Dahlia Attia-King

Dahlia
Dahlia Attia-King, B.S. ’12

Dahlia Attia-King, B.S. ’12 develops an AI platform to track and expedite medical tests and processing.  

Dahlia Attia-KingB.S. ’12, graduated from the University of Miami on the Pre-Med track with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. With challenging curriculum layered with technology and science, Dahlia quickly merged the fields and fine-tuned the critical skill of problem solving. “One of the most valuable things I gained from my education is how to think,” Dahlia said. It armed me with the ability to tackle completely foreign problems and devise innovative solutions.

Looking at problems from a new perspective and trying a different approach, Dahlia quickly saw opportunity to make an impact in the medical field. I started to ask the questions that no one found important to ask and search in places that no one found value in searching,” she said. “What I learned was incredible and ultimately led me to create a solution with Panacea. 
 
Dahlia credits the on-campus tools and support at the University of Miami as a key factor in her growth and success. “As an alumna, I have access to invaluable and free resources like the LaunchPad and am exposed to opportunities like the Annual Business Plan competition.” Dahlia shares. “Both the LaunchPad and the Business Plan Competition helped grow me as an entrepreneur by pairing me with incredibly experienced and knowledgeable mentors. Entrepreneur Oscar Callejas, Co-Founder of Voaltewas my mentor in the competition and he has been integral in guiding me through and well past the competition.” It partnerships like that that have strengthened the foundation of Dahlia’s ideas and concepts. As one of the winners, I was invited to showcase my business at the Board of Trustees meeting, further exposing it to an influential panel of individuals at the University. It’s incredible how much I’ve gained even after graduating. 
 
How did you develop the concept for Panacea? 
 
After graduation, I decided to apply to medical school. It’s a long process, so I wanted to get a part-time job. A really random opportunity to work for a genetic laboratory as an independent sales contractor sort of fell in my lap and because I was always intrigued by genetics, I decided to take it. It took about 3 months for me to realize how desperately the healthcare industry needed change. The endless inefficiencies, road-blocks, scattered data and wasted time and money was difficult to ignore. I remember telling my husband, “This is chaos, there has to be a better way.” I started to ask the questions that no one found important to ask and search in places that no one found value in searching, and what I learned was incredible and ultimately led me to create a solution with Panacea. 
 
How will Panacea benefit the community? 
 
Genetic tests can be expensive. Labs, for various reasons, struggle to successfully bill insurance carriers and often the patients most in need of this life-changing test aren’t able to receive coverage. Ironically, this scenario is far more promising if a hospital were to manage the insurance billing process. Panacea negotiates and brokers heavily discounted genetic testing services. We single-handedly shift the billing paradigm by making it possible and cost-effective for hospitals to buy discounted genetic testing services from labs and subsequently inherit the insurance billing responsibility. Hospitals can then bill lower cost genetic testing to insurance carriers, save them money on every patient and potentially use this fact to leverage stronger agreements with carriers. The savings trickle down to patients as well, and most importantly they receive a test that helps their physicians strategically and efficiently guide their healthcare. Panacea’s model is incredibly powerful because it benefits every party involved in ways that weren’t possible prior. Labs, hospitals, insurance carriers and patients all gain something substantial while healthcare spending is lowered and medical business processes are streamlined - it’s a true Panacea! 
 
Panacea’s real powerhouse might actually be its Artificial Intelligence technology platform. The AI platform aggregates data in efforts to better understand and predict gene behavior. Currently, data used to interpret genetic tests are often scattered, siloed and ambiguous. Panacea’s platform will shed-light on unidentified gene relationships and trends and can ultimately catapult our understanding of human health. 
 
Any words of wisdom for current students or young alumni? 
 
I used to think that “reinventing the wheel” was a negative thing. In my experience as an entrepreneur, reinventing the wheel is an absolute necessity it’s the hallmark of innovation and progress. Taking something that “kind of works” and making it better can be extremely disruptive, even revolutionary. Dare to ask the questions that no one is asking, and never hesitate to re-write the answers. What results could be more powerful than you ever imagined!