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Dr. Gordon Jones

Episode 20: The Healthcare Technology Market & How to Know When It’s Time to Pivot Your Startup, with Dr. Gordon Jones

Dr. Gordon Jones is the Founder, President, and CEO of Lifelog Health. He is a Doctor of Health Administration, has spent 25 Years in Digital Health & Technology, and he has been involved with 15 startups in early adoption with over $200 million in new revenue created. He’s a multi-sport athlete, a world champion in beach ultimate, and is the father of five, the grandfather of one, the husband of one, and the son of two aging parents.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Gordon’s background
  • Why startups often have to pivot — and why Gordon had to pivot away from his original startup idea
  • Gordon’s thoughts on when to pivot your startup
  • The healthcare technology market and how it applies to Gordon’s company
  • How Lifelog Health creates the bridge between technology and the consumers (the healthcare industry) and why that bridge is necessary
  • The readings that the wearable technology records and how that information is utilized
  • How physicians deal with noncompliance from patients using the wearable
  • Why scaling will be easy for Lifelog Health

Ways to contact Gordon:

Transcript:

Welcome to System Execution. The strategy and system behind today’s successful companies. Systems can make or break your company. But here, we’ll solve your physical, technological and psychological systems issues by connecting you with experts that have succeeded in overcoming those challenges in their own business and providing you the guidelines and tools you need to implement those same strategies for immediate results. Now, here’s your host. Vera Fischer.

Vera: Welcome to System Execution, a podcast devoted to using processes and systems to drive to a better outcome for your business. I’m Vera Fischer, your host.

All businesses, no matter the size, relies on systems. Some of these are physical systems, such as a factory. Some are technological, like project management software. While others are psychological systems, such as checklists and organizational charts. Many of these systems will overlap in your business. I’m really excited to announce today’s guest. Dr. Gordon Jones who is the founder of Life, Love, Health.

So, a little bit about Dr. Jones. He is a doctor of health administration. He has spent 25 years in digital health and technology. He has been involved with 15 startups and is a multi-sport athlete. World Champion Beach Ultimate. I might think that’s Frisbee. I’m not sure. He’ll have to explain. And has created more than 200 million in new revenue. Welcome to System Execution Dr. Jones.

Gordon: Why, thank you very much Vera. And by the way, just call me Gordon.

Vera: Oh, well thank you so much, Gordon.

So Gordon, I’m really happy you’re here to share your experience with one of your processes and when to pivot your startup but before we dive in, tell us more about yourself and Lifelog.

Gordon: Well, little bit about myself. You did mention the World Championship Beach Ultimate. It does reference to the Frisbee game ultimate but we play it on the beach. I was fortunate enough to represent the men’s or beyond the men’s U.S. team to the World’s in Portugal and in Brazil twice and we did very well. But anyways.

Vera: Oh, that’s awesome.

Gordon: Yes, Lifelog Health. We are a digital health information managed services company. And what that means is, is we help our customers execute on what they want to do. Specifically, around the adoption of new technology. And we work within Healthcare, of course. Working with physicians and health systems. Some health plans that are building wellness programs or care coordination programs within their health plans. So, that’s basically a really high level overview of what we do.

Vera: Great. And how did you get started in this field?

Gordon: As you mentioned earlier, I have been in the health information technology, digital health and technology for 25 years. Before that, I actually worked within the hospital systems, where I was getting Master’s and Doctorate in Health Administration. But then soon discovered that my motivations were really working with physicians. I grew up the son of cardiologist and so, I started working with physicians and helping them understand managed care. That’s probably more complex than trying to adopt new technology but I did that in the 90’s. And then realized that in order for us to really execute on providing high level customer service to our patients and providing them the best care, we needed to adopt new technologies to do that. Since 2000, January of 2000, so … 17 years ago this month, I started up my own consulting firm to help with people with ideals around serving physicians and their patients and bringing those to market.

Vera: I know, Gordon, earlier before we got started, we were talking about your impetus to creating Lifelog Health. It really started out as going in one direction and then you mentioned you had to pivot your startup from there.

Gordon: Yes. And that’s a great word because in the startup world, everybody starts off down one path and everybody pivots in order to really capture the market.

