LISTEN TO THE COIQ PODCAST:

  • Telemedicine is here to stay. What to expect the day after w/ Joe Kvedar

Getting ready for the "day after" w/ Eran Ofir

 

 

As the pandemic continues, we’re finding out, more and more, how deep the roots of disruption from shelter-in-place orders and the upheaval of the national (and international) marketplace go.

Innovators are now struggling to ask the hard questions: When do I scale back? When do I scale up? How can I ensure my company survives this turbulent and unpredictable market? All valid concerns and, unfortunately, there are no one-size-fits all answers.

But what if you could pick the brain of an innovator whose company is poised to not only weather the disruption, but hit the ground running once it all quiets down to a “new normal?” What if you could access his decades of innovation experience in fields that cross the service continuum, including telecommunications and healthcare? You would. And you can.

On this week’s episode, we have Eran Ofir, an innovation powerhouse who brings his experience in telecommunications, utilities, retail, and healthcare innovation. He speaks openly and candidly about current market conditions, while also offering his take on what the future might hold. 

 

Here are the show highlights:


  • The counterintuitive secret that the smartest investors don’t want you to know about investing (9:46) 
  • How the pandemic has forced healthcare providers to finally take telehealth seriously (15:07) 
  • Why smaller nursing home facilities gain a bigger advantage from telehealth than larger facilities (15:43) 
  • How the pandemic will shift the financial trends in healthcare more than anything else in the last decade (17:21) 
  • The biggest advantage healthcare innovators have right now thanks to the pandemic (18:15) 
  • Here’s how to ease the adoption for your innovation after the crisis ends (26:08)
  • The biggest opportunity you have right now that sets you up for easy sales when the crisis ends (31:34) 
  • Why customer feedback is even more important today than before the pandemic hit (39:26) 
  • The trick for hiring the top experts for product development without blowing through your burn rate (40:24)
  • How to create a loyal and rabid following in the midst of the pandemic (42:04) 
     


 

I've spoken with dozens of health innovators, and nearly everyone is trying to figure out their best pivot strategy. But they don't know what to change, how to pivot, or if their new pivot strategy is the right move.

So I went into overdrive putting together a clear, actionable 5-step worksheet that will help you quickly define your most viable and profitable pivot path through the COVID crisis. And I’m giving it to you for FREE — no strings attached at legacy-dna.com/pivot

 

Guest Bio

Eran Ofir is the CEO and Founder of Somatix, a provider of wearable-enabled RPM (remote patient monitoring) software for healthcare. Eran has a proven history of success in driving business growth and innovation, and building strong business relationships. His expertise working in industries from telecommunications to retail to healthcare gives him a unique perspective on what does and does not work when delivering technology-based solutions and providing customers with the value-driven services they’re looking for.

Eran holds an MBA in finance and marketing and a BSc in electrical and electronic engineering from Tel Aviv University.

If you want to reach out to Eran to learn more about Somatix’s solution, or to simply ask questions, you can reach him at www.somatix.com, or via email at info@somatix.com or erano@somatix.com.‍

 

 

Episode Transcript

Welcome to COIQ where you learn how health innovators maximize their success. I'm your host, Dr. Roxie, founder of Legacy-DNA and international bestselling author of ‘How Health Innovators Maximize Market Success.’ Through candid conversations with health innovators, early adopters and influencers. You'll learn how to bring your innovation from idea to startups to market domination. And now let's jump into the latest episode of COIQ. [00:36.1]

Roxie:     Welcome back, COIQ listeners on today's episode, I have Eran Ofir with me who is the CEO and cofounder of Somatix. Welcome to the show, Eran.

Eran: Hi. Hi, Dr. Roxie. 

Roxie: So for our listeners that don't know you just give them a little bit about your background and what you do.

Eran: So in 2015, I established Somatix. We do remote patient monitoring, we work with hospitals, elderly care facilities and rehab centers, providing them remote patient monitoring platform. My background is building businesses of enterprise grade SaaS platforms. I've done it for the last two decades in differentdomains, telecom, internet, utilities, retail, and now healthcare. Because from my perspective it's basically the same, building a cloud based platform for an enterprise, improving their KPIs and making their life easier.

Roxie: Hmm.

Eran: Basically through the technology.  [01:37]

Roxie: Yeah. So let's talk about pre COVID.

Eran: Hmm.

Roxie: Where were you in the innovation process and you know, what was your go to market strategy at that point? [01:50]

Eran: Right. So obviously now it's a very different time while we are in this crisis, I'm in New York so it's even intensified.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: And everything that is happening around.

Roxie: Hmm…hmm.

