We get to meet so many incredible women with what we do, but sometimes there is one person that you meet who is really making an impact on the world and the people in it. This person is Hannah Luu. We had the pleasure to sit down with her to learn more about Onco Gambit and her story to success. What is OncoGambit you may ask? OncoGambit gives cancer patients immediate access to personalized treatment information recommended by more than 1100 experts in their respected fields. Hannah is proud that OncoGambit can reduce the burden on the patient’s emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being so that they can focus on treatment and recovery.
StilettoGal: What motivated you to start your business/career path?
Hannah Luu: I have been a practicing breast medical oncologist for almost 20 years and have observed that newly diagnosed cancer patients are overwhelmingly fragile and distressed about their treatment. They have a sense of uncertainty about their treatment recommendations. Almost half of these patients search for information online about their treatment and one third seek a second opinion. However, both methods of seeking information about treatment options require a lot of time and effort. The current healthcare system is quite difficult to navigate and not time sensitive. Since patients want to confirm that their treatment is right for their cancer, and most cancer experts encourage second opinions and information-seeking, we developed a way to merge medicine and technology and offer patients instant information. Our company OncoGambit is a web-based platform that provides information about a patient’s type of cancer, how the treatment is derived, and a treatment plan that is based on the up-to-date recommendations of multiple cancer practice guidelines and 1100+ cancer experts. Most importantly, OncoGambit answers one question that all cancer patients want to know: “What is the best treatment for me?” Armed with this answer they can gain some control over what often feels like an out of control situation.
SG: What are three tips you can give to women who are deciding to start a business/career path?
HL: Since recent research shows that women physicians are better than their male counterparts due to three reasons: better listeners, more compassion and sympathy, it is easy to assume that this quality applies to women in all professions. With these recent findings, women can now stop trying to be as good as or better than men and focus on 1) following their hearts and committing to things they are passionate about 2) work smart, not just hard, 3) have fun at work
SG: What challenges have you had and how did you overcome them?
HL: In medicine, whether as a student or a practicing physician, the outcomes and expectations are for the most part predictable. In the business world, however, the outcomes are not as straight forward. The success of your business is determined by the public, and there is no formula or algorithm that will help you predict what the public’s response to your service or product will be. This has certainly been a challenge for me. However, through researching business and entrepreneurship books and networking with other entrepreneurs, I have overcome this challenge. I am now more patient with the slowness of some of the business aspects, and I am able to make better decisions about new directions for the company.
SG: What are some unique things you have done to promote your business/yourself?
HL: I feel everything I have done to promote the business is unique, because these were not strategies I was accustomed to doing before where my research not my marketing/PR would promote me. So far, I have presented the business at conferences, promoted it in the media through interviews and contributed articles, and networked with entrepreneurs with the same interests. Hiring a PR company has been helpful in reaching reporters that we may not have reached otherwise.
SG: How do you define success?
HL: To me success is to have a full and happy life most of the time, if not all of the time, doing what you love. Pursuing money, fame, or power are just intermediate markers that we believe bring upon happiness. That is not true. You can choose to be happy this minute despite lack of money, fame, or power.
SG: What legacy would you like to leave?
HL: I would like be known as a contributor to the technological advances in oncology. The medical community has been slow to embrace technology, but I am determined to see this to fruition, as I believe digital health will enhance patients’ lives.
SG: What kind of shoe are you and why? (Note: This is not about what kind of shoes you like, but what shoe represents your personality)
HL: I love this question! If you knew me, you’d know not to ask me about shoes, as I currently own several hundreds of pairs of shoes. I believe the stiletto represents me most. The stiletto empowers me to maintain my femininity while being conservative and professional. It also allows me to transition from work to more fun after work activities. The stiletto for me balances the work-play roles, and allows me to work hard and play hard at the same time.
Definitely a woman after my own heart, striving to help others and loves her Stilettos 🙂