Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode · 2 years ago

How a quick product and market expansion can keep the momentum going w/ Varun Goyal


When momentum is interrupted by a global crisis, it can take the wind out of even a big corporation’s sails, never mind a startup’s.

Sometimes, the trick to keeping momentum going, or at the very least moving in the right direction, could be as simple as a shift in focus. 

Staying open to opportunities that build on a process or product you’ve already developed can be key to unlocking doors that might be closing to other innovators.

In this episode, Varun Goyal talks about his company’s pre-pandemic momentum and changes in focus and target markets that helped see Illuminate Health through the pandemic crisis.

Varun gives our listeners a glimpse into his startup’s strategies and challenges as they actively avoided pilot purgatory in an unpredictable market.   

Here are the show highlights:

  • How a formal pilot and patient information can help you expand your solution (3:12)
  • Why shifting use case focus can help keep momentum going during market disruptions (9:53)
  • One of the most challenging pieces to the commercialization process (13:05)
  • Ways to avoid pilot purgatory (14:52)
  • When a crisis can both slow down momentum - or speed things up (21:27)
  • Add-on solutions - can this be a way in the door when the door is closing? (29:09)
  • What’s important when looking for an advisor (32:13) 

Guest Bio

Varun Goyal is CEO and Co-Founder of Illuminate Health, a digital care assistant for individuals and families that helps simplify healthcare management.

An engineer by background, Varun spent a lot of his career at Oracle in various consulting roles before getting passionate about consumer health.

Varun earned his BS in computer engineering from Illinois State University, MS in computer science from University of Chicago, and his MBA in marketing, management and strategy, and healthcare from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.

If you’d like to reach out to Varun or are looking for additional information on Illuminate Health, you can find him on  LinkedIn at Varun Goyal, email at, at his company’s website Illuminate.Health.

Welcome to Coiq, where you learn how health innovators maximize their success. I'm your host, Dr Roxy, founder of Legacy DNA and international bestselling author of how health innovators maximize market success. Through handed conversations with health innovators, early adoptors and influencers, you'll learn how to bring your innovation from idea to start ups to market domination. And now let's jump into the latest episode of Coiq. Welcome back coiq listeners. On today's episode I have varoom Goil with me, who is the cofounder and CEO for illuminate health. Welcome to the show, Baroon. Thanks you, Roxey. How you doing? I'm doing great. So let's get started by telling our listeners and viewers a little bit about your background and what you've been innovating lately. Sure. So I'm an engineer. My background and spend a large amount of my career Oracle and various consulting roles. Love Technology and went to business school for health care. Since then I've been working in healthcare, so medical devices, revenue cycle and and then got passionate about consumer health, you know, and as a lot of a lot of these startups and ideas get started as from personal experience. Right. So that's what happened with us when, when my wife and I were pregnant with our first child, we were fortunate in off to avoid a potential miscarriage due to a medication error. And that's what I've got me, you know, looking into the field and what's on the market. So so that's really what we're trying to do here, to illuminate, you know, innovating to make it simple for consumers to really take medications safely in the whole environment. So I'm just curious. You know, medicate medication adherents is a, you know, a huge financial burden for the country and it's also just a really big problem in patient care and there's a lot of things that have been innovated in the market over the last few years. What is it that you know is unique and different about illuminate in the work that you guys are doing? Yeah, great question. So, so there's a lot of great solutions out there. You know, as you said, a lot of people have taken the approach, whether from a from a device and hardware perspective, to to software and so on. You know, we basically narrow down on the pain point of health literacy. And you know, in all the literature reviews we did and the patient surveys and everything of that sort, what is highlighted to us was, yes, there's a need to help adherence, but but really part of the reason why people are not at hearing is because they just don't know when and how to take their medications. Yeah, and you know, when you're at the hospital you don't have to worry about medication management because the nurse comes to your bedside at the right time, gives you the Right Med at you know, in the right dose and and so on, whereas at...

