Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode · 2 years ago

What It's Really Like to Ride the "Roller Coaster" of Healthcare Innovation w/Meghan Conroy

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Commercializing an innovation in healthcare is complex and hard. But, there are challenges and opportunities that lie within the artistic economics of healthcare.

Traditionally, medicine is practiced based on how insurance will pay for that medicine to be practiced. The lack of consumer empowerment and choice not only affects how medicine is practiced, but how difficult it is for entrepreneurs to commercialize their innovations. 

 What are some of the barriers to commercialization and how have they been changed recently? How does being intentional about the culture your are developing from the beginning affect your success? How can we remove the fear of risk to fail fast and fail up?

 On this episode, I’m joined by founder and CEO of CaptureProof, Meghan Conroy, who shares her candid commercialization experiences and what it’s really like to ride the “roller coaster” of healthcare innovation.

 

3 Things You'll Learn

  • Reimbursement alignment for commercialization success
  • Running like a lean startup while you're starting and growing
  • Reoccurring revenue business models

 

Changing something as integrated as healthcare isn’t easy, but we shouldn’t use the challenges as an excuse not to do something. We have to make innovation easier in healthcare so we can really move the ball forward. The only way you can beat the odds is "don't give up."

 

Welcome to C OIQ and first of its kind,video program about health, innovators earlier doctors and influencers andtheiar stories about writing the roller coaster of health care andnovation. I'myour host doctor, Roxy, founder of Legacy, DNA marketing group and it'stime to raise our COIQ welcome back to you IQ listeners ontoday's show I am having a candid conversation with Megan Conroy, thefounder and CEO of capture, proof, and we are talking about what it's like toride. The roller coaster of healthcare. Innovation. Welcome to the show Meganthanks, it's so nice to be here. I'm really excited so for those listenersaren't familiar with. You tell us a little bit about your background andwhat you're doing these days sure I am working with captureproof and the CEOand founder. We are really looking at. How can we take the limited resourcesthat we have in medicine and apply them appropriately across the board byimpacting visual endpoint management as a solution for medicine, and so weare really interested about access and about followup care and having theability for the providers to have the right information in order to make thebest decisions for their patience to get them on the path that they need to be on. SoI came to capture groof on its own roller coaster of a windy road, but mygraduate studies were in photography and my bachelors degrees, I'm physiology andso, and the fortunate experience of combining the two things that I'm mostpassionate and curious about into one one very clear aim and impact acrosshealthcare. That's awesome! Well, so I want to ask you this otherquestion: What is it will kind of like where Ikicked off the show? What is it like for you writing this roller coaster ofhealth, car enovation and just let's just shoot it straight yeah I mean you know. healthcure in itof itself is a really interesting monster and it has different taskmasters overdifferent quadrans or ten diagrams or cirfles or areas or whatever you wantto call it. I don't think theyrefor, it's not that structured, but theyre very well could be threethere's. You know the provider Group there's the insurance group and there'sthe patient group and the fourth like they would be the industry partner,such as Farma, etc, and the economics of healthcare is a real art as much asit's a science itself, just like the practice of medicine, and so we've hadsome really interesting times about how we know. Even just anecdotally, you canunderstand that you can read a photo...

