Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode · 1 year ago

How to Pinpoint the Clinical Problem and Leverage the Unmet Need for Your New Tech w/ Kimon Angelides

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

A core foundation for market success is making sure that you’re laser-focused on the needs of your customers. Does your solution truly solve the clinical problem? Do you have validation to prove that it does, and it’s not just an assumption you’re making?


In this episode, Dr. Kimon Angelides, CEO and Founder of Vivante Health, shares insights into how he’s been able to continuously beat the odds and find huge success with several businesses he’s built. We talk about:

  • The critical need to solve a clinical problem that the “traditional” healthcare system recognizes and appreciates
  • How passion can look a lot being crazy — and how that craziness is a backbone of the most successful innovators
  • How to design a strategy that caters to your market, and how to pivot that strategy in the face of market changes like a big competitor
  • Mistakes he’s made, like treating all customer accounts as equal (spoiler alert: they’re not, and it almost sank them)

 

Guest Bio

Dr. Kimon Angelides is the CEO and Founder of Vivante Health, a pioneer in using digital medicine to manage digestive health. Prior to Vivante, he founded Livongo Health, a consumer digital health company with a focus on diabetes management.

 

But he wasn’t always in the business of improving population health through technology. He started his career as a biophysicist, spending more than two decades in academia. Later, he and his wife, a pediatric endocrinologist, launched Diabetes America, a network that eventually grew to nearly 50 centers in the southwest US.

 

To learn more, visit https://vivantehealth.com/. You can also connect with Dr. Angelides on LinkedIn or email him at kangelides@vivantehealth.com.

Welcome to Coiq, where you learn howhealth innovators maximize their success, you're working on somethingbig, something like saving something world changing. Yet ninety five percentof health, innevation, faild and real lives are on the line. That's whylaunching is not enough. Commercialization is the most criticalyet overlooked stage of the innovation process through candid conversationswith health, innovators, early adoptors and influencers you'll learn the fivecomponents of the Coi q early adoption strategy. So if you want to change Wieand dominate your market, why not give your innovation the best chance tosucceed? I'm your host Docor Roxsey founder of legacy DNA, an internationaldeath selling author of how health innivators maximize market success andnow, let's join the conversation, a maximize your success. Welcome back tothe show coiq listeners on today's episode. We have comeon and Elitus withus. He is the CEO and founder of Evante Health, and you may know him more byhis work with Lavango. Welcome to the show well. Thank you very much.Axturedr Roxi is fun like enjoy being here thanks very much, so I am reallyexcited to have this conversation with you and dig into your story before weget started, though, just for those folks that maybe don't know who you arestart off by telling y listeners a little bit about your background andwhat it is that you do. Okay, thanks! Well, that's always a hard part, yeah t.What do you say about yourself, but actually I'm originally trained as ascientist and so an many of the things that I've donetodate, I think, like a scientist, and so I really am a biophysicist, so Ihave a PhD and Organic Chemistry and Biophysics. I was an academisician, for I was onfaculties for a long time, my career, probably twenty. Twenty five yearsbefore I even went into business, and so I was a professor, and so it was probably in twothousandand two thousand a d four. When I guess I got the Bug essentially to to startthinking about building something or creating something outside of academics,and so my first first business was obviouslysomething that I was familiar with. It was biotech and there was acollaboration between Mb Anderson and Glexsow Smith, cline and Valiandtarmaceuticals, and the objective there was to to make a drug that actually washelping people with malignant melanoma, which is a big issue here in Texas,Whene Im man, the second one, the second one is my wife who's, apedantriganochonologist. We thought that there was a real unmet need and and people who had diabetes, so we setup a network called ibeds, a America which was a one stop shot for folks whohad diabetes and we had oh, I think, all the way up to forty or fiftycenters throughout the southwest and then in terms of what I did afterwards- andthis was in two thousand and eighty thousand and nine. I formed thiscompany, which was EO health, which really became Lovango, was renamedLovango, and that was really to be able to use technology to provide a serviceand diabetes for people who were geographically distributed, that theywere all over the country instead of having cominto our clinics and sothat's kind of the honesty S. I was an academision for a long time. Doing viobiophysics looking through a microscope most of the day which I like and thenit morped into trying to do what het would call population health and usingtechnology to to expand and then Bevan de Health is,is a company that is really focusing on the unmet needs of people who fallbetween the cracks who have diseases that no one really believes that theyhave. They don't look sick, it's crazy, yeah, yeah, crit, they're, crazy, but theyrethey're crazy to find somethingthat will help them. Actually it eight right, and so we started with digestive conditions,because that's a big big deal and no one really wants to talk about theirdigestiv problem. So that's why that's kind of the honesty yeah yeah sodescribe what it is like for someone who's founded several companies, whichyou know therr many several serial entrepreneurs out there, but I thinkwhat makes your story unique is that you have been a pioneer and digitalhealth and then successfully commercialize in innovation and healthcare, really you've beaten the odds well well. Well, thanks actuallyappreciate that, and so pioneer is tnot,...

