How the Pandemic Changed the Cultural and Accelerated Virtuality Adoption

The Business Transformation Podcast -Episode 5 - Brian Russon

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How the Pandemic Changed the Cultural and Accelerated Virtuality Adoption

In this episode, we will be sitting down with Brian Russon, the CEO, and co-founder of the TeleHealth platform Patient Genie. With expertise in the healthcare industry, Brian’s goal is to prioritize security in virtual healthcare systems. His company, Patient Genie, enables healthcare distributors to supervise consumers and engage with them in a noninvasive approach.

Brian embodies skills in different aspects such as product marketing and management, solution selling, healthcare information technology as well as customer relationship management. His dynamic managerial skills and dedication to people process and technology is his driving force to push through digital virtualization as a solution to individuals who are struggling to go to traditional healthcare centers, especially in this ongoing pandemic.

Listen to today’s episode as he gives you tidbits of information on how he manages his business strategically without neglecting his primary goal of making healthcare accessible using virtual spaces.

“Building a richer patient journey is our utmost task”

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Transcript

Heath: Okay, Brian. So, at the moment, my guys who usually looks into this is about they build the transformation and implement it but they think of the value that you have is that you are either engaged at the customer need, the customer facing of them actually engaging with the final solution. Have you seen the needs or the technology change or what are some of the changes that are happening recently? Are those needs being met by the technology?

Brian: I think we’re getting there. I think we’ll continue to see kind of adoption of virtualization in a multitude of different sectors, health care being one of those sectors, as we continue to migrate as a populace from brick and mortar into more virtual settings. I think the events with COVID and the pandemic kind of force fed that to a lot of people, forced adoption that we hadn’t really anticipated for, you know, at least a few more years and expedited both scale of tele companies, whether that be organizations like Zoom or Teladoc or other kind of tele or virtual health type companies and tele companies. I think we’ll continue to see kind of iteration and growth and scale as people demand that more so with traditional brick and mortar settings.

Heath: I remember when, soon after the pandemic started, Zoom was becoming very popular but also — what was it called? Like the prank Zoomers who would join in on other people’s calls and then there’d be instances of indecent exposure, if that’s the word. Yeah. Some things I think Zoom caught on really quick that their security wasn’t up to scratch with the rush to get these solutions out. There’s a case there that maybe they missed a couple of checks and boxes along the way. What are you finding that everyone is in a hurry but they’re not doing the quality assurance?

Brian: Yeah, I mean, we all kinda, you know, went straight into the fire, if you will, at that point. You know, fortunately, we built kind of a telehealth system, security and privacy were kind of paramount, you know, way before we were ever needed to scale and so we built, and I think the industry as a whole really built around that kind of premise in telehealth specific for kinda health care privacy initiatives and rules and regulations. So we were in a much better position relative to privacy and security than some other companies that were more just focused on kind of video conferencing, if you will, that was really just kind of point-to-point connectivity. We benefited from being in the industry that we were in at that point in time. It has been good to see kind of iterations and growth as those organizations have had to painfully scale over the last couple of years.

Heath: Yeah, okay. So, yeah, usually, personally, my experience has been with this digital transformation is that it’s technology-led change and then they’ll make, or maybe towards the end of their development and build and design, their implementation, then they’ll check with the user and go, “Okay, is it good enough for you?” And most of the time, the businesses kinda go, “It’s not really good enough but we’ll let them finish what they’re doing and then we’ll find a workaround.” Then, what I’ve found is, although the technology guys are interested in building their tech, the things like that security part wasn’t front and center. It is like, “Let’s do that last.” But you just happened to be — that was your first thing you did. Well done.

Brian: Yeah, we were in a highly secure, highly privatized or private-centric industry with health care and so we were well positioned at that point in time to build appropriately for what we, you know, had no idea was coming downstream.

Heath: Yeah, lucky you. So, have you seen what is the particular users or demographics that are, well, first, let’s say a first adopter or they are the laggards, maybe it’s the elder generation who may actually be in more need of these services but because of technology, with, say, resistance to change. What have you found?

