Cliniko founder Joel Friedlaender on bringing digital transformation to healthcare
Hello there i'm d- reggie and welcome to inside injured. Comp on this week's show we're chatting to clinico finder joe's friedlander but they've accelerated the digital transformation of tens of healthcare businesses over the past decade. We recently spoke with joe to learn more by clinicals approach as a practice management solution. And how what. The future holds for the health tech industry and how the events around covid nineteen and telehealth in particular have dramatically changed healthcare practices for good. We'll also hear by the importance of robust data security in an otherwise personal hands on industry and clinico balanced those practices in different regions across the globe. It's something that we can appreciate. Having recently shared our intercom has successfully completed a haber attestation examination. Jill had tons of great insights share. So let's head over to the studio and hear from him so joe. We are so delighted to welcome you to the show today. Kick things off. Would you like to share a little. Better bite yourself and how you ended up with finder. Kinda co the practice management software used by more than thirty thousand people in over seventy countries. Sure so my background is a software developer of been doing that for just over twenty years and about ten years ago just astounded. the journey. Weeds clinic our house. Waken at the time is at a software development manager in a small company and my patent. Who's osteopath have been asked me for quite a while to make some software for the allied health industry as she saw a need for it and it wasn't match moton software around time so in the end. I quit my job doing that. We took out a learn against a has to do a runner but instead used to build a company and just started building out what it took about seven months from the time assad working on it till we saw the launch publicly. And then it's just gone better than expected since. Yeah i mean that must have been quite a nerve wracking time in that you. You were really putting all your eggs in one basket. It sounds like it would be more than it was. I think i wasn't happy in the job that i was doing. And the potential upside to be added work for myself Business was big. Sorry it was probably exciting. In the worst case scenario wasn't so bad we just by saupiquet inter give it a good guard. Yeah and i guess. I suppose in your relationship between the two of you. You've goss Intersection of technology and health care. And that's reflected in the products that you built together absolutely. It was a huge bonus to have someone your side by side was made the new a user of the potential system and you needed to do inhabited to where it was essential. So as you say you started at just over a decade ago with what was originally. I guess quite a straightforward a simple idea from your partner who wanted this booking system in your opinion. How has the health check. Landscape changed in that period because presumably. It's been a time of quite dramatic change for us. You're absolutely i think. The most significant change from back then is the allowed number of systems now a web based which they weren't into that time at the time when we lost the nikkei bane web-based was quite a point of difference. And i think that you know. The software industry was already. There was a lot of applications already. Moving web-based it in allied health ice specifically. Maybe it was that little bit behind. So i think we will donating revolutionary but were using what was being successful elsewhere and modern software practices and bringing it to an industry. Didn't have it so a lot of people back end. I was still hosting this off. Wei on serve as clinics. That were sort of windows installed software. They couldn't use microsoft main. If i wanted to and i think that's the most significant change now. So many people including car others away based Practitioners a lot less About in having manage they networks and service and also the ability to access through from outside of the clinic probably in the last ten years. That's the most significant shift. And do you think with people you know with the act. The people use in their day to day life. The the patient's overall are more know more open to using attack based health product. Absolutely i think they're more comfortable with information. But installed in it and instantly might be around the booking side which is probably where the patients in track the most with the system like as they almost expect now to be at a book in from the foreign online in some capacity whereas wasn't divisive in just a few years ago. Yeah for sure. I mean i guess when you when you have users who are used to be able to order food and watch and track the delivery from from the restaurants to their door it makes sense then that you would be able to do similar functions when it comes to mountaineer house absolutely and i think there's two pots. One is the convenience of it and the ability to look at a time when the clinic might not be open and taking your coal and the other at specifically to the healthcare sector is you might people can infer employment. Might be a little bit sensitive or private and not having to announce on the phone. What your book in. If you're at work during the day or something. Like that outta discreetly do it viren online bookings and also be beneficial in this in this context. Yes that's a very good point. And i think obviously in the last year there's probably been some fairly