Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode 102 · 1 week ago

Commercializing Med Devices in a Prehospital Setting w/ John Keane

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

John Keane considers himself a commercial strategy kind of guy - and with 35 product launches under his belt, we’re inclined to agree.

To reach that level of commercialization success, it takes a lot of expertise and an enviable ability to listen to stakeholders at every stage.

But he did it - and when he agreed to come on our show and talk to us about his experiences and insights around the med-tech and healthcare market, we were nothing short of thrilled.

Want to know why ego has no place in commercialization? Or how to avoid being the HIPPO in the room? Or why it’s never a failure if you’re learning something?

Pull up a seat and join us for John’s story!

Here are the show highlights: 

  • Talking to your customers makes the conversation easier (3:07)
  • Beware the HIPPO in the room (4:21)
  • Seek some input from outside the “box” (6:07)
  • It’s not failure, it’s learning (11:40)
  • How to navigate the tangled web of the healthcare market (30:05)
  • Why you need to leave your ego at the door when decision-making (39:58) 

Guest Bio 

John Keane is the Co-Founder, President and CEO of MindRhythm, a med-tech company focused on reducing stroke treatment times in the prehospital setting.

A medical device executive with three decades of experience developing and commercializing emerging medical technologies, John has been involved in more than 30 product launches.

His position in the healthcare community as a strategic leader and advisor to multiple companies helps drive his success in defining visions and positioning companies for dynamic gains.

If you’d like to reach John directly, you can find him on LinkedIn at John Keane, or you can email him at john.keane@mindrhythm.com.

You're listening to health, innovators,a podcast and video show about the leaders influencers and earlier doctorswho are shaping the future of health care in your host Doctor roxey movie welcome Belcheth innovators on today'sepisode, I'm sitting down with John Keene, who is the CO founder Presidentand CEO of Mine Rhythm, welcome to the show John Than Doctor Roxy have to behere thanks for having me yeah good to have you. So, let's start off byJelland our audience a little bit about your background and what you've beeninnovating. These days, sure I like to think of myself, primarily as acommercial strategy person. I started out in pharmaceuticals like many of usand met tech did a long time ago, and I found that I gravitated towards thenewer products new product launches and Jectis, and you know one's dailies andthose types of things, and then I went from there into Medtech and over thepast thirty years or so, I've been involved in about thirty five product launchesevery at every level. So at the sales rep level, the junior level management,middle management, senior management, so I've sort of been exposed to what'sneeded what works and what doesn't work kind of at every at every end, with thestill believe that the most important part is the people in the field- Hmm,okay, we wore about that. So so I just with any company whetherit's a medical company or manufacturing company or consumer electronics. Itdoesn't it doesn't matter if somebody's, not interacting with the customer inhearing what they want. What their needs are with their work environmentis like it's really difficult to know what they need and to know what's rightfor them, and the moment that you get out of the field and which is typically what happenswhen people go into management. I remember someone saying to me veryearly on with my managers said the minute you leave the field you're nolonger current, and he I learned from him. He was very good about listeningto what his sales people told to him, what his clinical people told him, and,and so he made better decisions, and then it was something that I adoptedthe course of my career, that's great, and that is it's so true that the closer we stay tothe COM to the customer. I think that you know the more success will have themore will be able to pivot and adapt and continue to deliver a value on anongoing basis when we stay close to the customer, not just this one time oflaunching something into the market. That's so true, and there are thingsthat you you don't think of, that you wouldn'tnecessarily think about it unless you're talking to customer just asimple example, you know we're working with my current company, we're doingstroke triage and they don't the MS professionals, don't have to anytechnology. Avele on they're only doing stroke, assessments rations- and I hadsomeone say to me that the end of a long shift they're tired and they don'tperform the assessment with the same vigor at the end of the shift. In thatthey do at the beginning of the shift, which is something I wouldn't havethought of yeah, and it's just it came up in conversation yesterday. So I justmade me think something I learned from talking to a customer twenty four hoursago, yeah and you know being able to wetalked. We talked about it as different topics, but really all the same thingof like creating learning organizations where there's this continuos learningthis continuous feedback loop, that's in place to be able to pick up on thoselittle nuances. That could make a big difference. You're absolutely right- and I thinkthe continuous nature of it is a very good point that you make and that if, if someone were to visit an account-and they get a snap shot of what's going on in that particular day at thatparticular moment in time- and the world is very dynamic, particularly inhealth care, these things change on a regular basis and it requires hisconstant interaction, and you know from...