...something that I like to think about. Sometimes you know you know, I meanbeing an entrepreneur. Is there's a lot of risk, although I ot actually look att as a risk profile, but I look at it as a challenge. I think you know I'mgenerally pretty optimistic, and so, if you, if you actually start with theright problem and the right approach and I'll, tell you about why- I thinkyou know in terms of digital health. If, if you start from the right from theright grounding, then hen, then really you actually havea story and you can build the technology ound. The solution, and soyou know really h. The long and short of it is is that we knew the clinicalproblem right. You know, and so so so the clitical problem actually affectedpeople or infects people diabetes or whether it's digestive conditions andso n w technology is kind of a tool really to be able to to bring all thoseresources that people need together right and if you know I they need tohave some nutrition. They need to actually have some other coachingtechnology is allows it to be to be brought together and show. I think, in terms of where we may havebeen successful or been successful, is to really focus first on the clinicalproblem and then to bring as many sort of techniques like technology togetherto be able to address it, and so we've always been clinically focused. You know often times and last thingI'll say on this: At often times is that digital health? You know people start from the tech, the TEX,the textpace right, and I think that health cares, like any other type ofconsumer business into certain degree. It is, but you know, you're talkingabout just a vast variety of personalities and conditions, andthings like that, and so healthcare is really good differente. So that'sreally, I think the key is is focusing on the clinical problem, so I you're, probably one of those guysthat just had you know, born with all the knowledge and resources that youneeded to just breathe through entrepreneurship. You know with thesefour companies right. That was easy. That was, you know. It'ssort of like the royal family, Hav Been Yo, ow, being beheld, something rightthere and having a trust fund and all that type of I right right exactly so.I kind of want to go back in time a little bit so think back to the realearly days of one of your first companies. You know what was it like? Buildingthat first company well Ean, I think, there's just oneword: it was. It was crazy, totally totally crazy, but we were crazy enough.Actually, when we started with MD Anderson and then I'll talk about thedigital health, but yeah ye h enough to be able to somehow convince edian orsome that it was a good. I andthen, I think in large part. I thinka large part is because it was a good. It was a good clinical problem. Right Imean, and and just a sert in a sidetrack Ithink you' find this interesting is, is that you know people who have cancer,for example, they do make antibodies. Their immunesystem actually starts to react to this, this bad stuff in their body. So wepose the question. Well, if they're doing that early enough right, you know they're trying to kill thiscancer celves off. Why can't we actually isolate those the really goodantibodies that ultimately get overwhelmed by the you know the cancercells? Why can't we just try to see if we can harvest those and bulk them upand grow them up and use them as a therapy? And so you know the firstquestion and the first answer that even in digital health will that can't bedone. That's kind of a fun thing to say: Well,let's try right, Yep, yea and ANI'm crazy enough to try it crzy enough totry it and it's my time and not necessarily yours in smain and then thesame thing with the digital health. I remember when we first used mobilephones in our diabetes clinics. They were these and I kept them all.They were. These barphones Motorola came out with a bar phone with a litlPak screen. There wasn't any APPSTORE O was in two thousand D, five, twothousand and six YEP. He said Wellis, you know a well use mobile phonesactually to be able to do sort of health care. You know, diabetes, lookat numbers and all than that won't work. So let me show you to work and in theend it did, and so I think the first word there is crazyand ekind is. Let me show you and you know, there's it goes on. Then youget and then you get trapped and you're you're, doing it right, right and then you're addicted to it and thenyou're, like four companies in or companies in you've got a followersright. Yeah, you're leading you got followers ND and actually you know theystart to get engaged, and so there you there you find yourself with and and the thing on that Il be bequite frank with you is- is that if it...

