Today we have selected Timothy Kelley to take his interview. He is the CEO of TeleRay.
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
We are doing great! When COVID first hit, our sales jumped 400% but collapsed as hospitals tightened up spending with impending losses from the pandemic. Due to the ‘new normal’ and the end of non-compliant tools such as Facetime and Zoom, we work with institutions, clinics, and practices to fulfill their telehealth, telemedicine, and image management initiatives. In the future, this will be a growing concern in how face-to-face communication will be managed to keep sick and healthy patients at home based on condition and triage.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?
My whole career has been in healthcare. From a pharmaceutical rep to pharmacy benefit management to veterinary medicine and radiology, I have experienced many facets of the healthcare system. As a consultant to TDK many years ago, we developed the first medical CD recorders to replace film. Being a part of that transformation was exciting to see technology replace a fading technology due to cost, efficiency, environmental issues, and better medicine. We are witnessing a turnover again in healthcare communication and the movement of data by using the cloud. For example, our platform TeleRay allows for face-to-face consultation between patients, professionals, and providers on any device to access and view patient data and images. This is not just screen sharing but true access to results and images from the hospital and clinical systems in real-time. We extended this capability to view modalities such as ultrasound in a live streaming consultation to allow specialists and qualified physicians to virtually standing over the shoulder of sonographers and technologists. This technology makes more specialists available without travel and eliminates false positives, false negatives, and allows for better triage of patients to save money and ultimately have better outcomes. This technology is being used by major institutions for maternal-fetal medicine, telestroke, and cardiology outreach, and referral programs.
How does your company innovate?
We listen to our customers describe their problems, and then we look at how do we not only solve the problem but make it useful without changing their typical workflow. We then implement new technology – not for adoption, but adaptation. We don’t want our customers to adopt technology; we then them to adapt to it.
How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Overall, it will be a good thing for us and the sites we serve over time. Technology can add so much efficiency and clarity to the process for clinicians that were used to one way and can now discover new ways since they are essentially mandated to look at alternatives. We will keep adding features to make the transition to the new normal easier and more affordable to smaller sites that typically don’t have access to our level of technology.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Sometimes, a good technology currently in use needs to be abandoned to move onto a better, more efficient technology. History has proven that better technology provides better results. Recently we have witnessed this in televisions, phones, and electric cars. They keep getting better and are part of our everyday life as integrated tools of our jobs, social life, and family life.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
We use more online marketing with explainer videos, white papers, comparisons, and a comprehensive knowledge base. Our weekly office meetings to evaluate how each person contributes to building a better customer journey are part of everyone’s job and role. We wear many hats, and no one is on an island!
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
We have quasi-competencies that do one of the things we do, but no competitor has a platform completely like TeleRay. Our advantage and staying power are multifold. We focus on customer problems and resolve them with easy-to-use tools. We remove complexity from a highly complex platform and hide it behind the curtain. Our customers don’t experience our complexity in managing an issue. In the end, we deliver a highly functional platform that can eliminate many vendors with a single point of contact at a cost savings of 70% or more. This is a position that will help our continued growth while keeping a high barrier to competitors.
Your final thoughts
Over my career, I have watched technology create opportunities and situations to move an industry forward. Healthcare has been grossly inefficient for a very long time with completely unnecessary costs such as duplicate radiology re-scans, readmissions to hospitals for basic needs, overprescribing of drugs, unfair and unbalanced pricing, expensive data management, and many more. Technology will eventually tackle all of these to expose the inefficiency and then fix it with communication platforms such as TeleRay. We hope to be at the forefront.