...people have asked me over the years youknow t have you come up with your sale strategies, your marketing strategies,like we stop that hard? You talk to your customers, what they want to tell you what theylike, tell you what they don't like it having work with. You know, surgeons,for years and years, they're not shy about offering their opinions. So it'sa pretty easy place to start. Well, I think it's brilliant, it's brilliant togo. You know what I really come to. The conclusion that I don't have to havethe answers makes it easier. Doesn't it like? Why are all so many peoplefighting to have the answers when they could just let that go and ask thecustomer? You know it's funny because we're joking about this, but on aserious note, I noticed that over the year sitting in an management meetingsm to me, one of the biggest barriers to coming up with a good product design ora good study designer or whatever is somebody wanting their own voicehurtand look. We all have opinions, we all haveideas and we want to share them. We want to be treated with respect and onpeople to listen sure, but it really should start with what is the rightthing to do? What is the customer want? What is a proper study groupinteractions in input from the team and too often when I see decisions madethat aren't right? It's made by somebody who wanted a decision that wastheirs that didn't have enough specific knowledge to been able to make theright decisions just because they don't have the information. So that'ssomething I try to avoid. You know. We call that I say we I didn't make thisup, but they the term is hippo the highest paid, a per highest paidperson's opinion. And what is it I mean? Don't I never heard that, but boy isthat true, there's so many teams, so many companies that companies that havea hippo in the room and- and I always say like and if you don't know who thehippo is look in the mirror, because it might be you that's so true, you know,especially as you know as consultants as visors as CEOS and Co founders. Youknow very often people won't contest our point of view and and just kind ofacquiesce to whatever it is our vision and our strategies and tactics are, andso you know, that's never going to be a successful path. That's a good point. I try to and it's hard sometimes because whenpeople report to you, they feel that chain of command and that there it'snot okay and I'll I'll. Tell people it's okay. To tell me you disagree withme. Just I mean you could be nice about it. To tell me, I'm done yeah, but you know if you have an ifyou have another idea, if you've got an idea, that's betterthan once, there you're improving the situation, you're, making the companybetter you're, making the product better your public patients, so thatshould be expressed, and I do think that in many companies there's aculture where people feel afraid to share their opinions because they'relively like they don't want to lose their job, and so, but that's it'scounter. Productin yeah. I really like what you're saying is that you know wecan have this expertise internally, but you know we're going to maybe be moresuccessful when we are seeking input from outside of the companyoutside of the four walls do on a regular basis. Yeah, it's such animportant thing to do, and I've worked with companies where they don't seek input. Theydesign a medical product without seeking input from medical people,which just seems to me as fundamentally not smart, and so I can recall a conversation ofrequirements. Discussion for those in the Callado know that this is whenyou're designing a device. It has requirements that have to be in it, andone of the things that we had for this particular monitor is going to be usedin an operating room, was that the cord would have to withstand five hundredpounds of weight being rolled over it, and the team is like how often is five hundred pounds ofweek at to get rolled over this cord and I'm like in an operating Om in ahospital kind o at least once a day.

They couldn't believe it. You know, but you know you have to be again. You haveto be in the environment to know yeah yeah. Absolutely that type of shadowingtoo, is even different than you know, just asking people what they thinkabout something. We have some conversations here on the show aboutthe difference between you know, seeking imput from customers and reallygathering these new insights about well, what are they trying to accomplishversus asking them? Well, what do you want because they can't like you know,we often use the Steve Jobs example for you to ask customers. What do they want?Not Very many people would have said. Well, you know what I want. I want aneye pot. I want a thousand songs in my pocket. We are thinking thatrevolutionary, but there are still ways to be able to facilitate thatconversation with the customers to be able to figure out what they're tryingto accomplish what job are they trying to do and still be able to come up withrevolutionary ways to be able to address that? That's very well said,and I don't think I thought about it in that fashion, before we had a calltoday internally, were we making a productdesigned decision and essentially one of the components of it was. Shouldthis be disposable to reason and my experience with disposable and reusableis most customers say they want or usefuls, but they don't like them whenthey get them, and so you have it available and then nobody ends up usinghim and they throw them out. They get upset that they're spending more moneyand so phrasing the conversation how youput it now? What are you trying to accomplishversus? What do you want? L, if you say what do you want they're going to say,we want to reusable L. do you really in an ambulance at two o'clock in themorning in new work, and it's raining, you know, I don't think so and that'sthat's probably a better way to have the conversation where you can guidethem down the pathway of what you're trying to do getting that input, but making surethat the input is is qualified in some manner yeah y yeah. You know it's usually to your point. Isthat there's a big difference when we're asking someone, would you wouldyou b? Would you like this? You know is this something that you would use andthen okay like? How much would you pay for it? Oh, no, I won't pay for itright. I would use it, but I don't want to buy it. I'm not going to give you mymoney for right, interesting thing with respect moneyfound in fun racing all of our investors thought that we didn't have aproduct priced high enough all of our customers, that we had our priceproduct priced too high. So I noticed that the people who think that thepricing on things is too lower the people who stand to make money off of ahigher price. The people think it's too higher the ones I have to pay for it.So it's funny how that goes, and- and thatto me is a great use case for this type of qualitative market research that weare doing with customers to be able to create a business case. So you know, if you're talking withinvestors and you're saying well, we disagree or you know this is the price where we think itshould be, and you're kind of coming up with a different scenario to kind ofback up that decision, that's very different than actually, if you've gotlike interviews, videos of customers saying what they will pay right, that'sgoing to be so much more powerful feedback that people can't contest is alot more difficult to rebut both for ourselves as whether those advisers orinvestors are having that conversation like when you're hearing directly fromthe customers. Now it's really easy to adjust pricing in the board room. Youjust change it on a spreadsheet. You see your margins, go up to see yourrevenue school like this is no direction. We should be going if they don't buy it, your revetues orzero, and so it yeah totally so yeah. I had this. You know experience personally where Iwas pricing, something really high and...