Two years ago, a group of us started up with the idea that we needed to serve the senior care market. So, those that are aging at home more specifically and their caregivers, which are usually their children or other family members. And adopting technology. And so we wanted to create a wearable device. And it didn’t have to be wrist-based. It could be a broach or a clip on the belt or lanyard. However they wanted to wear it. But it was a device that would allow us to provide them medication reminders. It would be location based, so we’d provide some very sophisticated GPS capabilities. For fall detection, it would directly connect to 911 as opposed to a call center like some of the other companies do today. And we developed a great plan. We had great designs. We were fundraising. We raised a certain amount of money but we could never really get that capital raised that we needed to bring it to market.

We were doing that over the last 24 months up until November, when all of a sudden, a friend of mine on LinkedIn, who knew I was developing some wearable technology, sent me this video of a new, wearable device that just came to the market in the United States that allows for a person to monitor their heart rate, breath rate, blood pressure and even do an ECG on a … 2-lead, very minimal ECG on themselves. And some other capabilities. And I was just dumbfounded because I hadn’t seen this before and as matter of fact, there is no other device on the market today that can do all of this.

So I investigated the company. The device. The technology. I learned about how we could apply it in the health care and that was my pivot moment. So I basically had to separate myself from the other team because they felt it was competitive and I aligned myself with the World Media Technology Corporation and I’m helping them, through Lifelog, help bring their wearable device into the U.S. Healthcare system.

Vera: That is really an interesting way, because all of the time that you spent on creating that path and then deciding to pivot your startup so quickly, you know, back in November. You know, you’ve adopted a new type of technology and I know that it can be somewhat challenging to deploy this type of technology into a senior care customer base. I know that’s something we want to really dive into today, is really understanding that process and identifying some pitfalls and some things that we want to watch out for.

Gordon: Sure. Sure.

Vera: How did you get started?

Gordon: Okay, well. So, in my discovery of the company that’s bringing the technology in the United States. So they’re a worldwide company. They have 15 offices around the world. They deploy all of their technology into all 195 countries around the world. But they were new to the U.S. and this specific wearable was already headed towards healthcare. And so there’s two sides to the coin here. One is this company really doesn’t understand healthcare in the United States and how it operates but they have really great technology and technology that’s unprecedented, that I truly feel is going to change the way that we monitor our health in the U.S. Well, around the world actually.

But then the other side of the puzzle is okay, I’m a physician. I’ve got a patient population that has, in one case, that CMS provides for them, is a chronic care management program. But they have to have the patients, to qualify have to have two chronic conditions that allows them to be eligible for this program. And a physician can get paid on a monthly basis for monitoring the vital signs and the care of this patient on a continuous basis with minimal face to face time. So, the patient doesn’t have to come in the office. It’s really wrapped around telehealth. What we call, “Telehealth.” But the physician’s practice really has a hard time understanding new technology. I mean, they’re still adopting electronic medical records and that is what helps them make money.

So when they’re looking at wearable devices or new mechanisms to truly engage their patients. Like, they’re still even having a hard time doing automated texts reminders for appointments today. So, it’s becoming better and better but that’s the level that they’re at. We really saw that there was a bridge that we needed to create between the physician providing service to their patients and the technology company that’s bringing this great tech into the U.S.

So that’s why we created Lifelog Health. We call it a managed services company. We would contract with the physicians to help them deploy this program and then we’re facilitating all of the account’s set up. We’re engaging the individual patients, because the way that we exchange the data, we have to have them adopt an app on their smartphone. Be able to use that app, which is really easy but we have to train them, right? And then on the backend, the data exchange between the wearable device, the app, the cloud and the doctor’s office, so that they can actually see the information on their patients whenever they want to. That’s what … I see Lifelog Health as being a bridge between the customer solution and the technology innovators.

Vera: So Gordon, from the … you know, the outside company that is wanting to enter into the U.S., which is what you’re helping them do and you had mentioned they don’t really understand the healthcare market in the United States. Are you having to develop the protocol in which to really get this internet of thing, device, into the hands of the customer and then develop that training and adoption model?

