Photo of Shaikha Alothman

Biotechnology & medicine

Shaikha Alothman

Created a system that improves the healthcare of the growing global elderly population, which is one of the biggest 21st century challenges

Year Honored

Oraxle Inc.


Hails From

Shaikha is the founder of Oraxle Connect, an innovation in health systems design.

They utilize the overlooked resource of family caregivers at a nearly negligible cost to reduce significant spending in the American health system. By "family caregivers," they refer to the family members informally providing care for their loved ones. A classic example is a middle-aged daughter caring for her mother with Alzheimer's by taking her to medical appointments, assisting in bathing and eating, monitoring medication administration, processing condition-related legal and medical documents, among other tasks.

The system is a free web and mobile platform that tackles this problem by stratifying family caregivers according to demographic metrics (age, nature of disease, ethnicity, etc.) and "matching them" based on these metrics. Family caregivers are then able to communicate with each other to provide non-medical home-care guidance. Rather than seeking centralized support from health workers, support is decentralized in a peer-to-peer fashion, relieving the burden on overworked, unequipped clinical social workers in hospitals (essentially the health teams).

The company initiated deployment of the system at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in New York in December 2018 for neurological injury survivors, executed internally by the hospital management and health team for the patients of the hospital. It rolled out a second prototype March 2019 with early adopters: approximately 150 hand-picked family caregivers and clinicians of the Alzheimer's / dementia demographic across the US are benefiting from the solution. They reached out to this batch of users directly, under the guidance of the MIT Venture Mentorship Service and with support from the National Science Foundation, to test the feasibility of omitting mediation of health institutes. It has been in use since then and to date.