...really was purely a technology, thenbasically your followers are only is good as the sort of technology. But ifyou have a really good clinical problem, there are lots of ways to sort of getaround that clinical problem, and so I've been lucking in that respect. Youget these followers and they got good brains and the, and we eventually solveit, and so are your followers, meaning, like the team that you work with, youknow followers I mean you know you're creatyou're, the first crazy one andand then you have the second person who comes on and then a third and then itactually becomes a group right, righ right, crazy people, okay, so for all of our listeners, theprerequisite for market success is a dash of crazy, maybe even a little morethan a dash with a lot of passion. Yeah yeah yeah definitely bash it crazy withwith a lot of passion, and it goes a long way. It's Nice W A lot of smartpeople out there by the way, but if they don't have fire in their belly bythe way and things like that, it doesn't go that far right, right, yeah,absolutely and- and you know to your point- it's that crazy. That allows youto think about believe that you can do the what people are saying can't bedone in the passion to be the fuel to you know, stand back up again whenyou've been knocked down a hundred times, so totally really right.Absolutely totally right and it's you know, yeah, that's actually totally right!It's you know the the passion gets you because you you need to do it. Youfeelin inside that you need to do it and then you can do it so yeah I mean that's. Those are the twoessential agree. So what, from your perspective, whatmakes commercializing an innovation and healthcare so difficult yeah. You know- and I appreciate that question and- andyou know so so- healthcare is obviously unusualand when we're talking about digital health care, it's unyusual in the factthat it's easy or easier to see how you cancommercialize digitize banking right, because because you don't have toessentially when healthcare, you don't really have to essentially undressright andtel. Your story right you, you know so you're at a disadvantage whenyou go into healthcare because there you are in one of these floppy gownsright and you're, telling your story and you'r really. You know it's, notyour natural environment right, Dont Av, all yeah you're vulnerable. So so Ithink the keep right here is is really to take out that vulnerability. If youwill right is, is to make it as personal as you can or personalize. Asyou can right, you gonna dress that healthcare problem right and get rid ofthat vulnerability so that you're really on equal footing with the people,so that, as we find out actually interesting and I'll get to thecommercialization- is that people are willing to tell you a lot more aboutthemselves, just like a social media when you, when you level the playingfield, so so givin that that's one aspect. The second aspect is and I'llgo back to the clinical problem in terms of commercialization. You knowagain, there's lots of technology out there, rocky they're, just lots oftechnology out there righ. If you don't have a, if you don't really have a problem, that's that's sufficientmagnitude and passion. Essentially, then, it'sjust going to sort of sit there as a technology- and you know I might beacquired, but it doesn't really do anybody good. So you know the commercialization isalways comes with a good with a good product, an a good conical, good clinicalsolution. Soo, that's for formotion my opinion, so I'm Goinna just jump rightin a and you can kind of envision yourself, naked and afraid with your hospitalgown, because I'm geoing to get it vulnerable, really quick. What are some of the mistakes? You know,if we're just being really honest here, just me and you an a few thousandlisteners. What are some of the mistakes that youcan look back and see that you made along the way that you would want toshare with others so that they can kind of be on the lookout for them or makesure that they don't make those Sant mistakes? Yeah, that's an easy one andthat's an easy one, because I made plenty of them and I won't go down thelist, but it you know for a lot of the lot of the folks out there. Actually,in the lot of the I say, younger people who are starting in in the area, so you have a great you have a greatsalutio. You have a great program. You have a product, for example, it'sgotten some exposure and all of that, so that's that's. I you feel reallygood. I've got some Trackshon, so thet, a big big dog comes up like a bighealth plan, for example, and they say...

I really like what you're doing, and wewould really like to begin distributing your solution. Okay, so you're a littleIdi, bity sort of start up, you might have ten to fifteen or twenty peopleright. Yoa, alreys go really big and you say that's so cool we're sorecognized, and then what happened? Yea. You know, you know the crazies goseesee. We were crazy, so so so what happens is is that now you're, you havequite a tailwind es. Like a tornado, you can't keep up with what they do.You know you're sucked into the vortex of a large company that incrediblyslowly, that has a totally different culture than you do and now you'regoing from one of the customer to the other customer, O the? U Customer andyou're building up in some cases they use it as a salesmechanism right, so it benefits them but really doesn't benefit you in termsof developing a product an or your reveny Ligne. So 'done that I won'ttell you who the health s are yeah, and so we said this is super cool andwe almost died actually trying to service those accounts. So I would telleverybody out there is that it really looks good, but you've got to be verycareful on the accounts that you do because you take all of them right,you're, starting you take all of them welland, especially if it's a bigreputable company. You know you kind of get Wuou like oh my gosh. This is this.Is it this is the only deal we need and now like success? Is there right aroundthe corner and you and you're totally your toast at that point, it reallyaren't cose, because you can't keep up with it. They're not looking out foryou in terms of developing your product. Your revenue line doesn't increase theway that you think it. It is your expense like goes way up or your peopleore Frezon, they say well, crazy was one thing, but crazy is is really notsocower. Yeah Yeah. Absolutely I've heard many stories about that being adeath trap. It is totally yeah noly. So that's, I think, the probably thebiggest mistake in the area. You know- and I think the second thingis everybody thinks that that they have the most beautifulproduct and stuff, and sometimes you just got to step back and you got tosay: Is it really good? Looking or good? Isit ugly or you know- and you say you know if it's ugly, then Lek's Pivit,but you sometimes you just got to say this. Just is not going to go rightright, Yep, absolutely those biases that I think we all have asentrepreneurs and innovators. You know to create something and be really more inclined to find peopleto agree and validate what we've created and instead of give us thetruth that we really need to hear in order to be successful right, exactlycorrect, it's actually trying to get the truth out of your quote. Followersin your team that you have a realistic approach and you're not doing a nosedive when you think that you're, climbing so yeah you're, correct,you're, exactly Presse, so so what were again kind of doing this lookback? You know what were some of those gamechanging decisions for you, maybe something that was a surprise or wasn't,but something where you know. Maybe you made this one decision and you you know,you thought it was a good decision, but you didn't realize that it was going tobe such a game changer, and so maybe it was a customer. Maybe it was a message.Maybe it was a team member. You know there's a whole host of examples thatyou could share with us, but maybe one or two of your e. You know I think after you know, Ithink after trying t to realize that not all customers are equal. That'sthat's one thing. That's G, big R, realization! I think I think the otherthing too, is if you're in a decent area and you're agood area right and it's a good problem, you're going to have competition rightyeah, so so, and that's good by the way. If you have competition, SometimesPeoples Sik, Oh Gosh, I've got competition and we're better than thesefolks or we don't have competition. It's a wide open field. So we're reallygood. We got a Greenfield type of thing. I remember when I remember early onwhen Call Com put ninety million dollars into a competitor MOH. That's ascary moment. Yeah we were, we were taking a nose dive. Then Bi ways get up.I was dipping in the every personal thing that that we had actually to Watto sell. Basically so I said you know, you know, here's Competir has ninetymillion dollars, and you know this is this is a this is a tough one,...