...more quickly than you can read a video,it's very clear, common sense. I don't have to have a long scientificconversation for that to be proven to someone, but ait did do a great job andactually scientifically prove that you can read a photo in twenty or sorrythirty Millo seconds, and it takes you a good reader, two to three minutes toread a thousand words, much less rite them down. So anecdotally and very common sensewise. It's clear that if time is a such a limited resource in medicine whichagain anecdotally, we don't have to look past the waiting room tounderstand that. That's true that there should just be a very clearimpact, but medicine right now is practice based on how insurance willpay for that medicine to be practiced. And so your patient is seen by yourNeura. Your parkin sense pation is seen by your neurologist, because thatinsurance company will pay for that monthly appointment to happen anddoesn't pay for it to happen anymore quickly, at or anymore slowly, and sowe've decided to practice medicine based on how insurance will pay forthat medicine to be practiced and when you're looking to disrupt something andyou're looking to distrupt an industry. Most industries have a lot more choicearound them than the healthcare industry has, and what I mean by thatis. We, as consumers are empowered to make our own choices for our forourselves. However, providers themselves don't feel empowered to maketheir own choices about technologies and sometimes with with formularies, they don't feelempawed to make their own choices around. You know pharmaceuticalproducts, so a lack of empowerment or a lack ofchoice is something that has been rampant in and health care, so in and of itself it's challenging todisrupt, but to add the regulatory, the respect needed and then also the thevery artistic economics that have been put around health care. That's a niceway of putting it Couneparton te UK when I've heard he head of the UK Inovat the NHSinnovation speak. I've heard him call it a very perverse economics. You know it's. It's definitely makes the road all that more challenging, but also opportunityopportunities. Why? Within those challenges, because there is so muchpotential there, there is no other industry that covers the amount thathealthcare covers. We are one third of the USGDP. It is the largest market outthere. There is no human on earth that does not have help as something thatthey own and require to maintain. So those things are really exciting aboutit, absolutely yeah. So so I noticed that you, you know you talk a littlebit about access to healthcare, still...

...being one of our biggest challenges,and it sounds like that's what you're describing here when you're talking about what it'slike riding the roller coaster. It's the challenges with access that westill have and in the barriers that healthcare innovators have being ableto commercialize their innovations in that type of industry. The sale cycle is so so longand h. The threshhold with which innovation is happening in medicine isactually quite small. True innovation and that's happening inRND departments of pharmaceutical companies. That's happening with youknow, investigators within teaching institutions who have the ability to goout, it's happening with grants and and then having that innovation beimplemented, and we've been very lucky to see some really cool stuff happeningin healthcare and continue to see it. I believe that we are just now gaining atime where HIPPA is no longer thas catch. All excuse that we're not goingto do anything because we're just going to blame HIPPA right right, right,right, we're finally, O the point where that's no longer happening. Like okaywere have a compliant, a word all behave like adults and do what we needto do and keep things private, that's important. You know and and then moving forward toactually implementing and when you're changing behavior of people.That takes time and when you're changing behavior of people win thecurrency that they're dealing with is actually humans and human lives. Itshould take time m. You know we should respect that. So I believe I have a hopy, a healthyrespect for the challenge that it is and a healthy respect that it shouldn'tbe super easy right and you know changing something as integrated as healthcare isn't easy. So I respect the challenge, but I alsothink that at times we use the challenge as an excuse just to not doanything and that that gets boring mm right right, yeah exactly so, when youthink about your own organization. What stage are you in right now in thecommercialization process? So you in Adiation prelaunch pilot full. I feellike we're in every yes CYE RIWELLBEN on for seven years, and I've beenbanging my head against photos in madicine and an adding video in twothousand and twelve SOM POTO and video medicine for the last Cosh Agen Myself.But eleven years- and you know putting a I see what we'redoing is putting a new language really into medicine across the board. For...

Globally mean visual language crosseswhatever actual verbal language that we use to communicate, Jans use whateverwords we want to use. So for us we are weare in the market. Weare working with Clienns, both pharmaceutical and also with housesystems. We have our first serner integration heading on its way to success, a withbay state and have been really excited about the new codes that have come out,enabling providers to get fifty one bucks and fifteen cents a month fordoing some remote getting patients set up and then doing remote evaluation ofthem on the system and that's a that's. An industry change not just a capture,proof change and then we're really excited that Medicare isput out a g code that allows for about thirteen dolars for a photo or videorate when created by the page at home across the hospital. So we were excitedthat that industry is seeing the impact and sees the benefit, and the signalsare there, that a synchronist communication and especiallyasinchrinis communication with photo or video, can be very powerful in medicinemm we're just spending time. You know continuing to get the word out and living like a lean startup, because you know I've won very smart investor,who always told me it's going to take longer and more cost more and takelonger than you think, and you know there are the success Toriesout there that maybe that seems like that didn't apply to the seven yearovernight success stories, but in reality you have to run like a leanstartup, and you have to be very clear to your vision when you're, when you're starting and while you'regoing that mission has to has to stay forefront. Yeah, I had a guest on theshow. A few weeks ago, who is probably like eleven years infully commercialized absolute handsdown success, I think itwas like one named one of the top fifty healthcare technology companies byAmazon and they're still functioning like thalean, startup right, because that was it I mean it was so impactful to thebottom line that it became a way of doing business, not just something thatthey were going to do temporarily until they had. You know loads of revenuecoming through the door. So it's really interesting that you mentioned thatyeah. I think I think it's part of your culture M and I think that that is oneof the most important things to keep in mindat the helm of anything. Is Culture MM and one tat Eg can impact younegatively for a year after they leave you know, so you really have to be...