...home, you know, you're isolated and and you don't have that clinical grade resource guiding you in terms of when is the best time to take them at and you know there's a lot of technology out there, but is there something that you can really trust that to say, Oh, yeah, you know, I'm using this tool. It's done safety checks for me, it's done the hard work of organizing meds for me, and so all I have to do is follow this and, by the way, if I want, I can be connected to my family members for to that support as well. And that's really the path that we're taking relative to what's out there. So does that clinical intelligence. It's that guidance to instill the trust and confidence in the consumer about taking their meds on their own. So so walk us through what your journey has been like from the time that you had this idea to where you are in the innovation process now. Maybe some milestones that you were able to accomplish and some hurdles along the way? Sure. So we started our initial kind of research in the two thousand and sixteen time frame and incorporated the company in two thousand and seventeen. You know, we're towards kind of the second half of the year. We started building the product, you know, after feeling pretty confident about having done all the you know studies, literature, reviews and things like that, and then we had our first prototype early two thousand and eighteen that we started Beta testing and then you refined based on that. And we were fortunate enough to have a you know, collaboration partner in Indiana University health. So we did a formal pilot with them and and actually they helped us think about our product in a more holistic manner because, you know, they were really focused on addiction recovery and and so we actually did a formal pilot with them, you know, as part of their intensive outpatient program and, you know, showed some really good patient engagement and the staff was really excited about the product. So so that also was a great milestone for us because it helped us iterate based on the feedback from patients, in a more formal manner as compared to the Beta testing we done on our own. And and, like I said, it helped us expand kind of our talk process and, you know, thankfully that pilot made it possible for us to expand to two more of their locations. So that's been a great milestone for us and honestly, you know, the end of the day our mission is to help the consumer know when to do something, what to do and how to do it. We did that for medications and then now with, you know, our work in addiction recovery, we're trying to, you know, be a little bit more prescriptive around. Well, it's time for you to do your spiritual reading, or you should look up and a or smart...

