Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode · 1 year ago

Behind the scenes with the world’s 1st true virtual global digital health accelerator with Michael Bidu


If you’re an innovator in the digital healthcare space who is having trouble commercializing your solution, this might be the episode you’ve been waiting for.

This week, Michael Bidu, a digital health innovation Renaissance man, is giving our listeners the nuts and bolts on accelerators and incubators.

If you were ever curious about how the accelerator or incubator side of innovation works, you don’t want to miss it!

Want to launch an innovation globally? Unsure of the current state of the market? Wondering if you have a disruptive or sustainable innovation? Michael touches on it. 

If you’re an entrepreneur in the digital health space, come grab some insights into what an accelerator looks for when considering an innovation!

Here are the show highlights:

  • Are you an entrepreneur in training, or an Olympic level player? (9:15)
  • Digital health innovation: Are you really ready for the massive competition? (12:55)
  • What you should know if you’re thinking of launching a product outside the US (15:53)
  • How accelerators and the incubators evolved during the pandemic (19:30)
  • What’s the difference between disruptive and sustainable innovation? (25:57)
  • This might be keeping you from successfully commercializing your innovation (37:08)

Guest Bio

Michael Bidu is Co-Founder and CEO of INTERFACE Health Society, a not-for-profit virtual digital health technology accelerator. 

He’s also Co-Founder and CEO of MYND Therapeutics Inc., a digital health company that is developing socially engaging digital therapies.

Michael is a proven digital health Renaissance man, having expertise in the entire spectrum of innovation - from accelerators and financing to marketing, development, and advertising.

Having earned his MBA from the Academia de Studii Economice in Bucharest, Michael continued his education at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver, B.C.

If you’d like to reach out to Michael you can find him on LinkedIn at Michael Mircea Bidu, on his company’s website at, or on social media using @InterfaceHealth.

Welcome to Coiq, where you learnhow health innovators maximize their success. I'm your host, Dr Roxy, founderof Legacy DNA and international bestselling author of how health innovators maximize market success.Through candid conversations with health innovators, earlier, doctors and influencers, you'll learn howto bring your innovation from idea to start ups to market domination. Andnow let's jump into the latest episode of Coiq. Welcome back to the showcoiq listeners. On today's episode I have the founder and CEO of interface healthwith me, Michael Bido. Welcome to the show, Michael. Thanks fairmouchproxy. Much appreciate it. So let's just kick off the conversation by tellingour listeners a little bit about your background and what you do. So,yeah, my name's Michael. We do as you just said a minute ago. I am the founder and CEO of Interace Health Society, which is anot for profit organization based in Vancouver, Canada. The accelerator that I'm runningis focused on a hundred percent on digital health technologies and our model. It'sa virtual model where, you know, startups and Sam's can join any time. We don't have a cohorn model like many traditional models out there, andso we started creating this kind of model in two thousand and fifteen. Ina way we may be figured that one day the whole world will go virtualas a more, and so we're quite quite early adopters that way and wehave been very successful. We created a global network of innovators. We startedwith fifteen members or so. We ended up with about Fivezero three hundred individualmembers, about one two hundred companies, big and small, of which aboutseven hundred and fifty startups and essays from about twenty different countries are model.It's a partnership with digital health accelerators around the world. So we have relationshipswith about thirty of them from Canada, US, UK, Germany, Romania, Chile, Brazil, Israel, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand andso on and so forth. Hm, that's kind of what the organization thatwe set up and we do a couple of things that interface health. Oneis we have a digital health innovators network, similar to a linkedin if you like, where we connect startups and entrepreneurs with the resources they need. Couldbe services, could be talent, could be money, could be simply opportunitiesto ideas or, you know, sharing ideas about what's new and what's comingin in the market. That's one thing. Secondly, we did a global competitionto find the best innovators in the world and that's how we ended upworking with digital health accelerators from around the world, and that model is almostlike considered the Olympics of digital health innovation, if you like. Yeah, andthat gave us a very good view of about two hundred of the bestinnovators in the world. We've done that in two thousand and fifteen, sixteenand seventeen, and you know, the top ten end up at our conference. We have an annual conference called interface summit in Vancouver, and so thetop ten get invited where we have them here for two days meeting with theinnovators, with healthcare systems, buyers, with kind of the the demand sideof the Innovation Ecos, and those are companies from all over the world.It's a it's a tremendous event. And...

