How can electronic health records and medical software solutions change the healthcare industry, improve welfare and bring patients and physicians closer together?
Steve Jobs once said: “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”
Even if it does not sound like something new, digital technologies continue to conquer all industries and spheres of our life, and healthcare continues to be a part of this innovative transition, which is inherently limitless. Isn’t it impressive?
The emergence of electronic records and big data in healthcare has pushed the development of medical software solutions to improve patient interaction, diagnosis, and treatment. Medical personnel and hospitals around the world have experienced the benefits of eliminating paper-based systems. Electronic health records’ advantages far exceed any disadvantages that can be argued for a long time, albeit pointlessly.
We decided to talk with Björgvin Pétur – the Co-founder of the startup Huginn.care, who definitely knows how digital innovation and electronic health records, in particular, can influence the services’ quality of healthcare organizations and improve people’s welfare.
What is Huginn.сare in essence?
That’s how Björgvin explained the idea of the digital service and software they have developed. “Huginn.care is a cloud-based solution for medical institutions and companies in the healthcare industry,” stated our interviewee. “This solution is made for caretakers who have to record and analyze information about their patients. Our service simplifies the registration of information about clients in care, such as diary entries, incident registration, medication administration, progress reports, and much more.”
The healthcare industry and business are entering the era of digital innovation. Countries that have already innovated their medical systems are thriving. Although, of course, there are some nuances and problems in the healthcare sector’s global digitalization.
A stumbling block or what stands between innovation, healthcare and welfare?
The healthcare industry does not lend itself well to innovation. It is often tough to get the medical business to change outdated habits and attitudes, and even more so to invest in innovative technologies. It is also challenging to involve medical personnel in the process of change. But let’s not forget that adapting to the digital era requires us to shift to flexible and risky thinking, which means giving up rudimentary business processes.
After Björgvin briefly described the company’s main direction, it was quite unusual for our blog, but we asked the Co-founder of Huginn.care about the key problems they face when selling their software services.
He shared with us the following: “The biggest problem is decision making. We are mostly in business with medical organizations and our government, basically. There are many decision levels, and it’s hard to get in contact with a person who actually can say ‘yes, we want this project/product.’ In the end, the decision-maker is not the person who works on the floor and does all the job (takes care of patients). They rarely see the benefits of switching to digital solutions and software, although staff members want it. That’s what we were dealing with lately, juggling between decision-makers and staff.”
After a short pause, our interviewee added: “We have positive responses from the actual audience, I mean staff members that would use our software, but it’s hard to prove the concept for decision-makers and government.”
Digital transformation in the medical industry will positively impact, with the primary goal of streamlining physicians’ jobs, optimizing medical systems, improving patient outcomes and welfare, reducing human error, and lowering costs using software, web, and gadgets experiences.
At what stage Huginn.care is right now?
What relates to the technical side, we asked our interviewee about the current stage of product development. And he was pleased to tell us about the development of software and the service. “We actually developed the software in 2016 but went on the market in 2017. At the moment, we already have a functional product, and you can use it fully, but we still have a lot to do, like add additional features to make it multifunctional and more effective.”
What is the main benefit of cloud-based solutions for healthcare companies? How can new technology affect patients’ welfare?
When we asked Björgvin why now is the best time for their company to exist, we got a very unusual answer. “First because of security,” said Björgvin and explained his thoughts. “In this new digital era, people care more about their safety and welfare, and especially when it goes about health and sensitive information, like health records, treatment process and so on.”
After researching the topic of electronic health records, we found several inherent advantages over traditional paper records. For example, electronic medical records are stored in secure databases, which significantly reduces data loss risk. Besides, only authorized users can have access to files and personal information about the patient.
The team is the core of startups’ success
“My business model is The Beatles: They were four guys that kept each others’ negative tendencies in check; they balanced each other. And the total was greater than the sum of the parts.”
In the middle of the interview, we came to the question about the team. After all, no matter how good your idea is, without a competent team, you cannot implement it. We asked Björgvin what he likes most about his team and what specialists they hired first.
“We have four people in our team; currently, it’s a CEO, developer, designer, and lawyer,” stated Björgvin. “I would say the variety of expertise is what I like the most about our team. Two of us worked in a healthcare business. Basically, that’s how we created Huginn.care and developed a software solution for medical institutions. After, he added, “Because we are developing a digital product, first, we were looking for a programmer, and of course, since our product is closely related to TPR and security, we needed to have a lawyer in our team.”