...recovery meeting in your neighborhood to get that social interaction. Or if you're reporting high level of anxiety to us, we can maybe suggest a meditation you can do within the APP. So it's to really making it a toolbox off resources for the person at home meeting that selfcare. That's incredible, especially with the you know, the mental health issues that you know have been so prevalent for so long but that are really seemed to be increasing significantly, you know, since the pandemic at least, it's come into light more. Yeah. Absolutely, yeah, and that's one of the challenge does right. So, you know, we basically have been talking about how the the open crisis is not gone away, right, and and to your point, you know, different types of addiction. That only increased over time as people have been a NICEO elation. So so, yes, definitely happy to be able to mention that on your show as well. Yeah, yeah, I've heard liquor sales is sky rocketed since the pandemic. Contributing facts, right, the first to admit we certainly have drink it. Drink a lot more wine in the last couple of months. That's for it, or so so it sounds like. So how let's kind of dig it a little bit into you know, did you go into this with a specific use case, because it sounds like you had a whole lot of different target audiences that you could choose from. So I'm wondering if you chose your specific use case before you got to your pilot or that the pilot engagement kind of helped you determine where you would focus your your target market strategy. First Yeah, great question. So honestly, when we started out, we start out with just a simple mindset. Off What can be built that can be valuable to a consumer, you know, the average bough in helping them with managing medications, and then, as we started thinking more about, you know, what should be our business strategy and business model, you know, how do we get the get that adoption? You know, directed consumer of force is ideal, but that's a tough road for even big companies, let alone startups, especially in the healthcare space. And we definitely wanted that clinical validation because at the end of the day, you know, we are a clinical, you know product, if you will given them. You know, we manage medications at you know, at the end of the day, and and so that's where we knew we were going to go to the the health systems. So so, having said that, the use case really from a health system perspective, as you know, is to enable better care management with that, you know, monitoring, real time intervention possibility to be able to prevent the readmission which may arise from adverse events or medication on adherence. Yeah, so working without your health. I mean, you know, from a public health crisis perspective, the the opiated crisis was kind of on our radar because, at the end of the day, we set out to help people and and so it was really a good parallel, if... will. But on the other hand, as we talked more about it, you know, we had built this broad platform for for medication management where, whether you had a chronic, chronic condition or two or now with mental health issues, you know, at the end of the day, the common denominator was medications. You know, and when we looked at the addiction population, fifty percent of people suffering from substitutes disorder are taking at least one chronic met. Majority of them have a history of mental illness for which they might be taking psychotropic drugs. Right now, Matt therapy is getting more popular, you know, Medication Assistant Treatments. You know, we found that our medication management engine actually becomes even more valuable so, so we have started looking at substance use disorder as one of our first disease specific plays off kind of this broad, comprehensive platform. So so now, as we look forward, you know, the mental health component, like you said, is getting more and more common in care models. Right. Everyone's talking about integrating primary care with with mental health and so on. So so I think that's kind of the direction where, you know, we become the the one spot for a consumer, patient, a member to manage all of that in one holistic tool. Sure. So, so, as you thought about again, kind of not necessarily the user or the use case. But who's going to pay for this? Help our viewers and listeners just kind of hear your journey on, you know, looking at maybe hospital systems versus physician practices, versus farm a market or specialty pharmacy. You know, what was some of those things that you were analyzing and making that decision on your business modeling and who you were, you know, expecting to pay for it? Yeah, and that's a tough one, right. I mean part of the biggest challenge a healthcare entrepreneur has is, okay, who's my target customer, like you said, because you know on the one hand, you know the the world is open to you in terms of what you want to sell to. So that remains me a challenge, like for everyone else. You know, on the one hand you want to be opportunistic, but on the other, I mean you just can't spread yourself to thin right. So yeah, so, given the we start out on the health system side for the initial validation, you know, right in you to push in that direction. Obviously, you know, with with covid nineteen, you know, hitting early this year, you know that' slow down a little bit because health systems, you know, as you know, went into survival mode to somebody Clare on fire. Yeah. So, so from that perspective, you know we, given we were working with the addiction population anyway, you know, we shifted our focus a little bit to more of the independent addiction for abilities that were scrambling to, you know, deliver... But you know now virtually and as well as some of the social service organizations that you know, are trying to have an impact and maybe just don't have enough resources. So so that's where we decided to focus on in the short term, just so we could, you know, keep some of the momentum going from a from a company perspective, but but also, you know, get keep the adoption going now as we as we look forward, you know, some of those health system conversations or start to pick back up right where we are positioning ourselves, you know, not only as a discharge and a population health management tool, but but also as health systems prepare for the second wave, potentially right nineteen cases, this becomes a great way for their patients to start reporting and tracking on symptoms and getting in touch with a clinician and the health system to have that initial treat you know, should I be coming to the ear and risk infection? Should I? You know. So. So that's how we are now positioning ourselves. As you know, you can get started now, have the initial value, but then have the longer term, you know, value prop which is always there, but also looking into some of the you know, more pair aspects off the industry where, you know, health plans, including selfinshort employers, are really trying to scramble and figure out, you know, how do we get more health and wellness tools into people's hands. So so, you know, exploring some of those aspects. But yes, that remains a challenge, like it does with with a lot of us. So you know that you might have kind of unknowingly even answered this question, but I'm going to ask. So is, as an you know, innovator and the cofounder of the company, would's the most challenging piece of the commercialization process or, you know, going from an idea to adoption with paying customers? Yeah, I think I think there's a couple of different challenges. I think one is definitely the focus, like we've discussed. I think the bigger challenge to something we given, you know, the healthcare industry that we have in this country. You know full of regulation and you know entrenched interests and so on. It's just hard to get your foot in the door in a lot of cases to have someone you know take that chance on you, if you will. And so what ends up being a chicken and chicken or the egg type situation is you might go talk to a big company and you know they love what you are doing, but then they want to see results first. You know, have you done outcome studies? Have you done this? And you know that's that's tough for startups to do. You know that's costly. You know you go to an average academic... system. You know, you might need a budget of a couple of hundred thousand dollars to do an outcome study, which may or may not work out. So so I think those are some of the initial you know challenges where, you know, everyone tries to you know utilize kind of friends family networks right to try and get come, yea going and really find those early partners. Hmm Yeah, yeah, I always you know, recommend that clients think about, you know, tying sales to the back end of those pilot agreements because you know, even if you've got the data that, like you said, there's a lot of time, there's a lot of money that's going into it. So, you know, doing some type of shared expense model so that way the you know, the entrepreneur is not having to carry the entire burden, right, and then also that tied to you know, hey, if x, Y and Z happens, can I get your commitment up front that you're going to roll this out and Xway? You know, sometimes we get so excited about you know, whatever hospital system said Yes to a pilot that I say like we kind of get a little woo woo and it's like, oh my gosh, game changer and it can be actually a death trap. Yeah, right. And so if it's, if we don't do it right with those strategies and tact mix up front with something that looked like a really good thing can actually turn into something that can be a challenge. Or that's exactly right, because things happen. You know, leadership changes can happen in that time frame, or the market can change. You know, Cowa can happen, right, a global pandemic happen. What are the odds of that? Yeah, I mean, you know. And what is that? Death by a thousand pilots to you name it right. Yeah, I call it pilot purgatory. You know, when they get stuck in the pilot and you know, I've heard it just even in, you know, metropolitan areas, where you might get a pilot with one big hospital system and you're like yes, this is it, and you go to the next hospital system like five miles down the street and they're like yeah, but we need to do a pilot and you're like, Oh, I'm so glad you asked, because we did one five miles down the way and here's the data, and they'll like yeah, but our patient population is different, you know, like, Oh my gosh, delicious cycle where you know, okay, where are you gonna? Right, right, yeah, oh my goodness, what a crazy ride. Right. Hey, it's Dr Roxy here with a quick break from the conversation. Are you trying to figure out what moves you need to make to survive and thrive in the new covid economy? I want every health innovator to find their most viable and profitable pivot strategy, which is why I created the covid proof your business pivot kid. The pivot kit is a step by step framework that helps you find your best pivot strategy. It walks you through six categories you need to examine for a three hundred and sixty degree view...