...not selling it very often and thenchanged it to where I actually went much lower than what I had wanted andwas kind of so instead of going high and going no sails, no sails no sailsneed to drop it no sails going low and going sales, but they said yes, too,quick, okay. Now I'm going to increase it a little bit okay, so I stillgetting sales, but they still said yes, too quick and then all of a sudden youget to that point where you're like no now they're taking a little bit longertime and you kind of figure out where your sweet spot is on pricing, butyou're still building sales along the way, as opposed to going so high. It'slike okay, no sales for months, because I'm too high! Well, that's you know,that's market research without a net right exactly, but that's also. Youknow that willingness to adapt is a really really important skill in really in life, but in business inparticular, your willingness to say, okay, I'm not selling anything and theprice is probably too high and then let's do a radical reset. Oh maybe theprice is too low and then you eventually found where you needed to befor the through the willingness to change and your point about the the hippo anothercharacteristic theres. You know our Gigno ance brings us to a mistake andour arrogance keeps us in that mistake. Oh that's good! It's not my originalline. It's been applied to me quite a bit by s, viewers and listeners to chime in to it is the type of thing where I think, because how we're brought upin our education system, it's we reward being correct and we punish being incorrect and you're doing something new you're, not incorrect, your learning,and so, if you do something and it's notworking out right and you adapt and you have a little bit of success- that's athat's an evolutionary pathway and to me I feel that is a very positive developing. So I I don't ever feel like Oh Jeez. We didsomething and it was wrong and now we got to fix it. I feel like okay, welearn what not to do now we'll try something new and- and I think the entrance parent aboutthat can be so powerful because it really demonstrates that there is noego and that you are really open to learning and that you are adaptive. Andso often I see innovators, especially startups. You know wanting to presentthemselves to investors or potential customers as they've got it all figuredout. You know they kind of mapped point a to point B, with three steps inbetween and they've just been plugging their way and without being reallycandid about. What's going on and and really thinking that that's actuallygoing to lead to more success, but it's not it's not reality, and so if we weremore vulnerable and more transparent about those learning opportunities, Ithink we'd have more trust and more credibility and end up being more in apath of success instead of trying to fake, like everything's just beenperfect. I completely agree with that. In the beginning, it could be verydifficult because the answer to virtually everything is, I don't knowright it's because it's you know it's. You start out with an idea on acocktail nap in and it's you need to to prove a number of things, but I dothink you know this is this was my first foray into fund raising and youknow, product launches design what needs to happen, the FDA and all ofstrategy, and all of that I've done that for a long time. But fundraisingwas very new and you like it. You want to just keepdoing it well now that it's done I like it couple months ago and maybe not so much,but today is a good day. I started out not liking it and I ended up liking itquite a bit and I not liking it. For the obvious reasons right, I moved to tI moved into the uncomfortable. I moved into an area where I didn't haveexpertise, and I said things and you...

