We talked to Asaf Kleinbort, CEO of Medorion a solution to healthcare challenges. Here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Asaf Kleinbort: My family and I are doing great. I have four boys whose ages range from 2 to 12. The pandemic, which included lockdowns, online education, and working from home, created a challenge for all of us. But now we are in a steady state, trying to get back to “normal”.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Medorion.
Asaf Kleinbort: I’m a computer scientist and mathematician by education. Throughout my entire career, I have always fulfilled one role repeatedly: I have built and led teams that explore new boundaries in and for software. I was heading development at Cloudshare, one of the first cloud computing companies when I first heard about population health management – and I was fascinated instantly.
The idea of using software to manage and improve clinical objectives at a population level sounded like software’s exciting ‘next frontier’ to me, and I knew that this is what my own company should focus on. And so, together with my two co-founders, Shai Levi and Evitar Khen – whom I met during military service – we began looking at how healthcare organizations were managing people’s decisions and how they were persuading them to follow clinical guidelines such as cancer screenings, renewing prescriptions for preventative drugs, etc.
We quickly realized that while people’s decision process is crucial to their wellbeing and the healthcare organization’s goals, these organizations lack the software infrastructure to manage it as a whole. We then set up on the mission to develop this behavioral-centric software infrastructure today called Medorion.
How does Medorion innovate?
Asaf Kleinbort: We understand why people do what they do, understand and know their concerns and motivations.
Medorion created a new category called Health Behaviour Management. Health Behavior Management solutions solve healthcare management challenges by understanding the decision barriers members face when taking a health-related decision regarding their health, with the goal of bettering business outcomes and improving well-being for millions of individuals.
EBR, our proprietary technology, uses state-of-the-art ML algorithms and is based on 70 years’ worth of Behavioral Science expertise integrated into revolutionary AI Software as a Service (SaaS). Using our technology we are able to take Behavioural Science to the next level, whereas Behavioral Science was able to cover 5-10% of the population’s health decision barriers. Our technology covers 100% of the WHY.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Asaf Kleinbort: There is no doubt that receptiveness for innovation in healthcare has soared since the pandemic, from the organization level to the patient level. Value-based care wins big-time over any other model and has proved itself during the global health crisis. We are also seeing increased adoption of digital solutions such as remote care, now becoming a built-in feature of health plans. The persuasion period, to this end, is over. Investments in digital health are growing phenomenally and I reckon this trend will continue. Interest in Medorion’s Behavioral SaaS has grown significantly since the pandemic and we’ve been fortunate to work with several of the top 10 U.S. health plans.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Asaf Kleinbort: When the pandemic broke we were all concerned. We had a few customers’ projects that were put on hold and we immediately seized all our hiring activities. However, after 3-4 months commercial conversations were slowly starting to occur again and eventually we over-delivered our goals in 2020. Medorion’s headcount grew in 2021 as our business expanded in the US, our commercial team doubled and we expect even higher growth in 2022.
To deal with remote management during the pandemic, we used the skills acquired over the years in various management positions in order to create the best possible work environment for our employees, and luckily Medorion did not suffer from any major HR difficulties
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Asaf Kleinbort: One of the biggest challenges to organizations (large or small) was not meeting customers face to face. Opportunities may take a longer time when you do not meet f2f and even those that have become customers over this period – we have yet to meet! Our main advantage is that we are a SaaS solution, and deployment pace was thus not affected by the pandemic, our customer service teams know how to manage everything remotely, and hence our operations utilized tools we were already accustomed to.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Asaf Kleinbort: No, Medorion has a constant revenue stream and great investors who are backing the company and did not get any or have the need to receive government grants.
Your final thoughts?
Asaf Kleinbort: Health behavior is one of the most important determinants of people’s overall health and wellbeing. While it was always true, I think that the COVID pandemic made it obvious for almost everyone. We expect to see the market of health behavior management booming in the next few years and we’re proud to be the company that defines and leads this category.
On the personal side, a few years ago I “swapped sides” from DevOps and the cloud computing world into the Healthcare industry. While the challenges and pace in the industry can be a bit frustrating sometimes, I’m still constantly amazed by the size of the opportunities and how much impact software and technology can create. I think that the changes we’ll see in the industry are monumental. I’m proud to lead a company that develops technology and products that can improve and impact millions of lives.
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