An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Stuart Long (CEO, on behalf of the founders) of InfoBionic, which was honored in our:
- 2022 Best Tech Startups in Waltham
- 2021 Best Tech Startups in Waltham
- 2019 Best Tech Startups in Lowell
- 2018 Best Tech Startups in Lowell
Tell us the origin story of InfoBionic – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
InfoBionic was co-founded by an electrophysiologist, Dr. Jeremy Ruskin, who founded the first EP lab in New England. The big problem he wanted to solve for was the multiple devices for multiple different tests, the many systems that siloed information, as well as the many different report formats. The problem was compounded by the fact that there were multiple vendors needed to monitor for all test types. He wanted a single system that could make data available on demand during the study and eliminate the vast inefficiency of multiple devices, systems, reports, log-ins, and vendors.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
Our mode not only delivers a substantial clinical improvement, but also disrupts the flow of reimbursements. The market was mostly outsourced to 3rd party providers (our competitors). They would bill for the “technical component”, which is the lion’s share (up to ~95%) of the reimbursement. By purchasing our solution versus outsourcing it, the physician then takes on the work with our very efficient workflow, and can then bill for all of the reimbursement, not just their component. The biggest challenge was educating the market and the insurance payers to the shift in the model. It took almost 3 years for that to fully happen. Now we see numerous companies trying to replicate the model we started.
What does the future hold for InfoBionic?
We were purposely designed and built to monitor remotely anywhere outside the hospital. Due to COVID, the market accelerated to telehealth and virtual care. We’re perfectly positioned to continue our core competencies as needs rapidly progress for better telemetry monitoring requirements in programs such as the CMS hospital without walls (aka Hospital at Home) initiatives. We’re perfectly situated to allow for a very similar level of continuous telemetry monitoring in any virtual care setting. Once again, we will pave a new path across the entire spectrum of monitoring needs by bringing clinical grade telemetry monitoring to virtual care from the lowest complexity to the highest complexity, and anywhere in between.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Waltham?
I’m proud we’re part of a very dynamic startup scene, notably in the medical device area. The entire Boston metropolitan has established itself as the “med device hub”.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Cash is king! Revenue before expense! When precision is required, slow down! Make failure a success criteria! If it ain’t broke, try to break it!