Andrew: Hey, they’re freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. I go back through my transcripts and I see that many of the people who I’ve interviewed were lifelong entrepreneurs. They sold things like this guy who I talked to the other day sold shark teeth as a kid.
Others sold, uh, um, lawn mowing services, that kind of a thing. Joining me as someone who went a different path. He’s a scientist who went off, got a great job, boy, your mom would’ve been proud, Joseph, and then. He built something that he thought was incredible, but the people at the company didn’t really see the, the full vision that he had.
And so this person who I, I don’t know, I don’t think is a lifelong entrepreneur with entrepreneurial blood and all that stuff, just said, you know, I’ve gotta go on his path. I think this is going to make the world a better place. And so that’s what he did. His name is Joseph Sola. He is the founder of Okta.
And they have this bracelet that you could put around your wrist that does what no other little bracelet that I’ve seen has done something smaller than the size of an Apple watch will actually give you your blood pressure on a regular basis. I invited him here to find out how well it’s doing, why he did this, and how that he thinks this can change the world and we could have this conversation thanks to two phenomenal sponsors.
The first, if you’re curious about how this new way of organizing called a DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization works, I want you to go and check out my podcast. Join origami.com/podcast where we talk about it. And second, if you’re hiring a developer, I want you to go and check out lemon.io/mixergy.
They’ve got great developers and if you my url, you’ll have an even lower price than everyone else. tell me practically, what’s the point of this? I am really into these self-monitoring devices, but I often don’t know what to do with this. So I know, for example, that my heart rate goes up at certain times. I know that as I get older, my heart rate’s supposed to go up and it won’t be this low athletic heart rate that I’ve got.
What do I do? So what do I do? Even with, uh, with, with blood pressure?
Josep: that’s an excellent one, Andrew. So look, your har rate will go, har rate will go up and down over the day, over the weekend, depending on how much alcohol you drank last night, how much you slept, it’ll just be changing this. Nothing you can do with that. I mean, there are some rare cases where your heart rate will go very, very high and you may go and seek for, for, for advice, but in general, you don’t need to do anything.
Anything else, that’s heart rate. Blood pressure is just another topic. So blood pressure is the pressure that it’s inside the arteries. When we are all born, most of us, 99%, we have a very young elastic arteries and they’re simply absorbing the energy of the heart, pumping blood into. Everything is fine.
When we get older, our arteria become stiffer. They become more and more stiff every day. Every day. Every day. At some point it, they will become some stiff, so stiff that the blood pressure will rise. That happens. We are genetically done this way. The sooner this happen and the sooner you become hypertensive, so you have a high blood pressure, the stiffer the arteries.
And at some point, if those have become too stiff, that’s when you will start having stroke heart attacks and a lot of different cardiovascular events. So heart rate is not important, doesn’t tell you anything. Blood pressure being too high, it’s simply killing you. That’s why it’s called the hypertension is called the Silent Killer.
You may be around for the last 10 years, completely healthy apparently, but indeed, it’s a real body. There is this, this.
is this blood pressure going higher,
high, and this
is killing you.
Andrew: so then why do I even need to do this on a regular basis? I go see my doctor, and now I’ve read articles where people say, look, when you go to your doctor, your numbers change because you’re s You’re in that nerve-wracking environment For some people, great. I could buy one of the regular ones at home, one of the old fashioned ones, you strap onto your wrist, you inflate the bubbler.
However they work. And do it once a month. Why do I need to have it 24 hours? Why do I need it? Need to have it daily. And we’ll get into the business story of how you did this, but I wanna understand what this is that you’re building.
Josep: Yeah, so, so again, that’s an absolutely excellent question. Your blood pressure is changing continuously. It’s not that, so it’s measured in millimeters of mercury. Let’s say you, you’re 130, that’s the number of, it’s called a systolic blood pressure. That number is changing at every second. It’s going up and down.
It’s changing. When you go to sleep, it’ll go, it will probably go down. What may not go down. Why do we need to measure this continu? Is because if we ask you to measure once per month, you will just randomly take one number measured on that changing value. So it’ll tell you something very approximate about how well you’re doing, but it will not give you the reality only by looking at the continuous.
Blood pressure across days and nights and weeks, you get to the real status of that patient and if what you want do is to medicate and to treat that patient, that’s what you need. Otherwise, girls, you are simply treating
Andrew: Okay. All right. Now I see it. Talk to me about how long you were working on this, uh, at your previous job at C S E M.
Josep: That’s a long story, Andrew. Um,
we started the company. I will do the small one. Yeah. So when we started this company that was five years ago, uh, we had already a technology that was ready. So the, the goal of this company called Acia has been to take the technology and to make it a product and to commercialize it.