...but that was actually a good thing inthe end, it really was because we I set back a little bit, and I said you knowwhat are they putting ninety million dollars into and that they understandit and and we sort of reevaluated that point, and so that really was a vivitalpoint where you know Altheugh, we were kind of. Second, if you will, you know that gave us an opportunity to sort ofredesign some things and it just like skyrocketed after that, so the ninetymillion dollars really didn't make a difference at all. I think we did muchmore on. You know. I don't know four hundred hosand, and so I think I thinkthat was a game chamber. Is that sort of you know think about competition, butbut that's not that's not where it ends really. So, let's kind of dive intothat a little bit, because I think that's a really powerful story. I wantto understand the situation, so was it that you hadn't gone to market and yousolve this investment and you saw what they were doing and you were able tomake your mark with the gaps that they weren't felling or were you already inthe market and it helped you pivot yeah? In essence, it was really kind of thesecond one. So so so her here's really the story. One of the things that dlovongo has anhas a ceular meter essentially, and then I'll tell you at that at thatparticular point. Had a Sharo meter that we put a a Semcardan just like aphone, we had already wead already really developed it and it prototypedit, and we knew I was going to work. I went from the blue tooth devices andthings like that because people you know could measure their blood look ofrom their meter and it would go over to their phone and then it would go upto you know ould go to a server and all that yeah, and so we said we wanted tomake that experience a little bit easier. So I started building a celular,a cylar meter. Well because quall come is in the phone business and the radiotype of business. They said Oh and Paul Jacobs. Actually his family had haddiabetes, so he says I'll, throw yninety million dollars to do somethingvery similar and I'm not sure whether they did it actually to Cuaus usbecause they had seen us it doesn't matter. You know we. We were kind of already in themarket. We'd already had some customers, we were. We were reeling from thecustomers we had. We had this great piece of technology that we were goingto roll out. We were I down to our last Fenis and bing o ninety million dollars.He said WELLG. What the heck are we going to do here, O my kinnance, and so we swam yeah. We took a stepback and we said okay. This is what we need to think about and how we need tothink about it. It's not technology, we're trying to address a clinicalproblem and a consumer ease problem, and I made that made all the difference.We redesigned it. We made a touchscreen. We made it colorful, we did a variety of different things,and so it was. It was a good moment. I look back on it as kind of APIVOT. Okay is there so when you think aboutthe companies that you built before Lavango, were there like some specificstrategies or tactics that you implemented at Lavongo, that you had learned from the past yeahyeah? We did. You know what w an the diabetes company in the way that Ithink about Bevante health. Now too, is because we've been in the clinicalbusiness. We had clinics, so people would actually come in and it was afull service they would be able to. They would be able to get everythingthey needed for diabetes and stuff. So I insisted on no white coats. First ofall and we had a large room there, so doctors could mingle and talk with Bwit with patients or people. We never call them Olypatients Yep, so, and soso we wanted to sort of buck thetraditional hierarchical mode, where the doctors here and h patient is hereand and MD. You know you know sort of in all of these, these these services, where you can get youknow education and do dumps for information that tries to get you uphere, but but so so what we wanted to do is put you know: Physicians, forexample, of the people on the same on the same at the same level, and so thatwas a diabates Reagand. That's what I really wanted to do actually labangoand that's what I want to do it Vevante and and Vevante gevting back to that isis even a bigger difference. Right here is that people who've got digestiveconditions, whether it's Surable Bowl Syndrome. You know which is reallyprevalent and females. You know they'l go to the doctor and they'll say youknow, I'm I have diaret all the time I have bloating all the time and and andso then they'll get scoped right and the DOCR say. I see nothing wrong and they say well, it's in your head,so ye immediately there's aasymmetry there. The doctor says you know you know, there's nothing wrong withyou right. It's in your head, but the user of the person essentiallysays I feel terrible bu and I feel...

