Health Transformer Spotlight 2019: Rick Hennessey, SOLIUS

Health Transformer Spotlight 2019: Rick Hennessey, SOLIUS


Today I’m gonna talk to you about, um, how
we use love as a guiding principle to build a better patient experience and a better health
care company and I’ll try not to be too foofy about it. Um, I’ll try to provide some specific examples
so it can be meaningful. So my background is I built and sold my last
five companies. My last business we sold for over $100 million
dollars in just four years. And it afforded me the ability to go and invest
in healthcare companies and I did that because I wanted to help the people that I loved. And along that journey I ran into the scientists
and the engineers at Solius and they’re creating some exciting science. What they’re doing is using light to impact
human gene expression as a better way to treat and prevent disease. Like really crazy out there Sci-Fi stuff that
works. They’re doing things like developing technology
to move T-cells faster to assist cancer therapies or activating mechanisms in the human body
that drugs might activate without the cost or harmful side effects. And a picture right there is a machine we
just launched in Canada that provides you the benefits of the sun, like naturally produce
vitamin D, but without the harmful rays that cause skin cancer and aging. So really cutting edge stuff, but what made
me not only want to be an investor but a CEO in this company was that when you talk to
the scientists, they all had a story and it was always about, I’m here because of someone
I love and I want to make it better. Well, I’ve got a story too. So this is my dad. This is Chuck. He’s passed away, but he was one of the best
people on the planet you could ever meet. There literally wasn’t a person that he met
that he didn’t love and his entire life was guided with integrity. Now, when I went to visit my dad in the hospital,
what I found was a very sub par facility and it occurred to me that it was the one place
that my parents might spend a large portion of their life savings and it was built to
help humans, but it kind of seemed inhumane. Now, every person in this room has a Chuck. They have someone that they love and if they’re
sick, they just want them to be treated well. They want them to be, feel better. And as an entrepreneur and investor, I always
try to guide my other entrepreneurs and, and uh, employees to use love as a guiding principle
because it allows them to gain clarity in their vision and I think it increases their
odds of success as well. So one of the biggest things that you get
when you start thinking about developing products for the people you love, is you get authenticity,
you become authentic. And I can promise you that one of the most
important things when you have a startup is to be authentic. So what I’m going to do now is I’m going to
show you how our company Solius uses love as a fundamental guiding principle to enter
a market. And so we haven’t entered the Stratasys market
yet, but we will. And so let me just use that as an example. And when I start to go into markets and you
use love as a fundamental principle, you innately go towards three things. You go towards like, okay, I’ve got a product
I’ve already built that works, but let’s, let’s think about going to market. So you start to think about what’s the experience
for my customer, the person I love, and can they access it, and then what’s the cost? And so I’ll walk you through how we do it
versus the current paradigm. So currently this is a phototherapy treatment
center for psoriasis. The patient walks in to the doctor’s office,
they wait in a waiting room, they get escorted back to a changing room where they get into
thin robe and it’s kind of open in the back, and they walk back there, asked to sit in
a plastic chair. The clinician comes up with a top secret,
much information, and they invite them into this machine. They close it, the clinician types some stuff
in and the patient waits blamelessly. Waits blindlessly, until the session is done. Then they get out. They walked back through the facility and
they get dressed and leave. With Solius, we built this for the people
we love. So the entire experience is self service. It all happens with inside that pod. You walk in, you close the door, it’s all
touch screen. It walks you right through the process. You can choose the scene you want to see during
the treatment. It tells you the time. We could even program a reaffirming message
from a doctor. Now when they’re done, they get dressed. There’s beautiful music that plays. They can look in the mirror and adjust their
hair. But the most important thing that happens
is when they open that door, they leave with dignity. Because we built it for the people we love. So here’s access. So the typical paradigm is that someone goes
down, this happens to be a building in Seattle that houses a phototherapy treatment center. You have to pay for parking. It’s kind of expensive and they go up in there
and the facility is open from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday through Thursday. So if you have psoriasis and need to go two
to four times a week, it’s incredibly disruptive to your week. At Solius, we placed these in locations where
people already frequent. Health clubs, pharmacies, wellness spas. We have an application on the phone so you
can find the location. You can get on a waiting list or simply walking
in with your code and use it at your convenience. Because that’s how we’d want to do it for
the people we love. We want, if they’re not feeling well, we want
it to be easy. Now this is the part that no one really likes
to talk about. Money and love. It seems so disconnected, doesn’t it? So I think you can create a real good advantage
if you start thinking about it from the patient first. So right now in psoriasis, what they do is,
it’s super expensive for the doctors. They have to have office space, they have
to buy a machine. It’s like 6,000, 7,000 doors for bulbs, um,
and they have to pay a clinician. So they have to charge $156 or something,
a treatment. It’s expensive. It’s brutal for the insurance companies and
it’s not good for patients. Three or four times a week, it just adds up. What we’ve done is we’ve created a self service
machine. We just charged $50 a month. Now. It’s not 49.99 or 69.78. There’s no fancy numbers because we want that
authentic relationship with our patient. Just like we would with our mom or a dad or
someone we love. And we share revenue with our location partners. And so it makes it a really simple, easy to
use service. Now psoriasis is an incredibly large market. So what I would argue to you is that we took
the time to build something for the people we love, but it gave us a sincere advantage
in the marketplace. Now, as big as that, I think that my father,
Chuck would be really proud of what we built. I think he realized that we built this for
the people we love and we’re going to treat a lot of people with respect. And so I hope you can do that too. Thank you.

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