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Jonathan Langer of Medigate: “HR is critically important”

The explosion in connected medical devices is revolutionizing and saturating the healthcare industry, and we are here to revolutionize with it. Spending on connected medical equipment will potentially triple over the next few years, so it’s imperative that there are solutions designed to help hospitals align with this movement. Also, it’s been speculated that the […]

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The explosion in connected medical devices is revolutionizing and saturating the healthcare industry, and we are here to revolutionize with it. Spending on connected medical equipment will potentially triple over the next few years, so it’s imperative that there are solutions designed to help hospitals align with this movement. Also, it’s been speculated that the pandemic accelerated telehealth adoption by a full decade, so there’s now a real need to protect these touchpoints and devices– especially as patient-doctor care becomes more remote and virtual. Solutions like Medigate will be essential to protecting these touchpoints (and the networks they operate on) from malicious actors and others looking to do harm. Simply put, the healthcare space is changing the world, and we are here to make sure it can grow and adapt to these increased demands safely.


As a part of our series about cutting edge technological breakthroughs, I had the pleasure of interviewingJonathan Langer, CEO of Medigate.

Along with his co-founding partners, Jonathan Langer, CEO of Medigate, has spent the last two years applying innovative technologies and healthcare-specialized techniques to secure connected medicine across the United States. While the impact of the WannaCry attack served as a catalyst, a closer look at the vulnerabilities of clinical networks drove Jonathan and his partners to create the Medigate integrated medical device management and security platform. Jonathan gained his cybersecurity expertise in the Israeli Defense Intelligence Corps, where he commanded a team of security analysts focused on identifying vulnerabilities, correlating threats and automating response processes. Based on his contributions, he earned the prestigious Israel Defense Award. Jonathan holds a LL.B from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. As Medigate’s leader and visionary, he brings nearly two decades of relevant cybersecurity experience to his company and the industry.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share your story behind what drove you down this career path?

I spent fifteen years managing project teams on the intelligence side of the Israeli Defense organization. This was an environment where cybersecurity risks consistently surfaced, which forced us to dive deep into the problem-space and develop solutions. It was fascinating to me (as well as eye-opening) when I learned that the problems we faced in the military were pervasive across the private industries as well. To be honest, after I left the service, my co-founders and I understood we had a real opportunity to effect change. We wanted to take the lessons we learned and apply them in meaningful ways. And because healthcare’s attack surface was recognized as the most vulnerable across industries, that’s where we decided to plant our flag.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Our first sale immediately comes to mind. While attending a healthcare conference we had the good luck to meet an executive who liked what our team had to say. This was critical– we didn’t have a graphical user interface to our product at that point, so there wasn’t much to show him. We originally presented our capability as a kind of “data machine” and planned to go to market by partnering with companies whose solutions would be made more powerful with the data we offered.

However, after hearing our plans he wasn’t interested in our “machine” without an intuitive way to interact with it. So, he volunteered to help us build the user interface and structure our capabilities into a platform that would integrate asset management and cybersecurity practice. We accepted his offer and it proved to be an important step forward for the team and company.

Can you tell us about the “Bleeding edge” technological breakthroughs that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?

For starters, we remain focused on improving our core capabilities to best support our clients and their work in fast-paced healthcare environments. Specifically, we’ve expanded the coverage of our platform to include and protect all connected assets on a hospital’s network, which was a common request from all of our early stage clients. In other words, not only are we protecting medical devices from malicious actors, but also the HVAC systems, laptops and all other devices that could be potentially breached and used to cause harm.

As far as what’s genuinely new, I would point to our ability to identify telehealth applications and resolve coverage against Mobile Device Management platforms. And I think the Value Analysis Model that we developed– a model for documenting both operation and capital savings– is opening a lot of eyes. In short, our solution provides insights that can be used to enhance both cybersecurity and operational efficiencies– this not only helps to protect patients and doctors, but allows for better decision-making and ROI in the short and long run.

How do you think this might change the world?

The explosion in connected medical devices is revolutionizing and saturating the healthcare industry, and we are here to revolutionize with it. Spending on connected medical equipment will potentially triple over the next few years, so it’s imperative that there are solutions designed to help hospitals align with this movement. Also, it’s been speculated that the pandemic accelerated telehealth adoption by a full decade, so there’s now a real need to protect these touchpoints and devices– especially as patient-doctor care becomes more remote and virtual. Solutions like Medigate will be essential to protecting these touchpoints (and the networks they operate on) from malicious actors and others looking to do harm. Simply put, the healthcare space is changing the world, and we are here to make sure it can grow and adapt to these increased demands safely.

Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

I will just say that artificial intelligence at its essence is a tool, and like all other tools, it has good applications and bad ones. We use a deterministic approach to AI that learns the coding “language” of each medical device, so that we are 100% certain about what we report and from what devices we’re reporting. This allows hospitals to know when to service and update their specific machinery or operating systems, keep track of communications so that it is easy to know which machines should be connecting to other devices on the network (and which shouldn’t), and most importantly, provide a real time headcount of inventory. The way we program this AI is to be used as a learning and monitoring tool for an industry that needs specificity, not guesswork. Essentially, a tool for good.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?

The moment we knew Medigate was onto something came early in our development. Our interviews and demonstrations with hospitals made it clear to us that we were providing details and insights that no other competitive vendor could match. Again, it goes back to the way we discover and profile devices, as it’s highly automated and extremely accurate. The example I will share repeats itself about every time we plug-in to a hospital’s network. When we “turn on” our product, hundreds to thousands of devices immediately populate our dashboard, and the look on clients’ faces never gets old. Invariably, the device count we surface always exceed the inventories hospitals expect to see, sometimes by double-digit percentages, so the ensuing conversations are always interesting and rewarding.