...then so that's the network, theglobal competition, the annual summit and in addition to that, we created ashowcase called interface showcase, were startups can actually show some of their new productsand services and you can look at interface showcasecom. So that's about the companyI'm running. My background is I'm an entrepreneur. I said, about ninecompanies. As a matter of fact, right now I'm in the middle oflaunching my new startup called mind therapeutics. So we're focusing on digital therapeutics,particularly in the obesity and weight management for women, and so that also givesme. I love doing startups. And there you go, by nine startups. Start up in there. Yes, Glutton for punishment exactly. Yeah,Oh, yeah, so I'm a mentor, Advisor and entrepreneur, you know,and speaker and producer of event. So all of the above. So, but yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm an enterpreter. I like todo things and I like to help start ups to go to market. Thereyou go. So so obviously there's hundreds of accelerators and incubators innovation labs thesedays. Maybe not nearly as much in two thousand and fifteen. How doyou think the industry is changed? Well, that's a that's a very good question, Roxy and actually in two thousand and nine, when I met DrEric Topold. I'm going to give you a bit of a background. Sowe see a bit of a history and evolution of accelerators in two thousand andnine and April I met Dr Eric Topol at a conference around wildless technologies andtelecommunications, ctia, in Las Vegas, and that was the very first timewhen I heard a doctor, you know, talking about, you know, thesuper convergent of technology, and he was talking about how wireless technology is, wireless sensors, you know, net force, lie skype, you know. He was talking about patient and networks, even video games for patients. Yeah, yeah, so I was looking at him and it's like wow,this is amazing. And when I heard the numbers, you know, becauseyou think the telecommunications and wireless industries are the largest industry in the world,because it's your industry. Yeah, and when we heard that, you know, the health care industry dwarves really all the other industries in the world.Is kind of an eight, eight point five trillion dollar industry around the world. United States alone it's about three point five trillion. Canada it's about threehundred and fifty billion or so. So when I heard that, I'm like, wow, this is the next thing that we should be doing in Canada. That was two thousand and nine, in two thousand and eleven, wegot a grant from the Canadian government and I started looking at accelerators around theworld at a time in Canada, US, Europe and Israel. And at thetime, you know, we had knowledge of Text Stars and why combinatorsof the world, but all these accelerators were focused on web technologies. Andso the poddle was, hey, let's go to market fast. In threemonths you're done, you go through our accelerator, we get two percent orsix percent of your your company, or ten percent, whatever number, andthen you get some knowledge about how to go to market, you put yourwebsite up. Eventually you do a mobile APP and off you go. Yep, yeah, yeah, so that many exit. Yeah, they're by likemagic. So and then I looked at what's going on in the world andI started talking with people from healthcare systems and hospitals and physicians and and II realize, I even here in Vancouver, I visited a hospital at the timeand I remember they were having in the hospital they were using Netscape asa web browser, that this is like a one thousand nine hundred and ninetysix web browser. And for me,...

...coming from wireless technologies and digital media. It was a trip back in time, like I went almost like twenty ortwenty five years back in time. Yeah, yeah, and I realized, wait a minute, this industry is one of the last two dinosaurs ofthe world, on being, you know, education and the other one healthcare.These guys have not changed for I don't know, quite a bit,like twenty five, fifty years. Yeah, Hundred Years Maybe. And so like, wow, we have a massive problem here, you know, froman acceleration point of view, because, no, like any dinosaurs, theseguys are moving extremely slow. And so how do we move these guys?So, yeah, that that I came back and I said, well,listen, creating an accelerator that is actually based on a model that leverages webtechnologies or even mobile technologies. It's not the right model. Yeah, theright model, it seems to be an accelerator where you spend twelve months,maybe eighteen months, maybe twenty four months. Yeah, with companies who understand,you know, how the health care system works, understand regulation, understandyou know, efficacy, safety. I mean there's a many, many,many things that we need to understand before you actually can, you know,come up with a company that is sustainable, that has a model that the healthcare industry will adopt. And so so that was, you know,two thousand and eleven, and then we continued for about four years with abit of a traditional model with companies in our cohort. But in two thousandand fifteen we pivoted and we said, okay, now it's time to actuallydo a virtual model, and that's kind of how we did it. Asa part to think about virtual and what made you think about virtual in globalback in two thousand and fifteen? I mean it seems part of the courseright now, but in two thousand and fifteen, you know, I'm sureyou had some folks that asked you that question as well. Why Virtual?Why Global? Well, it's funny you're asking that question. Like one ofmy very good friends is John Nosta, yeah, out of New York,is the number one digital health influencer in North America and one of the bestminds we have in digital health in the world. Yeah, and so whenI explained to John What we're trying to do, this is early, actuallyit's late two thousand and fourteen, when we came up with the idea andJohn said, well, Michael, you know what, you are actually thethe first truly virtual digital health technology accelerator in the world, and when youhear that from someone who was obviously in the know, yeah, that encourageme and encourage us to actually create it. The reason we created the virtual acceleratorwas simply competition because, if you remember, in kind of from twothousand and twelve, thirteen fourteen, we started seeing, you know, ahuge increase in the number of accelerators, particularly in the United States. Yeah, suddenly every state had one, two, three, four, five, youknow, accelerators, and there were either private accelerators, the university basedaccelerators, they were, you know, hospital based accelerators, they were governmentsupported accelerators, like in New York and other places. And I'm like,wait a minute, is now suddenly, from ten accelerators in the United States, within three years we've seen probably a hundred, two hundred and twenty.I'm like, okay, this is massive competition. There's no way for usto play that game. So what is the game we want to play?Even in God that we had about ten accelerators at the time. I believeIsrael had ing in Tel Aviv. They had, I don't know, fiveaccelerators, yeah, city right. So when I thought about that, I'mlike, okay, how do we play this game? And the way wedecided to play the game. We said,...

