Brad Hirsch of SignalPath

An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Brad Hirsch, the co-founder and CEO of SignalPath, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of SignalPath – what problem were you trying to solve and why?

I co-founded SignalPath in 2014 based on insights as a faculty member at Duke into the enormous limitations of how clinical trials are executed. While those limitations help to make money for those involved in their execution, they are bad for patients, research sites, and the sponsors of trials. We had a strong conviction that health systems and academic centers needed better technology with which to drive the ease, efficiency, and profitability of clinical trial execution. Once we got that right, we were convinced that we could reimagine the execution of the trials themselves. Six years later, that vision is coming to fruition. SignalPath now supports hundreds of research sites and we will be making a series of announcements about partnerships that will begin to realize our vision of changing how research is performed.

What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?

Any entrepreneur knows that there are many hurdles to success, but that is especially true in healthcare and clinical research. First is that you can’t really offer an “MVP” or minimally viable product in this space, as health systems require robust solutions in terms of the product, security, and compliance. Furthermore, it takes time to hire and develop a team that understands the intersection of healthcare and technology. This is even more true in the highly regulated clinical research space. Success requires patience, persistence, and an open mindset to continuously improve, iterate, and forge ahead.

What does the future hold for SignalPath?

Now that SignalPath has become the operational workflow tool across a broad swath of clinical trial sites, we are reimagining pain points along the continuum of trial execution. Our goal in 2021 is to launch trials that only SignalPath sites can conduct based on the sophistication of the technology that we have deployed. In the process of doing so, we strive to drive discovery as well as access to clinical trials in communities around the country.

What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Raleigh?

The growing tech startup scene in Raleigh is a perfect fit for SignalPath due to the intersection of a number of key factors. First, there is an incredible pool of talented people to hire from, driven by the quality of the local academic institutions. Second, Raleigh is a vibrant, engaging city for young professionals. The quality of life is high with phenomenal restaurants and cultural options, while also being affordable. Finally, it is the center of the clinical trial universe with a number of the largest research organizations in the world in the region. It is the perfect ecosystem for SignalPath to continue to flourish. We have been given opportunities to move elsewhere and have no desire to do so.

What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Persistence and curiosity are key. It is clichéd but true. Take the time to do your research and find your north star. Then stick to it with determination while always learning from those around you. Teams often talk about pivoting, but we have been on the same trajectory since our inception in 2014 based on the deeply held belief that the solution we are architecting is needed. Then surround yourself with the best people you can find.

 

For more exclusive interviews, see our full Profile of a Founder series

One thought on “Brad Hirsch of SignalPath

  • October 12, 2020 at 10:04 pm
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    Nice write up and progress. Keep marching towards your vision.

    Reply

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