Episode 17: What You Need to Know to Run A Healthcare Tech Company | Adam Turinas, Healthlaunchpad

Adam Turinas is the CEO of Healthlaunchpad, a new firm that helps technology companies grow their healthcare business. He is also a mentor towards two startups and the TMC innovations accelerator program as well as the capital factories accelerator program.

In this episode of the HealthTech Hustle, Adam shares his journey in the healthcare tech industry which started back in 2012 and its ups and downs. Listen in to hear the lessons that Adam has learned while running a startup with limited finances in a highly saturated market.

“If all you do is respond to what your clients are telling you today, you’re just going to be a
follower. You’re not an innovator, you’ll never be a market leader. If you get too far ahead of them, nobody is going to buy.”- Adam Turinas [22:44]

What is your background? [1:14]
He describes himself as an ‘accidental healthcare entrepreneur’. He started in the field in 2012
completely by accident, he had previously spent 20 years in different types of marketing. He started a little consulting firm where he was helping big companies with communication. One day when he was having coffee with his physician friend, he mentioned a communication problem where the healthcare systems and medical group relationships were broken. That was where they started a small consulting firm working with hospitals which were trial and error.

Six months later, they came up with an app that made it easier for physicians to communicate with the healthcare system. They pitched the idea and found a buyer, made a plan, created the app within six months, tested it, and it was a hit. They completed the app and launched the product but had a hard time selling it but they still got through.

In 2016 when they were raising for investments, they were rejected due to the competitiveness of the industry. They later combined their company with another to offer greater value, found more investments, and added other customers.

The competition was getting tougher as they grew and finances were not enough to get through. They were forced to restructure and even though it was hard, it got the company back on track. Looking at the future, the market seemed competitive and so they decided to put the company for sale. They ended up selling the company in 2019 to a company called Harris healthcare which was a good place to leave their customers. He stayed for six months for transition, took some time off, and is now helping healthcare startups since he has a passion for it. He mentions some of the other projects that he is working with as he shares his education in the industry.

How did he identify the problem in healthcare and the first steps he took to offer solutions? [15:55]
He explains how they were able to identify the problem, find the solution, take the problem to the
customer, and refine it to be hyper complaint. They heard a product roadmap that was customer-driven- they listened to the customers and continued to develop to cater to those problems. Listen to your customer but be ahead of them but not too far that they don’t resonate with you.

Did they get customer feedback after they had started? [23:25]
His partner was a physician who was building the app for himself because he knew the problem well. They later got the app in front of real users who liked it. Customers gave different ideas which led to them developing something where common ideas were incorporated. They always got feedback with some being structured and disciplined with the rest of it not so much.

How did he put together his team? [26:51]
They had a team of professionals who ranged from healthcare, technology, and himself with a business background. They did not have hieratical leadership with the team which also worked with developers from India and had to execute communication.

What are some of the problems that he faced as a business person? [30:37]
He realized that raising money is hard and they had worked with an advisor who helped for about a year and turned out not to be the right fit for them. The competition was hard because they seemed to be ahead of them. After combining the two companies, the board had senior people with old money but very hard to manage. Restructuring can be crippling and was hard but had to be done at the end of the day.

What advice would he give to health tech companies starting up or behind in their journey? [34:06]
To be successful especially in an impenetrable and hard industry as healthcare tech, you need money and relationships. Keep in mind that your investors are as important as your customers.
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