...know, got schooled quite a bit becauseI didn't know certain terminology I to learn that so that's that'suncomfortable. I also didn't like it because I love strategy. I love youknow coming up with the commercial strategy and the design, it's what I'vedone for so long, it's fun and you know I was told in now in certain terms bymy colleagues. You know your jobs to keep the gas in the gas tank and youreally are going to spend a lot of your time, raising money and, of course,during Ovid it was more challenging and at first I was like had taken me awayfor something I really like doing, and I had to get used to trusting thepeople around me take on some of those things, and so there was like an inflection pointwhere I started developed a certain level of knowledge and skills with thefundraising and got used to handing off some of these things toother really qualified people that I've worked with over the years and I'veseen them grow in their careers, and I was like oh I've got good people thatcan do this. It doesn't have to be me good. I can sleep tonight, it's youknow. It's ended up working out quite a bit and now that the race is over, Iget to go back to some of that stuff, but yeah yeah. It's really the primaryrole, and just you know how do we get comfortable with? It isjust do it right and do what Erete. In the first time, you run a fifty yarddash or throw a football or pick up the guitar you're not going to be good atit. So I play the Trans. You see the drums behind me, but I can't remember picking up a drumstick because I was so young the first time I did, but all drummers shore likethis yeah skinny drummer. We. Why did you start playing the drum in?I don't know. I just always wanted to play the drums. Every drummer has apicture of themselves with with wooden spoons, hitting the pots and pans andokay, I'm a dad's kitchen a well it's just more than just doing itfor a long long time, but durance. You never did good, sotell us a little bit more about mine rhythm and what you're innovating thereand kind of where you are in this innovation or commercial process. So Mind Rhythm, is a company right nowwe're focused specifically on stroke, treas and I'll cover a little bit aboutthat casseres and even in the medical world, even in neuro. There's notreally a lot of knowledge with respect to what goes on prehospital, so thereyou can basically have three types of strokes. You can have a hemorragestroke, which is bleed to thing they right now, there's nothing. They canreally do for that other than lower your blood pressure and evacuate incertain situations, if you're having in a schemin stroke, that's it's a clockand if you have a part attack you're having a clock in heart deck clock goesto your brain. If you go to a small blood vessel, you have a small vesselof lusion stroke. If you have a large vessel's conclusion stroke, it's a bigclock and a big vessel for small vessels. They treat them with a drugwith large vessels, there's only three hundred places in the country that cantreat that and you have to go to one of those hospitals in order to have themgo in and take the clot out of your head Ye and it's such a it's such animportant technology that it's the difference between getting treated andwalking out of the hospital two days later or being potentially in a nursinghome for thirty years permanently disabled, like not moving half yourbody. So it's a it's really a binary situation, yeah and so right now in theUS, there's no way to tell what type of stroke somebody's having so they'regoing to the hospital they scan them. They determine the stroke and then theytransfer them. So it takes hours to get treat an and it causes permanentdisability. So we've developed a device that can identify that for theparamedics in ninety seconds in an a miles, so they can say large, hustlepolution stroke. They need to go to I'm in Boston, so they need to go to massgeneral, bringing women's Beth Israel, one of those hospitals in San Francisco,you'd go to ucsf and the more rural you get in your communities, the longer thetransport times and in outside the US. It's significantly worse, Itd it couldbe four or five hours in Ireland to a...