...of your business. I call them the six critical pivot lenses. As you make your way through this comprehensive kit, you'll be armed with the tools, tips and strategies you need to make sure you can pivot with speed without missing out on critical details and opportunities. Learn more at legacy type and Bacom backslash kit. So what has been the biggest win for you since you got started? Where you kind of look back in retrospective and you're like wow, this was a game changing decision. Maybe I didn't see it at the moment, but when I look back, this really was a game changer for us. Hmm, I think so a broad answer. Maybe you know from a from a personal perspective, you know, always was innovation minded and entrepreneur. Having work at a big companies, always took the approach of being an entrepreneur as yeah, yeah, so have just thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be in entrepreneur and work on something like this. I think what's been really fulfilling as been to to actually hear from some of the patients who utilized our product and and see that, you know, they derive value from it. You know they've benefited from it and it made their life easier. You know, whether it's ten percent easier, you know, total one, one thing off their to do list for the day right, whatever it might to being able to kind of coach and mentor a lot more people along the way, whether you know folks who kind of work with us or we you know, we just came in contact with so I think those are some of the things that have been been really fulfilling. Yeah, that's great. I could have used your solution the last couple of weeks. So I'm a caretaker for my ninety one year old grandmother and she's just started experiencing some pain in the last week. Called a doctor, we did a video visit. My Grandmother's pretty excited about that and she really likes it actually, and we and we got a prescription for her and it she was so sick and so nauseous and I in so she'd stop taking the medication and she'd rather experienced the excruciating pain than be nauseous and be sick from it. And come to find out today it which I mean, and I kind of feel like I was neglecting her, that I didn't even know this, but she was supposed to take it with food or eat before she took it. And so you know, the doctor never said that, or if he did, I didn't hear it and I didn't read it on the little tiny, you know, information that comes with it when I picked up her script. And so you know she was she was had to take a like a preselect because so I knew it could upset the stomach, but she was already taken another prescription medicine with it to make sure that it didn't happen. So anyway, I could have totally used your tool, or still can use your to help me navigate this season with her. Yeah,...