...well, listen, let's look atsports and let's look at the Olympics. Yeah, so what we want toplay, the kind of game we want to play, is really let's, you know, not spend our time and energy in training entrepreneurs, youknow, with the basics, with a one on one of how you starta company. There's the of accelerators out there, university based in particular,who are that's their role, and that's fine. But I thought our role, because we've been in business for a was like, let's actually focus onhelping accelerators or, I'm sorry, this startups and entrepreneurs go to the nextstage. Yeah, so let all these guys focus on, you know,early stage and training. But what we want to do is we want toplay with athletes that are kind of Olympic, Olympics ready, and and those arethe most talented entrepreneurs in the world. And then we are totally agnostic.We don't care what country are you from, we don't care what kindof technology you use. One you care is if you're a true dis raptor. Yeah, and then that's kind of how we envision the virtual model andand that's basically why we did it. It was really we looked at thecompetition and said, well, we can't compete with, I know, rockhelp for example, out of you know, San Francisco and Boston, or wecannot compete with matters in Chicago or help box, who had a bunchof offices. So it's like it was really a differentiation for us. That'swhat it so so how has how has it been? You know, kindof describe what it's like to create that global ecosystem where, you know,we have different payment infrastructures and different, you know, different regulatory and reimbursementguidelines, different payment models. You know, how does that fit into this globalecosystem? Well, you know, the reality is that health care isextremely complicated, then complex as you just describe. It doesn't matter the country. Yeah, I mean in Canada, for example, we have health caresof provincial matter. We have sort of thirteen healthcare systems. Yeah, andon top of that we have a federal right. In the United States,of course, you have all the states who all have very different formulas andways of dealing with providers and and so on and so forth. So verycomplicated in each country. Germany has a different system. Germany, for example, is one of the most consumer friendly systems in the world, despite thefact that you think Germans are very kind of stuck and stubborn in a certainway. Yeah, risk converse, they go. You know, Lansam Uberzeeker. It is a saying in German is which means slowly but surely. Yeah, ranks. So Germany, as a matter of fact, is one ofthe best countries in the world for digital health and we see this in therecent changes in Germany. But I think the the what we offer that interfaceheld was exactly this kind of dialog and understanding of how Canada is different thanus. US IS DIFFERENT THAN UK. I don't know, Israel is differentthan any other country in the world. China is different, Australia is different. So that's kind of again part of our differentiation, because we had entrepreneurswho, you know, wanted to try other systems in the will not.You know, generally speaking, Canadians, you know, nine out of tenstartups are trying to go and sell to the US. Right the largest helcresystem is proximity. Is Language we kind of understand and we understand it is, you know, obviously profit driven and all. That's a very different froma public health care system that we have in Canada. Sure, right,but I think, you know, that was our role to actually try tounderstand the differences between and try to guide various entrepreneurs, whether, let's say, you are maybe even from Mexico and wanted to do business in Canada.Well, how do you do that?...