Eran: So well pre COVID we started the year in an amazing momentum. We had like the best two months of the company in terms of a sales implementations, pipeline, everything because the product came to a stage where it is robust, scalable, mature, it had kind of the needed functionality and we obtained the clinical validation for it in terms of, you know, improvement of clinical metrics, the health with the healthcare providers that we work with and proving the reimbursement codes. Basically the. [02:41]

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: The entities that worked with manage to build, to get reimbursed with the CPT codes for remote monitoring. So that was a huge point for us in terms of commercial validation. So everything looks great until the beginning of March. We had like nine different industry events lined up for March to May. HIMSS, Padona, Leading Edge, Aging in America, everything. So kind of our entire marketing campaign collapsed by mid-March. And then, so it's very different obviously from, we can hardly cope with the number of installations and with the tasks and with the delivery to a situation, to a situation where everything is almost standstill.

Roxie: Hmm.

Eran: As it is now. Kind of waiting for this to end and for us to be able to meet again, the health care providers, because now they're all, all our customers are now in lockdown. They're running in emergency situations because again, we sell to health care providers and we just wait for them to get back to life kind of. [03:54]

Roxie: Hmm…hmm, yeah. So, you know, I think that your experience is something that we're all feeling across the board in varying degrees. So, you know, let's just talk about the financial impact. As a health innovator, I think that's going to vary from innovator to innovate or depending on where they were in that capital raising process. But you know, just kind of paint that picture for us. [04:17]

Eran: Right. So it's a very difficult period, I believe to all startups. We were a little bit lucky because we had in 2019 a bridge round, kind of a convertible loan agreement for the company of $4.5 million. That was on top of what we had before of seed round and a- round in total, we have raised to date $11.5 million. And so, so we started the crisis in a not so bad situation, but again, we are not a, the problem is that you continue the burn rate, the regular burn rate of the company because you want to prepare the company for the day after which we, which we believe will be very good. And yet you don't have revenues coming in because everything is shut down. And, and, and the procurement departments of your customers are busy in other things. Finding vans and medical supplies and bringing back stuff from a pension kind of medical stuff from retirement. So we had to do some, actions in order to mitigate that as many other startups, we have to reduce our burn rate.

Roxie: Yes.

Eran: That included some reduction in force. It included activities like freezing contractors that we work with. Everything that we could beyond like, you know, keeping the, the core and the software and the servers and everything kind of running and in a, in a keep alive mode, everything that we could. Cut, we reduced salaries across the company by 20%. Everyone obviously accepted it because they understand the need for it versus retiring more employees. So we had to do, you know, where we, we agreed with the board. We, with our board is for the actions that we're going to take. And and you know, we discussed the various scenarios of what will happen if this will end on June, on August and so on.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: Because it's different scenarios and we hope for the best. [06:30]

Roxie: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And you know, I think hope is definitely the right word. You know, as a leader of a company, being able to spread that hope I think is really important. And when you can give your staff hope that there's going to be a light at the end of this tunnel and brighter days are ahead. You know, I think that's where, you know, they can recognize that, you know, yesterday, today and tomorrow they're going to be making a big difference in the world, right through the work that you're doing and, and so kind of to stick with it and make the sacrifice that we're all making in some form or fashion. So let's talk about what you're kind of thinking that might look like in a few months. Of course, none of us know when this will happen and you know, it sounds like, you know, each state is going to be in a different phase approach at a different time. But you know, you and I were talking that you know, there's been varying degrees of adoption of different types of digital tech in healthcare.

Eran: Right.

Roxie: And so how do you see this COVID crisis having a silver lining for your company in kind of what you're predicting the adoption might be in the future? [07:41]

Eran: We, and so this is exactly the hope perspective because we believe both the employees and the management, the investors that the market, after the crisis will be very good for us. We, we expect our business to peak because everyone now realize in terms of our customers, their hospitals and elderly care facilities and so on, they all realize the importance of remote patient monitoring. They all understand that they need that in, in times of urgency, they're short staffed and they need technology in order to attend to the needs of patients. They need to be capable to see with AI technologies, whether there are, there is a deterioration of a patient or improvement and to be capable to respond to it, basically an intervene. But they don't have the enough manpower to, you know, go one by one and check them. Now it's just not feasible. When they are so overwhelmed, we believe that there will be a strong support from the regulation that the tailwind that we see in terms of reimbursement codes and tele-health and everything will be even bigger. [08:56]

Roxie: Hmm.

Eran: With all kinds of incentives from the federal governments and from the state from the States. And the most important, everyone realize now that there will be probably a second wave of COVID 19 next winter.

