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KnowNOW : HIV & STD, Women's Sexual Health, and PrEP

by Marcelo Venegas-Pizarro

We plan to offer STD & HIV testing, PrEP, and direct convenient access to a doctor via telehealth with treatment and referral if needed. We offer privacy, access and peace of mind all for a low price.
Teaneck, United States Sexual Health Women(s) Health Clinical Interventions Equity Raise MedStartr Ventures challenge

All Team Company Patients Physicians Hospital Partners Mission Innovation Details Investor Info Due Diligence Docs Supporters Comments Updates

About our project

The problem we solve: At KnowNOW we are trying to be a part of the solution to some of the leading public health problems in the US: STD’s, HIV, Hep C and Diabetes. Clearly sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) are an unabated public health problem in the United States now. The highest number of STD cases ever reported in the US was announced by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - over 2 million cases in 2016 of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. HIV continues to be a public health risk. One in seven people who have HIV in the US do not know it. Hepatitis C is a silent killer as well, with up to 3 in 4 people who are infected do not know it. Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer, liver failure and the need for liver transplant in the US. As more STD infections emerge, the cost is over nearly $16 billion annually. With changes in national health policy and greater uninsured the human and economic burden will only continue to grow.

About our solution: We plan to offer a comprehensive website based platform that offers 1) Lab testing for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomonas, syphilis and Hepatitis C. 2) Telehealth visit with a doctor using eVisit that allows live one-one video exchange. 3) Women's sexual health to evaluate and treat for Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and Yeast Infections. 4) PrEP (Pre-Expo Prophylaxis) for users with risk for acquiring HIV, who would go on a once a day pill to prevent HIV. 5) Diabetes screening (HgbAIC) will be offered to all users. Users will be charged $45 for a visit and will be allowed a free follow-up visit if found positive for any of the above conditions. Lab testing costs will not be covered but users may opt to use their private insurance. Users will have lab requisitions sent with lab results returning to the KnowNOW website. Any patient who has a positive diagnosis will be treated or referred for care. We will offer access, privacy and peace of mind.

Progress to date:

Launch: We will be ready to launch our comprehensive website in January of 2018 in New York and New Jersey. Partners: We are working with several partners to allow development. Our electronic medical record is AthenaHealth that is fully integrated with eVisit, a telehealth company we have contracted with. The tech development company is Mobikasa. We are working with a health lawfirm Posinelli to guide us with Telehealth law and regulation. Our goal is to expand to 10 other states in 2018 after launch. We are working with several doctor teams in other states to help us launch as well. Target populations:  College students, women, LGBT communities, rural areas with poor access to care. We are working with NYS Dept of Health to access rural areas sepcifically Upstate NY. Traction and Focus Groups:We are developing focus groups for initial opinion and suggestion and future beta testing at Cornell, NYU, CUNY and Medgar Evers College. Marketing: We will be launching a marketing campaign at NY and NJ colleges in 2017. Our marketing campaign also includes digital media including dating websites as well as social media optimization. We are currently working on website search engine optimization. Doctors: To date we have six medical providers ready for launch and will be contracting with a risk retention group (RRG) for medical malpractice. 

Photo image is of our website progress. 

About Our Team

Creator: Marcelo Venegas-Pizarro

Location: New York

Education: University of Illinois at Chicago

Bio: Dr. Venegas attended medical school at the University of Illinois in Chicago. His residency was in Social Medicine and Internal Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. He has had an interest in HIV and Emergency Medicine working first as an ER attending at Bronx Lebanon Hospital in the Bronx and then taking on several HIV leadership positions at various NYC institutions: Promesa Inc, HousingWorks and Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn. At Lutheran Dr. Venegas was Director of HIV and Hepatitis Services. Dr. Venegas has worked as a physician at an urgent care company for the past five years. He is a volunteer attending at Weill-Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Venegas has worked in several countries providing relief work including Mexico, El Salvador and Haiti. Dr. Venegas has worked on KnowNOW Telehealth project for over a year working to make HIV and STD Testing available to all. He is a member of the American College of Physicians (ACP). He has two daughters and lives in New Jersey.

Hospital Affiliation: Weill Cornell Medical Center (voluntary)

Title: Partner

Advanced Degree(s): MD

About Team Members

Ronald Oxom-Kinder
Co-founder, MS, PhD
Biography: Dr. Ron Oxom-Kinder is financial services and technology consultant with more than 20 years experience in analytics & risk management, and product life-cycle development in software and hardware.
Title: Co-founder
Advanced Degree(s): MS, PhD

About Our Company

KnowNOW Health LLC

Location: 492-C Cedar Lane #533
Teaneck, 07666

Founded: 2017


Twitter: @KnowNOWSTD


Product Stage: Ready

YTD Sales: Working on it

Employees: 5-10

How We Help Patients

KnowNOW will help our patients live longer healthier lives by allowing access to medical care, privacy via a telehealth medical consult and peace of mind.

