Why Soap Health Matters to Me,
& Should to All of Us

From our CEO, Dr. Steven Charlap
Dr. Steven Charlap and his brother

My older brother and me, circa 1960’s

Seven years ago, one of my older brothers, a practicing cardiologist, was diagnosed with two primary cancers a week apart. One year later he was gone. His cancer workup revealed he had a BRCA2 mutation, the gene mutation commonly associated with breast and ovarian cancer, but also associated with male breast, prostate, kidney, and pancreatic cancer, as well as melanoma. This should have come as no surprise given that my father’s two sisters, our aunts, and one of their daughters, his niece and our first-cousin, were all diagnosed with early breast cancer in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. In addition, our father was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 79, alone not a major red flag. But it did surprise us because no physician had ever inquired about my brother’s and even till today, my now expansive (12 cases in all) family history of cancer. If a doctor had, and he or she understood the clinical significance of such early age cases of breast and other cancers on one side of the family, that doctor may have instituted increased surveillance, which could have found my brother’s cancers earlier when effective treatment may still have been possible.

Fortunately, I don’t have the mutation, not that any doctor has ever bothered to ask. However, it is ironic that my brother was diagnosed with hereditary cancer while I was the Chief Medical Officer of a primary prevention medical clinic in Florida and was widely touting the impact of lifestyle over genetics for living longer and healthier to tens of thousands of people through TV, radio and speaking presentations. My brother’s diagnosis gave me pause to reconsider my attitude toward genetic predispositions and a realization of the need to better understand the science. It also made me really ponder why doctors didn’t collect detailed family medical histories. After my brother passed, I closed my clinic and went to Stanford to pursue gaining that knowledge.

I recently completed a National Science Foundation funded program that allowed me to interview 25 primary care physicians from Florida to New York to California. They described how hard pressed they are for time to collect detailed family histories and perform valid risk assessments. Basically, they shared that very few of them are collecting sufficient family history to fully assess risk, and even among those trying to do so, the doctors admitted they are not doing it well. They collectively all know they need help if the situation is going to change and would be excited to embrace a solution that is clinically validated, integrated into their workflows, and easy for their patients to use.

This is why Soap Health is a mission-driven organization. We want to spare others from the pain and suffering of passing from or losing someone to a preventable or earlier identifiable genetically-driven adult diseases such as cancer and heart disease by enabling genetic risk assessment to take place in the 250,000+ U.S. primary care practices.

Meet Our Team

Soap Health has assembled an exceptional team with business, clinical, scientific and technical capabilities. The team includes an MD, MBA,  PhD, and MSc. Expertise includes scaling entrepreneurial businesses, scientific research, consulting, and academia. Specific knowledge includes software development, company building, project management, virtual agents, algorithm development, computational science, and extensive health care industry insights.

Steven Charlap
Steven CharlapChief Executive Officer
30+ year health care experience; MD, NYU, Surgeon; MBA, Harvard; Fellow, Stanford; co-founder HealthDrive (acquired), largest US medical/dental services provider to extended care industry, two-time Inc. 500 company (#73) – built first US mobile, multi-specialty electronic medical record system; co-founder MDPrevent, primary prevention medical services; Director of Corporate Development, T Cell Sciences, biotechnology (public; acquired); In Vitro Care (public); Visiting Scientist Harvard; Stanford Researcher/Grant Recipient; Multiple Startup Board Advisor; HBS and Stanford-wide Mentor
Tom Mercier
Tom MercierChief Technology Officer
25+ years of taking products from concept to market. History of building cohesive, high caliber engineering teams and developing first to market, one of a kind products, Tom has expertise in conversational AI, data science, engineering management and new product introduction. Before Soap Health, Tom was Director of Process Engineering at Magic Leap, where he led development of the company’s most successful product. From semiconductors and optics to mixed reality, he has held various key positions at Atmel, Vitesse, Qorvo, Digital Optics and FLIR.
Spencer Martin
Spencer MartinDirector of Business Development
10+ years experience leading business development, start up fundraising, and product management for technology companies at all stages for multiple industries; formerly Lead Product Manager at Magic Leap working on enterprise productivity use cases, Founder of Quitly (smoking cessation software for enterprises), Founder of Supplyr (tech consulting firm based in San Francisco); Business and Managerial Economics, Virginia Tech.
Lauren Moissiy, MSc
Lauren Moissiy, MScDirector of Genetics and Sales
5+ years as a board-certified and licensed genetic counselor with extensive industry experience in the genetic diagnostics space. Brought on as the US Director of Sales for Blueprint Genetics, she helped the global company become an industry leader in clinical genetic testing (recently acquired by Quest Diagnostics). She is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors, American Board of Genetic Counseling, and has served as a genetic counselor advisory board member in the pharmaceutical sector.
Michael Kaplan
Michael KaplanChief Financial Officer
25+ years of healthcare finance/accounting experience as Chief Financial Officer, at HealthDrive, a two time INC. 500 start up, where he orchestrated the sale of the company to a private equity firm, and Vice President, Finance Operations for a major metropolitan health system, South Shore Health System. His previous experience includes venture capital with DCC, Plc, a publicly traded international holding company, and accounting roles at two large international public accounting firms. Mr. Kaplan is a CPA and earned his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Emma Pavitt
Emma PavittQA
Over 14 years of various Service Operations roles within the Cruise Lines and Hospitality Industry focused on customer satisfaction.
Sinhwa Kang
Sinhwa KangDirector of Virtual Agents
PhD in Communications, RPI Communications, USC Virtual Agent Researcher
10+ years research experience at USC with virtual agents and human-computer interaction
Rodrigo Lima
Rodrigo LimaEngineering Manager
Manager and Software developer with 13+ years of experience, passionate about full-stack development with a focus on software quality and business value. An experienced developer, having successfully worked with development teams, with leading positions, on different companies and technologies. Used to Agile methodologies and industry proven       best practices in software development.