...terrible all the time- and I know it'snot in my head. So what we tryd to do here is is actually raise it such thatyou know that those two individuals are going to be the same. In other words,let's give credibility to the user o to the patient yeah. Their issues are, youknow, are truly real and then make sure we take that sort ofrealnest a d give it to the doctors to show how real it is, essentially sothat you know they get engaged on that too. So the one tat short of it is isthat I think we're able to do that is to sort of level set even usingtechnology in our approach. So that's kind of kind of sort of the theorybehind it. Hey It's Dr Roxy, here with a quickbreak from the conversation. Do you want your innovation to succeed tochange lives to shape the future of health care? I want that for everyhealth innovator, which is why I invented Coyq and evidence basedframework to take your innovation from an idea to start up to the full marketadoption, if you're, not sure where you are in the commercialization process,take the free assessment now at Dr Roxycom back four: Don't miss out onimpacting more lives just because you have a low coiq score. The freeassessment is that Dr Roxycom Ack, four, that's Dr Rox IECOM backslash score andnow, let's jump back into the conversation, so so t that's really good. So let'stalk about the strategies that you use for either Vovongo or the ones thatyou've already you know implemented for Vivonte health. You know some of the basics of yourcommercialization plan. How did you define what was going to be Your beach headmarket? So I know that you saying that you're started with a problem, but youknow, as I've worked with innovators, sometimes their problem. The problemthat they're solving there could be several markets or customer groups thatare experiencing that problem. How did you narrow down what was going to beYour beach head market? Well, so so so that's probably aneasier one in the sense that even with diabetes, America Lovongo with Diabes America, we did somethingvery special there. We thought we were really pretty good,and so we had all the care that you know that people could use and itcontained it in all the data so that we wouldn't do duplications and things sothat allowed us an opportunity to go to health plans and it allowed us to go tolarge employers because they pay their own ill, so funnyand to do carbout sothat we say okay, we're going to take some risk care right. We think we'rethat good, and so you know your cost might be seven Thousano for each personwho has diabetes, we're going to do it and we're going to cap it at thirty,five that thirty, five hundred okay, they like that, because they'reselffunded and their public enities, and so they exactly where they're goingto be yeah. I did that wittle Vongo as well. I used a method whereby, actuallyyou know getting strips in the meter and all that was bundled in one in onein one area, so that it was a single price and that single price for allthose services was the same price as you would buy for testing strips. So itwas you get all this other stuff essentially, and you bundle it so thecost would be equivalent to just buying thethe supply, so so the selffunded market, the guys, the guys who actually pay forthe healthcare like that model, because either we took risk or we took, or wemade it sort of equivalent and we added a lot more value and the same thingwith Levande, though here too, as it turns out, is that we're going to sellfun of t employers now the difference, the self fundeemployers and healthplans. But the difference is here with vevanting Digestid is that whileemployers have wellness programs and they have diabetes programs and theyhave Musculal skel to program behavoral hell, they have nothing for digestivehealth programs. Okay, there's nothing that existed there. So we were able to go to Celf UN andemployers, but, as it turns out for digestive conditions, there's ahuge farm, a component as well. In other words, you can just turn on theTV right now and see advertisements for Humara Stalara. You know alsories, allof that, so the other market that allowed us tolook at was Farma and- and so our thesis and I'll finish here on this,the thesis was, you know these are really expenof drugs right, thre theyco about fifty or sixtyhsand ollars a...