Roxie: Hmm…hmm.

Eran: So they have a window of opportunity of kind of six months between the end of this crisis when business will get back to normal and until all to the new normal, let's call it, until they need to get themselves equipped with such technologies. So we expect, our market to be crazy after, you know, as, as business open up as healthcare providers will be getting out of that emergency scenario that they are now in. [09:45]

Roxie: Yeah. You know, it's interesting, I think smart investors see what's happening.

Eran: Hmm.

Roxie: And instead of pulling money back, you know, the right thing is pouring more money in, right? Because that day is coming. It's just around the corner.

Eran: We see many acquisitions now happening of remote patient monitoring and the clinical decision support system. Yesterday there were two big acquisitions of the UK and we saw in the last three months a few acquisitions like that again, because people understand that the home care and remote monitoring and that a concept of tele-health is going to prevail strongly. So now as we speak now what we talk with PEs and we talk with VCs, so they are kind of sitting on the fence, they are not yet making big moves and they wait to see the main question that is being asked in those daily conversations that we have with them is when is it going to end? [10:48]

Because it's very different if the businesses back to the new normal on June. So you still have, you know, half a year to work and return to revenues and expand that both recently and geo expansion and everything, or the business is going back to work on me on September. Then you know, within two months you're already getting into holidays and year end and that's it the year is lost.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: So everyone are waiting to see, okay, so what's, what's the government going to do? When are they bringing businesses back to to life? So that's I think is really the the most important question currently in, in the financing industry. [11:30]

Roxie: Yeah, for sure. So, you know, one of the things that I think is really interesting about the work that you guys are doing is you're serving a lot of the populations that are in nursing homes, right?

Eran: Right.

Roxie: And we're seeing more and more of those conversations about, you know, being hotspots and really what's going to be our mitigation strategy going forward. And I think, like you had mentioned earlier, you know, we'll, we'll go back to normal, but it will be a new normal.

Eran: Right.

Roxie: And you know, so how do you think, what role is technology like yours going to play in, in the nursing homes going forward around those, you know, social distancing and mitigation strategies to make sure that those you know, healthcare professionals aren't at risk and you know, so just kind of talk about that a little bit. [12:22]

Eran: So we indeed serve elderly care facilities across the care continuum. We have independent living, assisted living, subacute short term care and nursing homes. We also serve hospitals for the business case of discharge remote patient monitoring of discharged patients.

Roxie: Hmm.

Eran: As well as rehab centers.

Roxie: Yes.

Eran: But the elderly care facilities are really our low hanging fruit. Now, even prior the COVID 19 crisis what we saw there is that the, because of regulation, especially two things, one was the availability of remote patient game, remote patient monitoring codes for them from January, 2020. So they all started playing with that, which is a new revenue stream for them. That's, that's great. So that was one thing. And the other thing that is also new is what's called community health choices, meaning them being audited like twice a year on the quality metrics, falls, readmissions, pressure ulcers, UTI and so on.

Roxie: Yeah. [13:21]

Eran: And they are getting a grade. And we did grade, like if there are five stars, four stars, and so on. Two things happen first with a higher grade, they are the first to get patients into their subacute short term care and nursing homes. So their departments are being filled first. And the second thing is that with the higher grade, they get more payment per patient per day in their subacute care and this in them and nursing homes. So they all understood even before, you know, it was just starting. That's why we really miss all those events, marketing event, industry events that got canceled, but they all understood the, you know, the first two months, in fact, from even from Q4 of 2019 that there is a big change here in terms of the financial models that you run, your elderly care facility, on. [14:12]

And we indeed, so it's not a coincidence that we saw all the big players like Amazon care and Apple and Google and Best buy, even buying companies that are doing more patient monitoring and clinical decision support systems and AI because they all figured out suddenly even the corporate. We saw a Comcast building Quill, like providing a home care service to their 22 million subscribers at home and we saw AT&T suddenly opening AT&T healthcare. So all the corporate America, everyone understood that again, because of the demographics in US because of the number every day in the US 10,000 people are, getting to be older than 65. [14:58]

Roxie: Right.

Eran: And so, so the numbers are obviously there and elderly care is the fastest growing segment in US health care, like for the last three years or so. So the trend was obvious, but it wasn't a necessity and that's, that's the big difference. Like until March, tele-health was nice, it was more relevant to the bigger elderly care facilities. You know, the ones that are more like a network and they have a CIO, and IT department in place.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: And some of them, even innovation officer, but the smaller ones didn't need it. Because they thought, well, some of them, you know, even don't use kind of electronic health records to which we, we integrate and, and so on. But now it's completely different because now even the smaller ones, in fact, the smaller ones are in, in a worse situation because they are very short staffed. [15:53]

Roxie: Hmm…hmm.