dramatic changes and we'll get to that in a little while you know we'll talk a little bit. Higher kovic has impacted those trends as well. But before we do that. I know from reading about clinico. That you've always operated as a remorse. I working company. So can you tell me little bit about why you felt. This decision was right for you. And your team where you started off. Shore so definitely are i hired to. The company was a developer whereby st melbourne australia and those the development in poland and that was back in two thousand twelve kind of started companies bain remote. But it wasn't intentional. At the time. I would like to say that i had this vision company in all the benefits. But really i put up the job ad that said looking to hire a developer in melbourne. And i thought. I want someone to sit side by side with an worth. It just happens. The i applied for the requirements of banning melvin and applied anyway and when were we applications that the standout one and we were. We'll open to you. Know we're not so set in starring like he is what we what we wanted. We gotta stick to it. We will open to that and ended up to show in the end. it worked out brilliantly for. That's amazing am i love that. They just ignored the the requirement to be in in melbourne tarpley. Absolutely quite unusual though tannery even five years ago to be building up a team where everyone's in different places in different countries. I think i think the people need higher potentially develop overseas but not in the same way. I think people my outsource at the time so they would go to a company in a you know. Typically a cheaper demographic area and that was decay raisin to be doing it as well was decided on price if local developers were expensive. But this was flat different. This was just hiring the best person we could find and it turned out they went to strive for us and in bringing that person on we obviously started to set up systems and processes the worked with a remote team because we needed to and then as that. It works well for us next time we are looking to hire. We just felt like why. Are we going to be restricted. to someone. you know within certain kilometers from where we're working as opposed to look anywhere in the world to find the best person and i think it was unusual. I know you know when a headshots with my family wouldn't understand how that could work that. Be asking me questions like you know. They're doing any work things like that. So it was definitely much more unusual at the time you know in two thousand twelve than it is now but still i think even now is a long way to go before remote worth is is done by a lot of companies in may be done properly. Yeah you're right there. I mean surely it's been quite advantageous for you in the past year to have that remote working culture already built up a i think it's made animated pages for since day one. I'm a big advocate for a nerve spring. Part of the reason of their success. Company has been the way working. He likes that but definitely recovered. At lockdowns. it is still has an effect on every wanted has an effect on company. But we didn't have to change your word situation. We'll set up for that and was and how big is the team. Nigel and where are people based and with functions so where about forty five people now and we have people in australia. The us canada brazil flushable uk islands scotland's soon to be someone's moving at the moment malaysia. Oh probably get some The really have people have someone in the philippines as well. so just like. I said when hiring We just wish we find the best person in the location doesn't matter the only exceptions that bay were hiring for support. If ever a particular time zone they hired for that. Times are hiring alexei. Shin still chair. And i was gonna ask about that visibly. It means that you can have that sort of twenty four hour service which for being in healthcare. It's it's probably quite important. Teach be able to offer that absolutely came about so the naturally for us we win aiming for twenty four hour coverage but as we started to hire more people as support to actually go together themselves. Decision covering most of the times. What if we schedule the and we do my show with twenty four hour coverage and i do that amongst themselves so we do have that twenty four hour coverage during the week now but almost happens by accident just by having these people in different regions when we needed them ganic and i suppose it's a sign of a good support team that they realized that there was something that they could offer on bashar absolutely Who's been really good for our customers do. There's always someone about so. Look you know to go back to the sort of the covert side of things and other people having to to go remote area where you were used to it. It has been over a year since you know. A lot of companies across the world have been forced to adopt that practice in some places. You know like arlen for example. We don't know when we'll be back in the office. Just yes so rather than off your tips on remote work team building. So i think that's very well covered grind at the moment. I'd love to know what your advice for creating. sustainable team coacher. Is you know hide you. Mark even or events. Hide you manage when you have to have in person meetings to someone that that might actually be local show. My number one tip select culture a remote company that i would normally give is the least helpful during covid. Which is we have Yearly teammate ups oil in every second we have made ups. And i think