...year wit the employer is, is paying forthose right for someone who's on it. The person who's getting these drugs isgetting no extra value except a drug right AP. We said, let's just do a raparound these things. Why not? Why not? You know go beyond what the molecule is.Let's have a service that a company is it so that you have actually the fullspectum. Some people are going to need more of the drug. Some people are goingto need less of te drug. Some people are not going to be on the drug, butthey're going to have a program. That's going to be sort of goes along with it,that's going to educate them and going to help them like an edgibant therapy.That makes sense so oh yeah yeah. We have a whole fora. We have a wholefarmof place right here, where we can actually add value to be on theMOLENTEEL. So that's something that's very different. Those are the channelsthat we're looking at so did you have you, or are you in the process of doinglike a strategic partnership with a Farma Company and that be part of yourgo to market strategy? Yes, we just finished a strategic partnership with avery, very large farmat. It will be announced in the next couple of weeksyeah and it's exceedingly exciting for us, as it turns out people who are on these. Theseexpensive drugs, actually the only work and one and four one and five people,and so there is the opportunity to be able to to match the right people from the verybeginning and then those people who are on them where they lost their responseto be able to change them onto another therapy therapy like nutrition part ofour program actually start to heal their gut and and get them off thedrugs for a little bit of time. So it's a a new direction for farmer and it's a it's a great direction forus to so I'm excis super excited about that. So how much of this do you thinkplays apart in your success with both Lavango and you know already withVivante, because what I hear from you is that selfinsured employer groupswere part of that beachhead market for both companies, and you know. I thinkthat that is, it's not necessarily unique, but it'svery powerful, because there's so many other companies that are going thetraditional healthcare route that seem to be just kind of pounding, thepavement knocking on doors and banging their head up against the wall becauseof all the bureaucracy, because of the time that it takes for the sales cycle-and you know going to the selfinsured employers- certainly has a lot ofadvantages to B to overcome some of those obstacles of the traditional pathright. Well, you know when we first started with a selffunded employers, itwas as early as two thousand and four yeah. I went to them in two thousandand eight again for Lavango and and and that was new. I was at a a recent meeting at a at arecent meeting with fifty sixty employers, and someonecommented it that the fleet to dog ratio is pretty high these days, but the Fleeta dog ratiowas not so high, so you know if you have, and that gets back to twentyoriginal questions, if it. If, if you have a solution- or youthink you have something, that's technology based, there's a lot of outof them and there are a lot of vendors circling these these employers, but ifthere's really a void and a need- and you can actually show that it's a bigticket expense item, like you know, like digestive conditions, it's actually within you know, theynever realized this. When we started looking at their claims, it's withinthe top five of all of their their their expenses, and so once you pointout that Promo essentially and you have a solution that doesn't cost them anyextra money and can save them some money. Then then, then you then you'rein now. If you have a diabetes program or you have a prediabytes program or anexercise program, it's a little tougher. This is Noyeah, you don't really knowwhere the RY is there right. The other thing that sounds reallydifferent is you know, like e the business model component of of bundlingyeah. You know so with so as you when you talk about the fleet of dog ratioright, there's this explosion of innovation, and so you know, there'sinnovation in all industries, but it just feels like it's a lot moreconcentrated in health care, and you know if you're trying to sell yourwares to someone. You know, instead of maybe someone else this month, pinching,competings or substitute solution, they might have had three just in the lasthour right, so it's so so saturated with innovation. So I wonder, you know:Were You with this bundled approach? was that part of how you were able torise above the noise?...

Or was it something else yeah in partand part by the way? So so so the bundle, epproch training approach. Youknow, if you think that you're, if you think you have a good solution, youshouldn't be afraid to take some risk right there and there's some successfulcompanies out there that are Beini to take risk. You now got to put yourmoney where your mouth is. In that respect, I think yeah so and then you brought up on aninteresting point. You say: There's an explosion of innovation. I might look like it on the surface asit turns out. There's a lot of variation of the same theme: Yep Yeawould necessarily call it innovation and- and- and so you know, bringing anotherdisease manager programther digestive disease. You know I wouldn't call aninnovation in itself at all. I really wouldn't this. You know that's even our PROGAM.I wouldn't call it innovative in that respect, but I would say that thecomponents that it brings essentially and the things that will reveal arethings and information that we would never learn not only about digestiveconditions but about all sort of chronic conditions that haven't beenaddressed and about Farma. So there's components of this essentially, which you know, are our new learningexperiences, and so you know a lot of them right now arejust throwing you know, throwing sort of solutions, they're callinginnovative but they're. Not that well thought out, I don't mean to be Ou,know throw water on it, cold, water on it, but so what's missing, because Ithink that's again, I think you, you know you continue to hit on thesegolden nuggets that I think are going to be really really valuable to ourlisteners. What whal hen when you're kind of talking about people that arethrowing stuff at the wall, that's really not innovative. What are theymissing and and what do they need to build into it in order to really havesomething of value? Well, okay! So that's easy! I mean to be honest withyou, it's easy! It's the person and the outcome. I mean look, if you you knowyour a Persono has a particular illness right. I mean why why why throwtechnology mean? You know we're just we're just so heavily laden withtechnology right yeah. I don't call that and n. They call it engagement.You know these folks folks who, who have a chronic condition, want to beless engaged with thehirtherthey're all tes right I mean you know, you knowwhat hes thinking about getting sick all the time right. So it's a flip side.Tof that you know what can you do to have them feel like they're, lessengaged buth having to think about you, know being sick or doing this or havingdiabetes and all that type of stuff? So that's the bet'st part of the problemis, is that you know if you throw some technology area, throw a solution?That's that's got a lot of technology and you don't think about how burdenthe individual is with technology. I mean. How do you expect them to be moreengaged with an illness? They don't want anyway, ell. I think that's thethat's part of the issue right. You know I mean there's companies that aremeasuring your feelings and they're doing this, and then you know theyreafter the Feelingis they want you to go, see a psychiatrist or psychologist. Imean you know right, yeah yeah. I create. Why create a problem when youknow so I think that's a problem. You know you can throw a lot of this stuffout. Hope, someofthing sticks, hope somebody has a problem, so you know you talked about leveling.The playing field between you know the physicians of the Clinisians and thepatients or people that have our users or have the condition have you dapted adopted any strategies into yourproduct management of product development where you were involvingthem in the process building out. So let's talk about that a little bit allthe time you know, and actually you bring up a good point, because you know there's a there's two schoolsof thoughts. I think, even even apple to that you know, consumers don't knowwhat they want right. So we just going to build it and in some cases we'vedone that yeah and more recent with the Vonte. Actually we have a W N, we firstwit into it. I didn't know this area, we it was it it just. It was astoundingI didn't know much about social media, but we tested out with social media thepictures that we got back from people who've had digestive conditions,whether it's IBS, so they have that constant diarrhea or people haveconstipation. It was an interesting outlet to see the pictures ind, thesocial meedin that we got back. It was. You know your like. Surely they're notgoing to want to publicize that, but they are right, they are actually andso so so that actually was a key. Is You know you ask yourself, you know forpeople who don't have sort of conditions like this we're not leaving.You know living like this all the time. How willing are you to share? Actuallyyou know your poop pictures or poirlet pictures right, yeah living with acondition essentially like this. This is just part of your. You know yournormal life, so...

