July 30, 2021
Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine student Allisa Song is not just any 4th year medical student. She is also the inventor, CEO, and co-founder of the medical device start-up, Nanodropper.
Our previous articles on Allisa highlighted her as a finalist in the 2018 Collegiate Inventors Competition and Nanodropper's $500k contract with the U.S. Air Force in fall 2020. Just prior to their contract with the U.S. Air Force, the company launched the Nanodropper adaptor in June 2020 for purchase through their website and at partner eyecare clinics that had been using the Nanodropper in-clinic.
Now, the company has settled its headquarters in Rochester, Minnesota, with a semi-remote and agile workforce, as well as a product warehouse and fullfillment center. In regards to its product, the Nanodropper partner clinic network has reached more than 150 locations across the U.S. in more than 30 states and Washington, D.C. to date. Patients also buy the device directly through the website.
Nanodropper: Overview video
"Since our launch," says Allisa, "our novel device has helped thousands of patients across the country save money on their vision-saving medications and unlock all the health benefits of smaller drops."
"We have big plans in store for the rest of the year," Allisa continues. "We plan to attend conferences as in-person events resume again. We’re looking forward to being able to connect with ophthalmologists and optometrists there and be able to showcase what we’ve built. We also have multiple clinical trials underway, so we’re excited to be able share more data about how smaller drops can help deliver high value care!"
Mayo Clinic helps me stay on top of trends in healthcare and think about the science of healthcare delivery. My education here has impacted the way I approach problem-solving and the system-level perspective I can maintain when making decisions. The Nanodropper was inspired by an article about disparities in healthcare and medication waste, so continuing to be immersed in these topics during my medical education helps keep what is most important at the forefront -- the needs of the patient.
Her final year
Besides being focused on the start-up, Allisa is starting her final year at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine.
"The last three years have been an interesting challenge handling both roles, with a lot of personal growth," reflects Allisa. "Nanodropper has given me a set of new skills and language that has been helpful during my clinical rotations and vice versa. With the most rigorous schedule of third year behind me, I can confidently say that being a student at Mayo Clinic was what made it feasible. I’m grateful to be here learning from the best, including from physician-innovators and physician-entrepreneurs at Mayo Clinic."
As far as future plans, Allisa will be applying to residencies soon and hopes to continue designing innovative solutions to improve patient care. No doubt that the future looks bright for Allisa, Nanodropper, and whatever else Allisa may invent next!