...that higher fast firequick. I don'tknow. I think that you need to be thoughtful about all the processes. I think that'sreally interesting that you mentioned that, because most of the either earlyor emergent companies that I work with aren'treally talking about culture just yet. It's kind of like, oh well, when we erein year three five when we've got some millions of dollar or Avenu surewhether right right exactly it's just they didn't, they don't have anycontrol over the culture. They didn't intentionally build the culture it justbuilt. You know kind of as an on accident and in the way of them justbeing, and if it's going great, that's great but then identifying what it isso that you can continue to have it go great. It's important mm yeah, Yep yeah.So it's interesting. You know some of those cultural dynamics in order that are maybe just most six inherent for most successfulstartup companies to embody exactly yeah start up deserve different cultures. Oh absolutely yeah! You know we're allunique people right, so we're all going to have different companies, and so noculture is going to be alike. I her totally yeah. So you know what are someof the biggest challenges. You know that you're facing right now is someone that's in the trenches I mean, I think you know we always needmore people to help us get as much as we need to have done. Get done. You askus what face were in and there are some things that we are still ideating onlike. Is that the best way to do it? How do we help with that? Where do wego? We see? All of this is an evolution, so you know having having more on moreon the team. More feed on the ground. More more in your arsenal can behelpful, as as it is to who can help deliver the work that a lot of a lot ofwork going on in and that's exciting. That's a greatproblem to have right sure, and then, in addition to that, I think,like I would have told you four months ago the fact that there are no there'sno way for me to get doctors paid for this, but that that has you know verynicethy, changed January one and well see how people are builed for that, butfor the first time ever, I'm actually capable of sitting down with a businessmodel with one of my now potential future clients and can actually map outto them not promise of potential savings. Maybe only if but MAR will capital that they that this shouldbring in for them to then have spending power with to do something else with aswell. So that's that's been a really exciting change that we've seen, whichis crazy, because if you're innovating...

...in other industries, you don't have those obstacles to overcome. I meanit's just it's. So it's great to see the industry evolving and when that'powering in about it like. Why would any investor ever invest in healthcare? Crazy when it gives you so many morechallenges than anywhere else like you know, and I think there are peopleo are great up good people out there, and I do think that healthcare is agreat business. Therr' sure is t be done, but you know these the funds and havinginvestment and UNICORNS and looking at healthcare sure there was pillpack andthat I would give that Unicorn status, but pellpack is still a consumerproduct delivering fhroaceuticals your deiving, your pharmacy. That's wherepatients go, there's, not the added layer of provider other than they needthe permission slip, but you're not changing any providerwork. So so I'm excited to see some some real. You know explosions, bead,BEA, Athena, health getting purchased or you know really what haven's goingto end up doing with Amazon web services, Berkshire hathway, JP, MorganChase, there's there's a lot of players coming in, and I I mean apples doing a huge thing aboutsecurity right now: Soit kind of means the way to think like Kno you can. Wecan all think, but we can think they've just stolen some people from big nameslike Sam Sung and whatnot so and Elexas Hipa compliet now so right, wr we'redefinitely moving into and an into a space where maybe healthcare is onlyfive or six years behind now, as opposed to twelve? Yes, yeah. You know you know. Some ofthe conversations that I have is like. Listen. Everybody in in business seemsto realize that health care represents one third of the GDP and it's almostlike this goal. Rosh, where no matter what vertical you were in you're,trying to figure out how you can get your pece of the healthcare pot. YouKnow Pie and you've got these gigantic operations that understand consumerism,that understand consumer Preferenceis, that under understand how tocommercialize something- and it's like. If the healthcare industry doesn't wakeup and start to, you know putting some action behindtheir the conversation of innovation. Then it's going to you know we're atrisk to be gobbled up by these other organizations that are coming in andjust ropped, I think, they're fairly awake. I don't think that they'resleeping on the job, but I think that there's such fear of movement and theconsumers don't hold that you don't hold that same fear in consumerism, butI do think that you know the the...