What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?

We’re in a unique time where platforms like Medigate are already in a phase of widespread adoption in the medical industry. The next major influx of adoption will likely take place when the FDA, Joint Commission, and other regulating authorities move past the “highly recommended” phase and instead require compliance — that will surely change the game. While COVID-19 has created some funding delays, our sales activity has actually picked up. I will also add this: the device utilization data we provide (aka how devices are being used and how they can be optimized) is important for creating operational improvements and ROI. Once all hospitals start seeing the value and ROI in their competitors, I think we’ll see yet another surge in demand.

What have you been doing to publicize this idea? Have you been using any innovative marketing strategies?

Our marketing strategies center around the fact that Medigate is healthcare-dedicated. We talk about why that matters and let our clients tell the rest of the story for us. On a company level, our team has done a tremendous job identifying the conferences and events where we can most effectively promote our message– and they’ve done a marvellous job getting us recognized in the form of the numerous awards that we’ve received. Lately, we’ve had to turn up the volume of webinars and other forms of remote marketing and client support. Our focus going forward will be centered on the development of community-based intelligence sharing, as our clients are often the best teachers for others looking to adopt similar solutions and best practices.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The one person who I would like to acknowledge here is my Father. I have continuously leaned on him for guidance and support while starting and scaling Medigate. He is a wise man and I could not have gotten this far without his mentoring. Staying focused and humble are two qualities that I think parents are especially well-suited to instil in their offspring. Mine have made a point of it!

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I think there is goodness inherent to what Medigate does every day. We help hospitals stay focused on what matters — the patients. We do so by protecting the critical equipment used for treatment and by securing the data that is essential to their continued care. Further, we help technology management workers to be more effective at maintaining and securing the equipment used to deliver life-saving treatments. The insights delivered by Medigate help to effectively manage risk and achieve cost-savings, which in turn is invested to improve patient care. I’ll simply add that we are fast becoming recognized as a contributor, if not an integral part, of the value-based care paradigm that is driving healthcare economics in a positive direction. I’m not sure that any of us saw that coming.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. More balance between work and family: I’ve learned that there needs to be a better balance between your personal and professional life to prevent burnout and dissatisfaction. It’s a challenge. Candidly, working hard isn’t a problem for many of us. But not taking the time to share the fruits of your labor with loved ones– and recognizing that your time is probably your most valuable contribution– is a lesson that must be learned.
  2. Marketing and Sales are a world of their own: The best product on the planet means nothing if you don’t know how to effectively promote it. And that means listening. Not just to your clients, but to the experiences of your sales and marketing colleagues who face the market on a daily basis. Effectively translating their feedback into development and support was an early stage challenge that has become much easier as of late. I’m guessing that we must be doing something right.
  3. Financial management needs client-facing experience: Our financial leadership has been integral to our success from the start. We did well here. However, if I could do anything differently, I would have provided them with even more client-facing experience even sooner than we did.
  4. Building our team between Israel and the US: It was a challenge we took seriously from the beginning. However, with different offices, time zones, and culture brings different working styles and processes. We met the challenge head-on and turned it into a positive. We’re a 24/7 operation by default now, and we regularly gather the entire company for updates. We do everything we can to motivate a style of teamwork that now encompasses Israel, Europe and the U.S. We made it a priority and it has paid off.
  5. HR is critically important: Attracting and retaining the best and brightest is not a matter of luck. It’s a continuous process. We’re invested in our HR department and they know it. When we first started, we had a lot of good people come to us. When the market opened up, we felt the pressure of keeping those same people happy and motivated. We now view professional recruitment and development as a continuous and critical improvement process.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Movements that are important to me are climate change and sustainability. On a global level, there is no more pressing issue than the need to save our planet and natural resources, an aim that is only achievable if we work together towards realistic objectives. Similar to our push to improve healthcare, meaningful conservation effort requires true buy-in from all of us, as we’re all stakeholders on the earth. If I could inspire a movement, it would be that all nations and peoples put aside their differences to make everyday changes and choices aimed at sustainability. We can accomplish so much more together than divided– I think this is a message that needs to move closer to the forefront of our daily dialogue.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

The most important life lesson I have learned is simple — Stay Humble.

It is easy to get caught up with the responsibilities of being a founder and CEO of a growing company. However, staying humble allows continuous growth and ensures that there will always be moments of surprise and gratitude in life. I’ve always worked to ensure that Medigate is open to incorporating feedback from customers into the product, which is why we dedicated a “request a feature” button on our dashboard. With this collaboration we have rolled out numerous features that have greatly impacted our product for the better. This is just one example of how I try to map “Be Humble” to my business operations, but it’s imperative to keep this mindset in all aspects of your life. By remaining open to new attitudes and opportunities, you can ensure that you’re not ignoring doors that could lead to far better places.

Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

My pitch to anyone who asks is the same. We’re a healthcare security company. We specialize in enabling patient-safe connected medicine, as we have successfully disrupted the way clinical assets are managed and secured. We’re not a nice-to-have, but must-have capability, as healthcare presents the cybercriminal with the most vulnerable and rewarding attack surface across industry. What we do will soon be a matter of compliance, as the problem continues to grow worse and is now widely recognized by all regulating authorities as a serious patient safety issue.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

They can follow along with our Medigate blog where we talk about our latest developments. You can also follow the company on Twitter or Linkedin. My personal LinkedIn is linked here.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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