...and I can completely, you know, understand that scenario and I appreciate you bringing that up, because that's exactly, you know, why you've done what you've done and the approach you've taken, because you know whether, even if it's, you know, folks tour let's say, educated and, like you said, they're they're reading the leaflets, but still, I mean there's a lot to process and and there needs to be a simpler way to just have that be done for you. Yeah, you know, I ked you not. I was on a flighte coming back from San Francisco, maybe this was the the last one I took this year, and the flight attendant, you know, just was really friendly and just we start talking and and she basically said she'd been taking a tyrode medication for ten years and no result was coming off of it and for whatever reason, no one told her actually needed to be taken on in MP stomach first thing in the morning. And and I'm just like, you know what, that's why we're doing. What would we do? Yeah, because little things, but the but there, there might be a tiny piece of information, but can be very valuable game changer and care. Yeah, I mean my personal favorite has been, you know, tipper flox a said right. It's a standard antibiotic that, you know, you take for Braun killed infections or whatever else. I was prescribed that at some point while researching this product, and I did sit and read through the leaflet. Yeah, as soon as I got past the suicidal toughts and you know, I saw that, oh, the drug molecule from Sibro buinds to calcium in food and hence the should be taken a minimum of two hours before or after a meal. And I'm like, why would no one tell me that, you know, taking this, you know, or five days already. So, but any case, it's things like that that, yeah, make the difference. Yeah, completely. So let's talk about this global pandemic. How, you know, it's really impacted companies in different ways. You know, some of them have kind of assessed the changing market conditions and it's either created incredible opportunity or it's been a huge roadblock in different aspects of the business, and sometimes it's a combination of the two. It's challenges, you know, in in sales. Now we move to virtual sales. Oh my gosh, now we need to adapt our sales strategy and it could be, you know, doors clothes for our you know, target market for a season or maybe for much longer, and we need to look at another target market segment to pursue. So kind of just walk us through what that's been like for you? Yeah, you bet so. It's definitely been a you know, a bump in the road to kind of have this global pandemic, you know, let land up here. So we feel like we had a lot of good momentum leading up to kind of you know early March, which which definitely slowed down tremendously. Yeah, so, so that was definitely challenging and, of course, just like a lot of other you know, startups, to be looked into a lot of the government funding mechanisms and so on to...

...just stay afloat. But at the same time, what we did notice was that the existing utilization off our product, you know, went up because, you know, you think about the patients that we have on the substitutes disorder side, you know, most of them being really motivated and and not letting the pandemic kind of, you know, grab them down. Actually, we're maximizing all the tools available to them to to stay on track with recovery. So, you know, even though I kind of mentally, emotionally was was a little bit low and you know the early days, but when I saw that take place, I mean that was motivational, you know, that was inspiring. Yeah, and and then we started, you know, as the new reimbursement codes for tell a health became available. Yeah, actually for the virtual check in that you visit. You know, we decided to try and kind of align ourselves with that to some degree, even though, you know, we had never thought of ourselves as kind of a traditional telehealth product, right, because we don't do video consoles. Right. We do offer text messaging as a communication mechanism, along with real time alerts and notifications, but it made us kind of think about it and maybe a more accelerated manner than originally we were thinking, you know, we would do. So so I think that's kind of some of the learning and you know, what we did to to kind of adapt to the new landscape. So so now, like I said, you know, thankfully, you know some of the conversations initially are picking back up, along with some of the newer market segments. I think hospitals are are definitely planning on, you know, what their overall telehealth strategy needs to be, because, you know, it's here to stay right, right, right the what's what people are trying to figure out is, you know, so now telehealth adoption went up, but then was it the adoption in terms of just getting access to someone right away? Now that things are opening back up and your own provider maybe has become telehealth capable, will you actually go back to your own provider? And so then this you know, new growth that took place is actually going to, you know, kind of subside over time. So these are some of the things people are trying to figure out, along with the privacy and other aspects. But but yeah, I mean that's kind of how we are thinking about it, as I think that the physicians, what I'm what I'm hearing and seeing even first hand, you know, with my grandmother's experience, is the ones that weren't necessarily tell a health practices before that have adapted to that just because of the covid crisis, whether they like it, because they're getting compensated financially for it now or not. Still having this hybrid model seems to be a challenge where if they were all virtual or where they were all physical, that it would be...