Patients will be referred directly to a local lab via Google maps and will have the agreed upon  labs ordered after consultation with a medical provider. They will be evaluated initially by a provider and if deemed necessary a prescription sent to their pharmacy, ie. Urinary tract infection, yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas, chlamydia and herpes. The prescription will be sent via e-prescription. Lab tests will return in 3-5 days and if positive for any condition they will have a free follow-up visit. If positive for gonorrhea or syphilis they will be sent to an urgent care center, STD clinic or primary care clinic for injection antibiotic. If positive for HIV, Hepatitis C or Diabetes they will be sent to a specialty clinic or primary care clinic for follow-up care. We are offering Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis as well, one pill a day (Truvada) to prevent users from getting HIV. 

STD's including HIV and Hep C are a national epidemic with rates hitting the highest ever reported in 2016 as per the CDC. 





How We Help Physicians

Physicians and other medical providers can benefit form KnowNOW by working for KnowNOW. They can work from the comfort of their homes and set their own schedules when available. Telehealth is the future of medicine allwoing easy access for patients. Difficult to reach geographical areas and populations can benefit from Telehealth providers.

Our primary care system is broken down in the United States with many providers feeling frustrated and burned out. Telehealth may be an excellent option for many medical providers. Telehealth may also prove to be beneficial in terms of pay fopr providers with increased work satisfaction.

In conclusion medical providers can serve a greater cause, work from their home and have better job satisfaction from providing Telehealth medical care for patients with STD screening and treatment.


How We Help Hospitals

For hospitals we can offer KnowNOW to be incorporated into their STD or HIV Clinics. If needed we could "White-Label" our product and co-brand with the hospital name and include hospital employees as providers and allow our platform for easy patient use and access. Instead of charging patients we could use a special promo code so patients can receive KnowNOW as an added benefit to being part of their ambulatory network. KnowNOW would work very well for community based hospitals or hospitals based in rural areas. 

KnowNOW could help hospitals STD and HIV testing rates increase that in many states the offering of STD and HIV is mandated by law. This could help de-clutter busy primary care offices or emergency rooms. 

How We Help Partners

We are looking to establish long -term, committed partnerships with organizations within the healthcare system. We are a group of committed physicians at KnowNOW who each have over 17 years of working in primary care, urgent care and HIV/STD care. We believe in what has been coined "Healthcare delivery 3.0 - to incorporate virtual tools for enhanced interactions between health care providers and consumers/patients." We are proposing a Telehealth service specifically for testing, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STD's), Women's Sexual Health, and delivery of PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) for HIV. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are approximately 20 million new STD infections each year—almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24. The cost of STDs to the U.S. health care system is estimated to be as much as $16 billion annually. Since many cases of STDs go undiagnosed the burden is actually likely much greater.
With KnowNOW we offer privacy, access and peace of mind. By offering a medical visit at half the cost of a regular doctor's visit ($55) we can offer greater access to people who could not afford medical care otherwise. We have partnered with eVisit and Athena Health to offer an excellent virtual telehealth platform and safe and secure electronic medical record (EMR).  We have worked with the tech development team Mobikasa and with the health lawfirm Polsinelli to work out a powerful platform that will allow users to log on, make an appointment, order labs, see a doctor and have excellent follow-up care. 

We believe the $55 cost to see a KnowNOW provider is competitive with other Telehealth organizatioons and we hope to carve out a particular niche within the Telehealth market, that is for STD testing and treatment.

We plan to target college students, women, LGBT organizations, and rural health departments for direct outreach and marketing. We plan to market in regular media and digital media - from social media to dating apps. Our initial launch will be in New York and New Jersey and we plan to add 3-5 new states per quarter as we work with local doctors to join our project. Our goal is to reach all 50 States in 5 years, by 2022. 

We bring you KnowNOW with love, responsibility, and transparency to provide you with the best care possible.




Innovation Details

Intellectual Property Summary

We have filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a servicemark (SM) and tademark(TM) for KnowNOW's website and name.  

Clinical Information

Regulatory Status



How we will use the funds raised

We plan to use the funds for marketing of the KnowNOWstd  website and also expand to other states: Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania initially where we have physicians interested in KnowNOW. 

Marketing campaigns will be mostly digital media such as ads in dating apps, as well as marketing in newspapers and print media in college campus in NY and NJ. 

Thank You

KnowNOW's Mission is:

To provide access, privacy and peace of mind. To provide screening of important medical conditions, especially for those who would not otherwise get tested, because everyone should have access to medical care and treatment. 