Gordon: They’re a direct consumer model right now.

Vera: Okay.

Gordon: So when they entered the market in October … and they had already launched in Asia in May, so they certainly had all the experience and then they’re … they’ve been around for five years, so they had plenty of experience but they’re a direct to consumer business.

And it’s like Fitbit. So when Fitbit launched out their wearable. You know, it’s for fitness minded people and then they got into the retail stores and they did that whole bit on a consumer side before healthcare started saying, “Hey. These guys are capturing some great data that we can use to help our patients,” or in the case of a health plan, “our members really become more healthy.” This is where they are. They’re a direct to consumer company. Not really thinking about all that we can do inside the health system using their great technology. And so that’s … so, where they are, they’ve got great capabilities, customer service on a one to one basis, between their individual customer and their company.

What I am doing is building the capability to service ten thousand patients in one specific program, which takes a lot of heavy lifting to enroll those ten thousand patients into an application that’s designed for a one to one relationship. That’s kind of the complexity. It’s a little bit … actually more complex than that but that’s technically it.

Vera: How far are you into this process of enrolling these folks?

Gordon: Right. So we have customers but we just started Lifelog Health this week. We announced it this week. We’ve been working on it for three weeks but part of that was over the holidays. We have just kicked this off. Now, we do have customers but those customers haven’t defined what kind of program they want to roll out with yet. But they’re physician practices. They’re health plans. They’re wellness programs. Fitness centers. And even insurance companies.

Because of my background in the business for so long, I’ve got a lot of connections and I just announced the launch to this three … Really, what we were doing three weeks ago, not Lifelog Health. That was this week. But what we wanted to do three weeks ago. And I’ve been talking to people on the phone non-stop. Medical directors of health plans. Directors at wellness programs and employers. So, they want it. And where we are now in the process is their vetting of the tech. So, they want to see the wearable. They want to wear the wearable. They want to test it out and make sure that everything operated the way that they would envision it for their specific program, whether it’s just remote monitoring telehealth or it’s within that medicare, chronic care management program.

Vera: What kind of pushback do you think that, once they go through the process of “Wow, we love the product. It’s exactly what we want.” What pushback will they get from their higher-ups for implementation?

Gordon: This company, our partner technology company, you know, they’re not a healthcare tech company so they partnered with Toshiba and Toshiba is, of course, a fifty billion dollar Japanese world-wide technology company that does generate billions of dollars in healthcare with FDA approved devices. Like MRI’s. So this particular wearable is not yet approved by the FDA but we’re not technically a medical … It’s not technically a medical device. So even though we are capturing vital sign data, it’s for trend monitoring, not diagnostics. So we’re not diagnosing a person based upon their blood pressure reading. We’re monitoring … We take a reading every 120 minutes, without the person even knowing. The device and the app just automatically does that. And we capture blood pressure, heart rate, breath rate and some other vitals at the same time. That data goes into their mobile app and they can look at their mobile app and see what their statistics are at anytime they want to but they don’t have to if they don’t want to.

What happens is we create parameters. We do a high, low based upon whatever their measurement is. So, let’s take example a blood pressure. So we’ll set a high parameter for their blood pressure and a low for it. And if the reading ever fall outside of those parameters, then there’s an alert created and it can either go to the patient or the subscriber or it can go to the doctor or it can go to the family member or caregiver. Whoever they designate for that alert to go to. Then what we see in the management program … It would either Lifelog Health would receive that alert and we’d reach out to that patient to check on them or it would go to the doctor’s office and the nurse from their office or a care coordinator would call the patient to check in on them. Or if in the case of a family member, they would do the same thing.

Vera: So Gordon, do you think that there’s going to be any type of resistance from the actual person wearing the device? The compliance of that person. Keeping it on all the time.

Gordon: Right. So, the device is very light. As a matter of fact, I have not worn a watch in over twenty years and I got the Helo in the mail and I put it on. I haven’t taken it off yet. Except to power it up. The battery life lasts for about three days and then it only takes about an hour to recharge it.