that's has bain really good for us as a over time sir attain. Really even those remote It doesn't feel like a bunch of contractors. People really have close friendships with people all over the place and i think i made had had a big impact on that and helped a lot that we would get together some small a ups and every two years or so we will do the full tame somewhere in the world but that's obviously not possible at the moment it hasn't been possible for us eight hundred for the last year and a half or so so i think one thing we do is we use a attained chattel slack for our team chat and i think having plenty of spicing there. Non worth discussion is a big help so we have a lot of channels that we have a diy channel. We have a channel about books channel about a channel beverages which is mostly channel offi but we have a whole bunch of different channels to driving carriage chat on different topics and we have a channel just called social. Wear anything not work related sort of fall into that one but we also invite people in the atmosphere into that channel was a lot of times. We find people in the team. We'll sit with slack on their phone and they'll get messages from people in the funny drugs. Whatever and it's be isolating them in their family where they're so we make sure to remind Everyone's atms as well into that channel. Conjoining mbeya part of things and then that's also the place where we celebrate birthdays work. Anniversaries things like that on the social side. Now that is something. I have never heard before. That is really really interesting. Do you think you know where did the idea for that might. Do you think it was in any way inspired. By the fact that you and your partner had started the company together. I think. I don't know if it was from that or not but i think we kind of had a realization. That people's partners are part of their work whether actively included or not people at the end of the day of work are going to go back to the they're going to talk about the people that work and the patent is gonna be involved is gonna They can know what they're they're going to know who they work with. But it's all from the outside and it's a little bit odd. So that partners all the people at the company but none of the people at the company nor the patna and i think in general we just have the disconnects. That doesn't need to be there so we we have the social channel to try to encourage them to common bay involved bay themselves in the business we have made up spotting Invited to them and even when we do in a full tape made up every couple of years we invite in pavo happens in kids to come along to those because we think you like i said the families already part of it but maybe the businesses excluding them To not do that in just involve them where we can. Gosh that's really really unique. But very interesting idea. And i can see how that would work especially while at the moment absolutely especially with people working from home i think departments are more involved in their worse than ever. It would be a boost. Now yeah because your partner kind of becomes your only work as i guess absolute happy customers or a high performing fourteen at intercom. We say why not vote. Our ultimate guide conversations. The voice is your one stop resource to learn how to deliver just that you'll learn the nasa's strategies to work smarter from personal customer support without endorsing your team or budgets along tips from our friends. At flack xabier andrew trick download the ultimate guide conversational support now at the inter dot com slash. Get the guide. Joel rosenthal is your best. How'd you feel that the health check industry overall has been affected by covert like. Feel that there's been an acceleration of trends that maybe you've been observing before. I think that's brought a few things forward that we're always in the works and starting to come about but now the full front and probably the most obvious and biggest one he's telling hills so it needs went through lockdown and they wear i wouldn't upright versus the person and they wanted find ways to help people still needed their services to go face to face or they just wanted to have a way to still bring in some extra revenue to their business intake themselves relevant and in touch with their patients for when they get to reopen again. And i think that largely telehealth is by the end said to both of those for many clinics. And it's not telehealth wasn't around already but we've brought it. Forward know the advancement hills temple at many many years in the spice of the last twelve months so many clinics adopted at tried it out and hit from so many that i plan to incorporate it into what do moving forward and i think that you know the benefits to telehealth other than the covid side in the ability cape writing if not face to face for this places like rachel areas that don't have access to healthcare that could get it via telehealth and that's a really able to them. They could be people. Disabilities are not able to leave the home to go in the health healthcare. They need the do via telehealth elderly people. There's a whole range of people that i think it makes Healthcare available to this note without heels. Yeah because i was going to ask you know. I've been areas of of your business. Presumably tally health falls into this. That you've got to prioritize differently to what you'd may be anticipated in your roadmap last year around match would have been when this was all unfolding quite quickly. We pretty much put a hold on the development work