Eran Atlas is using DreaMed to deliver and leverage medical knowledge for the benefit of humanity’s health
First of all, how are you and your family doing during COVID-19 times?
Eran Atlas: It was a challenging time. Thank God, none of us got infected, although we did have to be in quarantine a couple of times. Despite all of this, we tried to have fun at home. We filmed a movie, looking at different family situations and comparing the ideal state to reality. It was so funny.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded DreaMed?
Eran Atlas: I am a Biomedical Engineer. When I was in the last year of my master’s degree, I was working for a different medical device company that focused on orthopedics. One day I got a phone call from Prof. Moshe Phillip, the Director of the Institute for Endocrinology and Diabetes at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel. He offered that I join him to help create a team that will build an artificial pancreas. I was fascinated by this challenge. Learning about the pains of people with diabetes as well as their healthcare worker’s responsibility, drew me to want to impact those people. We were a small team, a combination of great engineers and doctors, that had to self-learn about technology, clinical studies, FDA and CE regulations as well as doing business. I am so proud that we managed to partner with Medtronic Diabetes and now our technology is part of their Medtronic 780G system.
As part of our journey, we found out that not all of the people with diabetes had access to expert care, as the great doctors in Schneider Children’s, mainly because there are not enough experts compared to the number of people with diabetes that need their help. Out of this frustration, we decided to establish DreaMed, spin out of the hospital, and build a technological bridge in the form of an AI-based platform that delivers and leverages medical knowledge for the benefit of humanity’s health. Focusing initially on diabetes, we provide a SaaS clinical decision support system for healthcare providers that dramatically increases global patients’ accessibility to the high-quality expert standard of medical care.
How does DreaMed innovate?
Eran Atlas: Innovation at DreaMed originated for a deep understanding of diabetes, its financial pains, clinical needs, and patient satisfaction. The only way of being able to accomplish this is by having a team of experts that brings such deep understanding to the table. Our team includes:
- Eran Agmon – who brings tons of expertise in designing products in the digital healthcare space capturing his know-how at MediSafe and Helarium.
- Revital Nimri (co-founder and Senior MD at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel) and Ido Muller (co-founder and algorithm team leader) which together brings a strong combination between the clinical aspects and technology/algorithms.
- Yael Shtrit and Inbal Peled which are our clinical and regulatory directors, responsible for making sure each piece of technology we develop will match the requirements of our customers and the regulatory agencies
- Ryan Hovey – our GM for NA which brings the experience of how to commercialize products to the US health systems.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Eran Atlas: Interestingly, it actually pushed us forward because we had to invent our onboarding process to be purely remote. Diabetes clinics suddenly understood (a change that is here to stay) what it meant to deliver care remotely. This even elevated their need for a platform that could support them in performing this task. On the other hand, we did experience, in some cases, issues of lack of attention of the medical team and their administrators due to COVID.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Eran Atlas: We had to change a bit the way we are operating, and like any business, we did adapt our human resources to fit the needs of these times.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Eran Atlas: We always believed in strong customer relationships. So even during COVID times, we kept in touch with our customers remotely. Our processes are still non-matured, as we are transforming from technological development to a customer-oriented company. That said, one of the decisions that we made was to hire a strong commercial executive in the US (during COVID) in order to support us in this transition. Ryan joined us from UHG, where he was the VP of Provider Solutions for more than 13 years. Last week was the first time Since August 20, where we managed to meet Ryan in person.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Eran Atlas: No.
Your final thoughts?
Eran Atlas: We all know that diabetes is a high-cost, complex, and hard-to-manage condition. The massive lack of specialized medical staff forces healthcare provider organizations in the US to lose money. On one hand, they don’t want to lose patients, so they try to invest a lot of resources to keep patients at their best of care. Yet, as there are not enough experts available, it is a hard job to do. On the other hand, they don’t want to lose on patients and always try to find ways to be more efficient without compromising the quality of care. So there is a clear need for a fast and massive increase of endo-level care as well as an increase in diabetes-related profitability without the burden and cost of acquiring an army of medical specialists.
This is exactly where DreaMed plays. DreaMed’s vision is to close the gap of not enough medical specialists to treat chronic disease patients using a clinical decision support system.