...doctors are by and large employees ofthe house system, so the health systems own the brain, trust, the houthesystems own the smarts that make the decisions that get the job done yep,and so what what we see is, regardless of anything that we do the most limitedresource. We have in medicine, itsthe amount of time that those doctors cangive care and if we don't have patient start showing up prepared with data.That's easy to have meaning we're not going to be ableto solve the problem, and you know there are a lot of wonderful thingsthat the last administration did for our country. But electronic healthrecords was not one of them Yep and there's a lot of backlash. Theredukement one billion dollars on epic and if you ask any one of theirproviders, if I'm I haven't, asked every single one of dukes providers,but not many claimer. I did about the changes that epic has given to theirorganization and right. I've even had people say to me that we would have tobe. We would have to have epic and stall like this for a thousand yearsfor us to make our money back without exaggeration, so there was some fleecing of Americathat happened with what has been rolled out and how that went. Yeah- and youknow that's our taxpayer dollars and and institution money and and the impact wasn't the this grandiosamazing thing that that we would have wished and would have hoped, and so youdo deal with Ha scart tissue of that being true yeah. Absolutely I couldn'tagree with you more. I think that it just reinforces a lot of the feararound change and around you know, disruptive innovation well yeah, andit's also hits a bottom line in a way where you don't have the budget to trythis that or the other right. You know I M hearing a lot about death by pilotright now and the idea of you know you can really get killed by pilots andhealthcare, but you also have to start somewhere. Sothere's this very, very interesting kind of ranged. But if, if we'velearned anything over what's been going on in the in the industry- and you know we have our lovely fairanos court datescoming up Buti, I can only suggest and emplore that actual science is put behindanything that you're trying to do in medicine and that you know there is.There is data, and anacdonal is great, but data isreally powerful and, and frankly important, you know, I'mnot I'm not suggesting. I think we all should be FDA regulated, but I do thinkwe should be pure review. Regulated M...

Yeah. I definitely you know anytime. I have guests on the show thathave successfully commercialized an innovation. They made significantinvestments in you know the data, the clinical trials, the Pur reviewedresearch and that became their platform for success. I wrote an article about death by pilota couple of years ago, and you know I kind of said like to health innovators.You know beware of getting stuck in what I call pilot purgatory and it'snot. The pilot is a bad path or bad step in the journey. It's that I thinkthat health, innovators, often kind of get a little woooo when someone saysthat they want to do a pilot with them, and they just get so excited that youknow you know. One of the top health systemsgives them the time of day. I that they, you know they for they fund the entirething. They don't do any negotiation. When it comes to the Toms of the pilotagreement, they don't make sure that that's a strategic initiative for theorganization to where they somebody will actually buy at the end of thepilot. They don't make sure that that person that's doing the pilot. Even hasthe authority to buy an in because they're just so excited that someonesaid Yes to the pilot and they think that that's going to be the home run tosuccessful commercialization and it could actually be far from the truth.It could take tons of time and money away from other paths that couldactually you know more significantly, impact the bottom line. Yeah and and a pilot bringing you a publicationis not a waste, that's great right. Do it get it? have it go out, but just abunch of users for users for users. I mean there's the argument, though, thatyou know getting those users on and going is great, and I there's nothinglike real world feedback to make your product right of getting some sort of venderrelationship going as imperative. deminitely yeah. So hote are the things I'm interestedin is. Is You and you know other innovators are talking about? You knowthe reality of the challenges that everyone's facing? Is that there's tons of resources outthere to support innovators in this commercialization process? You knowthereis consultants, there's resources, there's tools, templates, etc, and sowhat? What have you leveraged most and then what's stillmissing? I think that what I was able toleverage most was. We were one of the first five companies to sign upbusiness, associate agreement with Amazen web services and every singlelawyer that I was going after tote. My hippa attorney had a conflict with Afuup with Amazon, HMM, and so I ended up...