...a little bit easier for them than trying to navigate the waters of both at the same time. You know, the doctor that I was seeing was, you know, forty five minutes late, and to me that's unacceptable in a virtual environment, whereas that would be really normal in a regular facetoface office visit. But so he's juggling someone that has a video visit but a facetoface patient before us that you know, you're not going to just go hey, we got to wrap it up right. You know, you do your patient care. So it's I think it's just I agree with you. I think that it's here to say and I think that, you know, over the next few months, the next year or so, we will start to figure out what what those hybrid models look like and how tools like yours fits in and kind of helps with that that model of care. Absolutely. I mean, you know, our value prop honestly, is the care continuum. Yeah, so, you know, Premy Care, the specialist you see and so on. You know, at the end of the day, having all your information one place and having the tool guide you along the long after, as compared to this transactional or episodic model. Agree. But yeah, I mean I think you know, to your point, I had a telehealth consult it was it was great. You know, I was not having to commute to the doctor's office, I did not have to wait in a waiting room where, thankfully, might be getting infected at something lately. Yeah, and you know, it took maybe ten minuthness of my time. And so the CONMEDIANS factor, it's definitely there, you know. And and in my case it was my own provider. So so that was the other you know. So I anyway, yeah, that makes sense. So I wonder, you know, has so there's so many different changes. I think that, you know, health innovators can be examining during this the changes in the market conditions. Has Anything changed from your perspective from a partnership and alliance opportunities that might be a shift or a game changer for you in your commercialization strategy going forward? Is that something that you've you thought about yet or not yet? So I think you know. So definitely potential partnership conversations are always ongoing, you know. So for us the partners could be, you know, pop health or disease management vendors who have kind of you know it and be module and we can provide the the rest of the solution to to really getting to some of those providers where we can be the technology platform to enable the care management. So I mean, you know, we're continuing along the same conversations. I wouldn't say that, you know, the the new landscape has has changed anything too much, except to say that that maybe the need, like we were talking from until health perspective has just, you know, gotten accelerated and people just...

...had to scramble and and adapt. So something that was going to take maybe a decade now is here already in a paird of, you know, three months. So I think that's going to be good because for us, you know, on more on the medication management side, now, you know we can accelerate the virtual medication therapy management services side of things and so on. So so I think those are some of the conversations that that have maybe sped up a little bit. Yeah, yeah, I'm just curious. One of the things that comes to mind is, you know, the the hospital systems their hairs on fire, you know, if their attention is on things like tell a health. Is it viable, you know, for you as maybe as as well as maybe other listeners and viewers, to partner with those tele health companies to be an add on solution and using that as like a distribution channel for your solution, especially in the intern where the hospital systems might not be paying as much attention for new opportunities where they might be able to get in the door while you or other health innovators can't? Yeah, great, great question. Definitely something we've been thinking about and exploring. So so I think there's maybe two different ways of approaching this, you know. So one is to go to, you know, a tell health mender, you know, with it's an American well and belive, you know, and others to, like you said right, you know, in integrate with them and then kind of go to market. Yeah, I think there's there's value there, especially the ones that have more of a primary care, you know, aspect of it. Because, you know, for the most part, if you're doing a transactional video constolets, you know, to replace an urgent care visit. You know, are you really looking at, you know, getting a tool for for managing men's and things like that potentially. You know, I don't want to say there isn't a need there, but I think, you know, and then you look at the other side where health systems, you know, like we were talking, are adding those capabilities themselves to offer video consult services. So so I think as part of a broad virtual care, tell and health strategy with a health system's definite alignment where, you know, with a vendor that does video consoles, you know, they're kind of part of the portfolio. And then we cover the patient self care and and other communication aspects of it. So so those are some of the ways we're kind of segmenting that heart process as as we move forward. Okay, excellent. So what are the biggest opportunities for you in the future? What's on the horizon for eliminate health? You know, it's going to be an exciting year. One way or the other. It already has been, right. So so we're looking forward to our, you know, new advisors that have just...

