Joan Meléndez has over 25 years of experience in building and optimizing healthcare applications. She focuses and specializes in perioperative, anesthesia, and trauma workflows. On the other hand, Dawon Hawkins, is the man behind Xcelrate’s operational success, excellence and growth.

In this episode of HealthTech Hustle, Joan shares her journey as to how she created Xcelrate UDI (Unique Device Identifier) which helps the healthcare industry improve medical compliance and reduce patient risk. As a bonus, Xcelrate UDI’s COO, Dawon Hawkins, is joining the show to share his stories too!


Joan Meléndez has over 25 years of experience in building and optimizing healthcare applications. She focuses and specializes in perioperative, anesthesia, and trauma workflows. On the other hand, Dawon Hawkins, is the man behind Xcelrate’s operational success, excellence and growth. In this episode of HealthTech Hustle, Joan shares her journey as to how she created Xcelrate UDI (Unique Device Identifier) which helps the healthcare industry improve medical compliance and reduce patient risk. As a bonus, Xcelrate UDI’s COO, Dawon Hawkins, is joining the show to share his stories too!


“It’s one thing to talk about what you can do with a prospect, it’s another thing to show them.” [20:37]
 
Who is Joan Meléndez? [1:11]
Joan worked in an operating room to develop and modify the Electronic Heart Record (EHR) system. While at it, Joan identified a lot of significant roles in the system. As time went by, UDI’s became a requirement for medical providers to document medical devices. With her vast experience in the healthcare industry, that’s when she realized how overwhelming the tracking is. 
 
The making of Xcelrate UDI [4:18]
For Joan, the process of creating Xcelrate UDI was very eye-opening. As a consultant, she specializes in workflow and helps hospitals manage and analyze their electronic record. When she saw how overwhelming and stressful it was for healthcare professionals to keep track of their medical devices as UDI’s become more and more of a requirement, that’s when Xcelrate UDI was born. Joan really wanted to find a way to make it easier for them to parse the data seamlessly while achieving medical compliance and reducing patient risks. 
 
The Xcelrate UDI Team [9:00]
According to Joan, she had a unique and challenging journey. Xcelrate UDI is her second attempt in developing applications. She has overcome mental challenges of failure and still pushed through to achieve her main goal which is to help the healthcare industry. None of this would be as successful as it is now without the help of her team. One of them is Debbie who manages the business operations. And Xcelrate UDI’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Dawon Hawkins who takes care of the business’ growth and strategic partnerships. 
 
Who is Dawon Hawkins? [11:10]
Dawon met Joan years ago and they just clicked in every conversation that they had. This started their friendship and soon business partnership. When Dawon came on board, the first thing they focused on was building Xcelrate UDI infrastructure. He’s making sure that whomever Joan brought on whether a code-building or technology perspective that it is solid and the business operation is sound. Dawon also supervises Xcelrate UDI’s sales, marketing, building a team, and client education. 
 
Xcelrate UDI and how they reach out to their target audience [17:37]
As per Joan, it always starts out with somebody reaching out. Organically, someone would reach their team and ask how the application works either through direct connections from consulting gates that Joan is affiliated to or through exposure. Dawon explained that as they take on a step further, Xcelrate UDI is now leaning more towards more strategic marketing and sales activity by proactively reaching out to the target audiences and articulating their value.
 
What are the effective methods of marketing for Xcelrate UDI? [20:30]
Dawon answered straight and honestly that it was their demos that are most effective for pitching their product’s value. It’s one thing to talk about what you can do in a prospect and it’s another thing to show it to your target market. 
 
Challenges faced by Xcelrate UDI [25:08]
For Joan, it is regulation and recall. The manufacturer is supposed to follow certain labeling regulations and UDI is part of this regulation. Recalls, on the other hand, as Joan put it, people might not realize that recalls are just voluntary. 
 
For Dawon, he said that the challenges for Joan somehow coincides with his. He said that Xcelrate UDI is at a very early stage in terms of evasion perspective. According to him, the biggest barrier is getting to the right people and having the right conversation so that they can articulate their value in a way that resonates with their target market. 
 
Joan Meléndez & Dawon Hawkins answer the rapid-fire round of questions. [32:22]
 
 
 

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