...finding this really amazing hip acounsil who was out of Michigan and a Butique firmoff on her own, and so Icould afford her, and you know we were agle to. I had a standing hour meeting with herevery week for the first six months that we engaged with each other and we've been of the of the ask first, you know: Ask permission kind of company we'renot apologizing for stuff, so for thatwe've really walked eyes wide open into what we're doing, and you know,potentially been less disruptive because we're following the rules, ifyou will, but there are some rules that we findvery important, especially privacy and security. When you're dealing with such intimate information about people sure so you know, but we're also. We are a apatform of visual information, and so our focus has really allowed usto go to providers as a tool versus the product and have that tool enable andempower them to capture their visual endpoints and manage them over time,and so visual endpoint for a cardiologist of you know, petalademonsticking a thumb into the ankle to see how swollen at ankle is versus neurologist and apilepsy versus apagiatrust in a wound versus an incision after surgery. You know eachof them are visual and points for different providers using the same tool. HMM, okay, so you know so it sounds likethat's been a great resource for you as you scan the landscape. Is there anything that you think isjust still missing to help health innovators successfully commercializetheir innovation? As I scan the landscape? That's a greatquestion. I mean, of course, there's if I had a magic wand, and there wereone thing that I would give. I guess is the way I can answer that question.It's it's a more it's hard because you're talking aboutpeople, but it's it's removing the fear of risk across the board. I mean whereit were in such a risk, overse environment, asking them, then to givesomething new, a chance and Jus hard yeah. So you know having a having the ability where the risk islow. Where failing fast can happen quicklyand failing up can happen successfully is is something that the sandbox don't really exist for Immm MM.

That's so true! So true, so you know, research shows that ninetyfive percent of innovations that are brought to market fail to commercializeor fail to reach any type of adequate level of profitability. And so how areyou going to beat the odds? I mean? There's only one way to do itas you don't give up Yep. You know I'm more bullish now than I was eleven years ago or seven years ago or two days ago, Nan medicine really have of value, andthere is there is an extraordinary opportunity here and doing somethingthat will wi will have expenential impact. It doesn't happen fast enough. I I'mfrustrated with which the speed that it does Gho and dying on the vine is is ifyou'r an has been of fear. There were days very early on where I felt like mychild was in the ICOU, and I just kept getting bad news now. I think mychild's at least in, like the stepdown unit. Without any you know, majorthings going into it. Ouneer know right right, changes on theinstant, so we're not like an overgen company, we're not epic, we didn't have.You know multimillion dollars coming in on taxpayers, but we we are excited atthe idea where the business balls are coming together, where we're eitherable to tap into scalable businesses businessmodels that give us a share of the risk with our with ourcounterparts, amohealth systems and capture groof is able to take that risk on together or where you know. Our health systemsactually see the value where they're paying their monthly licensing peace,so we're doing a a big shift in our our business from coject basis and workingwith like clinical research projects sort of trials. We were designed withcinical trials in mind and going more into that health system setting andhaving more recurring sast models, and I can totally see why recurring revenueis interesting to business ix once you can get it set up and getit going. You know keeping your cturn under control and having that go foryou can be the extraordinary the automatic customer MSO just a couple of other questionsfor you. So you know what is your strategy, so you know you've dotea wmarket that you're pursuing, and you...