...come on board. So so really just honored and thankful to have such a great team to help, you know, be the be the wind beneath our wings and, you know, to actually believe in US and and one of be a part of our journey. So so that's really exciting. I think the other aspect is to, you know, start doing planning for a potential fund race. So it's going to be our first you know, kind of a seed round, if you will. Yeah, apart from just, you know, more traction and more impact on patients. Yeah, that's great. So the advisors. So, you know, again kind of taken in consideration our listeners. You know what, what's important? What to look for an advisor? You know, maybe something that we might might not be on our rate already. You know what? Yeah, yeah, I mean I think at the end of the day, you want to, you know, look for people that that believe in what you're doing and and actually are passionate about this same space, if you will. And then, you know, you've to take a look at existing capabilities on the team. Yeah, you know, and and then see how you can augment what what's already part of the team. And and so, you know, we took that same approach and, you know, essentially we're talking to a lot of different people and, you know, decided to decide that the fit was was correct, you know, with with three people we just brought on board and and now, you know, have a couple more of those conversations going because we you know, we still have room to grow. So say, those would be some of the ways to think about this. Yeah, I mean I think that the advisors, you know, that you work with, play such a critical role. I call it like a thinking partner. You know, they're external to the company. They see things that you don't see. So, besides the the networking, the introductions that are usually really can be game changers for the commercialization strategy, but also, you know, being able to be that thinking partner, because for an entrepreneur, in a lot of ways, even when you have a team, it can be a low, very lonely endeavor, right and you know, as a start up you've got a limited amount of resources and you know you, most of us, can't afford and don't want to afford to make the wrong decisions along the way. I mean, of course nothing's going to be perfect. You will always adapt, but really being able to have that thinking partner, to wrestle with those ideas, to kind of figure out what's going to be the most viable and profitable path, I think, is just so important. That's exactly right. Yes, and I mean, you know, the end of the day, you're going to work with people your joy working with, you know, because, yeah, I mean with one of the advisors recently, I must have sounded not, as you know, myself, and so you know, he literally said it's all right, you know, will get there. Yeah, because it's it's an...

...artist journey. And Yeah, so some days you need advice and wisdom and some days you just need some encouragement, inspiration, right. Yeah, so, you know, thank you so much for your time today. Before we wrap up, what are some lessons learned or some words of wisdom that you would want to share, advice that you want to share with our listeners and viewers? So I would say for anyone who's exploring entrepreneurship, you know, definitely don't don't let any of this scare you away. It's a worthy career path. It's definitely, you know, a way you can have really high level of impact and and learn a lot, honestly. So, so definitely, you know, happy to obviously talk to anyone who's exploring that. So feel free to reach out. You know, I think apart from that, some of the learnings that you've had along the course of the way are, you know, what what I've been reading about recently as well, which is, you you want to find the right team to start with and look for, you know, the complementary capabilities in your core team and of course you already talked about the advisor side, but then also, you know, keep enough of a focus from a market perspective as your heads down building your product as well, because you know, not only is it crucial to have user input into, you know, let's say, a screen that you're designing, but it's also really crucial to have that you know, business aspect always, you know, out there. So I'd think those would be some of the you know, kind of piece of advice as people think through this awesome. So how can people get Ahold of you roun if they do want to follow up with you after the show? Yeah, obviously you know Linkedin and you know, following your show, my email addressed is vg at illuminated dot health, so happy to you know, be reached there. Our website, obviously, is illuminated dot help. So you know, feel free to check us out and thank you for having me on the show. Yeah, thank you for being a guest today. You're bad. Thank you so much for listening. I know you're busy working to bring your life changing innovation to market and I value your time and your attention. To save time and get the latest episodes on your mobile device, 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 been sharing the show with friends and colleagues. See You on the next episode of Coiq.

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