Pouya Hashemi, who was one of the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States after returning back from a trip to Hawaii in January. He has since beat the disease and is now seeing his health system called RapidScreen being put into place across the nation to help businesses of all sorts reopen!
His product is a cutting edge advanced Artificial Intelligence thermo-imaging technology thermometer and facial scanning system that theaters are starting to use at their entry-ways. With big corporations including the Four Seasons and Johnson & Johnson having already been using it to screen employees for their temperature quickly and other symptoms with COVID-19, it won’t be long until systems like these are placed into all kinds of facilities.
We spoke to Pouya directly to find out all about his journey from survival to now helping save lives globally, and how his recent pivot in business has now led him to disrupt the spread of COVID-19!
1. How did you get the idea to start and create RapidScreen?
Back in January I got very sick, however at the time I was not aware I had contracted the COVID-19 virus. After I overcame the virus and tested positive for its antibodies I realized that this pandemic had impacted me more than initially anticipated. While businesses were forced to shut down I wanted to make it my mission to adapt my business in an effort to reopen safely, when the time came.
2. Since your product and concept is new in the COVID-19 age, how do you feel you have been disrupting the industry overall?
Every-day we learn something new about the pandemic and how it may impact us. By acting fast and developing such an innovative device amongst the COVID-19 age, our RapidScreen thermal scanner disrupted the industry as one of the first contactless temperature kiosk systems on the market. We were able to set the standards and guidelines in accordance with FDA, CDC and many state recommendations in an effort to reopen businesses again, safely.
3. What trends with COVID-19 here in the marketplace have you been seeing in relation to your product?
We are still dealing with a lot of the unknown, as the COVID-19 virus is still so new. However, we are seeing an increase in protective measures and trends. I believe people are beginning to understand that this pandemic is not going away yet and we have to change our way of life in order to adapt to this change. We are seeing a spike in cleaning procedures, social distancing measures and importantly, preventative measures through thermal scanner devices like our RapidScreen Temperature Kiosk.
4. What are the key factors entrepreneurs should evaluate when starting and running their company?
In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be passionate about your business and have that drive to push boundaries and make smart decisions. It is important to understand your goals and build a strategy on how you can reach them. Keep in mind, there are only 24 hours in a day and trying to run a business by yourself is hard. Through my experience, I found it beneficial to build a strong team and surround yourself with like minded individuals who are experts in areas you may not be familiar with. That way, as a team you can accomplish your success.
5. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
I think the best advice I’ve received and given falls along the saying, “when there is a will, there is a way”. This stuck with me through the years, and continues to inspire me. There are times when entrepreneurs are faced with adversity in life or business and the key is to get through it. When looking at the big picture or the little details, it is important to focus on strategizing while using your energy and motivation as a driving force to accomplish any challenges.
6. What is something you would do differently if you were given the chance?
I believe there are lessons to be learned through experiences, good or bad. If I look back on my life and business choices I would not change anything. Those small (sometimes large) hiccups continue to make me stronger each day. If I didn’t take risks I would still be working a 9-5 job at a retail shop.
7. What does the rest of 2020 look like for RapidScreen and yourself?
Busy! As cases continue to rise, it is very important for me to express and preach preventative safety measures to businesses who are reopening. We don’t want to shut down our nation again and the only way to reopen the country is to be safe and take things seriously. Even in the coming years, we hope to utilize our RapidScreen technology to not only prevent the spread of viruses such as COVID-19, but also reduce the spread of illnesses like the flu or common cold.
8. Why should every business and facility on every level own a RapidScreen?
RapidScreen is a step in the right direction for businesses and facilities on every level. With a variety of features such as fever detection, mask detection and employee access systems, our RapidScreen temperature kiosk is here to stay. Right now, the focus is to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but RapidScreen can do much more to help monitor access and create a healthy and safe environment for customers and employees. A couple of our initial orders went to companies like; Johnson and Johnson for their office entrances, a handful of national hotels, a couple state agencies, and multiple school districts. We expect to see a continued growth in the industry as we continue to reopen our country again.