Brian: I think initially with telehealth and then I’ll kinda come forward to where we’re at with Patient Genie and some of the strategy we have around Patient Genie. You know, with telehealth, it was really early adopters, but you would kind of expect early adopters, technologists, folks that, you know, are used to kind of virtual communication, et cetera. And then COVID hit and it was just kind of the sky’s the limit. It was everyone, right? It was moms with kids at home, it was anyone who didn’t wanna go to the doctor’s office, you know, all the major clinics were closed, you had to connect via telehealth so we were kinda force fed into a virtual world. That led itself into the entire populace being a lot more comfortable with virtuality.

Heath: Yeah.

Brian: And I think, as we look at what we’re doing with Patient Genie around really kind of expanding the capability for a consumer to own that kind of virtual experience with a provider, both in how they search for a provider, how they find providers, how they engage with providers, having that be more of a virtual experience all the way around is something that we — a lesson that we took from that experience. We look at the demographics now as we look at key markets, you know, 18- to 24-year-olds get 60 percent of their health information from social networks or social environments. That’s a big capture when you start looking at misinformation and real information, clinical information that isn’t getting exposed in those networks, you know, environments.

Heath: Okay, so your platform finds a way or has a method and means to get around that or to give them that information that they need?

Brian: Yeah. I mean, we’re building a digital kind of multichannel marketing platform that allows health care professionals, whether that be, you know, MD, DO, NPs, et cetera, RNs, a better way to engage with consumers and I use the term “consumers” purposefully where consumers are looking for health information, whether that be, “I moved to a new region and I need to find a doctor,” or, “I’ve just got diagnosed with a new condition and I don’t know anything about it, I wanna find out more,” or, you know, even as simple as, “I’m at home, I’ve got a headache, I don’t wanna go to the doctor but I want more information. I wanna make sure I’m getting real information, not misinformation.”

Heath: Okay, so your platform is a replacement of face-to-face meetings with a practitioner.

Brian: It can be. We’re not necessarily tied into one vehicle of communication. We will enable both telehealth as well as traditional brick and mortar settings from an engagement and scheduling perspective. So it’s really more about kind of, if you will, kind of the Tinder of health care, right? Of really taking a consumer that’s looking for a service and matching that consumer with the right provider providing that service, regardless of the delivery of care.

Heath: Okay. All right. Actually, there’s, in the digital health space and a couple of guys that we’ve had on, they talked about how different technologies are here now and wearables and different types of sensors for heart rate, blood pressure, you see a demand in that or change in demand in that?

Brian: Yeah, we continue to see demand in that. I spent a number of years at Microsoft a decade or so ago working on HealthVault, which was their consumer health platform. We were doing devices and device connectivity then. We saw early adopters around, you know, the typical usual suspects that you would see adopting that tech. I think we’ll continue to see growth there. The RPM and home health initiatives that continue to kind of proliferate the market, I think people, as a general rule, are becoming more technologically advanced and savvy with those techs. And, you know, I mean, I’m a big data guy so the more data that you can kind of extrapolate in a non-invasive way, the better. And then, you know, you can build the algorithms, you can build the expertise to manage that data and engage people at the point at which they need to be engaged.

Heath: Okay, so you’re — there’s a thing about organizations having the capability and then some organizations, they might call a capability technology, and other organizations, they’ll call that technical capability, business capability, which includes people process and technology. So, are you seeing that organizations, B2B, that they are looking to get a solution, a technology solution off the shelf or they’re actually looking to build this capability where they can own, manage it, and improve it?

Brian: I think it depends on this strategic imperative of the organization themselves. There are some that prefer to build and keep it within their four walls. I think there’s others that are more partner centric, or, you know, market centric, where they know that they can build some things in house but sometimes that expertise just doesn’t exist in house and needs to be done outside of their four walls. You know, I tend to lean on the latter. I’m a partner centric kind of guy. That’s the world I come from and I think there’s really great products in their niches, in their swim lanes, especially in health care, because it’s such a big space. Really great niche products there that just maybe miss some concatenation with other really great products that really could kind of bend the curves that we’re all trying to bend.