...hospital can treat you by then you knowyou're dead yea. So that's what that's what we're aiming to solve? We are thedevice works. We have two published papers, but we're most companies wouldtake those papers and get FDA clearance. Now Yep. We chose not to do that, andthis is based my own experience. I find that nobody will use medical technologynew medical technology unless you prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that itworks, and then you have to prove it's better than what they have in our case.They don't have any things also, so we what happens this companypaused there for a second, in your case, what they don't have an option so we'refeeling something that doesn't exist right now, yeah. So if it's it's abrain tumor and you have a new way of removing brain tumors- well, they haveopen resection, they have radiation therapy. They have laser treatments,temo all different things you can use with us. Nothing exists so that part of thepathway is actually easier for US hell a because the paramedics want what wehave, but in general there's resistance to using new things. It's verydifficult, as you know, to get new medical technology adopted, so it is in a startupsituation. Without this proof we're doing an ambulance base trial right nowto show that it works in the environment where it will be used,we're doing an in Metro Detroit through wane state and short of that. I don't believe we willhave the support to change state policiesbecause most of these practices of where to take patients are determinedby state protocol they're not going to change state protocols without evidencebased medicine yeah. So that's what we're doing a typical scenario and havework for companies that have done this. They try to get the product approvedfor as little money as possible, which means no FDA, trial or limited trialget out. Then they hire sales force which is very expensive, and then theygo across the country. They don't sell anything, and then you know what He.Why aren't you selling? So I think the reason I'm so sensitive to that is. Iwas in that role. So often I was the VPS sales, which is you know it's theBullseye position. You get blamed for everybody else's mistakes, it's so I just. I was like we're not going todo that and it's helpful because I work with people who are very experienced sothey've seen the same thing and then one of my colleges is a neurologist, sohe's focused on stroke as a position. He doesn't want to put something on tothe market that isn't fully bedded in the environment, just because it's hisreputation so we're all in alignment on her, and so we are a prefar. We just submittedour FDA Pre sub o an hour ago. I do press people yeah so like we spend a lot of time on it because therewe didn't even understand the prehospital situation and defining theproblem is very important because we don't find the problem correctly. Thesolution isn't going to be viewed as valuable as it actually gets. I meanthis is literally a life saving and life altering products, and so we wedon't define that. You know that's on us, hey it's, Dr Roxy, here with a quickbreak from the conversation. Are you trying to figure out what moves youneed to make to survive and thrive and new CO, vid economy? I want everyhealth innovator to find their most viable and profitable pivot strategy,which is why I created the Co. Vid proof, your business pivot, kid. Thepivot kit is a step by step framework that helps you find your best pivotstrategies. It walks you through six categories. You need to examine for athree hundred and sixty degree view of your business. I call them the sixcritical 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 sureyou can pivot with speed without missing out on critical details andopportunities, learn more at legacy: Hyphen Daco Back Kit.

So one of the things that I see often-and I'm not saying that this is the case with you- I just kind of want toexplore this- is that I'll see innovators come up with solutions toproblems that their target audience doesn't know, exists or is not lookingto solve, and that doesn't necessarily mean that that's a dead end business ora dead in innovation. It just means that there is a very different strategyto commercialize, something like that when you're in a very mature problemmarket or the, how do we say that the problem is very mature right? Themarket all is very familiar with the problem they just trying to choosebetween a and the new thing or versus when there's it's a very immatureproblem market like we don't even there's a population that doesn't evenknow they have. This problem, so as you think through that you know kind oftell us what you've encountered or what's the strategy for being able toeducate the market about this particular problem and kind ofelevating it as a priority for them to seek to solve it. So what you justasked a question that I'm going to answer this in a different way. Thenyou phrase the question because you're the first person who's ever broughtthis topic up, and it's such an important topic to me. I tell everybody.The single biggest thing that you can have with the new medical technology isto have a technology that has a known problem. An they don't have a solutionfor that. They actually want yeah, and you almost never have those thingsright. You either have something that they have it. They have anothersolution for and now you're what was the old thing who moved my cheese? Youknow you're changing. You know, you're changing what they ask to exactly. You know they. Don't theydon't want it? They have something new. They have to learn something they don'tthink it's a problem. You know I work with transfusions, which is a hugeproblem. Nobody thought it was a problem yeah and I've actually tried toconvey this to our investors, because we actually have this situation. Wehave a product, that's a huge problem. This situation's huge problem is reallywell known and everybody wants it, and so I probably should be careful sinceyou're recording this, because my investors will read this or the they'llwatch. This they'll be like John you're, not selling much. You said thateverybody wanted this, but in I've never experienced this withanything. I've worked with before I've. Had people tried to buy this from us inprototype for and I'm like, I don't look or of it. Can I I'm not sayingthis to like push this. You know on the PODCAST, I'm saying this is literally.I was shocked when I encountered this. I was expecting you know. I have thisjoke. A friend of mine sent me a picture of the world's first day and astigi machine which is in the medical museum in Paris. It was my clinicalperson, she sent me a picture and she said. Look the world's first and astegen machine, and I said in ten minutes later the world's first day anda Seselis said: what do I need a machine for that's the resistance newtechnology, so I was my expectation is always to have that resistance. In ourcase, we don't have that we have the exact opposite. We've got a problemthat we benefit everybody, because the places that are doing these surgeries.You know that hostile makes a lot of money. The patients benefit thepatients, they can't the hospitals, they can't treat. They don't want thosepatients coming to their hospital right and the animiles cruise, don't likedropping off people at the wrong hospital where they know that they'renot going to get good care. So everybody benefits where I think we'regoing to have our challenges is actually a unique situation for us,which is at the state level, because these are all policy driven practicesstate of Massachusetts. where I live, they they designated that all strokes go tothe closest stroke center. There are two types of stroke: carters primarystroke, centers comprehensive stroke centers. Only the comprehensives cantreat these big big strokes, so most patients end up going to a primarystroke center. They get scanned if they...

