Glenn Bilby, Founding CEO at Qinematic tells us about how Life is Moovment® and exercises its medicine.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Glenn Bilby: Life is somewhat different, with everyone in the immediate family in closer proximity and more of the time. I usually have a very busy travel schedule, but I have been working from home much of the time during this part of the year. The family seems to appreciate this. The dog gets walked more often than usual, so he is also very happy.
The restrictions in Sweden have been much looser than in other countries. We miss seeing friends and family more often, but we are not in complete lockdown, which is a relief.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Qinematic.
Glenn Bilby: Qinematic was founded in 2012 in response to my own frustration with the lack of fast and simple objective measurement of human movement in the health and fitness industry. There are many great ways to train and treat health issues by improving health and removing pain, but very few ways to measure the outcomes using objective measures instead of subjective reporting. At the same time, doctors, allied health professionals, and fitness experts are being asked to be scientific and work in an evidence-based manner. The best evidence comes from the place where the assessments and the treatment are occurring, not just in the university labs.
There is also a trend towards prevention and using personal measurement devices to monitor health over time. This paradigm shift will disrupt healthcare as we know it and put more purchasing power and decision-making in the consumer’s hands. But to do that, both the parties need to share objective information and be able to communicate and coordinate the information, the actions, and the planning.
How does Qinematic innovate?
Glenn Bilby: We have a multidisciplinary approach to innovation. We usually start with some great technically feasible ideas but based on real-life needs on the street. Service design is a big part of what we do first, and then we build smart technical solutions to deliver the service, and not what is around. We are also focused on real impact at the level of our customers who are delivering services to end-users such as patients, gym members, employees at work, older people in residential homes, or sportspeople. It can be as technically fancy as you like, but if people don’t find it easy to use, then they simply won’t use it. Especially health workers who are already overworked and don’t think they have time to learn new things, even if it can save them lots of time in the long run.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Glenn Bilby: The pandemic has been great for digital health, so we have greatly benefited. It was the crisis we needed to have in healthcare and fitness to push consumers and service providers out of their traditional comfort zones and into the 21st century. Lockdown has been challenging for our customers who have bricks-and-mortar organizations, mostly clinics, and gyms. The ones who went digital during 2020 have had a better experience, and so have their customers. However, when our customers cannot pay their bills, then they don’t pay their bills, which is not great for cash flow. It also slows down conversion rates as many people won’t make choices during uncertain times. So we have a very healthy sales pipeline that should convert to sales once the pandemic restrictions are lifted.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Glenn Bilby: We are fortunate to have a small team familiar with remote working, so the team morale has not changed at all. We are still having a great time making great software from various parts of Europe. Furthermore, when you have been running a tight ship for so long, it is not difficult to keep it that way. I feel sorry for the companies that got investment early and have blown a lot of cash on outsourcing tasks and having resource slack, and have had to cut back. Some companies don’t know what to do without consultants. We are quite self-sufficient.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Glenn Bilby: We try to use as few platforms as possible for our tech development as well as our sales and marketing. We are quite happy with HubSpot for CRM. We still have a way to go regarding social media integration and content creation. We try to stay focused on the personal touch in our niche markets without going too broad with some posts.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Glenn Bilby: We have participated in projects that funded the academic parties, but we have not benefitted financially from any significant government grants. We consistently look relevant for many of the EU funds like Horizon 2020 and Eurostars, but the administrative burden is overwhelming, and the odds of winning a bid is low without an application that is written in the right way and involves the right participants. We find that rather disheartening, and we try to stay focused on the innovation process, staying close to our customers, and solving real-world problems. If we do that right, then the market will pay us, and our shareholders will get a good return, the old-fashioned way.
Your final thoughts?
Glenn Bilby: 2020 imposed a lot of change on the world and in a short period. That is challenging for most people and organizations, but sometimes we need to be shaken out of our comfort zones and into paradigms and new ways of working. With Moovment software by Qinematic, there is no need for analogue guesswork when it comes to the assessment of human movement for detecting and preventing health problems. The pandemic has accelerated normally slow sectors like healthcare into the future. Our artificial intelligence and digital health services are well positioned for 2021 and 2022 adoption rates that we did not anticipate in 2019.
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