Hesham Younis SM '97, PhD '02
Co-Founder and Chief Business officer
Bringing over 20 years of global healthcare product scaling expertise, Hesham co-founded Verbal based on his own pain points of running virtual care operations. With a PhD in biomechanics from MIT and a background as a former McKinsey consultant, he drives innovation in digital health, digital therapeutics, and hospital-to-home care. Notable achievements include launching Profusa’s Lumee® Oxygen platform, co-founding Philips’ Hospital-to-Home Emerging Markets division, and catalyzing impactful health solutions.
Why did you decide to volunteer with the MITCNC?
I believe in the mission of the club. I think it is important for MIT alums to feel a sense of community, and I felt that I can really play a bigger role in bringing together our 13,000 alums in the Bay area. I was also very attracted to the fact that we give back to MIT and help under-resourced students from any background attend MIT – everyone should have the same chance to have the amazing MIT experience that I did, not matter their background!
Tell us a bit about your role with the MITCNC. What are your responsibilities in this position?
I am responsible for setting the agenda and events for the club’s track in healthcare and life sciences. I am also responsible for recruiting volunteers to make it happen! The more people we have driving towards the common goal of educating our alums on the latest trends in healthcare and life sciences, the more successful the track will be.
What exciting things can we expect to see from your area of focus in the coming months? (e.g., social events, speakers, etc.)
I am very excited about how digital is entering healthcare, in a massive way. More and more chronic disease areas are using digital interventions to manage conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, asthma, behavioral health, and others. Even primary care is going digital. Start-ups, enterprises, providers, insurers, and big pharma are all realizing this and have some skin in the game. AI plays a big role in these treatments, but it is not the only factor. How do we set up a digital health program, and how do we drive (and more importantly) maintain patient engagement are going to be common themes for this next year.
Describe one of your most memorable MIT moments.
I distinctly recall running the Harvard bridge – Longfellow bridge loop – in full, with Prof. Ain Sonin, who was head of the mechanical engineering department at that time (may he rest in peace). He caught me in the changing room getting ready to hit the weights and asked me if I wanted to go for a run with him. I, of course, said yes because I was too ashamed to admit that I was a lousy runner (!)… Well, I actually completed it- that one and only time, without even stopping once! A huge moment of pride for me, but I was honestly struggling to keep up with him – and he was at least 30 years older than me!