Guest: Robert Read
Presenter: Tabetha Moreto
Guest Bio: Robert Read is the Executive Director and CEO of MedAdvisor. Robert holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Management) as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) both from Monash University and is a Graduate of the AICD Directors Course. Prior to taking the position as CEO of MedAdvisor, Robert was Managing Director of the Australian Private Equity arm of Harbert Management Corporation, a US based multi-asset class fund manager. During his time with Harbert Robert also served as interim CEO of an investee. Robert spent the early years of his career in consulting before moving to senior venture capital and private equity positions. Following this Robert gained experience as a senior executive to build on the hands-on skills he had developed in his private equity roles. Robert brings a wide range of skills to the position of CEO, in particular leadership, sales and marketing, finance performance improvement and a deep understanding of what is needed to successfully grow start-up businesses.
Segment Overview: In today’s interview, MedAdvisor CEO Robert Read joins the program in promote his company which is an advanced software platform (mobile and web apps) that supports and empower individuals and carers to manage all aspects of prescription medication use. He emphasizes that poor medication adherence is widely recognized as one of the most common and costly preventable costs for health systems. He also highlights how their existence in the healthcare market help healthcare professions and how it has revolutionized medication management for people.
Tabetha Moreto: Hello everyone. Welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host for today, Tabetha Moreto. Our guest today is Robert Read, CEO of MedAdvisor. He joins us today to talk about the founding of his company. Without further ado, welcome to the show, Robert. It’s so nice to have you here.
Robert Read: Thank you very much, Tabetha. Great to be here.
T: My pleasure. Robert, tell us something about your background.
R: The background of MedAdvisor is really interesting. It was founded by Josh Swinnerton in 2012, because he had a mother who was that later the number of chronic diseases, Parkinson’s and rheumatoid arthritis and was forever trapped in scripts made it to be managed very manually. I didn’t know when scripts were ending that she would forget medication, she forget when to take it. He thought that it was crazy in this day and age. Then when we can do mobile banking very easily, that we can’t seamlessly link in without medication records and medication management. He had been working in the US, saw the number of different pharmacy driven platforms and built a team in Australia, in Melbourne to solve this problem or have a better control medication management for patients and in doing so, cradled the fantastic platform. It is highly automated and intuitive and gives patients real time access to their medication, connects them seamlessly with their pharmacy and their GP which leads to a great sense of control for the patient. But most importantly a really significant boost in convenience and that drags incremental adherence. The original notion I think was quite surprising that it hadn’t been done in a holistic way in other markets. He served a great opportunity to build this product, the odds of the robust 6 to 7 years.
T: That’s wonderful. Can you tell us how did MedAdvisor came into existence exactly?
R: MedAdvisor’s purpose really is to relentlessly innovate to improve access in convenience to healthcare, help people to feel better and when Josh founded the company, he was able to attract investment from the numbers sage investors and then some pharmaceutical groups in the early days and then subsequently be publicly listed in Australia. What the problem that MedAdvisor is really solving in a broad healthcare system is that overall adherence to chronic medication which is as we know and a lot of healthcare practitioners realized is very poor. The World Health Organization is to make about 50% adherence to medication for chronic conditions, exist in developed countries. So it means that the patients are not getting the healthcare benefits that their doctors wanted them to have. What MedAdvisor has been able to do is to demonstrate to hundreds of thousands of patients on the platform that they can lift adherence by in excessive 20%. We know that this is going to have a significant impact in the healthcare systems that MedAdvisor operate and it has some very significant benefits for the patients because they are healthier by definition taking their medication more. They feel more in control and they got a more convenient healthcare experience, because in the MedAdvisor case they can order it in advance. They don’t need to wait until they get to the pharmacy to find out whether the pharmacy has stopped from their particular medication and they don’t have to wait for that pharmacy to dispense that product because they’ve done it all electronically, digitally in advance. That’s a big time saver for patients. Also, when they go to treat people, primary care physician they can also save time from a repeat prescriptions. They can come through the app as well. It’s a really convenience driven proposition that has a fantastic side effect and improving healthcare outcomes and improving adherence.
: It’s sounds great. Especially nowadays people are so busy but with your company, people are able to have their medicines in a faster way and also it is more convenient for them.
: Tell us how does your existence in the healthcare market help healthcare professional in particular?
R: One of the big challenges in the healthcare market is that a lot of systems don’t talk to each other. They are very fragmented. They’re often very paper based and therefore can be challenging to get a really efficient workflow happening in different healthcare settings. The digitalization in health can really help that and certainly in the pharmacy market for us in Australia. What that means is that orders are coming in, in advance which means that they can dispense products before a patient gets there, which means that when that patient gets there, they’ve actually got time to talk to that patient, counsel them effectively which has the added benefit and also building loyalty to that pharmacy which is really important aspect for their businesses as well as the service they offer to community. It also allow them to conveniently communicate with their patients when they need to. Let say, a drug recall. They can turn that notices to all their patients on that specific drug to make sure that they come back in the store. It can be an efficient way to handle day-to-day activities that do, a care in the pharmacy setting. On the GP side, there are a lot of repeat prescription. In Australia, there are over 100 million repeat prescriptions a year. I think 19.3 million repeat prescriptions, appointments that primary care physicians and GPs for the purpose of the repeat prescription. They can take up a lot of time for GPs and can be an inefficient use of time. What MedAdvisor does the GPs is provide the view of the patient adherence to particular medications so they can improve information and to make clinical decisions with. Also allows them to remote script renewals when it is clinically appropriate to do so, so that they can focus their time on patients that really need their care. Of course, we make sure that the GP is also paid for those electronic appointment. It really boosts sufficiency, standardization and communication with patients to create a better outcome and working environment for both healthcare practitioner and for the patient.
T: Fantastic. It’s good to know that MedAdvisor is leading a digital healthcare revolution.
R: That’s right.
T: Thank you so much for your time. I’m sorry we don’t have much time left. But before we go Robert, what is your main takeaway message to all of our listeners out there? What would you like to tell them?
R: I’d like the listeners to really think about how they can embrace the technology to enhance their connection with their patients. We know there‘s a lot of friction in the healthcare system. We know there are a lot of tools out there that can help improve the customer convenience and increase efficiency from the healthcare practitioner from better sharing the information. It’s one of the reasons why we’re also linking in with hospitals to improve re-admissions, rights and also the admission process where we can more effectively provide information to those healthcare practitioners and technology is an opportunity to provide better care to their patients.
T: That was a fantastic message. Lastly, for those who want to get in touch with you, how can they do that?
R: The best way to do it is through our website which is medadvisor.com.au. All the information from about our business, about the platform can be demonstrated on that website. From the consumer perspective they can see what the app contains and all the information and the functionality of the app. Then from the healthcare practitioner, there are also pages on that website that they can also access.
T: Wonderful. Thank you so much Robert for coming on the show. It was fantastic having you.
R: Absolute pleasure. Thank you having me.
T: That was Robert Read, CEO of MedAdvisor. If you like this interview, transcripts and archives are available at www.hpor.fm. We’re on all social media platforms, so don’t forget to follow, like and subscribe. Show us some love by subscribing to our HPR YouTube channel. We’re also available for download on SoundCloud and iTunes. I’m Tabetha Moreto, and you’re listening to Health Professional Radio.