...have a small stroke. They get treatedthere if they're having a large stroke, they get transfer in Massachusetts. They, the community hospitals, gotupset when they designated primary stroke. Centers is the placesthat all stroke patients would go to. So the response by the state was todesignate every hospital is a primary stroke center. So that's not a goodresponse. It's so the were work. It we're doing a pilotproject with one of the MS companies to change state practice. That's where Ithink we're going to run into our Chowse, and that is unique. I've neverworked with any atis before what about being the term that you usedis pre hospital. So that's something that I don't come across very often aswell is. Is that considered kind of a prevention solution? You know and are there any things thatwe need to be able that you need to be aware of, or we need to be aware ofwhen we're thinking about prehospital solutions. So it's a good question.I've spent my entire career working in the hospital and Free Hospital is theterm that they use the hospital people use as the care that takes place beforethe patient gets to the hospital you'll hear like in cardiac arrest. That'sneurological injury, but the the life saving behavior takes place before theyget to the hospital. So they'll always say we need to affect prehospital care,so that's a commonly agus term in the ems world. Okay, so to your point there there isn't a lotthat goes on pre hostile, because there isn't a lot of technology that theparamedics and emts they live in the special world by themselves right, sothey have defibrillators, they've got EKG, theyhave entitled steel to and they have pull sex CERVETRI. That is their entiretechnological, Arma Materiam. Everything else is a nine one. One callunknown situation assess this in a chaotic environment is not an easy,John Yeah, so you can see why they have been bracing technology like ours,because you're like O, think o. We have something you know, and so there isn'ta lot of technology since there's not a lot of technology. There aren't a lotof companies making things and there aren't a lot of in there. For that. Youknow: There's not a lot of fderal Tory stuff, there's not reimbursementassociated with it. It's it's all its own world and then the ems world isalso very different because you have public companies, private companies,hospital and companies, and then fire departments, and they all there all inthen mid flight and they're all taking care of the same patient group, but ina different way, so it it's. I've never worked with it before. But I wasfortunate enough. I worked for a soul for a while, and so is this also majormanufacture of the fibrillar, so a big portion of their sales for spends timestrictly in e mass. In fact, some of the people on the sole team have helpedme with, I mean helped our company, but withspecific introductions and with gaining an understanding of, what's reallyessentially a very different environment than the hospital admirer.So I yeah, I can see that and we might actually be a hybrid because we mightactually be purchased by the hospital then given to the amiles companies,there's a business model for that there are specific medicare rulespertaining to it. You know you can't it's not a kick back. You can't give itto him in exchange for patients, but it's true yeah. So you you got to be careful ofdoing something like that in there. So there are guidelines associated with it,but it makes sense the hospitals making the money off the patient, the amulancecompany is it's costing the money to buy this technology, to root them tothe correct hospital they're willing to do it, but the real financialbeneficiary is the hospital, an insurance company just another example: The complexitiesof commercializing, an innovation and...

...health care. With all of thesemultistage in the tangled web, we weave one of the guys who's on our board is along time friend of mine, actually through Music Kyle York, and he he specializes in tech. He sold hiscompany to Oracle a few years back and he's running a tech front and he'salways like your world is so difficult. Your product actually has to workbefore you get it on to the market and not just work but work better thananything else. That's our e market, exactly he's like he's, like you know,with with software, you could just make something, put it off and then work onit. While it's out there and it's just health cares, health is challenging,but it's it's rewarding it's worth it. It's a nice place to be so so you'vegot a pretty interesting lineup of investors. I M sorry, not investors,advisers that are part of your advisor team or Advisory Council, some prettybig hitters to just kind of share with our audience. You know how that came about I meanmost people are trying to figure out. How do they get the best advisors thatput them in the right position, whether it's going to be introductions, fundingstrategic guidance, whatever that's going to you know be? But how did you get access to these folks, and you know,is that making the difference for you in your company, so I would say the unique situation that I had is probably was really instrumental forme being able to complete the race as the first time doing this with not alot of contacts. So some of this won't really be transferable, because it'skind of luck. My callie way, Dr Smith, is a he's. Avery well known neurologist at a very it's. The UCSF is the top rank, the topneurology department of the United States and he's a director at thedepartment. He was instrumental in the original thrown back to me trials, the ones thatthe technology for treating large strokes is very well known and he's inSan Francisco. So so he's helped a lot of people he's totake in to our family members who are grateful and there's he does a lot ofresearch. So he is a number of contacts. My other colleague Paul is He's been anentrepreneur for a number of years, so he has his level of contact of peoplethat we could talk to and then I had my own. You knowmuch pewer context, but I had my own group of people that that were in mynetwork and so what I found is I mean that's a really that's a reallygood head start to have if you, if you're, if you've, never done funracing and it's like. Oh John, you know, let me introduce you to the inventor ofrobotic surgery and sure. Okay, we'll talk to him and youknow. Let me let me introduce you to the inventor view to, but it's a loteasier to talk to those people when you get personal introductions to the back,so a lot of it was that and so that's just Luckye, I guess kind of lucky,because I had known Doctor Smith from my previous companies and we have agood relationship. So you know the career: Does you know feed into it, but that accessto I wouldn't have had on my own the pause for there for a second, becauseyou said kind of lucky, but you know kind of I had this prior relationshipthat led to these other things. I think what's important, like a goodtakeaway for our audience here. It is that you know those relationships that werecultivating early in our career are usually like lifetime customers or life,there's a lifetime of value associated with that relationship. So it's notgoing to be just that one company that we worked with them and then kind of wemoved on, and I mean they'll be those people that they will be the otherpeople where you deliver incredible value and you really cultivate a strongrelationship and those people will be either your customers in the future foryour next five or ten businesses or...