way. Doing it just took a step back and said what's going to help customers for the next six months assuming lockdowns assuming ovid ramps up like it did until he helps was the obvious front runner so that was the first thing we did. We switched to working on info writer's sort of an inbuilt telehealth solution into clinic and we got down into bite or within about seven days so the whole team grams worked on that quickly and then those other things like allowing patients to fill in forms online and signatures on forms and things like this that we do throughout the time as well it was really just prioritizing. Whatever people needed as it went along. And mostly i think just being adaptable was important because no one knew what was going to happen next and we just have to be ready to change it for data to your and you know i suppose being able to offer people that extra avenue to access healthcare in the middle of everything that's going on is is probably a huge boost to people are definitely you know people wanted some some help to still operate and then my baby rationing and some things that we tried to help with providing some educational material on different ways. They could operate their business during lockdown at pepsi. I hadn't sold off some experts to help us provide information to try to inspire them a little bit for stuff to when including through the normal operation. That's great because sometimes it's hard to think of when you're in panic mode and tell me you feel a lot. More connects companies. Patients have come on line. Obviously in the period you would have anticipated otherwise. So shaw we saw as a business wasilla growth over last year and way like many companies were clean up for a downturn customers Get hit by lockdown and we assume the way would say a number of customers needs to drop out at least for a while but saw gross during that period and i think that's because a lot of clinics online already. It was time to move online. All of a sudden they going to the clinic. They couldn't access the records because the records on a server in there. So i think a big drive for growth. We saw was people. Go online and You know maybe switching to tally health as well. But just getting aligning general. I'm sure it was big last year and looking to the future them beyond covert. What do you think the future holds for the sector. Will there be more people like you mentioned that. Have adopting tallyho during this period. That will actually make a part of their business. Where do you see everything going. I think it was an eye opener for a lot of people. And i think you know. There's many especially the physical therapies like a physiotherapy osteopathy podiatrists. Some of those chiropractic their staple is gonna be hands on agents Thinks that even those ones they did learn that i can do. A lot of value. Add via telehealth is interesting. Studies coming out for physiotherapy showing that it's as effective will better via telehealth in these hands on and that's a directly physical therapy manual manipulation taught at healthcare service so i think that the the information was dying during that time and the ability for people to realize they can add value in otherwise and maybe even advantage of telehealth is a follow up sessions to make sure someone's doing their exercises will that can be done via telehealth every second. You have coming or something like that. So i think a lot of businesses is considering had incorporated into their workflow. And then i think there's other modalities let psychology as a good example. That could even move along more towards tell me house. Yeah because i suppose for certain types of therapy it would probably be quite beneficial to the patient to be in the security of their own home. Absolutely we've heard that for a number of them as well to they're having more success laced with some of their clients more successful telehealth. Not so again that lends itself to a bit of a mixed offering where it can be telehealth for those. The is better formed. Others can still come in the nature and i love that statistic that you shared about physiotherapy. I mean it'd be so interesting to have that as a blended type of therapy in the future. Yeah i i found it fascinating because it's such a hands on thing and what i loved about. It was one of the key hypothesis from it was that people don't do their exercises. What may coming to say the physiotherapist. So that coming physiotherapist doesn't work and they go away. Think john fixed but when they have a telehealth by no no one's touched them if they'd into the wrecks assizes nothing's happening so actually more compliance for the exercises in a better result loads him. I have been guilty of doing that. Exact thing that you've described. So i can see that i would be a very good candidate for that sort of treatment myself exactly. Yeah so one thing. You mentioned there joe you know. Aramco bid on tax having to adopt moving online was around the records. The the medical health records that they they might have had not had access to at the time. I think that kind of points to a broader sort of issue within health attack around. And what you do. I mean you. Man must manage the data of millions of patients across the globe at this stage. I assume than with what you do. You need to have really robust josh practices like it must be of utmost importance to cut companies that you're working with. That's why i think the biggest risk to any health take johnny would Or something like that. So it's a lot of time and effort goes into it and remember