Or maybe you're accompt from Italy orNetherlands, how do you do business in the United States? And our advicewas always like, maybe you're not ready for how tough the competition is inthe West. Maybe the you can deal with us a little bit for ayear or two in Canada. We can, you know, get you're ready andthen throw you into, you know, the massive industry in the United Statesand that the tough competition that exists there. Well, one of thethings that I think is so surprising, and I've spoken to, you know, hundreds and hundreds of innovators over the last few years of, you know, producing this show, and I've been surprised at how many have really likebeen berthed in the US and really struggled with all of the bureaucracy that we'vehad, you know, prior to Covid in a lot of ways, andhad just their arms tied and just really struggled and ended up having more successin Germany and more success in some of the Asian countries, and so,you know, it's kind of like you're talking about some of these instances wherethey've been outside of the US coming in and this are stories where they're like, we can't have success here, but we can outside, and some ofthem have said that the you know, they had success in Germany and Asiafor to three years and then all of a sudden was able to open thedoor a little bit more in the US. No question. Yeah, so Iand there were, you know, most likely very smart entrepreneurs because theyfigured hey, we're wasting so much time here. Not The wasting is probablynot the right ward yeah, but yeah, you're spending an enormous amount of timeto try to deal with the status quo and disrupt it right and soI'll give you an example like babyl on health, which is one of themost successful companies in tell a health and artificial intelligence out of London. Yeah, they came to Vancouver maybe four five years ago and I learned that theyactually tried some of their very first technologies in Africa. Yeah, and soin Ruanda, I believe. I'm not hundred percent sure, but I thinkit was Ruanda, and so they were very successful there. They learned andthen they tried other markets. Eventually they came to Canada and they made aproposition to one of our, you know, the largest health I t company,which is happens to be also telco, tellers health, and they were successful. Yeah, so there's nothing wrong in trying to be successful in Vietnamor rue or Germany or other places, New Zealand or, you know,Australia, and then come back and that actually it's a good lesson for USentrepreneurs, Canadian entrepreneurs, anybody, in the end. I mean we hadanother company here in Vancouver who had a very interesting solution for skin cancer.Yeah, and we don't have much skin cancer in Canada compared to Australia,for example. Yeah, yeah, of course they went to Australia and that'swhere they found funding and that's where they found, you know, the demandfor for the what they actually had and then they came back to Canada andthe now they're trying to implement their solution in Canada. So, yeah,sometimes it works that way. You you just have to be smart to dothat. Yeah, bugs in the office are Barkin, the team members areBarkin. Hold on, there you go. Anything can happen on this show,Michael, anything can happen. Somebody had a very good question. Islike it's do we work from home or do we leave at the work right, right, right. So I hope is it was not my comments aboutall these countries that you know the dogs barkings. I out, or maybeit was a sign of agreement. Right, right, right. Yeah, well, I don't have a Doggie door here, and so if you don'tlet them out, they will show you whose boss, and so you don't. I've learned the hard way. You just let open the door and letsthem out. Okay, that makes it...

...were authenticity. There you go,right, right, exactly. So you know, I want to ask youknow, as we're talking about like the current state at the end of twothousand and twenty, you know, how how has the accelerators and incubators kindof evolving during this pandemic. What are some of the silver linings that arethat are happening? That's obviously, you know, that's kind of helping createa maybe more opportunity or maybe even, in some instances, some greater challenges. And then kind of what do we expect next for going into two thousandand twenty one? Yeah, okay, so you packed about three four questionsthere. I'll try to answer them. Yeah, kill the way. Well, I think you know again, I've been in this industry, in thisspace for at least a decade and, you know, trying to be asglobal as possible with a view. I think the opportunity is absolutely tremendous.I had a another very good friend of mine, Lucy Agal and from theNetherlands, and he at our conference, we had an annual conference just abouttwo weeks ago, and he had this saying. He said basically that digitalhealth was pregnant for the last nine years or so. I love that,and now we're ready to give birth, right, and so that is thephenomenal analogy. It is a phenomenality right, and so covid has just created thatopportunity and it's almost like a cessarian right. Is like it has tohappen, and it did happen. And so the opportunity it's tremendous. I'veseen a recent report by rock health. Apparently there's about, you know,close to fifty billion dollars that were invested in startups in the United States alone. Yeah, and so, and that's just investment in startups. You know, obviously there's lots of investments by the googles of the world, the Amazonsof the world, that Microsoft, so the apples of the world, thefacebook of the world in virtual reality, for example. Yeah, so Ithink you know, the the innovation economy. Yeah, the disruptors are working veryhard to change things for the better, to you know, take down,in a way, the the wall that was created by the status quo. At the status goales working still very hard to maintain, you know,just matters go and that's their job. Our job is to, you know, go in disrupt, create new opportunities, new jobs, new wealth, yetnew opportunity for everybody, create better access, can create, you know, reduce the cost you know, I mean just in the US, youknow, probably about a trillion dollars just a waste or obscene profits, right, and so if we can actually solve that problem in US alone, andthat actually goes through many other systems around the world where you know that twenty, thirty percent is just fat. Yeah, we can do things way fast,way better, way smarter, using digital health. Now the digital healthtechnology accelerators have come and gone. Right, I've seen already two or three,maybe for you know, waves of digital health technology accelerators. Where oneof the last ones, of to say, because we figured out a different model. Yeah, but I think, you know, digital health technology,etceterators, like any business, have a limited EXPAN, and more so ifyou are doing your job, you should probably be in business for, youknow, five, seven years and then get out of it. Yeah,unless you, you know, maintain or figure out a way to be relevant. Yeah, so I would say, you know, let's just say thatin the world right now there's two hundred, maybe three hundred accelerators in our spacein digital health. Well, the twenty rule applies. Yeah, sotwenty percent of them are probably still doing...