Silke Dodel
Silke DodelComputational Sciences
PhD in Theoretical Physics, The University of Göttingen, Statistics and Mathematics, Business Calculus, Experimental Design and Computational Social Psychology (adopting Big Data approaches for Natural Language Analysis using R)
Stefam Magnum
Stefam MagnumSoftware Engineer
10+ years experience software development experience.
Angela Mercier
Angela MercierClinical Manager
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Family Nurse Practitioner. Previous experience includes CVS Minute Clinic and Primary Care Practices.
Isabel Meza
Isabel MezaQA and BA Manager
8+ years of experience in the software development life cycle like analyst, developer and QA. Has lead teams as a business system analyst and project manager guiding the refining and enhancing of systems focused on meeting the expected business needs. Scrum Foundations Professional Certificate.
Jocieldo Abreu
Jocieldo AbreuSoftware Developer
9+ years of experience in web and mobile development

Testimonials

“The amount of information about genetics has become too large and complex for anyone clinician to understand and remember. Bringing the computer into the equation to decrease workload and improve the quality of care is a brilliant approach and needs to be taken advantage of.”

Physician Leader, Massachusetts General Hospital

“Soap Health supports increased access to genetic counseling services by providing innovative ways to capture more patients at risk for hereditary cancer syndromes and can help streamline and simplify the genetic information and genetic testing process for patients and clinicians.”

Manager, Genetic Counselors

“Significant role in addressing a serious gap in medical care not only in family history and genetic testing but also in a number of other areas where informed/shared decision making is important.”

Chief Medical Officer, Health Advocacy Group

“The medical community would greatly benefit from a tool that helps collect detailed family history in a patient-friendly and cost-effective manner and provides decision-support as to what testing could benefit the patient.”

Professor and Physician, NYU Medical School

“I literally have seen thousands of innovative ideas and products and this is clearly one that has been well thought through and has such a potential to impact the live of patients literally everywhere giving them a realistic understanding of future health risks.”

VP of Innovation, Major Health Care System

“Physicians today don’t have the time or training to gather and analyze a detailed family history in order to determine which, if any, genetic tests would support the ultimate goal of providing their patients with the most precise and timely care. We are excited that VALIDATE presents a compelling solution to this problem. Not only will the tool help streamline the workflow of the patient visit it will also employ state-of-the-art patient engagement techniques to help collect accurate information on a complicated topic.”

CEO, Genetics Patient Advocacy Association

“The medical community would greatly benefit from a tool that helps collect detailed family history in a patient-friendly and cost-effective manner and provides decision-support as to what testing could benefit the patient.”

Researcher and Physician, Stanford Healthcare

“The promise of VALIDATE is that it is a tool that addresses barriers to implementation, e.g. improved physician workflow, clinical validity and utility, additional reimbursement, and seamless integration, and has the highest probability of finally bringing to market an eloquent solution that results in the appropriate screening of every at-risk patient, and their affected relatives.”

Genetic Counselor, Ohio State University

“A highly innovative and promising strategy for integrating cancer genetic risk assessment into general medical practice.”

Associate Professor, Stanford Medicine

“Soap Health has the potential to hasten the integration of genetic testing and risk assessment into regular clinical practice with significantly improved healthcare outcomes, while, importantly, reducing physician workload.”

Innovation Leader, Harvard

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