Eran: They don't have enough people that quarantined. So they can't send the many cases, people, people from, one department to another, because they need to answer, isolate them, you know, they're not to spread the the virus and so on. So well, regardless whether you were a big, nursing homes or a small nursing home, now everyone understand that they need technology. And maybe for the first time they will see like real financial incentives for them through the, you know, government and federal support in order to, to go there to make the jump, that they need. [16:34]

Because healthcare, you know, we all know that that's probably the most conservative industry. In the, in the US you know, I worked in different industries. I've built a business in utilities towards energy companies, you know, smart grid, billing and CRM, and I've built a kind of a cloud based point of sale to retailers. So the, the industries are always, you know, they are moving slow, but there is no industry that is slower or more risk averse than healthcare.

Roxie: Yeah, completely.

Eran: But now and everyone we're talking as you know, for the last decade about that healthcare will go through transformation as well, like all these other industries before. And now health care, will get into a transformation phase probably in the next two years. I think that we will see financial trends in terms of technology and IT and healthcare that we haven't seen for the last decade. [17:36]

Roxie: I completely agree. And you know, I keep saying this for as absolutely terrible and heart wrenching as COVID 19 is we can some positive view of the silver linings, right?

Eran: Right.

Roxie: Cause we gotta have some hope somewhere. And the silver linings is, I think that this, this pandemic is changing the mindset change increase like you said, increasing the necessity and the need for digital tech and healthcare. So my, my background is in marketing and you know, a big part of what I've done historically over the last couple of years is helping brands create awareness.

Eran: Hmm…hmm.

Roxie: And create demand. [18:22] 

Eran: Right.

Roxie: For their solution. And I mean, right, what I hear you describing is that there is more awareness than we have ever had and there's more demand and it's kind of happened overnight. And so what we might have had to do for years, trying to persuade people that you have the solution to a problem that's really important but not really important for them or not the priority right now and a lot of that has shifted. So, so I think that's great. One of the things that I think of is that, so, you know, companies usually are successful to a great degree based upon their ability to create that awareness and demand for their solution. And so now as the overall awareness and demand, like across the country, I think that it changes the competitive landscape, right? 

Eran: Right. [19:17]  

Roxie: So it doesn't just create opportunity for you, but it creates opportunity for every tele-health remote monitoring company. So, you know, what are some strategies or tactics that you're thinking of or that you have in place over the next couple of months to make sure that when elderly care facilities, when hospital systems are thinking about like, okay, we've got this new normal, I'm ready to invest in this, what are you doing to make sure that they're aware of your particular brand and that they think that you're the better solution compared to the competitors? [19:52]  

Eran: Right. That's a that's obviously, you know, the million dollar question in terms of how you differentiate yourself and how you write basically what's coming after. So one thing is to be perfectly aligned and ready for the day after. In terms of having the product in place, making sure that we, can we suggest now deployments that are done within 48 hours. So once you say that you are interested, we've built a new process in order to make sure that we can get to decide like within 48 hours and do kind of a scoping and activate the system for you because it's all SaaS, right? It's all cloud based. All you need to do is get to a web interface and then we give them the small bands and the that are doing the gesture detection and measuring all those physiological measurements and, and, and that's it. So that's one thing. [20:50]  

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: The other thing is a key presence, in the media and kind of in various channels in order to explain our differentiation. Because before the crisis, many, when you go to an elderly care facility, for example, or for a hospital, they weren’t in most cases, they weren't looking for a more patient monitoring unless you know, the few that you know, we're working with and they were interested before. But most of them, we're not. And you know, when we explained there then about our competitive advantages, you know, you don't need to do any hardware installations, beamer, sensors, base station, all you need to do is have like a wearable device on the hand of the individual kind of, you can shower with it, you can you know, you can charge it only like once every four to six days and so on. It works everywhere, indoors and outdoors. [21:50] 

Because again, we are on the individual while we are not installed at home, you don't need to send a technician and we have a proprietary gesture detection technology. It was all nice, but now, we can translate it to, okay, so what does it mean to you? It means to you as the, as the healthcare provider, two things, one, savings because this will cost you one scale less where then everything else that exists in the market. So if you want to deploy it fast, you will need to allocate less financial resources. And we all know that right after the crisis, they will be stretched. [22:31]

Roxie: Oh yeah.