We need your help to launch our project and offer testing, diagnosis and treatment of STD's, HIV, and Diabetes. 

We have built a powerful platform using the latest Telehealth technology that will allow users to see a doctor from the comfort of their own home, go to their local lab for lab testing and review results with the virtual doctor.

Users will then get medication eprescribed if needed and/or referral if needed.

We will be offering what we believe will be a wonderful user experience by working with top-notch doctors who are experienced with STD's, HIV, and Diabetes. We will be offering all of this for a low price compatible with an insurance co-payment.

We may not solve the STD, HIV or Diabetes crisis in the United States but we hope to someday be a key player in offering an alternative way to provide lab testing and medical care. 

We hope to expand to as many states as possible and bring you KnowNOW with love, responsibility, and transparency to provide you with the best care possible.

Investor Info

Market Size


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or venereal diseases (VDs), are caused by over 30 different viruses, bacteria, and parasites and are predominantly spread by sexual contact and sometimes by non-sexual means. Diagnostic testing for STDs becomes especially essential since they can have serious consequences on sexual and reproductive health - ranging from infertility and pelvic inflammatory diseases to AIDS and cervical cancer.

According to the WHO, over one million people around the world acquire an STD every day and STIs are among the top five disease categories for which adults seek medical care. The market for diagnostic testing of STDs has gained significance owing to the rising risks of undiagnosed and ultimately untreated cases of STIs.

The market value of diagnostic testing of STDs was $65.9 billion in 2012 and, registering a healthy CAGR of 8.1% during the forecast period of 2013 to 2019, is estimated to be worth $108.5 billion by 2019.

The diagnostic testing of STDs market is largely driven by the growing incidences of STDs. Given this worrying fact, governments around the globe have begun implementing screening programs to diagnose STDs at an early stage and begin appropriate treatment. National screening programs are a great opportunity for POC and laboratory test providers, especially in diagnostic testing of STDs markets in the Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World regions. In addition, favorable reimbursements aimed at STD testing have also been issued, boosting the market for diagnostic testing of STDs.

On the other hand, the stigma associated with voluntary testing or client-initiated counseling and testing (CICT) of STDS is a major challenge in most countries even today. The irony is that a significant proportion of STD-infected patients are in regions that either do not have sufficient infrastructure for diagnostic testing of STDs or have no encouragement to get tested without being shamed. Apart from this, the presence of strict regulatory compliances for existing and new market players is restricting the growth of the diagnostic testing for STDs market.

Presently, North America and Europe dominate the global market owing to increased prevalence of STDs such as herpes simplex virus (HSV), chancroid, human papilloma virus (HPV), P&S syphilis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), gonorrhea, and chlamydia.

Projected 3 Year Growth

The overall growth of the company is contingent upon growing the number of users that request a lab service through the application. Our initial plan is to engage local STD clinics, HIV Advocacy and Treatment groups (i.e. Housing Works, Harlem United) and Diabetes Awareness groups (i.e. ADA) to use the application for their clients/patients. This will allow us to control the upper limit on number of users within the first few months.  As we begin a public roll-out, we will use an online marketing strategy to reach potential users. Once a launch in NY is complete, we will expand to other states with a focus on the largest populations (i.e. CA, TX, FL, IL).  We plan on per state monthly users of 6k - 12k generating an annual revenue of $3.9M - $7.9M with gross margins of 45%.

Revenue Model

Regardless of the number of different tests requested, the cost will be a flat rate in the range of $50 - $60.  The user will be charged only once during the first interaction. All follow-up interactions are included as part of the initial cost.  Methods of accepted payment will be credit, debit, HSA/FSA card, or Paypal.  All costs related to the actual lab services are determined during the lab visit and will depend on the cost structure of each particular lab visited.  Those costs can be out-of-pocket or paid through an insurance provider.


There are several leading telehealth companies such as Doctors on Demand and Pager that provide diagnosis and treatment. There are a couple of STD screening Apps such as STD Test Express and that allow users to order a bundle of STD lab tests and provide recommendations of commercial labs by geolocation. However, most charge a high fee of $200-$300 and have an onerous questionnaire or testing criteria.


Our clients will have all your questions answered and receive treatment, if possible, from the comfort of their home via videoconference with a live doctor. All service will be available for $50 - $60, less than the cost an insurance co-pay at a doctor's office. Lab costs are not included and will be paid either with insurance or self-pay at the lab center.  KnowNow is the only service that provides a live teleconferencing option using a Telehealth platform.

Due Diligence Docs

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$ 145 pledged of $ 125,000 goal

Marcelo Venegas-Pizarro
University of Illinois at Chicago

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