Founded in 2014 by Austin Dirks, San Francisco-based startup GreenLight Medical provides a cloud-based platform that streamlines the introduction of new technology within hospitals, guiding the collaborative evaluation needed to ensure purchasing decisions are being made in a responsible manner.
Dirks drew the inspiration to launch GreenLight Medical from his experience as a medical device sales representative selling cardiac pacemakers and implantable defibrillators for St. Jude Medical in Birmingham, Alabama. During this time, he built relationships with physicians who served as the primary decision-maker for new products, but hospitals eventually shifted away from this method and moved towards committees for procurement decisions, a process which Dirks quickly noticed needed improvement.
“These committees were a good idea for the hospital, but outdated, manual tools of execution resulted in product approval decisions reaching upwards of nine months from introduction to available shelf use,” Dirks said. “I watched committee-based evaluations grow into widespread use for hospital facilities as product standardization and cost-containment came to the forefront of hospital concerns.”
His desire to find a more streamlined and efficient manner to exchange information between hospitals, physicians and medical suppliers culminated in the formation of GreenLight Medical with a team of equally passionate and determined individuals.
By working with physicians, hospital staff, executives and medical device companies, GreenLight built a digital bridge that connects various players in the sales process to provide them with a simpler, more efficient way to review, buy and sell medical technology. But breaking into the digital health care space — or launching any entrepreneurial project for that matter — is a collaborative effort that takes a team, especially one with a diverse set of skills.
“Digital health is a unique space. It takes an expertise in the complexity of healthcare combined with the know-how of software creation. Merging these two environments in a fashion that enables a product that meets the high standards set by hospital providers is a challenge,” Dirks said. “[Our] team members come from a background in medical devices, hospitals, research, and software, marrying the components needed to build a successful entrant into the health care technology marketplace.”
As Dirks and his team continue expand their company, they now look to Houston’s “Third Coast” for more opportunities for growth. With Houston emerging as the leading hub for biotechnology and innovation in the world, participating in the 2016 TMCx Innovation Program was a natural move for the GreenLight team.
“We wanted to open our ears to the experts, the advisors, the TMC hospital users and the other TMCx companies who will make our product better,” Dirks said.
With a curriculum designed to facilitate collaboration and provide access to TMC advisors, hospital stakeholders and other TMCx companies, the TMCx Innovation Program was the natural and strategic choice for GreenLight Medical to build new ties and gain access to the Houston market and medical community.
“We are excited by the physical relationships we can garner through the program with other companies, as well as the Houston metropolitan area,” Dirks said. “We believe TMCx has the power to push our company to the next level and accelerate us toward a permanent fixture in the advancement of health care.”