Eran: They all tell me like every week, Oh we've lost $20 million, this this quarter. And we spent like, by April we already spent like almost our entire budget for the year and stuff like that. So they're all, you know, super, like we all be super stretched for, for money, that's one. And two because of the fact that with our solution, you don't need installation of technician or no maintenance and it's all cloud based. It means that it's much faster so they can deploy and they can adopt their procedures, their medical procedures to it to work with the system very quickly and be prepared for the next winter. Right. 

Roxie: Hmm..hmm. [23:17]

Eran: We don't know yet if there will be vaccination until then. And in any case, we know that they will need something by then. So you do, you know, we do what we can in order to be ready so that the minute we can get into the elderly care facilities, the day after we, we, we will.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: That's a so, you know, it's mainly preparing the company and making sure that the product is ready, the marketing is ready, the finance is ready, everything is so you come kind of with the package. So, you know, in a way it's, it's a good time to organize your, your offering in a packaging in a way that is kind of ready to be served in, in a simpler way than it was before because we were, you know, running and all over the board and, and traveling and you know, the normal course of business in a startup. [24:20]

 

Hey, it's Dr. Roxie here with a quick break from the conversations. Are you trying to figure out what moves you need to make to survive and thrive in the new COVID economy? I want every health innovator to find their most viable and profitable pivot strategy, which is why I created the COVID proof your business pivot kit. The pivot kit is a step by step framework that helps you find your best pivot strategy. It walks you through six categories you need to examine for a 360 degree view of your business. I call them the six critical pivot lenses. As you make your way through this comprehensive kit, you'll be armed with the tools, tips, and strategies you need to make sure you can pivot with speed, without missing out on critical details and opportunities. Learn more at Legacy-DNA.com/kit  [25:10]

 

Roxie: Yeah, so, so I think I hear you saying a couple of things that you as well as other health innovators maybe need to take a look at their positioning strategy because how you're positioning your solution in the marketplace might change.

Eran: Hmm.

Roxie: Now that we've got this global awareness and global demand the value proposition might need to be refined, maybe not completely changed, right? You're still delivering the same value, but how you communicate that.

Eran: Right.

Roxie: Might need to be different. So you're grabbing those, you know, those people's attention and, and kind of differentiating you right out of the gate. Again, as I think the competitive landscape is going to change exponentially. The other thing that I hear you saying is really pricing models. And I think that's interesting because I haven't talked a lot about that yet. You know, there's, there's an increased awareness, there's an increased demand.

Eran: Right.

Roxie: We've got probably really much shorter sales cycles, so there's all these different positives, but then we're talking about prospects that don't have any money. [26:14]

Eran: Well and that’s the difference between capex and opex, what I foresee is that the healthcare providers will be really short on capex, but they will be able to fund and new systems and platforms with opex.

Roxie: Yep.

Eran: So as you and, and, and that's, and this gives, for example, for example, companies like us an advantage.

Roxie: Hmm…hmm.

Eran: Because unlike the old times, you know, times remote patient monitoring systems where you needed to invest a large capex at the beginning for installation and stuff like that, with SAS platforms, the, the shift is going from capex to opex. So it's, it's definitely something that will, that will ease, the, the adoption have for healthcare providers.

Roxie: Yeah. So I think that's, that's, and I think that's really important and very critical and in a huge advantage for you all, as…[27:12]

Eran: Right. Right.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: But now let's go back to reality to the existing days. Something that you've mentioned.

Roxie: So let's just keep dreaming about that day after where it's going to be like rainbows and butterflies.

Eran: Yes, yes, I know. But still, you know, running a company now the problem is that, you know, keeping the presence of the company in the market when you are, you know, stretch with respect to your burn rate and, and you know, the first thing that, the easier thing to cut is marketing, right?

Roxie: You broke my heart. [27:44]

Eran: But that's the reality.

Roxie: No it happens all the time.

Eran: That’s the of startups in a, in a crisis. You keep kind of the technical labor because you need to maintain, the technical advantage that you have in the market. And you say, well, there is no market. Right? So I need to freeze everything that is communication and, and marcom and stuff like that, which is very difficult because it means that you are not positioning yourself and you're not investing in the positioning towards that market that is about to happen. And again, we come back to the same question of when is it going to end? Because if it's going to end only in five months, then you can, you know, freeze marketing and get back to it, social media and everything, PR and stuff like that, kind of a month before. But if the market is going to be baking two months, you need to keep yourself on the radar, right? [28:48]

And to keep the presence, to keep the, the news for people to see, the, the work that you know, eh, you do. We get calls from Japan, from Italy, from the UK, from Israel, from all over from, you know, nursing homes and stuff like that, asking about, they've seen us in the media. They, they want to hear more about the product. They want to see a demo. They want to understand how much it will cost them on how long it will take them to deploy it. So we are having every week all these conversations because of you know, we keep that level of awareness. But it's very difficult to maintain it while you know, you don't know until when you need to keep your cash. [29:40]

Roxie: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Like you said, are we building the awareness, the marketing and the sales pipeline for two months, for six months and you know, and it's unpredictable. No one knows.