...a very good job and twenty percentof the twenty percent are doing a phenomenal job. Yeah, so does thoseare the I guess, what's going on in the market. We've seen afew companies who, you know, are gone, they don't exist anymore,for all the right reasons. But we also see all these newcomers at youknow, whether they're sponsored by Pharma or created that university level, or bya city or by a state, like in New York or other places,and I would say that one of the things that I've noticed is that theyare hiring the wrong people to run those accelerators and that's probably one of thereasons that within three years, five years, they fail. Yeah, meaning that, you know, even in London I've seen accelerator and accelerator very large. I'm not going to name it. Yeah, but they were just doing, you know, optimization of an existing health care system. Yeah, whichcan it? Tell? It's not. It's sustainable innovation. Is Not DisruptiveInnovation, right, meaning let's be innovation for our own sake? Yeah,well, that's not quite what you know, Claiy Christiansen defined as disruptive innovation,and so I think the true accelerators who are who have a purpose andwho actually are driven to create that change, you know, in a positive way, empower the patients to, you know, be in charge of theirown health, which is the democratization of healthcare. accelerators understand how to digitizemedicine. Yeah, to make it more effective, to make it to focuson preventative medicine, precise medicine and personalized medicine. Those who understand that,they will figure out the value chain and how to create money. Yeah,and opportunity. So for me, I mean I'm the eternal entrepreneurs I'm alwaysoptimistic. Yeah, it's like, guys, yeah, I have a bit ofa distorted, you know, sense of reality maybe, but it's likethat's what needs to happen, like we will continue to try to do betterand change things for the better for the patients, for the positions, fornurses, for everybody involved on the healthcare side and on the consumer side,which is another for trilling opportunity. Again, there's lots of opportunities for digital helpas well. Hey, it's Dr Roxy here with a quick break fromthe conversation. Are you trying to figure out what moves you need to maketo survive and thrive in the new covid economy? I want every health innovatorto find their most viable and profitable pivot strategy, which is why I createdthe covid group Your Business Pivot Kit. The pivot kit is a step bystep framework that helps you find your best pivot strategy. It walks you throughsix categories you need to examine for a three hundred and sixty degree view ofyour business. I call them the six critical pivot lenses. As you makeyour way through this comprehensive kit, you'll be armed with the tools, tipsand strategies you need to make sure you can pivot with speed without missing outon critical details and opportunities. Learn more at Legacy Dacom backslash kit. So, Michael, you kind of touched on a couple of buzz words that youknow some of our listeners and viewers might understand the distinction. Hopefully a lotof them do, but for those that don't, what is the difference betweena disruptive innovation and a sustainable innovation, and why does that even matter inthe commercialization process? Very good question. So I I wrote a few aredecolos and I explained as old at time, because you have, let's say,a healthcare system, you have the final head of Ikey or chief informationofficer of a large hospital, like and...