How to measure success and set “working” metrics for a young startup?
It’s not surprising that startups want to set and track KPIs to measure their product or service’s success. Although it is impossible to make a startup successful without measuring progress and focusing on the right aspects and clients, set the proper metrics, which depends on the sector, products/services offered, size of a company, stage of growth, and current development stage.
Even though usually Co-founders measure success with revenue, Björgvin has emphasized on customers at this stage of their company development. He shared with us their current situation. “I would like to say that our main metric is sales, but since it is difficult for us to prove the effectiveness and benefits of our concept to people who decide, it is much more important to attract organizations that will try to test our products. So right now, what’s more, important is how many organizations and private companies we attracted to a 3-month trial period.”
Remember, metrics aren’t about vanity. They exist to monitor what strategy is working and what isn’t to adapt your product/service.
Small steps, big wins
Doesn’t every entrepreneur launch and maintain a startup to see it grow? The answer may seem obvious. Growth “is crucial to the long-term survival of any company,” no matter how big or small it is. It isn’t just important – it’s essential.
After talking about measures of success, another exciting aspect for our audience are plans for the future. We asked our interviewee where he thinks Huginn.care growth will be next year? “We hopefully get a few extra clients,” shared his hopes with us Björgvin. “But I have to explain that our goal is not about having a lot of clients in healthcare institutions, like clinics, it’s more about the number of users (medical staff), who use our product and software, as we charge per user. So we can have only one big client, and it could be enough for an instant income for a start.”
But what about the geography of clients? The Co-founder of Huginn.care added the following regarding this question. “We also are planning to expand more in Europe and the USA. So getting a few new clients here in Iceland would be a pretty decent goal for Huginn.care for 2021.”
What threats can a startup face because of developing an innovative product/service for the healthcare industry?
There are a lot of ways for a young startup to falter in its early days after launch. At any given time, even a successful enterprise can face several challenges. After the plans for the next year, we asked the Co-founder of Huginn.care about threats that their business can meet in terms of being an innovative medical startup. As a Co-founder, Björgvin was entirely sure about them being exclusive on the market, but he also shared his next thoughts with us.
“For the moment, we haven’t come across any competitors who do the same, I mean develop similar cloud solutions for healthcare institutions. But I would say security can become our biggest threat; I mean hacking attacks because we develop a digital product related to sensitive information. And as with every other technology, this system solution may face technical glitches at times. Although our technology has a lot of benefits in comparison with old paper systems, one cannot ignore the possibility of a breach for personal gain.”
Why is it important to have multiple options?
One of the personal questions we usually ask Co-founders and entrepreneurs during our interview is about having an alternative to launching a startup and being an entrepreneur. Of course, we have wondered if Björgvin has a ‘Plan B .’ His answer showed us he is ready for any life-turns. “Although I have four different projects, I would probably continue to do design work.”
Books as a source of inspiration
Amid personal questions, we usually ask our interviewees about their sources of inspiration. We asked Björgvin to share with us books that have significantly influenced him. These are the recommendations we’ve got from him. “I would recommend everyone to read “The Best Interface Is No Interface: The Simple Path to Brilliant Technology” by Golden Krishna and “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson.”
Books can compel ways to inspire yourself and change the way we think. They can teach us, move us, give us new perspectives, and help shape us.
Advice to young entrepreneurs
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
Does being successful mean reaching your goals or being able to strategize your life correctly? We believe that learning success should be from those who have not just achieved the goal but know all the stages precisely on the way to the top. That’s why we usually ask our interviewees for advice to our young audience of entrepreneurs.
We’ve got a motivational answer from the Co-founder of Huginn.care: “Commit to things, no matter what it is, just finish everything that you start, quit everything that distracts you from your path, and set a goal for your life.”
Benefits. Results. Beliefs
We believe healthcare will be fully digital soon and bring patients and physicians closer together. Cloud-based solutions for medical institutions, developed by Huginn.care, for example, provide teams with a complete picture of their patients’ health status and improve communication between patient and physician and members of the care team.
This technology aims to improve patient management and provide better services with fast access to digitized medical history. Such systems also serve as better personnel and patient management tools and bring such benefits as lower medication errors, facilitating preventive care, and more accurate staffing. Everything depends on the needs and requirements set by medical institutions, governments, and patient’s feedback.
As a result, healthcare can become safer, more efficient, and customer-centric. Isn’t that what we all want?