...they'll, be part of your network thatcan do it. That's leading you to future customers, and so I think you knowthat's one of the threads that I think that I pick up on that. Maybe mostinnovators, don't even articulate is that as you're moving through yourcareer, you know those formidable relationships just continue to pay off,because you're delivering value you doing the right thing, even maybe whenit's not always the best financial thing, but you're doing the right thingin delivering value and they just become incredible for our careers. It'svery well said I I think I hesitated there when I said it was. I was luckyand my hesitation was exactly what you're referring to, because I I wouldyou know I wanted to acknowledge the fact that it wasn't. I am grateful tobe in this environment where I was able to be introduced to those people, butat the same time I think for for all of us, where we're atin life, a lot of terms can be attributed to what we've donepreviously, and so it's not just the things that worked out that contributethe things that don't work out also learn to, and so you know, and so Iwent from various y pes of sales roles. So I have a there's, a whole network ofpeople that I know when I need a sales team. I'll have a good group of people.I have the strategy and everything else, but I also had roles where I wasspeaking to investors before I was doing this, so each one of these thingsprepares us for our next role, yeah, and I think to your point. If, if youengage with people and in genuine and authentic way treat people with respect,you do cultivate relationships over the years and eventually the combination of different skills andhard work and things that worked and things that didn't work can lead tosomething. At these last few years of my life have been they've, taken a lot of commitment on my part, because when youstart a company or not taking a salary of any type- and you know we had nomoney and my previous company went out of business and there was a lot ofturmoil and I'm involved in the drum company as well, and so I had a lot ofcash out flows and a lot of wrists that I was taking on yeah, and you knownobody sees that part of it right. Thethe seem tu about it. either. act like that doesn't exist. It wasjust like I strategically made this decision and everything was great. Ihad this big pay out of my last GIG. That's you know funded me for now, butyou know I mean just fake it until you become it and without being real aboutwhat what this life is. Really like. Absolutely, I said to my cousin who's,a good friend he's an investor in the company he's a actually lawyer for aMEDTECH firm when we're not talking about music and cars. We talk about. You talk about Red Tech and he said youknow I don't it takes a lot of courage to doing do what you're doing and youknow not taking a salary starting a company from scratch, not knowing whereit's going to go, and I said you know I've reached the pot. I've alwayswanted to do this, and I've wanted to have a team in place of people with asimilar philosophy in a similar life view that I have. I will either all getalong really well or we'll be at each other's throats, but we'll find out,and but I've always wanted to do it. If I don't take this chance at this pointin my life, you know with what I'm able to do, and I just I don't. I think I'mnot living courageously, and so I'm saying that, because for thelast few years I on a personal eve, have been like. Is it really so smartto live so courageously right rights are starting to cometogether now right, the companies are starting to have some success at weremoving forward and, like I wake up in the morning, and Ihave to be awake for a few minutes to be like. Oh, no, no, there's, no majorcrisis, I'm dealing with today, things are things are going well, it's smoothand which is not too say there won't be.

