When Shiv Gaglani and Ryan Haynes were paired together during their anatomy class at John Hopkins Medical School in 2011, they had no idea that their chance encounter would set their lives on a radical new course. Soon, the two would put their dreams of being physicians on hold in order to pursue their new ambitions as EdTech startup founders. “Ryan and I were anatomy learning partners,” Shiv recalls, thinking back to his first year at John Hopkins. “We may have been newbie medical students, but we quickly realized that the traditional cram-and-forget learning cycle was terrible for long-term knowledge retention.”
Shiv further explains that the “sage on the stage” teaching model, where knowledge is passed from professors to students, hadn’t evolved in over a century, even as technology has made tremendous strides. Understanding that technology could revolutionize the way med students learn, Shiv and Ryan began engineering a digital platform that they and their peers could use to perform better in classes and on board exams. They called their project Osmosis. What began as a passion-project quickly took on a life of its own, and transformed into a promising startup that has amassed 250,000+ registered users & 600,000 YouTube subscribers, and climbing.
“The goal of Osmosis is to help learners transition from basic memorization of facts to a complete understanding of medicine, starting with science and continuing all the way to patient experiences and care,” says Shiv who serves as Co-Founder and CEO of Osmosis. “We also want to shorten the length of time required for training and open up more time for extracurriculars such as research. We think that this will ultimately improve access to and quality of healthcare.”
The founders describe Osmosis as a powerful, personal learning assistant that combines virtually everything future clinicians need to dominate med school, pass their boards, and succeed in their desired medical field. The online tool merges tools like flashcards, question banks, lecture slides, video libraries, anatomy atlases, note-taking tools, and study schedules within a digital platform that is easy to use and facilitates long-term knowledge retention. Even better, it allows students to diffuse knowledge between one another (where the name Osmosis comes from), to further enhance the learning experience.
The Learning Experience
One of the standout features of Osmosis is its extensive video library, part of which is available on YouTube. The animated medical learning videos help viewers understand often complex topics on everything from atrial fibrillation to Zika virus, and breaks down the science in a way that is easy to learn and remember. Currently, the channel has amassed over 600,000 subscribers. Osmosis has signed more than 30 organizations on video partnerships, over two dozen institutional sales, and experienced 100+% year-over-year revenue growth. Shiv lays out a bold vision for the company, saying, “We aim to grow by 100% y-o-y again by the end of 2018, and nearly triple our video production volume.” To help achieve this goal, the company brought on the former Khan Academy Medicine team as well as invested in unbundling some product features into point solutions.
Shiv lists three competitive advantages that will help take Osmosis to the next level. First, the company has produced the clearest, most concise, high-quality video library for health & medical science topics available. Second, Osmosis bills itself as the most advanced health science learning platform, incorporating proprietary recommendations and an advanced content delivery engine. Finally, the company’s strong partnerships & distribution channels will give it the edge it needs to really stand out in the competitive EdTech space.
Ultimately, Shiv sees Osmosis helping to educate new generations of clinicians as described by the company’s mission, Everyone who cares for someone will learn by Osmosis. He praises Michelson 20MM Foundation for its dedication to catalyzing many great initiatives in education and healthcare, and saw Osmosis as a perfect fit for the Michelson Runway Accelerator as the values of startup and the foundation are well-aligned. With the help of Michelson Runway, Osmosis is revolutionizing how we teach our current and future caregivers.