...and usually what they do, becauseit's an existing large business. Yeah, let's say they run A, Idon't know, a hundred million, two hundred million, a billion or atwo billion dollar, you know, healthcare system. It's an entity that existsand has certain rules, has have a certain business model that, you know, doesn't like to be interrupted or changed. However, your job when you runthat system is to optimize it the best possible way. So I seena lot of folks from inside the healthcare system who think they're doing disruptive innovationwhen in fact it's sustainable innovation. Yeah, yeah, which don't don't create newjobs. Yeah, they just make things better, but to a certaindegree. The definition of disruptive innovation, as in Clay Christiansen's definition, isthe creation of new jobs, the creation of new business models, the creationof wealth. That's why you have AIRBNB, that's why you have, you know, Uber. Those are massive disruptors who go into an industry that,you know, let's say the hotel industry, that performed that way for the last, I know, fifty years, and suddenly are BNB comes in witha model. Well, here's a new way of doing things. So andthey change the whole global industry. Yeah, so that's what software does. Itcomes in and it creates that kind of opportunity. So that's the differencebetween sustainable innovation and disruptive innovation. I would rather go for disruptive innovation andif I am running an accelerator, that those are the kind of technologies I'mlooking for that will create the real change, not you know, incremental changing.Hey, we're better at five percent this year. Yeah, or wecreated a little bit better profit this year with our hospital. On a contrary, I think if you are true disruptor, you need to come up with solutionsthat will truly disrupt. Yeah, the existing models. So so kindof just, you know, following that. One of the things that I thinkis so interesting is that as you've got those larger institutions, right thathave been in business for a long time and they're doing more of the incrementalinnovation internally, it's they are really prone to kind of get caught off guard, like air VNB or like oober with other entities that are disrupting the industryas opposed to disrupting it themselves, because they's thinking about the same customer groupthat they currently have and a lot of times they get kind of caught inthis loop of meeting those needs as opposed to the, you know how Claytonwould describe it, the bottom of the market that has just completely different needsthan, you know, those those incumbents, and so we see that happen,you know, quite often, with them getting disrupted. And I thinkwhat you're describing here, I really there's a lot of strategic considerations because,like you said, you know, income, having an incremental or sustainable innovation isn'ta bad thing, it's just a completely different business and and knowing thestrategic the strategies in the tactics that are different for each one, I thinkbecomes really, really important as well. Well, you know Christina far who'sa reporter for a CNBC. She's covering healthcare and technology. I remember maybea month ago or two months ago, she asked one of the folks forrunning a hospital in the US and it's like how is it going? Likewhat's going on? What's happening? Is like, well, we're in deeptrouble because we're losing like two million dollars, and she's like a month is likeno, a day. Yeah. So so that tells you. Youknow how the GPS, you know general practitioners, family doctors around the world, not just in us, but in Canada and her parts of it.We're absolutely completely caught caught off guard with...

...with Covid, like we had beentalking about telehealth and virtual medicine for at least two decades. Yeah, andand, you know, all the systems for whatever reason they didn't adopt it. Well, guess what, covid happened and they had to change almost overnight. Yeah, so it was all an artificial, you know, barrier,because when they had to perform in a certain way and they had to createreimbursement codes almost overnight. Where work, it took you three years to createa, you know, our eimbursement code. They had to do it. Andso now we see this massive behavior change on the consumer side. Theconsumers know that they can visit their their you know, family doctor or specialist, just like you and I right now. Yeah, you don't have to goto the you know, the office or the clinic or, you know, whatever enterprise you're running. So I think that is a massive change andwe have seen a massive change in physicians perception and physicians use of new technologies. Like doctors whore told me, like Michael, I never believe that thisactually can work. Like email cannot work, doesn't work. It works always underindustries, just not health care. Now Industry doesn't work. Well,here's what they came back and said. You know what, Michael, itdoes work. Yeah, clip, well, why? Why? It took USten years to convince you and we couldn't, and now covid managed toconvince you. So there you go. So now that's what I mean roxyby it's a tremendous opportunity for startups and entrepreneurs. Why? Because by thetime this covid will be over, the whole world has spent probably ten,maybe twelve, maybe fifteen trillion dollars. That's by the end of two thousandand twenty one. Yeah, with all the efforts around the world for whateveris and what that means is that the whole world, governments in particular,but also the private sector, has invested all this money to change our behavior. We are all forced more or less to stay at home, like workfrom home. Well, imagine the opportunities for digital health, which is whatwe wanted to do from the very beginning, which was, you know, tobring solutions to you right right home, in your car wherever you are.That's what we try to do. Well, here we are. Wedidn't have to pay for that. Yeah. Yeah, so I imagine over thecourse of your career, you know kind of thinking, either you knowrecently or just the last few years. Share a couple of stories with ourlisteners that you know, maybe you came across either an innovator or technology solutionwhere you just kind of looked at it, you looked at the team and you'relike that and it just really blew your mind and they ended up beingwildly successful. Do you hear stories like that all the time? Yeah,I would say that one of the stories that blew my mind was actually ourwinner in two thousand and seven, two thousand and fifteen. It's a companycalled Frock cell out of Boston. Yeah, and when we looked at them initiallywe said, you know, they were just using SMS. Yeah,you know, Short Messaging System, right for for for mobile phones, noteven for smartphones. Yeah, for feature. Yeah, this is a company outof Boston who said, well, listen, we want to save people'slives because at the time people in Africa were accessing, you know, fakedrugs that would kill them. Hmm, I think the numbers were something aroundseventy thousand seven seven hundred thousand, I believe it was the number. Andthese guys came in and said, well, listen, we going to use SMS. We're not going to use complicated technologies in Africa, but people usefeature phones and they're going to use SMS...