Eran: Right.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: Exactly.

Roxie: Hmm…hmm. So I think that that is, its very important consideration because I think, I mean, I don't know if I would say that it really like health innovation, you could kind of put it into two complete buckets, 50-50. But there are definitely those folks that just have a tendency to like just crawl up in a blanket and go, we need to stop everything. I don't know that that's going to be a successful business strategy going forward. Right? [30:23]

Eran: No, we haven't done that. And luckily for me, we have the support of the board, which is very important now for CEOs.

Roxie: Absolutely.

Eran: Which is critical.

Roxie: Yes.

Eran: To avoid kind of shutting down the company.

Roxie: Yep, yeah.

Eran: And to keep the company at the high level of readiness. Again, obviously we were proactive and we did whatever cost reductions we could, but we don't think, and, and again, I'm lucky in that perspective, we don't think that hibernation would be the best strategy now.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: And again, it might be different if I were in a different business, but given the nature of our customers and what is expected to be their needs right after the crisis, what we really need to do is to be prepared. [31:15]

Roxie: Yeah. And you know, cause at some point, like you said, you know, whether it's a flip of the switch or whether it's a slower turn of the dial.

Eran: Right.

Roxie: You know, change is going to happen and who are they going to remember?

Eran: Right.

Roxie: Right. And so I am seeing a lot of really incredible success stories. I like to say that right now is such an incredibly proud moment for marketing. I am enjoying the COVID commercials and social media content more than the super bowl. I'm like, I mean, like we were just, I mean, it's so heartfelt and compassionate and authentic and real and human. And so there's just so much I mean, I think that there's a huge opportunity to build relationships through digital channels and it's not necessarily about selling stuff, it's just about building relationships and strengthening that trust. So that way when we do flip the switch, turn the dial and I'm like, okay, now let's go time, then I'm thinking of your brand and not the other, you know, 50 competitors now. [32:21]

Eran: Right.

Roxie: And I think that that's going to be a game changer. I think that's going to be a, what do they call it? A sifting of the wheat. If you will, that, you know, those companies that can’t financially afford to stay the course and they aren't just part of the noise there, but they're there. They've got a very powerful strategy for rising above the noise and they're not just selling their wares because that's offensive right now in a lot of ways. But they've, they're the ones that are gonna win. They're the ones that are going to come out ahead of this at the end. [32:54]

Eran: That's, that's true. We should remember also that probably we'll see a difference also with the customers. Because what we believe will happen is that there will be a consolidation in the industry.

Roxie: Hmm.

Eran: Because the, their expense structure, is going to change. They will need to invest much more in technology.

Roxie: Yes.

Eran: And, than they used to do before. And they will need to have, let's call it a critical mass, a minimum critical mass of stuff in order to maintain a quality of service. And in any case, given the process that already started with the regulation of measuring these elderly care facilities and rating them and giving them business or funding, eh, reimbursement by their, by their level and not just by the number of beds, what we'll see is probably consolidation M and A's. And largest group being created, which means that there will be fewer customers to sell to, even though it's huge market, right?  [34:05]

: There will be fewer number of customers to sell to, but the customers will be larger in terms of number of beds and number of patients and, and stuff like that, which makes it an easier sale because typically in healthcare there is the economy of scale. So there is, there is in order to get to some return on investment on a new systems, you need to have a certain scale.

Roxie: Yeah. [34:30]

Eran: Because then the numbers can, run for you. So, this will make the work of the companies that will exist in the market a little bit easier because every customer will be more dominant in terms of, the numbers and the revenues and so on. And with what you've mentioned before the probable shorter, cycles for sale.

Roxie: Hmm…hmm.

Eran: You know, that's another that's something that should help with respect of the missing months in business because we are probably going to lose between three to six months of business.

Roxie: Yep.

Eran: You know, if we start counting from March.

Roxie: Hmm…hmm.

