Hire curious people who want to build and grow something with you. In entrepreneurship, you don’t know where the journey is going to take you, so it’s important to ensure you have the right people on the bus with you. If your team is committed to the mission and journey, they will be willing to help the business grow and adapt as needed.
Asa part of my series about “Lessons From Inspirational Women Leaders in Tech”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lucienne Marie Ide, M.D., PH.D., founder and chair of Rimidi, a cloud-based software platform that enables personalized management of health conditions across populations. She brings her diverse experiences in medicine, science, venture capital and technology to bear in leading Rimidi’s strategy and vision. Motivated by the belief that we can do so much better as individuals, an industry and society, Lucie left clinical medicine to join the ranks of healthcare entrepreneurs who are trying to revolutionize an industry.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve had a unique combination of experience in medicine, science, venture capital, government and technology. I received my undergraduate degree in physics from Middlebury College, and began my career working for the National Security Administration and the Central Intelligence Agency, where I developed a passion for data. It was then I started thinking to myself, “How can we turn data into information and insights that can be used to truly make an impact?” So I left my career in intelligence to work in venture capital and invest in communications technologies. Several years later, I received an M.D./Ph.D. in pharmacology from Emory University. In graduate school, I worked on gene therapy for a couple of years then went to University Pittsburgh Medical Center to do my training in OB/GYN. At UPMC, I quickly noticed a lack of clinical understanding — both from a medical and a provider experience standpoint — in the technologies that were being developed. This realization, coupled with my passion for problem solving and drive to have a positive impact on others, led me to start Rimidi. Now, I’m helping bring personalized medicine to chronic disease management — and am a member of several other organizations that propel healthcare forward.
Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. We’d love to learn a bit about your company. What is the pain point that your company is helping to address?
Going into healthcare with a technology background, I saw a lot of potential about what could be done better in the field. As a result, Rimidi is a group of healthcare entrepreneurs aligned in that same belief that we can do so much better — as individuals, and as an industry — in providing significant and enduring solutions that can be successfully used by today’s healthcare practices. Our company’s broad focus is on achieving healthcare’s quadruple aim: lower costs, improved patient outcomes, and enhanced patient and provider satisfaction. More specifically, we are focused on helping clinicians bridge all of the siloed datasets in electronic health records with patient-generated data coming from connected devices with the latest protocols and guidelines to make more personalized, informed and efficient decisions about patient care.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
While there are hundreds of health IT companies focused on a variety of niche problems with innovative solutions, ultimately the integrated solutions are what today’s providers need to achieve the quadruple aim. Stand-alone systems or point solutions only further contribute to fragmented care and clinician burnout.
At Rimidi, we collaborate with clinicians to better understand their workflow and the type of data they want and need to see in it. We are really focused on ensuring that every solution we offer is not an additional burden or added workflow for clinicians, but rather provides insights and advantages that further strengthens their understanding of — and relationships with — their patients. Our tech platform differs from others in that it:
- Supports multiple disease states and use cases, with specific views for Type 2 Diabetes, heart failure, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and epidemic management. Care teams can seamlessly switch between the views if a patient meets criteria for more than one.
- Integrates with existing systems. Our platform is integrated to leading EHRs to facilitate streamlined data exchange, also integrating with a variety of cellular or Bluetooth connected devices, such as glucometers, blood pressure cuffs and scales.
- Connects data to action with clinical decision support. Configurable clinical decision support cards bring practice guidelines and clinical pathways to life at the point of care in the context of each individual patient to provide information, gaps in care, lab ordering, and suggested prescribing actions within the workflow.
- Incorporates virtual collection of patient reported outcomes. Our platform includes a PROs engine to send patient surveys via text message, patient portal, or email to virtually collect and display responses within the existing workflow.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Since March, we’ve been working to support clinical workflows around COVID-19 management, with the launch of our EHR-integrated patient-reported outcomes survey app to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in healthcare settings. The need for such a screening app was advocated for in a JAMA article following the Ebola outbreak in 2014.
Expanding on this tool even more, we also unveiled a comprehensive COVID-19 Population Monitoring Toolkit for Employers. The tool ensures the health and safety of individuals by offering businesses a holistic platform that combines symptom surveillance, testing and biometric monitoring to determine overall preparedness.
Overall, our Epidemic Monitoring platform — whether for employers or healthcare providers — not only helps them manage the current COVID-19 Pandemic, but it serves as a blueprint for providing a more efficient, safer way of managing future epidemics or patient surges, including the annual flu season. Beyond cost-saving and safety improvements, the platform’s connection to clinical data in the EHR also enables researchers to take a more in-depth look at the risk factors and demographics associated with COVID-19 patients in order to make better informed decisions.
What would you advise to another tech leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth or sales and “restart their engines”?
My advice is to always take a step back and focus on the end user. Determine what new pain points or challenges they are facing. Ask what your solution could be doing better to further help meet their needs. Find out what their peers’ pain points are. By gathering these critical insights, you can formulate the next best step. Maybe you don’t need to fully retool the product, but better align your messaging with the problem your product is aiming to solve.
Here is the main question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a very successful tech company? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Know what problem you are solving. For industries like healthcare, there’s plenty of opportunity for improvement. Understand where you are uniquely adding value to the ecosystem and focus on doing that really really well.
- Hire curious people who want to build and grow something with you. In entrepreneurship, you don’t know where the journey is going to take you, so it’s important to ensure you have the right people on the bus with you. If your team is committed to the mission and journey, they will be willing to help the business grow and adapt as needed.
- Listen to your end users. It’s easy to do all the talking when you are in sales mode, but you will get a lot more out of listening — even with prospects who don’t buy your product. Always ask the ‘why’ and really listen to the answer.
- Understand the difference between “nice to have” and “must have” products. A clinician might think a particular data visualization is beautiful, but if using the product doesn’t tie back to a core, measurable improvement and business objective, then you probably won’t make it into next year’s budget.
- Remember we are all people with our own stories and many shared challenges. 2020 has certainly reminded us of this. Treat your people, your partners and your clients with respect, patience and empathy.
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspirational, and we wish you only continued success!