An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Scott Laster (co-founder and CEO) of MiCare Path, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of MiCare Path – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
My partners and I have extensive medical device careers ranging from sales and marketing to research. Brian Childress (CCO), Core Patrick (COO), and I, Scott Laster (CEO) were all in different stages of our careers and each of us happened to be affected by serious medical concerns for either family members or ourselves at one time or another. Throughout our experiences with medical specialty care, we each saw the need for a “medical industrial revolution” to help bridge the gap between specialty care patients and their providers, as these patients obviously spend most of their lives outside the office visit. Given our backgrounds, MiCare Path was born with a focus on an untapped market of remote care in the orthopedic space. Now with 75+ world-renowned design physicians co-developing dynamic care paths, this focus immediately expanded into 11+ healthcare specialties across the US. The original vision of personalizing peace of mind beyond the office visit with remote monitoring today, and data tomorrow, is still very much at the core of the entire company.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
The biggest hurdles might still be ahead of us, but here are a few we’ve overcome so far:
- Building a company from the ground up was new for the founders, but within a year and a half, we’ve built a 20-person team with 250+ years of medical experience combined.
- There’s a national staffing crisis – MiCare Path adjusted to a new model and created a new department to provide services.
- New company and a new market to be created = no clinical evidence. A clinical evidence strategy is in place and moving forward.
- I think this one is a given: we underestimated our research and development needs, but thankfully, the digital space is very nimble and allows for evolution and expansion.
- The need to stretch across the entire healthcare market, not just orthopedics, was a shock, but immediately sensed, hence the above challenge and solution #4.
What does the future hold for MiCare Path?
Virtually every physician we speak with says that the future of healthcare is here today with what we are providing with MiCare Path. A change in how comprehensive healthcare is provided is needed now. The news reports every day about the healthcare staffing crisis, over-run ERs, the aging population, the lowering reimbursement for care, the downturn of providers entering the pipeline, and the increase in specialty healthcare patients. MiCare Path is a primed solution. Utilizing remote monitoring today can extend the impact and bandwidth of overburdened staff, as well as generate more revenue while reducing the number of times that low-risk patients come into the office. Catching issues before they become a problem reduces ER visits and healthcare costs overall. The data gathered today by RPM already has and will continue to change the way we develop and deliver care. It’s happening now.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Memphis?
Memphis is a booming scene for tech startups. Unlikely location? Maybe, but maybe not. Memphis has been a healthcare innovation leader for years with the likes of St. Jude and the medical device hubs of Medtronic, Smith & Nephew, Stryker, and Microport. So, when it comes to medical technology startups, MiCare Path is headquartered in a perfect location for a rich, collaborative environment across the spectrum: medical thought-leaders on the cutting edge, medical professionals with seasoned experience and networks, and the broader support eco-system that comes along with such a vibrant corporate community.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Nearly all the employees of MiCare Path have “big corporate” backgrounds. We all took the leap to join a startup, with people we trust and a vision that we all believe in. It has been life-changing for us all. My advice would be to never be afraid to try something new. Being able to make a major impact in the lives of patients across the US (our families included) all while building a company from the ground up is an experience like no other. Never hesitate to take a chance at something you believe in.