Eran: And in order to, you know, keep our financials, we need to catch up after when, when the business, so we'll, we'll go back to the new normal. So it's, it's going to be interesting like that's a, it's going to be a new market. There is no doubt. [35:37]

Roxie: So I think that it's really smart and what I hear you saying to our listeners is for every person it's really important to scan their market, right? The market conditions are changing, they're changing in different ways for different health innovators, but everyone needs to pause and take time to scan the market and kind of anticipate what it's going to be like to the best of our ability of what it's going to be like on the other side of this. And then recalibrating or pivoting their market strategy and in other strategies around this new normal or this new market. Because, you know, I think, I think that there's going to be hardly a case where our pre COVID market strategy is going to be a successful strategy going forward.

Eran: Right.

Roxie: We're going to have to have something new.

Eran: Great.

Roxie: Hmm…hmm.

Eran: It’s great.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: It’s a.

Roxie: You guys have made a lot of progress.

Eran: Thank you.

Roxie: And have done a lot of work and exploring that and analyzing that to make sure that you're set up for success. [36:41]

Eran: Yeah, we hope so. We were trying to do what we can. You know, we don't have a crystal ball. And so we are you know preparing the best to the best of our knowledge and we are confirming it with our investors and with our customers and other, you know, we make sure that they are happy with the system. And, you know, we get, one of the important thing that we do now with the customers that are using now our product is getting their feedback on how they use the system with quarantine residents and with isolated patients. And with that feedback, we created, for example, a new marketing collateral that is focused on the relevancy of our system to COVID-19, to two healthcare providers that are that are, you know, fighting, with, COVID- 19. [37:42]

That are you know, in that challenge, so it's different from normal days. Because prior to that we were in a different world and now because of COVID-19, we switched kind of the questions that we ask in terms of, tending to needs that are different than what they used to be before. Because it's not the same clinical measures. It's not the same processes that they attend to people because again, the, the facilities are in lock down and residents are quarantined or isolated and stuff like that. So even the product is changing and it's not just how you position the product. [38:24]

Roxie: Hmm…hmm.

Eran: But you really, you change the communication layer.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: In order to make sure you’ll have a two way communication with the patient, right? You add questionnaires in order to see, to try and, and monitor subtle changes that you haven't noticed, kind of, you look at the other parameters, through other devices or data that they capture in the electronic health records. So you deeper deepen your integration with electronic health records.

Roxie: Hmm…hmm.

Eran: In order, again, to see those changes, that are, that relate to quarantined patients. So, so you do all changes across marketing, across finance, across product. It's not just, you know, everything is normal, like we…

Eran: Used to run before.

Roxie: Right.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: You change every aspect of the company trying to prepare. [39:23]

Roxie: Well, and I think what you just said is brilliant. So I talk a lot about, you know, over the last couple of years about co-creation with customers, right? And how incredibly important that is.

Eran: Yes.

Roxie: Because you know, when you're getting their feedback at all five codes that I call it, you know, all the way from ideation all the way to launch, not just the, the, the, the actual like, Hey, I built something. You like it. Yeah, you like it. Right? Like, just looking for them to confirm what you already built. Like, yeah, I give you the thumbs up and you know, it, it sounds like that that is just as critical today as it was previously and that, you know, we eat before we couldn't assume that we understood their needs and all the little intricacies of the features and functionality that we're going to be the most impactful to them. And it sounds like your guys, you know, you're taking that approach as well. Even now in the midst of this crisis that we still, you know, as the company, you know, we can't act like we're the experts. Our target market is the expert and let's just ask them and kind of make them part of that product development process even during this COVID crisis to make sure that whatever you have is going to meet their needs, when you’re flipping this. [40:36]

Eran: Right. Right. That's something that in fact, we learned early on because we were in a, we participated in two healthcare accelerators in the US when we started the company in order to do the product market fit first. We've been to Dreamit Health in Philly for six months and then attended the New York Digital Health Accelerator for another six months. So, so that was very helpful in the early stages of assessing the product market fit and the value propositions across the healthcare four piece, right? The, the patient, the physician, the provider and the payer. And now, I mean, it's, it's, and then you get to kind of a state of mind that you get all the time feedback from the customers and you change the products accordingly. And even now, why we are, you know, in, in March and April, half, half of our technical workforce are working on changes, on those changes 

Roxie: Yeah. [41:34]

Eran: That, from those facilities, those elderly care facilities that are dealing with COVID-19, and they're building new insights, they're deepening the integration to other systems that are monitoring the patients that are changing the UI of the apps and off the dashboard in order to reflect the parameters that the medical teams perceive as more important now and stuff like that. That's how important it is. So you don't say stay and say, okay, well that's my product and I need you, the customer to learn how to use it in the new scenario.

Roxie: Right, right.

