George Hunnewell, CEO of RxMx tells us how industry-leading technology brings together tailored solutions to patients, healthcare providers (HCPs), & clients.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
George Hunnewell: We’re lucky in that we’ve all been safe. My kids are college-age, so my daughter has been attending classes remotely, and my son is just beginning an internship. My wife is a doctor, and she has been consistently seeing patients throughout the crisis. Meanwhile, our company, RxMx, is remote, so I’ve been fortunate to work from my home in Massachusetts.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined RxMx.
George Hunnewell: I joined RxMx in 2019 after many years in leadership roles in life sciences companies. Prior to joining RxMx, I was Chief Operating Officer at Cogstate, a specialty Contract Research Organization. I also spent 15 years at Parexel, a CRO and biopharma company, where I became the corporate vice president and an executive committee member. I have plenty of experience in leadership roles in the life sciences.
How does RxMx innovate?
George Hunnewell: We’re fortunate to have a very smart and dedicated group of people on our product and development team who keep track of the latest trends and developments in the industry. We use Agile methodologies to move quickly and are always open to new ideas from the team. Our product and development teams host hackathons at least once a year to keep their ideas fresh and let them work on new solutions to problems they’d like to address.
As a result, our industry-leading technology brings together tailored solutions to patients, healthcare providers (HCPs), and clients that significantly improve the patient experience while providing necessary information to HCPs.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
George Hunnewell: We were a mostly-remote company, so we shifted our business model to being fully remote and carried on with our day-to-day operations. Our clients are primarily pharmaceutical companies, and they were still in the market for innovative products to help support the launch of new therapies, so we were fortunate to carry on business as usual. Of course, for the people who were used to going into an office a few times a week, it’s been a change, but we’ve all learned to adjust during this time to keep the company moving forward.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
George Hunnewell: We’re rather conservative in how we run our business, so we escaped the pandemic without any major business setbacks. There’s really no takeaway from the situation except for “prepare for the unpredictable.” The company was fortunate to be in strong financial shape and not have to make any extensive changes during the pandemic.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
George Hunnewell: Like many companies, we’ve relied heavily on Zoom and Slack to stay in contact throughout the pandemic. We already used these tools since we’re an international company with roots in Australia, but we became much more reliant on them once we moved to being a fully remote company (for the time being) with employees all over the world.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
George Hunnewell: We have competitors ranging from large companies publicly listed on the New York stock exchange to a number of smaller-scale startups in the space. One thing this past year has done is to force companies to innovate, especially in the health-tech space when so many people were unable to see doctors in person. There’s definitely no shortage of companies in the health-tech space.
We pride ourselves on listening to client feedback and responding to their needs. In the next year, there will be some new offerings in our product based on both industry trends and the feedback we hear from clients. We’re also beginning to incorporate AI and machine learning into our software for some exciting new applications, so expect to see some developments along this front as well.
Your final thoughts?
George Hunnewell: The pandemic presented a very challenging time for many companies. We were one of the lucky ones. Overall, we are coming out of it in great shape and continuing to grow our business. You may have seen that we were able to take on private equity investors in the middle of the pandemic to help grow and scale the business in the years ahead, so we’re all very excited and optimistic about the future.