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Aging in Place with Dr. Randall Williams of WellSaid

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Aging in Place with Dr. Randall Williams of WellSaid

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2 months ago

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Hey there it is a pleasure to have you on the podcast. That are Randolph Randall. Williams thank you for joining us. Hope we can take a moment here and first of all. Just introduce yourself to the listeners. Terry Good Morning. It's really great to be here. I'm Randy Williams am a physician by background. have a long-standing track record. I guess in the voice technology arena a applied to healthcare. So it's really fun to come and talk about that with you today and with your audience More recently or last year and a half two years Myself and Michael have been working on Applying voice technology to the challenges of staying healthy and active and independent as one gets older. And so we're doing that with a company called while said and we'll be happy to talk to you a little bit about that this morning as well. Wonderful just a little bit more of your background in terms of being a medical doctor. What kind of medicine do you practice and can Tusla but more about your practice? Yeah sure I trained as a cardiologist as a heart failure and transplant specialist In the Mid Nineteen Ninety S was recruited Here in Chicago to Northwestern University to A build a program for a heart failure which is Many of your listeners know is a chronic disease and it's very prevalent One of the things that I had the opportunity to do In my very earliest Kerr. Stage was to create a continuum of care for people with chronic disease. And that was something that was Informed by my Training experienced in the managed care world so it seen some of the failings of the healthcare system and how people with chronic diseases really fell through. The cracks. Were often readmitted to the hospital on -sarily and frankly lacked some of the systems and support That were needed. Stay a healthy in and out of the hospital. So we built a program Initially that provided resources both Obviously in the hospital setting but then in the home and community setting dwell and we had we had to knit all that together to be able to To help people in San top aware their challenges were arising sort of outside of the normal visibility of the healthcare system. And so we talk. We turned a two voice technology. Clear back then and Started with Interactive Voice Response and built a an application that had allowed Heart failure patients to report in every morning on how they were feeling and how they were doing. What vital signs were whether they're taking over Madison? Simple things actually. But more importantly it gave us in our staff daily visibility into how they were doing and whether there are any changes that needed support or additional services and low behold we are able to prevent you know about fifty sixty percent of hospitalizations in that group of people and That led to an opportunity for us to start exploring other chronic diseases and see if the model could apply elsewhere so we moved on and did diabetes and Lung Disease of Zima chronic asthma. Things like that And then I'm in early two thousands Low Behold Um had an opportunity to Help the US Senate Think through how they would like to see the Medicare program Adapt these kinds of approaches to save money and improve outcomes for the Medicare population Which led in turn to Taking what we had developed in terms of our technology at northwestern and began commercializing that as our first startup Back in two thousand and four I in two thousand nine After maintaining a day a week and clinic It became pretty clear that it was tough to negotiate contracts in between Patient visits and I was really Sort of doing a disservice to people to try to keep my foot into canoes and so had to make the choice to give up my Clinical practice. But you know it's interesting as Dr Amok Vanessa Miss Patient Care and the answer. Is You know for sure right. I mean I love interacting with people ella of Helping others and And fortunately many of those things have continued on in my entrepreneurial. Career what. I don't miss so much or some of the failings of broken healthcare system that really needs transformation and so Philosophically I just had to make the choice about where I wanted to try to help that. Transformation happen and And really enjoyed and thrived in Some of the business model innovation work that it takes to really transform IT industry I'm hopeful that over time my career will leave a A testimony of having supported the transformation of healthcare in a in a meaningful way. That's great that's great so I mean that's a very interesting background because when you talk about Ivy. Are you doing this longtime ago way? Before a lot of these people have entered the voice space as we know it today with the voice assistance but now in your latest iteration with this well said maybe we can talk a little bit now about that that that transformation so you went from the. It are and now you've got this company well said and what does that look like how how did how did that come about. And what does the product do? Yeah well let me start with how we got here. And then I'll tell you more about our company what we're up to but You know as we were Growling and and Building out Our initial company called Pharos Innovations We really started to hear about and see voice assistant technologies starting to emerge and Every holiday we would hear about how The Google assistant in Alexa devices. Were flying off the shelf and we we sort of scratched our head as a management team and said Hey. Wait a SEC. Maybe we ought to be thinking about bolting this technology on our Ivr Platform Armas another user interface opportunity and it had a lot of compelling reasons why we should do that but there were two constraints that we were struggling with one. Constraint was That the devices at the time were not set up for her. A compliant Interactions is that we had We had that challenge and then the other challenge. Frankly was that As a as a enabler of health care We are often at arm's length from the actual users of technology and that had some real disadvantages as well if you're going to iterating learn. I'm as as those of us know who are Into our lean startup technology or methodologies. You really need to talk to your customers you willing to talk to your users and understand what's working what's not again given the complexities of having worked with the senior population for a long time We knew that this technology would bring its own sets of barriers and challenges that we needed to understand how to overcome in order to do that. We had to get in front of older adults