Heath: All right. Do you get involved in the business transformation in the early parts and dealing with organization? Do you look like a typical clinic or a clinic that has many offices or outlets and then they’ll call you in? How does a normal engagement work for you?

Brian: Yeah, I mean, we typically work, because we’re at the front end of that kind of consumer engagement side of an organization, we’ll typically work with some business transformation, mostly around tweaking how their advertising dollars are spent to make sure that they’re, you know, not only building brand, which is the core of health care advertising today, but also kind of meeting consumers where the demand is, right? Whether that be around capacity management or knowledge transfer or engagement as a general rule, those are areas where we really focus and work with our customers and prospective customers around how do they engage those consumers at that point that they’re looking for care and they’re looking for engagement? How do they do that in a meaningful way as opposed to becoming overbearing or just a brand play?

Heath: Okay, it is a good point you mentioned there about engagement and the world I’m used to with, they call them user journeys or user experience, trying to understand what that user journey is across the organization and then trying to anticipate what their pain points are and how can you improve it. For you, in this industry, for you, mostly common, everyone experiences pretty much the same thing?

Brian: Yeah, I mean, localization might be a little bit different but we kinda call it the patient journey, right? The existing patient journey where, “I’m Brian, I just got diagnosed with something, I want more info about it.: And, today, that process is I go to Google or I go to Bing and I search for that condition. It brings back a bunch of results from WebMD and Healthline and content providers and I can read about it. But then when I wanna actually do something, I can’t do anything. And so I’ve gotta then take that onus on me, I gotta go to my social networks and say, “Hey, does anybody else have this? Anybody have any experience? And does anybody know a doctor that treats this, et cetera?” And then, you know, at least in the US, you’ve gotta go back and find out is that doctor in your network? Can you even go see that provider? And if you can, then you have to go to the health system’s website to see if there’s capacity for that doctor to see you. And if there’s not, or if any one of those things falls apart, you start over. So it’s a completely inefficient consumer experience —

Heath: Yep, yep.

Brian: — how we consume health care. Completely different than how we consume any other consumable product. And so what we’re trying to do is improve that patient journey so that it’s a less inefficient pathway.

Heath: Okay, so this is almost like a disruption,

Brian: Maybe a little bit of a parallel disruption to health care in general

Heath: I’ve lived some time in Australia, 14 years, and the way health care works there is if you have an issue or you wanna see a physio, you go straight to the physio, and you don’t need to go to a doctor to get a referral. Over here, in the UK, if you wanna go see a physio, you’ve gotta go see a doctor to get a referral. And really, it’s just a meet and greet for the doctor who’s going to say, “What do you wanna do?” and then you go see this guy. But it’s like, well, I’m in a bit of pain, and I go see someone about it, it’s like they’ve added an extra step. So, what did you do that for? You know? Someone clearly wasn’t thinking about the user experience for that one.

Brian: I think at the end of the day, all those providers wanna do is provide care to the individuals that are looking for care —

Heath: Yeah.

Brian: — and consumers are just looking for somebody to say, “Hey, yep, your back hurts, let me help you fix that,” and we’ve created a bunch of inefficiencies just because of how the systems work. There’s a better way to get through those inefficiencies than the current modus.

Heath: So you find — so two things here. What’s the process that you follow when you approach maybe a client, they know that their systems are inefficient or they’re mainly brick and mortar, and they go, you know, “Look, we’ve gotta move online. This is inefficient for us. We can’t handle the capacity. We’ve got queues out the door, we’re turning people away.” Do you have a process that you go through engaging them, understanding what their problems are, what a particular solution looks like?