You know after he's, coming on or or something else, but it takes alot of effort and it takes a lot of belief. In yourself I mean I'mdescribing my role in particular, but the people in my team, it's the samething they're taking a chance. They could be a you know. People who areworking that could be at these they've come from large medtech companies withbig salaries and an for in case and security and everything else andthey're taking a chance on this, and that's our team or a team of people whobelieve in what they're doing, who want to contribute, make a difference onthis planet and do well, and you know sure we want to grow the company andmake lots of money or sell the company and profit from that sure. We all wantto do that, but I think the primary motivation for everybody is getting upin the morning and doing something that they think is worthwhile and working me,an environment where we all we admire each other and we work together as ateam, and we have fun yeah, definitely everybody's, taking a risk right inlooking out for the reward on the back end of that. So, as we kind of juststart to wrap up here, John, I want to give you just another opportunity tosay: okay, if you kind of like think about to your experience with minerhythm, and maybe this most recent. You know seed endeavor, or maybe it's evengoing further back and some other commercialization experiences andproduct launches that you've had. Are there any other lessons learned that wehaven't touched on that you just want to make sure that you share with ouraudience who's also in the trenches, doing different things at differentstages, but any other wisdom. Yet you want to share with them. So I think the the lesson I story Itell all the time is, I learned I didn't know it. I learned virtuallymost of everything I learned about business. I learned growing up becausemy dad owned his own business, so my whole life was kind of an involuntaryNBA course. He would ask me questions. I believe you know I can. I can recallone time sitting at massachuset general parking lot in my hockey equipment. Youknow he stopped there in the way to a game and he's got this customersituation he's running it by me and he's like now. How would you handlethis? I'm like wait. How old are you is ten, ten years old, I'm no idea, and sohe would grill these things into me, and so I mean it's just it's just avivid memory, but my whole life was like that and the thing he always saidto me, which I think is we've covered part of this, but the first part of itwas he said, reserve your judgment. Yousaid get all of the information you can possibly get before you make a decision,get get input from everybody that you work with all of the different stateholders, your customers, competitors, wherever you can get it get information and be neutral about it. Don't bringyour own ego and emotion into your decision making and question everything,then, when you make a decision make it and if it doesn't work, adapt yeah, andI think if you apply that philosophy pretty much to anything it's going towork by the way he did. She wasn't so open to when I said, questioned him bya bay like the play in business. Think us he's great with that. What did he do inhis career? He? Actually he owned a medical company, but it wasn't Medtechlike we think of it. He owns medical record company yeah, and so his hisbusiness model was different because he was dealing with the people in medicalrecords in the hospital information. Shame and he actually oneof the things that he did, that I thought should have taken off thatnever did was he tried to partner with all the electronic medical recordcompanies when we were moving over to the electronic medical record. He saidphysicians, don't like looking at computer screens, they like holdingthese charts and if you design this without using the way these charts areyeah you're going to design it and...

...nobody would bite on it and look whatwe have now. We have things we o got to click back for things to find something,and then they weren't designed with the and user. So we're all electronic. At this pointbut- and I thought it was a big thing aboutit- is it's not an efficient work flow necessarily so so I was always in hospitals. Youknow I was always good with him two hospitals, but it you know the medicalside of it. He was never into the medicine. He came up through thepaper in the street right right, the business part of it yeah exactly yeah,okay, okay, so how do folks get a hold of youif anybody wants to learn more about mine rhythm or just connect with youafter the show? Well, there's always the easy waysright linked in and just tap with me on linked in I'm pretty open to whoeverconnect with me there's a CCONTACT at mine rhythm,which will eventually get to me or you could just email me at mine. Ratherit's just John. Do Ken at Mind Tom and and reach out, I'm I tend to be prettyresponsive for my background and sales is just you know, I just to say thepeople in the dumbest person in the room, but I'll return, your phone call,and so I do get pulled in a lot of different directions. So if it takes mea bit to get back sometimes I just apologize bear with me. I tried to tryto be responsive. If, if I don't you get, and you pin me a second time, I'mnot going to be offended so isn't that the world we live in today,please, don't anyone take it personal. You need to reach out at least threetimes a fair. Well, thank you so much. It was such agreat conversation, so much wisdom that you shared with our audience today. Iknow that they will find it very valuable. Well, thanks for was a lot offunny appreciate you inviting me on it had a good time and hopefully keep youget something out of a thank you so much for listening. I knowyou're busy working to bring your life changing innovation to market, and Ivalue your time and attention to get the latest episodes on your mobiledevice automatically subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast tap likeapple podcast, spotify and stitcher. Thank you for listening, and Iappreciate every one who shares the show with friends and colleagues, seeyou on the next episode of Health Innovator, a.

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