lost the National Championship,” confesses Margiotta. “Losing that year bonded the team unlike winning could have…we stayed very tight, came back stronger and more focused and had an undefeated season in 1992, including winning the National Championship.”
Coach Paul Wehrum influenced Margiotta the most at Herkimer College and left him with life lessons he uses in his ventures and family life to this day. “The first day of lacrosse practice, in front of the entire team, the coach called me out and told me to leave the field right then and go back to Morrisville…I didn’t leave, earned a starting spot on defense, and that year we made it to the National Finals. After the season, I asked him why he did that, especially in front of the entire new group. He said that he ‘wanted to see if I was a quitter and how bad I wanted to be there.’ That is a great life lesson I have shared many times…Although things might get tough and the situation might seem insurmountable, your hard work and dedication will reward the efforts you put into them.”