OHNS Resident and Team Win $50,000 Grant for Their Healthcare Invention

November 2, 2021
Nicole Jiam, MD

Nicole Jiam, MD, a fifth-year resident at the UC San Francisco Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (UCSF OHNS), is part of a team that has been awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corporation Research Grant. The award consists of $50,000 and an intensive seven-week program to help the team translate the clinically meaningful digital health product into the marketplace.

Dr. Jiam is the co-founder and principal investigator (PI) of the award-winning invention, IIAM, a digital health startup venture facilitating efficient, secure medical information exchange. David Conrad, MD, an associate professor in pediatrics at UCSF OHNS, is the industry mentor for the project and Patrick Ha, MD, a professor in head and neck surgical oncology, is the co-PI for the grant.

"We are honored to be accepted for the national NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program and are deeply appreciative of the departmental support and the innovative spirit of UCSF," said Dr. Jiam. "We believe our digital health product, IIAM, has the potential to disrupt the fax-based new patient referral process and accelerate strategic growth performance for healthcare systems." 


Dr. Patrick Ha, a professor and the Chief of Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery

The NSF I-Corps Program spurs the translation of fundamental research to the marketplace, encourages collaboration between academia and industry and trains NSF-funded researchers in innovation and entrepreneurship skills. Through a $50,000 grant, entrepreneurial education and structured mentoring, the NSF I-Corps program accelerates the translation of knowledge derived from fundamental research into emerging products and services that may attract subsequent third-party funding.

The startup team also includes Kevin Xin, MD, a radiology resident at the UC Irvine School of Medicine and co-founder of IIAM.

David Conrad, MD

In 2021, Drs. Jiam and Xin founded IIAM, which stands for Important Information About Me. IIAM helps physicians request medical information from other healthcare providers, keep track or requests and upload information to complete the requests of others. The software will most commonly be used in the case of patients with complex medical conditions who receive care from multiple facilities. IIAM will make the transfer of important medical documents more efficient, saving providers time and effort.