Brian: Yeah, I mean, it really depends on the organization. At this point, most organizations have a virtual front door. They have a virtual offering, because kind of COVID put that — forced everyone into it. And so now it’s around that balance, striking that balance between their kind of traditional brick and mortar strategy and their virtual health strategy and making sure that they’re capturing the patients that are looking for care at that point in time. And so for us, we tend to lean on the analytical side of that and saying, “Hey, here’s what we know exists in the consumer world. Here’s the searches that we see, here’s the localization that we see.” You know, if, let’s say, a large health system brings in a new orthopedist, you know, they obviously are coming in with maybe a very small set of patients already or maybe they got some overflow capacity that’s gonna go to that orthopedist. But outside of, you know, kind of traditional marketing, there’s really no way for that market to understand there’s a new orthopedist in town. And, you know, we have consumers that we know are searching for orthopedists on one side of the equation, we have the analytics to then go back and look at that and say, “Hey, look, you know, we can help navigate those individuals that are looking for an orthopedist to this capacity opening that we’ve got at one of our health system clients.”

Heath: Okay, so you use data-driven decision making or insight to make your suggestions or recommendation?

Brian: Yeah. So back to that analogy of, you know, the Tinder of health care, we use, you know, both the data around capacity management, we also use data around quality rankings, we use data around sheer volume throughput, because all that’s public data here, you know? We know how many procedures or providers of any kind of knee replacements, for example, right? So if I’m in Austin, Texas, I can say, “Look, I wanna see you the provider that’s done the most knee replacements in Austin, Texas, that has my insurance, that speaks Spanish, and has a capacity opening,” right? And so we can take all those data points, we can develop the algorithm that allows us to be the best match. They create that best match for that consumer that’s looking for that orthopedist.

Heath: Okay, so you focus solely at the moment on the US?

Brian: Yeah, primarily focused on the US right now because, in our perspective, the problem we understand well here. We’ve built telehealth globally in a past life, you know? We understand the US health care problems. I mean, there is obviously global applicability to what we’re building here but the nuances of the different systems, the way they work in different countries, creates a little bit of a lift for us as we look at global expansion. So, initially, we’ll focus on the US market.

Heath: Okay. And so the — like, maybe Japan, for example, has a different type of demographic so there’s different criteria, different needs, different concerns that need to be addressed, and also a language issue so that wouldn’t be one of the immediate next locations to go and tap into.

Brian: We have a strategy, for sure, when we look at globalization. And if one of those areas or regions kind of bubble to the top faster than others, either due to investment or due to kind of need, then, you know, we’ll make it a necessary pivot.

Heath: Okay. You know, most of these change and transformation programs, one of the things that’s often missed is people and culture. They focus on process or technology. And what you’re saying earlier is, due to the pandemic, that there was this now atmosphere of maybe change, where we force change so now people have that heightened awareness of needing to change, maybe their behaviors are now changing then so how have you found that for you? This has been a major positive for you or…?

Brian: Yeah, it continues to be a positive. I think, culturally, both here in the States and globally, I think all of us have somewhat of a demand now that we kind of have an expectation and a demand that things will get delivered in a virtual world, right? We do that with, you know, food delivery businesses, we do that with education now where, you know, if the kids are sick, well, they’ll just Zoom in, right?

Heath: Yeah, yeah.

Brian: And we see that in health care as well. So I think if any one good thing came out of that kind of forced environment over the course of the last couple years, it’s that the culture globally has really gotten to a point where they’ve said, “Hey, we’re gonna lean on technology either out of convenience or out of requirement.”

Heath: Yep, okay. Have you seen, out of that, the early adopters, maybe the laggards, but you’re gonna get some people that just won’t, for whatever reason, trust technology, trust the data, what can you do with that?

Brian: That’s okay, right? I mean, health care, as I mentioned before, is a touch and feel brick and mortar business and we’re not trying to replace that. That’ll always exist. And so what we are gonna capitalize on, what we are gonna capture, are the individuals that are saying, “Hey, I’m okay doing this virtually,” right? I wouldn’t want to have a knee replacement done virtually, right.

Heath: Yeah.

Brian: But I am okay, you know, doing a cold or a flu or a COVID check or, you know, even a routine visit that doesn’t require touch and feel necessarily, I’m okay with that. And I think, to your point, as we look at biometric devices and kind of the continual growth and innovation in that space, that data becomes a lot more rich, it becomes a lot more trustworthy for providers, and I think we will continue to see alternative business models to the brick and mortar setting that may capitalize or utilize that a lot more so.