Eran: In the new environment, you say the opposite. You say, okay, what is it that you need? We are going to change it to you and we are going to change it to you within a month so that this month still you will be able to enjoy the new build of the software that contains all those things that you said that will be helpful for you. And guess what, what this builds loyalty. [42:37]

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: They see we respond, they see that we are attentive, you know, we just, we don't, we don't just disappear and wait for them to come back. So this is, you know, how we are trying to help our customers.

Roxie: Well, you know, that it's such a powerful example because I just live that as well. You know, I'm not developing technology like a lot of our guests on the show, but we're developing processes and knowledge products for innovators like you to be able to help them deliver, develop their strategy and make sure that it's going to be the most viable, the most profitable strategy for that particular company. And previously we developed what we called COIQ. It was all about early adoption and really being able to educate and inform and help people build that specific strategy. And it was so apparent to me the second week of March that the conversations that I was having on this show completely changed. We were not having conversations about early adoption strategy; it was all about pivot. [43:38]

Eran: Right.

Roxie: So our team, the last few weeks completely, I mean busted their butts like your tech team, right? Probably working day and night, 24/7 seven to do their adaptations and created this pivot kit because the market needs have changed. And it would be, I would be a fool to ignore that and continue trying to sell the old thing when the market's different, completely different.

Eran: Right.

Roxie: Yeah. And, you know, I don't know that we'll ever sell that old thing again. Right.

Eran: Probably not.

Roxie: Because…Right. Cause I don't know that, I mean, and if I was banking on, well let's just get through this and then, you know, three months, then they'll be ready to buy the old thing. Probably not like it's, you know, it's probably just going to be different from now on. [44:21]

Eran: Yeah our market can completely change. I expect that the next two years will be, around selling it systems that could help in a period of epidemics.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: And epidemic that's, I believe that it will even get to a kind of a regulation, guidelines.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: Of the system that every healthcare provider needs to have in order to cope with such.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: Such a thing did not exist before.

Roxie: Exactly.

Eran: And now it will probably be kind of a mandatory tool in their toolkit.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: And and you know, we will adopt our product portfolio for, for that messaging as well. [45:03]

Roxie: Yup, completely. You know, and, and I, and I love what you're saying because it sounds like you're saying that like it's just part of who you are as a company to stay close to the customer.

Eran: Yeah. That’s…

Roxie: Because the adaptations that you're making to the product, technically right now, you still don't know how long that's going to have a shelf life. Right? So like we may be pivoting six or eight times over the next six months or the next year, right? It's kind of like, okay, well that worked for a couple of months, but now regulation stepped in and their needs, their demands have changed again. And so it's, you know, it's just part of business, right? We just continue to keep our ear peered or open to the market, stay close to our customers and continue to meet their needs on an ongoing basis. [45:47]

Eran: Absolutely. The one thing that I've learned in the last two decades of building an enterprise grade business is that you need to be super attentive to the customer. You need to listen.

Roxie: Yeah.

Eran: and not comment with the approach of, I built this wonderful thing and I'm going to educate you the customer, how to use it and

Roxie: You're an idiot. Something's wrong with you. Right, right, right

Eran: Yes, exactly.

Roxie: No, wrong approach.

Eran: Right. So that's a, so that's basically a you and, and it's really at the DNA of the company, right? And to be a listening organization, we do what we do, not because we build product for the shelf, but we listen to the customer and we build the product according to today. So because they are the healthcare experts, not us. [46:44]

Roxie: Well, thank you so much for all this incredible wisdom that you shared with our listeners today. I think that there are so many golden nuggets that folks are going to find in listening to this show. Thank you so much for your time. 

Eran: Thank you Dr. Roxie.

Roxie: As we wrap up, how can folks get ahold of you if somebody is interested in your, your solutions or if they just want to, you know kind of bounce ideas off of you as we're all trying to navigate this new market together. [47:13]

Eran: So first of all they could, they could go to our website, www.somatix.com and that's and there is an info form there. They can send an email to info@somatix.com and they can also send an email to me directly erano@ somatix.com. And you know we always try to respond within 48 hours and provide the material and get into a zoom session and so on. It's easy, very easy to find us. We are based in New York Eastern time and we are, we are here.

Roxie: Well, thank you so much and be safe and be well.

Eran: Thank you. You as well. Stay safe.

Roxie: Thank you. [47:55]

 

Thank you so much for listening. I know you're busy working to bring your life changing innovation to market, and I value your time and your attention. To save time and get the latest episodes on your mobile device automatically subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast app like Apple podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher. Thank you for listening and I appreciate everyone who's been sharing the show with friends and colleagues. See you on the next episode of COIQ. [48:24]