...we have those user groups all the timen. We test the products out there. They tell us, so this is useful. This isreally garbage. You know this is you know how we feel a lot of the people in our companyactually- and I won't say I hire for it that might actually have these chronicdigestive conditions, and so that's also important component. So so so sowe do testing and theyr like us who got these conditions. Yeah Yeah. I thinkthat's really important to because you know I think traditionally a lot ofcompanies innovated internally and felt a sense of responsibility to come upwith all of the innovative ideas within the company and have something kind ofcomplete to bring to market and that's when customers or pers prospects wereinvolved in any process of like hey here's. It here here t this: Do youwant to use it or do you want to buy it, whereas there's definitely over thelast couple of decades and other industries and I'm starting to see alittle bit more of this in healthcare? We're just scratching the surface of Idon't have to be the expert internally and I just need to be able to ask theright questions and and and allow those prospective customers to be a part ofthat product innovation process and like wow I mean you know your rnd costgo down and your success rates go up. So it's a win win, but you kind of haveto put your ego to the side. Tit says I don't have to have all the answers. Youknow your totally you're totally you're totally right. You know, you knowpeople, don't all I mean if you crowd sourceet type of thing. They don'talways know, but but you know, there's some commonality you're, a hundred percent you're, a hundred percent right, that's exactlycorrect, and so luckily actually I'd say our product development is- andthis is not meant to is run by women and and they get it, I have they th y DA,get it n the Ego aside at least the folks. We have they're extremely goodand her open up, and I mean they just get it there's a sensitivity there thatwe just don't have to deal with that. So obviously you know we. It doesn'ttake a rocket scientist to know that you know companies are comprised ofpeople and you know, strategies, products, every processes, everythingkind of begins and ends with the team. If you don't have the right team, youknow you're not going to have a successful company. One of the thingsthat I noted that was really interesting about you and Vivantehealth is. I would say that you are a younger company right. VIVONTI 's onlybeen around for a couple of years, and you already have a chief commercialofficer. We do we've hired actually of OURCSC suit, so we'd have some reallygreat new hires Yeah Bill. Seider came from vernahealth he's absolutelyspectacular. He's a vigorous young guy. Who's got a great track record and he's done he's done. Marvelly she'sbuilt a great team for us have Catherine more WHO's, a chief productofficer. She came from Zacdock and then guild education she's got her so fartogether that and she's extremely good. We just hiredtwo two new people on the C sweet and then there's Andy Loving. I should saywho came who's in Nashville, who was with narros health and aspire andhealthways a really as season Beteran, and we just hire too new people. Ourchief technology officer is Debran Bron. She came from HP and united healthcareshe's. Absolutely terrific H and our chief medical officer, who'll, be coming on in a couple ofweeks. Is Simon Matthews he's a Gi doctor fromHopkins. He was on the Fatilly of Hopkins and he decided to join us. SoI've got a really a terrific young young team that are passionate and and ham all f those ingredients. So I'vebeen really lucky with his team super lucky. So what do you say to thosehealth? Innovators that you know only? Obviously all of us only have a certainamount of resources to work with and you're making. The decision of you know,obviously the C suite is is expensive. You know or more expensive than youknow. Let's get some interns right, so it's to completely different mindsetsfor a leader of a company and you've got a limited amount of money to workwith and you need to invest in the product. You need to invest in your goto market, but you need to invest in the team. That's going to help you withall of that. So what do you say to innovators? That are you know, kind ofon the teeter tatter between human capital? Yeah Technology GO TO MARKETYEAH? Well, I you know, I think...