Heath: Yes, that’s what I was actually gonna say, that business model earlier, is that those brick and mortar organizations are effectively, if they’re moving on or making a part of their offering digital or a digital front office, I think the word somebody used, that is changing your business model.

Brian: Yeah, and I would say that those organizations, those traditional kind of health systems, health provider organizations, that are adopting those strategies, it’s not a replacement strategy, right? I don’t see the hospital closing their doors and saying, “Hey, we’re not gonna provide bed care anymore, we’re just gonna be all virtual.” We may see virtual-only hospitals but that’s not realistic, right? There will always be people that need to be at hospital and the care and the touching care of a physician, et cetera. What we’re trying to do is say, “Hey, what are the procedures? What are the activities that exist in that environment that don’t necessarily need to be brick and mortar for people that don’t want it to be brick and mortar,” you know? To help virtualize those types of activities, whether that’s through telehealth or social media or other capture programs where we can take the expertise, that knowledge transfer that exists in the health care sector and move that downstream to the consumer in a better and more meaningful way.

Heath: Okay, yeah, so it’s a big thing like in these transformation programs around knowledge transfer, is a big thing. Usually, it’d be the consultants that will come in, work through the project or transformation with the client, and then the consultants would leave with the knowledge.

Brian: Correct.

Heath: Yeah, and the organization would go, “Oh, we have to bring the guys back again,” because they’ve got the knowledge and none of this knowledge transfer that they talk about actually happens in reality.

Brian: Right.

Heath: Yea. So, are you seeing — what’s a major — the organization and the market, the industry has changed from the brick and mortar, have gone hybrid, they’ve got some elements now of digitalization. Where’s it going? What’s next?

Brian: That’s a good question, you know? I wish I had that crystal ball because I’d start building for the crystal ball. But I would say we’re still, like I mentioned before, we’re still very fledgling when it comes to virtualization in health care. Still a lot of lift there. There’s a lot of industry there. I think that the health systems of the future will be a strong hybrid that have some capabilities in a virtual environment and obviously have capability in a brick and mortar environment and then what that looks like in 5 or 10 years from now, I’m not really sure.

Heath: Okay, yeah, I could see your business, your platform being very useful over here in the UK, because of the inefficiencies that they have here, even though the private health sector do have, and I’ve had myself the virtual meetings, but it has been almost a hit and miss trying to get on a call with a specialist or practitioner. There’s a particular type of injury, I fractured my ankle snowboarding and needed to get treatment from there and then getting passed around, these guys don’t really know about the fibula, they know about every other bone but not exactly the fibula so, you know, this is — do I actually have to walk into this hospital myself with my broken leg?

Brian: Right. Well, I think that goes back to the big data kind of component, right? Being able to look at providers, as you’re analyzing a provider to see being able to look at the data and say, hey, look, you know, this provider has done 5,000 ankle surgeries, right? At that point, they really know the ankle inside and out, that’s the guy I wanna talk to, as opposed to maybe a generalist that maybe doesn’t have that same level of tenure given the condition that you’re looking for. So, you know, when we look at matching people with the right providers, it’s really kind of a basis around the algorithmic approach of taking a look at the data, building the filters, and then, you know, allowing consumers to interact and engage with those providers based on that match.

Heath: By the criteria. Yeah, yeah. With my ankle, actually, I was in a cast, it was an open boot for 12 months. And, you know, it’s like the usual, you know, when there’s some fraud going on in the bank and the only way they found out about the fraud because that one person that managed the fraud was away so I went into the hospital and my usual specialist was away and the other chap that I saw, he said, that’s the first time we’ve met but I’ve had a look at your record and I’m not too sure why you’re being told what you’ve been told, but we gotta put you on this over here and I want you to take home ultrasound that will strap on, next agenda was called, and then within 3 months, the thing was here. Yeah, I was like, isn’t that funny?

