HKS Alumna Helps Build an App with Patients in Mind

June 9, 2014
By Jenny Li Fowler

Divya Dhar MPA 2014 is helping to provide better care for patients. Dhar co-founded Seratis, a mobile application centered on patient-care that enables doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers to communicate with each other via text, images, and videos.

Dhar says her coursework at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) was pivotal in the development of Seratis. “I took social entrepreneurship with Dick Cavanagh, adjunct lecturer in public policy, and that gave me the chance to reflect upon mission driven organization,” says Dhar. “I learned the importance of bringing on investors that buy into the social vision (just as much as the commercial) and to build coalitions widely.”

Professor Amitabh Chandra, who studies health care economics, says that while he’s not familiar with Seratis, he believes that it and similar apps “speak to an enormous opportunity” in the health care industry.

“The opportunity to save money and improve patient health through better care-coordination is enormous,” he says.

Seratis was developed in the Harvard Innovation Lab.

“The iLab has been fantastic in getting us to reflect on our strategy and pairing us up with mentors that really buy into what we are doing. In fact, we are going to be based at the iLab for the summer for this reason,” says Dhar.

“My desire to serve has only grown stronger since my experience at the Kennedy School. I view it not as a choice but a calling.”

Dhar just finished a dual degree at Harvard Kennedy School and the Wharton Business School.

An App to Prevent Deadly Medical Errors
BetaBoston — Co-founder Divya Dhar had the idea for Seratis while working as a physician and seeing the results of poor communication among staff members.

“For numerous patients, I felt like their care was compromised,” Dhar said. “It was hard to know who else was looking after a patient. I knew there was a nurse, but I didn’t know who that nurse was. That information was not readily available.”

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