...this. I hope this will sound. I'mreally lucky. I Have I've had a pretty broad background and I think, beingtrained as a scientist as allowed me to do each and every one of these tesks O.First of all, I know w it each and every one of tour entails right. Youcan't hire somebody and say and not have had that experience, and I neverdo that. So I always do things first, myself, yeap yeah, and so so that'skind of number one. And so when you hire people, then you have abetter sort of understanding of what you need in thatindividual right and, quite frankly when, when you start talking with folks- andyou start to bring on on these foks there's two elements: I'm a littleolder in this respect. One is trying to have their careers grou right. I thinkthe best accolade is to really do is to train them so well that they want toleave. Let have them leave, and so I always start out doing all of thestuff myself and as a team gets bigger, they say. Why are you doing anything?We don't want you to do anything, you're, just interfering gows, you know and Yotheyou start toget those people and, and it comes down to sort of what I would call culturalthing. You know you said they're expensive in the C suite. Well, people want to work primarily at placeswhere they're valued and they can grow their careers right and and a and havethat freedom and experiment. So I don't really go for the highestdollar. I won't do that. I mean I right but, and I want them moll to be shareholders,so we're generous on that, because if we role the same direction, we allprofit from that sime direction, so iin really lucky and getting people who have the right chemistry. They have theright passion, they have good experience and my job is simply to to try to see if I can develop theircareers. You know further sthat's what Isupposed to be doing and incurring division to the company, but so for the other. entrpreurs well, doall the for yourself and then you know slowly add, but you don't have to buyreally expensive people, because you think they're quote experienced right,yeah yea, it's a matter of people who've got fire in the belly and arewilling to learn new things. No, that's how I look at it well and I couldn'tagree with you more. The fire Ind. The belly is just so important rightbecause again, as a startup company, there's just so many challenges, and soyou've got to be able to be resilient and keep that fire in the belly. Youknow not. Everybody is going to be so such high risktakers, but there's a bigreward at the end of it right there is yeah there is and- and youactually can see, your vision actually getting laid out on a daily basis andthat's kind of cool, because you know every little thing you do. You knowyou've done it yourself, and so that's pretty cool. You can see theadvancement so as we wrap up here. Is thereanything else that you, you know kind of, think about it for just a second?Is there anything else that you would want to share with fellow health,innovators that are in the trenches today that are listening to thisepisode? Well, well, thanks for that, you know, I think the biggest thing Iwould say is and I'll go back to choose a choose, an important clinical problemthat you can solve yeah, a clinical problem that you know has an unmeatneed that the quote traditional healthcaresystem can appreciate right: doctors, nurses, hospitals and all that, so a d and and think about flipping itsuch that it's not a technology that precedes it. It's really a clinicalproblem that is being supported by technology, and so that would be myMontra yeah and, and that requires that requires somebig thought in terms of of the problem a and they approach Ou, that's that'skind of it. Well, thank you. In there I mean you know, I mean things, look grim,sometimes actually on a daily basis on a milly second basis hanging in there.It's always good. Yes, absolutely that's! Why we're here to insharestrategy, share tactics and and encourage our listeners to hang inthere that you know we need folks to hang inn Theare, because we need to change our lot. That happens in healthcare today for everyone's benefit hyeah. So thankyou so much for sharing your wisdom with our listeners today. I have reallyenjoyed the conversation. What is the best way for folks to be able to get anhold of you in case they've got some questions or want to find more about.What's going on with you en on Ta Yeah, I mean. Certainly they go to ourwebsite, which is you know the Vonte Hellscom and and see what we do. I have no issue with handing out my myemail. It would be K Andjelitus, a n...

Gel ides at Bevande Health Viv, an tehe althcom. So just drop me a note, connect unlinked in if you'd like I'malways, I always willing and welcome- and I love to hear from other folks whowant to just talk about building a business. That's great! Thank you! Somuch pleasureis my pleasure thanks forochy. Thank you so much for listening. I knowyou're busy working to bring your life changing innovation to market, and Ivowue your time and your attention to save kind and get the latest episodeson your mobile device automatically subscribe to the show on your favoritepodcast APP like apple podcast, spotify and fither. Thank you for listening andI appreciate everyone. WHO's been sharing. The show with friends andcolleagues, see you on the next episode of coiq.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (107)