Brian: Health care is just like any other industry, right? Sometimes it takes a little tweak of who you’re visiting, who you’re seeing, their expertise, their background, being able to kind of, hopefully, search for that or build that criteria at the beginning saves a lot of inefficiency and a lot of, you know, wasteful spending, both on the time of the consumer as well as the provider.

Heath: Yeah, yeah, I definitely could have used your platform at that point. I would have picked the right guy from the beginning. I came back from France and then with my boot, cast, I got to London, and they said, “Where’s your cast?” And I said, “Well, they never gave me one in France.” And they said, “Well, if you’re down here, you’d have to get one.” And then they said, “Have you been walking on it?” And I said, “No, I’ve got boots and I’ve got my two crutches.” And they said, “Well, it’s got bigger,” and then that’s where it all started.

Brian: Shouldn’t matter what country you’re in, what hospital you’re in, or what provider you see, it should be the same.

Heath: That’s why I couldn’t understand and I thought why would you do it differently in France versus in the UK? So, who’s missing the trick there? Clearly missing. Yeah. I think you need to roll out that platform in Europe.

Brian: We’re going as fast as we can.

Heath: Good, man. Good, man. So I wanna play it back to you. You talk about capability management. I think capability management in this context talks about how much the organization can handle, do you wanna manage that, now you have a data-, evidence-driven approach, you use big data algorithms to understand and maybe possibly anticipate what those trends are and then you can give hypotheses to the practitioner or for the client, the organization and then say how can you maximize the capacity, let’s say, leakage or availability that you’ve got, using your data. Now, from a digital transformation projects perspective, that would be — I see it myself with these big, big transformation programs, the projects I work on, they range from 250 million to 500 million pounds, big projects, but they mainly throw a lot of money at technology and when I talk about technology, most of the infrastructure, and then they’ll do a little bit about on the software and then, lastly, the go, actually, we never thought about security. But you saying from your perspective, you put security first.

Brian: Yes, security and privacy are paramount for us, right? This is health care. Those are not traditionally private or secure type of conversations. If you’re searching Google for a condition, right? You’re gonna see ads, you’re gonna see — that’s all going to get sold back, you know, to advertisers, to pop ads and showcase, you know, those types of searches that you’re making. We took a different approach because it is health care specific. We took a different approach to that. So we don’t sell ads. We’re not gonna allow for that to happen. It’s a private search. If you come to our site and search for teenage pregnancy, you’re the only person that’s gonna know that you searched for teenage pregnancy. We’re not gonna sell that to advertisers. So I think that’s absolutely paramount. The other thing, back to capacity kind of management, the other thing, because we own the search side, we own the search engine, we would know before any other areas would know if there’s a region of the country or region of the world that’s seeing disease spikes, right? So if we start seeing a lot of analytics saying, “Hey, everybody in Columbia, South Carolina, is now searching for flu symptoms but abnormal flu symptoms,” and we see a spike of that search, we could go back to the health systems in that region and say, “Hey, look, we’re seeing this from a search perspective,” way before they’re gonna see that from a capacity management perspective. So there’s some altruistic type activities that help us kind of see what the general populace is searching for —

Heath: Yeah, leading indicators

 

Brian: — before they hit the system

Heath: Yeah, no, very good. So let’s say, like in the UK right now, there has been a few incidents with the track and trace system, some leaked data, so people’s details have been leaked. It’s like, whoa, you’ve got these multimillion dollar platforms but you can’t control the data. And this is I think that — people are getting a little bit concerned about using these systems because, you know, it’s not secure.

Brian: Right. Yeah, that’s the fundamental design element when we look at health care specifically is most people are private about their health care. It’s on top of finance, it’s probably the most private interaction that you do virtually or individually. And so people wanna make sure it’s secure. They don’t want data leaks or data breaks. They wanna ensure that whatever platform they’re using to manage their care or manage their finances are safe and secure.

Heath: Yep, okay. So your tip for them would be for the guys running these transformation programs, to not put their security data management at the end of the process but instead put it at the front of the process.

