How long have you been working in tech for and what is your technical background?
Writing code for simple games and utilities before graphical user interfaces is where my tech journey started at an early age – which turned into an interest in applications for healthcare.
After studying biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve University and exposure to a wide variety of research, I decided to start my career at Medtronic designing algorithms for cardiac pacemakers. 20+ years later, I have had the opportunity to contribute to many software products in the medical device and healthcare areas for lots of clients all over the world.
What are you focused on right now?
As the CTO for Medibio, we are developing a cloud-based platform for managing mental health by collecting objective, physiological data from various consumer and clinical wearable devices for use by condition specific algorithms and clinical decision support processes to risk stratify and manage a variety of mental disorders. Our goal is to commercialize decades of research into accessible products for a patient population seriously underserved by technology.
What are the some of the technologies within your company and IT environment?
Cloud computing focus on open-source (MERN) technology and native mobile client applications for mental health and wellness use cases. Sensors are off the shelf wearable devices like Fitbit and Garmin to regulated medical devices like ECG patches. Our connections are through public API or direct connection through custom gateways for device communication.
Our primary goal is to collect near real-time biometrics, biomarkers, hormones and assessment data at scale and provide actionable results back to physciatrists and others involved in the management of behavioral health.
How do you ensure that IT plans, projects and objectives are aligned with business outcomes?
It all starts with a product strategy and aligned product roadmaps. Research projects begin in a process that clearly defines outcomes and provides a path for future product development, refined studies or abandoned theories. There is plenty of opportunity in the mental health space, our focus is on the most promising technology based on research and clinical outcomes. As a healthcare company, we expect to provide statistically significant results that correlate to our hypotheses.
What is the size of your department and how is it organized/managed?
I lead the technology organization which is 25+ technical contributors both permanent employees and contractors/consultants located in Savage, MN and Melbourne, Australia. We are organized to various teams: data science, software development, software test, product management, user experience and IT/Operations. Since we are in the healthcare/medical device space, we follow international standards like ISO 13485 and IEC 62304 which provide well defined guidance for our development procedures.
How does your company approach recruiting and retention for technical positions?
We use the typical job boards and local recruiters with a healthy dose of networking and making sure Medibio has a presence across various local media channels. We have been fortunate with individuals seeking out Medibio with a strong passion for making a difference in the mental health world. Retention tends to be a more straightforward concern – people want to work at Medibio (and the medical technology industry in general) because they have the opportunity to help those in need and get paid as well!
How do you personally keep up with the ever changing technology landscape?
It first takes a focus on the areas that are most important to your goals, both personally and professionally. I follow key companies in the wearable space and watch the newswire closely, I collaborate with other leaders in industry and work with a variety of trusted partners that provide consultation and support around specific technologies.
What excites you about where technology is heading?
The number of devices and sensors in the wearable space is changing almost daily and use cases are expanding just as fast. IoT for healthcare is becoming more and more commonplace and I see a day soon where healthcare delivery is radically changed due to the availability, cost and usability of technology.
What concerns you about where technology is heading?
Development of revenue and reimbursement models for healthcare technology is going to be a key driver in our industry. More specifically in mental health – the continued revolution to bring awareness to the diseases and eliminate the stigmas and the need to provide proven solutions to a vulnerable population.
What is your opinion of Minnesota’s tech industry – how could it be better?
Minnesota is a world leader in medical technology and has been for many years, this is an area with lots of talent and experience with the unique considerations required for development of solutions in this space. We can always improve the evolution underway is adapting a startup and fail-fast mentality to a regulated industry where quality is the highest concern. These barriers can often stifle innovation and taking a right sized approach here could incubate even more revolutionary ideas.
What are you into outside of technology?
Spending time with my wife and raising two young children (and fostering an interest in technology), remodelling a century old home, motorcycles, all forms of football. We love heading north to experience everything the outdoors have to offer, seeing our favorite teams play and checking out live music whenever possible.
Anything else you would like to add?
After spending the past two plus years in California, I am grateful to be back in Minnesota and a part of the dynamic culture here as well as the dedication and history around medical technology. Feel free to get in touch if you want to learn more about Medibio or are interested in joining our team!