you know somewhat progression it in starting on clinico because it's a lot of i've ahead and a lot of and you feel like you're doing the business value. Add stuff that you want to do. Not adding new features that customers are excited. Full you doing things behind the scenes that no one ever knows about. Oh cares but it's essential saw. I remember begrudging early on. But i guess as a business it becomes somewhat of a competitive advantage lighter that you've done those things and you put that working because anyone else in the spice will need to do the same. But we also particularly have a lot of legislation to deal with because we have estimates in more than seventy countries so it is a strategy where i am with a Australian privacy principals we need to make refinements with got jetty iron europe and possibly ugi without adding out with she. Fought in. The united states is different against canada. Sweney to make all of the requirements. We can't just pick one and it is but also gives some comfort in the united house. becomes yet. Well there's there's colleagues of mine that can probably very much appreciate that. The challenges that you go through on that we've recently offered clients the ability to store and process healthcare data in a hipaa compliant monitor on intercom. But i was going to ask you. You know how do you go by adopting your product to the different data practices in different regions. Like gdp or that. You mentioned like hip at that. We were talking about their short thankfully so far we haven't had clashes where to bay cuba compliant count. Jd beyond compliance or something like that so we are kind of aggregate the requirements. Build it all into the same front upped but one thing with specifically is it has some requirements that can be owners to the in using the system and restrictive to the person using the system. So we've dollars. We put the as options within the software. So if you want hippo compliance you can turn on and that's going to take away some functionality. As an example the ability to a mile anything could have a festival information in utah that so we remove that option. If you turn on the hupa compliance. But we don't do that to everyone because some people it's okay to in their legislation and it's useful feature so it's a little bit of opting for people using to meet the requirements okay. So it's all it's all down to the settings that you as a clinic would sat up at the stars of using us and then canco essentially helps you to save you from yourself and save me from creating a breach exactly It's not enough to enforce upon people they things we just wanna make it as easy as possible for them to make the rules because ultimately the rules are really binding them more than us so we need to do to support them obviously. That's that's a huge challenge for you in building is all these different supports for people you think. In the future we will see more or last consistency in these types of of compliance across regions for for a while. I was thinking with like globalization. These things have to start to merge but if anything we say them going in a different direction and every country or even if you looking canada different provinces coming out with there are there are enrolls legislations so even though ideally i would like to say in a global consensus on it that the trend is that is getting more granular and that everywhere is doing there own and also a lot more requirements to store information only within that area as well so i think the trend shows this nor that it is getting hotter. That's interesting to say if it kind of feels like moving backwards to a certain extent before we finish up joe at one question that we love to people on the podcast is whether there's someone in their disciplined a aspire to or are inspired by. I can't think of any offhand. I'm terrible at writing books and other really follow along with a lot of Sort of i don't know what other companies are doing. I think one of the coastal aussies. We've kind of ad is that every business is different and we really just want to upright company as best makes sense for us so probably an obvious example would be where software company. But we shouldn't copy. What google doubts because what google does is very different to what we should resist success. There are very different business very different schedule. All those kind of things. So for the most part i would say i my down and focus on company and just look at you know what solutions wayne aid and i'm really following what others do. So much said. I'd have particular person that was having by biol- china aspire to well. That's fair and i think you know in hearing your story on in hearing the story of clinical. It sounds like you've done that from the stars that's been working pretty well for you and so we lack that as an answer last. Where can i go. Keep up with you in your work. So we're doing some video content. Clinica is i can find on youtube on plenty channel and for myself. I'm jay friedland on twitter following their a concept super active fantastic. Well look we will link to both of those in the show notes and yet just been an absolute pleasure cashing tease day. Thank you so much for joining us on the show. Thank you very much for having me on appreciative. You enjoyed our conversation with joe friedlander. If you did we'd love you to give us a review. It helps like minded people find their way to our content. We'll be back next week with another great episode of scale by income for you. We do hope you'll join us. This is inside intercom.