Brian: It depends. I mean, security is paramount I think in all cases but I think there’s a handful of industries that are verticals that it’s absolutely paramount, first and foremost, you know? And I think health care and financial tech are probably two of those. Am I worried if somebody leaks that I bought 10 t-shirts last week? I’m not too worried about that, right? If suddenly leaks that I have a disease state that I don’t really wanna share with the planet, that’s a big deal.

Heath: Yeah, yeah, okay. All right. And you also — you had a big thing on engagement, user journey, your version is the patient journey. I think that’s pretty key. I’ve done a couple of UK VI, visa and immigration border force programs and they talk about the digital customer journey or the passenger journey, coming from inland, approaching the border, passing the border, crossing the border, and onto the other side when they land on the site and that’s a big deal. And, equally, I would say for the health care, for the patient journey.

Brian: Yeah, the pain points that we explain as part of that patient journey everyone resonates with, right? We don’t have a hard time explaining the problem that we’re trying to solve with Patient Genie. Everyone gets it, everyone understands it, everybody’s been through it. Building a richer, more efficient patient journey is the difficult task we’ve chartered ourselves with.

Heath: Okay, so just from the little liberal that I’ve learned in this conversation on the benefits of Patient Genie has to offer and the size of the market that you’ve got in the US, like in the US, what have you got? 340 million people?

Brian: Give or take.

Heath: We’ve got over here 60 million people and so, you know, you laugh at that. That’s so tiny.

Brian: We’ve got some left. We’ve got some left.

Heath: Yeah, yeah. Actually, I would love to get over to there actually. I have been there a few times. As we said before I hit the record button a little bit late. I love the US, I particularly love the snowboarding there. You guys have so much space. And so I’ve never seen so much space. Compared to Italy, been to Italy a couple of times and those places are so narrow and steep, I’ve accidentally collided with a skier who just happened to be standing at the end of the train path, I was like, “What are you doing standing at the end of the train path?” And I’ve never seen a lady scream that much in all my life, even then when I skied off. Yeah, crazy. But, yeah, the US, I would love to get to the US. So, you have a process you follow, you’re very fortunate about the world culture who’s embracing this change so like that’s just amazing. Yeah, that’s helped the inertia or — we were talking change management, about the reluctance to change or there’s too much change and people just go, “There’s too much change, don’t do anything,” you know?

Brian: Right. Yeah, and we have some positive momentum going around virtualization, not just in health care, but, you know, kind of the entire planet relative to tech and industry as a whole, right? We see that in every industry, just that kind of virtualization and technological advancements. So, to be at a point where we’re beginning and making a contributing part of that is exciting. So we wanna capitalize on that momentum.

Heath: Yeah, I think, yeah, you’ve got probably the background, you have the platform, the timing is right, I think the question would be not so much on — the topic would be who’s your competitors?

Brian: Yeah, good question. I don’t know if we have any direct line, what I would deem as direct line competitors. There’s a lot of great companies that have built great products that do a lot of the same kind of pieces that we do.

Heath: Yeah, yeah.

Brian: I don’t think there’s anyone right now that’s really concatenated that into, you know, what we’re doing and really kind of reined all those in, you know? And as I mentioned before, as a partner-led organization, you know, with that as a strategy, we know we’re not gonna build everything. We know we’re gonna require, you know, really strong partners in their specific swim lanes and niches which they know better than we ever will. But being able to concatenate those strategies and those best-in-class products into one consumer experience is really what we’re focused on.

Heath: Okay, so that’s a good takeaway there for the listeners about bringing in the required experts instead of, you know, you got your four options, buy, build, and borrow, and most of the time, people go, “I wanna build it. I wanna build it and I wanna build it myself and I wanna own it.” And then how long does it take? Forever. And then it doesn’t —

Brian: And by then the market’s done.

Heath: Exactly, yeah. Yeah. There’s been a couple of projects I’ve been called into to help fix and rescue and they’ve tried that. They’re gonna build everything. So, how did that work last time? Yeah, no good. And you wanna do it the same way? Do you think it’s gonna — you know, what do they call it? Definition of insanity?

Brian: Right.