...and we gonna, you know,help them actually, you know, save lives, and we're going to helpthe Farma industry by helping them, you know, sell the right drugs tothe right people. No, basically, imagine this where you go to apharmacy, you know in Africa, and then you buy a drug. Well, you can scratch it. Yeah, and there's an SMS code. Yousend that code, you know, we using your phone, to a databaseand that database tells you right away whether that drug is the real one ora fake one. Yeah, simple solution it and it again, it helpsthe patient, it helps the physicians, it helps the system, it helpsalso the brands, the Pharma. To me, that was one of thesimplest, most beautiful full solutions out there, which taught me a lesson that youdon't have to have complicated solutions do so. You know, think verysimple think about what you're trying to solve. You know, again, clay risesand said, you know, what's the job that you hire that APPto do for you, right, or that service or that product? Yea. So, yeah, I have stories like that. I've seen stories nowin virtual reality, for example. You know, we've seen twenty, thirtyyears of researching and virtual reality, whether it's Stanford or, you know,MC guil in Canada or Simon Fraser or Barcelona, tremendous application in applications inPTSD, in mental health, depression, anxiety, in obesity and all theseareas. So now I'm seeing kind of a new generation of, you know, therapies that are using artificial intelligence, reality, augmented reality to, yeah, you know, help patients and consumers find solutions. So, yeah,I think, you know, the world is super exciting. The technology isgrowing exponentially. Yeah, we can't keep up. Really the people, Iguess, generally speaking, and healthcare system don't understand how fast things are moving. Yeah, hopefully this covid has been a wake up call for everybody andso hopefully we can see, you know, a money much better world out therein two thousand, twenty, one twenty and twenty two. That will, you know, result in better experiences, you know, low cost, smarterhealthcare that is, you know, designed to actually help save lives.Yeah, so, Michael, there's, you know, I would say,probably hundreds of thousands, you know, maybe if not millions, if we'retalking about globally, of these starts, innovators that are in different stages,whether it's, you know, these you know, big organizations long standing,or whether it's startups. There's so much innovation happening. What are some ofthe key barriers that you think that are preventing, that are going to preventpeople from being successful, from successfully commercialize in that innovation? And then whatare some recommendations that you have? All right, so I think from thevery beginning you have to understand the game you play. So in the wayI'm looking at the global market is these two massive global markets. One isthe consumer health market, which is just health and wellness applications, is nonregulated, it's relatively easy to get in. Yeah, and so that's one massivemarket, about for trillion dollars. The other one, of course,is healthcare, which is about eight eight point five three dollars around the world. We, which, you know, United States about three point five treatnout of eight point five. So you can see how massive that industry is. What would my advice always is? First of all, I mean it'sall about the need. Yeah, trying to figure out a real need.Yeah, don't come up with a technology...