...know if we think about the difusioninnovation model. You know for a early stage company. You know you'retargeting the innovators and the earlier doctors and not that you'restill not going to get nose, but you know I find that a lot of times, health, innovators are kind of pursuingthe entire market, and so they might be pitching laggards or the mainstreammarket before they've penetrated the earlier doptors and innovators. And sowhat's your strategy for getting in front of those early adoptors that are going tobe more characteristically more, I should say less risk a verse yeah. We haven't really ever had a chief marketing officer orreally put the money or power behind that sort of marketing. Stuff sow howwe've been doing it is going into K, opinion leaders within industries andthen those key opinion leaders are introducing us to others when they hearabout projects going on or areas where they might be interested in captureproof. I just had Dr Conveydar of connected healt thatmgh introduced me to a derm department in the North New England area, who looks like we'll be doing some workwith so word of mouth, his Ol a major, and we did a lot of a lot of posters at things like theAmeriacapalypsi Society, American Academy, in neurology, so gettingposters and getting interesting, intriguing data in front of organizations and and then and thenit's just polite persistence. I sometimes not even all that polite,but just persistent right right. That's that whole bullish thing right, yeah at some pointin time, it's just it'sthe hard work yeat's the thing nobody tells you is that you know if you'regoing to be successful at this, what Youare doing is the easiest day.You have because it only will get to be more and more and more, you know, andyes, you can delegate and that's awesome when you have money to deligate,even even better right, but there's still success is hardwork in you. Youhave to be willing to put it in to get it well, I love what you said earlier. Youknow when we were talking about. How were you going to beat the odds and yousaid not give up, because I think that you know this is common knowledge. It's notrocket science, but we hear so many times right. I don't know what theAthlete's name was, that was swimming, you know across the country or fromcontinent the continent, and there was fog, and so she was just oh yeah like ahalf a mile from reaching land and then...

...gave up right, and so you know I findthat to be very similar in this journey that sometimes it's really foggy, andwe can't really see what's in front of us, but it's that persistence thathelps us get to experience all of the fruits of all the Labor that we'veinvested over time. Absolutely, and you know the the entrepreneur relationshipwith oneself, is it's its own journey and it's not for the faint of heart. Absolutely so my last question for you,you know knowing that our audience are fellow health, innovators that are inthe trenches. What is one word of advice that you would have for them? My best advice, other than all thatwe've said here. I mean the only thing that we didn'tcover here. I think I think culture and persistence are really high up thereand but investors iu mean if you'R investor on the first meetingisn't blowing sales into your win. Thinking you're going to get to whereyou need to go. You need to really think about that relationship, becausethere's going to be enough people trying to block that wind se, thenagain, if your investors, even in the firstmeeting, are trying to tlow wind into your sails toon an you go further yep, you know those are the people you want on boardand in the best of times they should beflowing air into your sales. But what you hope for is that in the worst oftimes they do as well yeah yeah, because it's not it's never an easy battle and and and then as much as you can somehow find a balance whatever that means foryou. If that means you have four hours Saturday morning, where you don't lookat your phone, whatever that, MEA that you go run every day for an hourwhatever that means to you serve yourself a little bit for sure. That'sso true will. Thank you so much for taking your time today to share yourwister or listeners yeah. Thanks for doing what you do. I really am excited about all of the impact that you'reable to have with sharing our stories some things so much for letting me domine. Thank you. I appreciate that. So how can people get a hold of you? Maybethere's some listeners that are interested in learning more aboutcaptureproof, maybe or just speaking with you directly fromentrepreneur to entrepreneur. Yeah I mean if you are looking for anythingfrom capture proof. If you do founder at capture proofcom, that email willcome to me so just found her at captureproof and we're called captureproof, because we let patients capture, prove of anything that's going on. Soyou know we love, I'm more than happy...

...to answer any questions or how about inany way that I can but yeah f. You know someone who you think could benefitfror mutilizing our service. We be really grateful for an intro awesome.Well, thank you. So much for your time, Doday Makin, thanks B Maye to what's the difference between launchingand commercializing a health care. Novation many people will watch a newproduct. Few will commercialize it to learn the difference between latchand commercialization and to watch past episodes of the show head to our videoshow page at Dr Roxycom. Thank so much for watching and listening to the showyou can subscribe to the latest episodes on your favorite podcast, APPlike apple podcasts and spotify, or subscribe to the video episodes on ourYoutube Channel, no matter the platform just search Coyq with Dr Roxy untilnext time. LET'S RAISE OUR COIQ.

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