So from a compliant standpoint, it’s very non-intrusive. You can take a shower with it. You can’t go swimming with it yet. It’s not waterproof. It’s water resistant so you can take a shower. Especially for those older folks, the seniors, we want them to take a shower with it because there’s an SOS component in it. They can click a button on the device twice. Let’s say they fall and they need help in the shower, which is where 80% of all falls occur for seniors. In the bathroom. Then we want them to hit that alert and that’ll send an SOS message with their GPS location to their caregiver or anybody they have in their SOS cohort. So, it’s very non-intrusive.

Another thing that we see in the program is if we’re not getting readings from them, then we know they’re not wearing it. So now we can actually call them and ask them what’s going on. And if they tell us their wrist is irritating or whatever, then we can solve those problems with them. If they’re just truly non-compliant, then the physician will just have to decide whether he or she wants to un-enroll that patient from the program.

Vera: Oh, that’s all very interesting. You know, there’s just so many different touch points from that deployment aspect that is critical to the success, right? So you’ve got to make sure that the folks that are enrolling … that have the program are rolling it out to their patients and whatnot. And then that patients are also wearing the device et cetera. It’s a big goal.

Gordon: Well and that’s why I created Lifelog Health. To help them do that.

Vera: That’s perfect.

Gordon: Yes.

Vera: That’s perfect. So you are the systems provider to make sure that that deployment goes off seamlessly?

Gordon: Yes.

Vera: That’s awesome. So, what’s next? I know the company is only a week old and again, Gordon, I’m thrilled to be at the forefront here with you of this Lifelog Health launch. What’s the challenge you see in the next, you know, 90 to 120 days?

Gordon: So the great thing about the way that we structured the company is we can bootstrap it. So we are able to really ramp up the company as we gain customers because of the business model that we’ve laid in place. We can do rapid deployments and ramp up the company with staffing and all that as we need them, based upon contracts. So I don’t have to go out and hire a hundred people and then sell. I can sell now and then as we roll out the programs, the way that we structured the payment process will allow us the cash flow to ramp up as we enroll more and more patients. The way that we can scale this is very good and we don’t have to go out and raise 3 million dollars to do it.

Vera: That’s great because you learned that on the first round that that might not be a great idea.

Gordon: Yeah, so I definitely wanted to create a business model that I could bootstrap myself. I mean, I am … you know, there are certain people who want to invest in the company and we’re talking about that but it’s not a requirement for us. We just got a lot of people who are very interested in it. They see the value of the Helo wearable and they want it. So they just want it. If they’re a Fitbit wearer and then they see the capability of the Helo, they’re like, “Okay. I want it now because I’m going to switch.”

Vera: Right.

Gordon: You know, there’s a huge market just with those people and then they will go and engage their doctors and then their doctors will communicate with us. So really, it’s we’re … It’s almost … you know, we’re not going to have to do a whole lot of marketing and advertising. As a matter of fact, I expect very little in requiring to do that.

Vera: Okay. That’s awesome and I know that I would really love to check in with you in another, you know, six months and just see how everything’s going. Would you be into that?

Gordon: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Vera: That would be great. That would be fantastic. So Gordon, before we wrap up, let’s tell our listeners how they can get in touch with you and get more information.

Gordon: Well sure. Well, the easiest thing to do is to go to lifeloghealth.com and it’s L-I-F-E-L-O-G and then the word “health” dot com. And in there, we’ve got a contact us if you want to go to. We’ve got two videos. It’s a startup webpage right now so it doesn’t give you a lot of information except for the two great videos we have. But we will be updating that very soon and that’s just the easiest way to get ahold of me. Or on LinkedIn. So you can find me on LinkedIn as well.

Vera: Alright. Well Gordon, that’s fantastic. System Execution fans, no matter how many notes you took or often you re-listen to this episode, the key is every successful business uses systems to drive to a better outcome.

Gordon, thank you so much for sharing your expertise and insight to our listeners today.

Gordon: Thank you. I really appreciate the time.

We hope you found this episode of System Execution on when to pivot your startup enlightening. For free example, case studies, E-books and more, be sure to visit systemexecution.com/resources. Contribute to the conversation by reaching out to Vera directly on email at vera@systemexecution.com. Until our next episode, thank you for the privilege of your time.

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