...that has no need. Yeah,it may be cool to know, artificial intelligence, machine learning, whatever,virtual reality, you know, all sorts of advocate. Try to find areal need. That, to me, that is the essence of entrepreneurship.Try to find a real need, and it's that's so basic. Why isthat so difficult? Right, I mean that is just like the foundation ofevery successful company and we logically, intellectually, we know I have to be ableto meet a need in order to have a sustainable business. But like, why are we still talking about that? Why is that so difficult? Well, because that I again, this is my opinion, because I believethat that when you hit the health care system, maybe you have a goodidea on how to solve, I don't know, mental health, anxiety ordepression or, you know, Ptsd, things get complicated extremely fast. Yeah, and so from having a good idea, yeah, and and possibly even aconcept beyond that, that idea. Things get complicated very fast because thehealth care system doesn't like ideas, doesn't like concept yeah, the health caresystem likes evidence. And if you don't understand how to create that evidence,yeah, with by using, obviously, you know, people in the insidethe health care system, like inclinations and researchers and create that legitimacy. Yeah, that's where you fail. You think you let's say you're an engineer andand and you don't quite understand. I have examples like this in in thesecurity and privacy business, for example, folks have been extremely successful in financialservices and not other industries. They can't penetrate the health care industry and theydon't quite understand why. Well, it is because the health care industry isvery different from any other industry on the planet. Yeah, and if youdon't understand that, then you fail. Yeah, but, yeah, itgoes back to the need. Then it goes back to the I guess theteam like always to me, every time I see I see entrepreneurs who comein, is like hey, Michael, I have an ideas. Like howmany of you are out there? was just me like well, please goaway. Yeah, right, like you can't succeed yeah, you need tohave a band, like a rock band. Yeah, you need two, three, four co founders yet to work. And particularly health care, you needsomeone who understands product development. You need someone who understands, you know, sort of a cheap medical officers, somebody who understands health care and medicyou know, a physician in you need someone who understands, you know,technologies in health care. Yeah, and so. And then you need possiblya designer, yeah, who understands design thinking and understands how to create beautifulproducts and services. So if you don't have that team with you from kindof the very beginning and a good understanding of the industry and the domain you'rein, because this health camestry is so massive that pretty much every vertical thatyou have in it, yeah, whether it's Co opd or diabetes or,you know, pulmonary diseases or anxiety or mental health, and even in mentalhealth again, you divided it. All these verticals are, you know,massive verticals. You know, anywhere from mine or two billion dollars to twohundred billion dollars. Yeah, and so, again, understand your vertical that youplay in. Yeah. So, yeah, it's hard, but Imean that's that's what makes a good entrepreneur. And we have seen, you know, a lot of companies coming from let's say rock health. Quite afew of them have been successful. We have seen, you know, someof them going IPO these days. So somebody told me, is like,Hey, it's very hard to get into the health care system, but onceyou're in, your kind of in for... Yeah, that's it isa very good reason for any investor to be patient. Yeah, and to, you know, put money in those startups. I actually want to changethe world and but do have patient and you know, this is not afast game, is you know, you need five, seven, sometimes evenmore than seven, years to actually show results in digital health. I'm sureall the health innovators listening want you to say that again for all the investorsthat her on that have invested in your companies the like. Can you saythat one more time, because it's only been a year, it's only beeneighteen months. Still keep the faith. Well, yeah, keep the faith. And we have seen now, you know, with covid nineteen or coronavirus, we have seen such an increase of investments in tell health, in mentalhealth and digital trapoutics like we've never seen before, like the the last statsI've seen, I think the the investments in telehealth in particular, is somethinglike one fourteen hundred percent, you know, compared with last year. So there'sno question that that, you know, the capital is smart. They understandwhere the puck is going to be, you know, three, four,five years from now. So the opportunities there if you're in the rightplace. I would say that there's areas in health care where, you knowit's not a good place to be. I looked at some statistics from Switzerland, I believe somebody did a statistic, and some some hospitals and some healthcare systems actually are, you know, decreasing their body. It's on itbecause they don't have the money. YEA, yeah, so be careful where yougo. Yeah, so, but the opportunity nevertheless is massive and againyou'll have winners and losers. You'll have people who understand where the PUCK isgoing to be three, five years from now. And if you're on aninvestor and you're smart about your money, then by all means you know thatthis is a, you know, five to seven, maybe nine years yearslong play. It's not something that you see your money back in twelve months. Yeah, Yep, that's for sure. Long sale cycles a lot more complicated. So just any any last words of advice for anybody that's in thetrenches today before we wrap up. Well, I would say, you know,be kind, be calm and be safe. This is what our chiefprovincial officer that says here, Dr Henry, Dr Bonnie Henry in British Columbia.And Yeah, it's just stay healthy, stay fit, try to you know, we can do a lot of work just like this remotely. Andyou know, the technology sector is doing actually pretty well compared to you know, let's say, the hospitality, the airline, the Trans right business.Yeah, so think about that. How lucky we are to be in thisindustry and to be able to actually help. Yeah, and so to me thatis you know, have that purpose in mind every day. It's,you know, it's very meaningful, and so go for it, go andchange the world and you know, that's all I can say. And ifyou think that interface health can help you in some way, you know whereto find me or where. Yeah, so how can folks get a holdof you? If anybody wants to follow up with you after the show,I'm so easy to be and I mean just linkedin. It's fine. Interfacehealthcom, you know, add the interface health on social media, twitter.So if you really want to get in touch with me, you'll find away to get in touch with me. All right. Well, thanks,Michael. You make it. Ask Your Roxy and exactly. Just ask me, I'll put you in touch. Thanks Michael, for joining us today.Okay, very much. I enjoyed it very much. Stay safe and behealthy. Thank you. Thank you so...

...much for listening. I know you'rebusy working to bring your life changing innovation to market and I value your timeand your attention. To save time and get the latest episodes on your mobiledevice, automatically subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast APP like apple podcast, spotify and stitcher. Thank you for listening and I appreciate everyone who's beensharing the show with friends and colleagues. See You on the next episode ofCoiq.

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