Heath: Yeah.

Brian: Yeah. So we’ll capitalize, you know, we’re a rising tide lifts all ships mentality organization, you know? There’s some great products out there and we’ll build those relationships and we’ll do it together. It’s a big enough space. There’s plenty of room.

Heath: Yeah, yeah, okay. So, the trajectory for Patient Genie, while we were talking, there’s gonna be a founder’s exit or are you gonna list it?

Brian: Good question, you know? At this point, we would probably look at an exit once we get the strategy a little bit bigger because it’s gonna have to scale and outside of doing a big raise or a big public raise like that, we would probably lean on somebody to scale it. But if we don’t find the right partner, if we don’t find the right deal, then, you know, we’re not opposed to taking it public if we need to to get to the scale point that we need to.

Heath: Okay, good stuff. I’ll be watching with great anticipation. Now, I think that’s every entrepreneur’s, I don’t know, the dream is to take your idea from the kitchen table and then to ultimately list your company, your startup.

Brian: It probably is a dream. I mean, there’s some, you know, excitement around that. But I think, for us, we’re more focused on the mission than we are on the exit and being able to make that a better experience, being able to make consumers more comfortable with virtual health as a general rule, if we can do that and check the box, the exit is somewhat irrelevant.

Heath: Yeah, okay. Yeah, I like that. I was asked too about my business and HOBA, what’s the exit strategy? What do you mean? I’m enjoying what I’m doing, I’m enjoying helping others. If I didn’t start this, the pain that I’ve gone through and the highs and the lows just to have someone tap me on the shoulder and say, “Hey, we’ll take over for now.” So what are you talking about?

Brian: That’s not a bad approach either. But, you know, we’re pretty early stage still. We got a long road before we get to those conversations.

Heath: Yeah, yeah. Well, I’ll be watching. I’ll be watching because I’m coming over to the States. Finally, I’ll get a lot of that — half the book sales sell in the States, one to two copies a day. And then most of my — half the traffic is from the States and I do no marketing or anything so, yeah, that 340 million population, I think I’ve gotta get over, you know?

Brian: Organic growth is the best growth.

Heath: Yeah, yeah, plus you got the best ski fields in the world so I’m really keen. Yeah, if I could this season, I will, but if I can’t get to Europe, then it’s like, you know what? I’m coming over to Utah, Salt Lake, get on the mountain with you.

Brian: Best powder on the planet.

Heath: Oh, yeah. Champagne powder.

Brian: That’s right

Heath: First time I heard that, I was like, no, I never heard of this thing. What’s this about? And then we stayed in a chalet that had a little balcony. My mate just said, “Watch this,” and he just fell face forward into the ground and into the powder and he came out laughing. That’s amazing. I’ve never seen in my whole life. Yeah, champagne powder. Yeah, amazing.

Brian: It is the best stuff.

Heath: Yeah. I’m gonna bring my longboard though. Can’t be bringing my little jumper board, you’ll get stuck there. Staying there and getting nowhere.

Brian: Bring that powder board.

Heath: Yeah, the 161. No problem.

Brian: That’s right. that’s right.

Heath: Yeah, yeah, I’ve been there. Actually, yeah, I don’t know — there’s no — there was a video up on YouTube of my riding at Woodwards but mostly it was skateboarding on a ramp. Yeah. But if you look it up, it might be there. Yeah. And I’ll look you up when I get over there.

Brian: Good stuff.

Heath: Brian, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you very much for your time. Good luck with Patient Genie. I’ll be looking and watching. I’m gonna follow in the footsteps when if you do an IPO, I wanna get in thinking before they go to list.

Brian: Excellent. Deal. We’ll keep you in mind.

Heath: Okay. Been a pleasure. Thank you very much.

Brian: Thank you.

Heath Gascoigne Business Transformator

Heath Gascoigne

Hi, I’m Heath, the founder of HOBA TECH and host of The Business Transformation Podcast. I help Business Transformation Consultants, Business Designers and Business Architects transform their and their clients’ business and join the 30% club that succeed. Join me on this journey.

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