But the real story started 17 years ago, so now it’s more than 20 years that we are working on this. It hasn’t been a very, very long journey to go to go. First initial thoughts to the
product that people are wearing today.
Andrew: So what were you doing there?
Josep: Uh, so we were, so we, we, we are two founders that started this company. Both of us. We started on 2004 in a Swiss institute called Cscm by that time, and that was far before Apple
watches existed or any kinda
Andrew: You started there, 2000. You started there 2007. Basically like around the time the apple, uh, the, the, uh, iPhone came out,
Josep: Yeah, so we started in 2004 and, and by then of 2004, there were the first optical sensors that were available that were cheap enough to be put into wearable devices. And by then, no one really knew what to do with those sensors. So we knew that we could shine light into the skin of someone and we could get some information out of.
For the idea that came to our minds was, oh, let’s try to measure heart rate. And we did it and we started filing patterns of that and uh, writing papers by then with my co-founder, so Mattia Beci, we had the idea that can we do anything else with that data? And both of us, were coming from a family where we have hyper, uh, hypertensive, um, uh, people.
And our question was, could, could we use that optical data from the risk of real people on normal life extract information about hypertension? So that was our idea, and nothing had been done on that topic until then. So we really started this from literally scratch. Um,
and that’s why it took 20 years to go to, to, to,
Andrew: Before we started, you said, can you imagine putting all this work in building something that you know can be beneficial to society, and then seeing that other people just don’t see it? What did you have before you left your job to start this company, and why didn’t they see it? What existed and what, what, why didn’t they see it?
Josep: Mm-hmm. So, so I think from the beginning on 2004, we had nothing. By 2010, we had already done. A lot of, um, numerical simulations, animal studies, human studies, volunteer studies. By 2016, we had enough data that proved
that it was possible. one could finally,
Andrew: one could finally, sorry, you were about to answer my question.
Josep: yeah. One could finally monitor the blood pressure of a. Over the day and over the night without having to inflate a calf for each measurement, that’s what we call the calf less technology. So we had the proof that that, that was possible, which was awesome. And that was exactly what we had been looking for over the last, more than one, one decade. So it was there, we had the proof, we had clinical data that prove it, and we had the algorithm, so the code, the software code that could do that.
So what we did as. spread the world. Let’s go around. Let’s pitch these to companies, medical device companies being there since the last one century. Let’s let them look. Now you could go and change that cuff by a device that’s being worn continuously. This will change the life of your patients.
They will love it and they will. They will finally will like to be monitored continuously. You know what happened? Nothing. So all those companies, they have been working on the same environment and the same central thought that, um, healthcare is the physician, the provider who decides and they really pay.
They didn’t pay attention at all on what the patient thinks. So they just didn’t get it. So what happened is that we had been working for more, more than one decade. We had the results, we had the technology, and there was no one out. That really understood that this could
finally change the way we treat hypertension
Andrew: Why these are smart
people give, let’s give them the benefit of the best intentions possible. Why do you think that they didn’t see what you saw and they didn’t think that they could commercialize it?
Josep: With all the respects and distances that you can imagine, why would a company doing cars for over the one century. Embrace idea that
an electric car has a place in society.
They had their
Andrew: saying Uhhuh.
Josep: They had their business, they had the processes, they had their clients, customers, patients. There was no real
need to change.
Andrew: But they could sell more. Like you could buy a cuff if you really needed it, but if you could wear it on your wrist, then you’re gonna buy a new one. And if you’re the first person to launch it, then you could beat the competition at selling this stuff. They didn’t see any of that.
Josep: Uh, clearly the answer is not,
and, and you don’t need to convince me on, on how. Obvious it is that it, this is a breakthrough. I mean, both from a healthcare perspective and from a commercial perspective. And we see it now as a startup that we are, uh, we cannot manage to produce enough devices to spread around on the demand that we have.
So it, it’s, it’s clear there was a need. Finally, there was a solution. No one was really understanding that that
solution could solve.
Andrew: Okay. At what point did you say I feel comfortable starting my own company. What did you need in order to be comfortable to start your own company?
Josep: Okay. The, the real one is my wife agreeing on that. But let’s put this aside. Uh, what did we need? So mainly, mainly money. Uh, Swiss Frans in our case. So. We had been working on this, it was ready. It was our lifetime work, and we just wanted this to be used. So at some point, what you need to put on the table is a team, resources and cash to take this, create a company, create a product, and start. And that’s a difficult thing. So at least for me, which I was not coming at all for the MBA or entrepreneural world to decide, okay, let’s stop being in this bubble of scientific research where everything is fine and everything is um, it’s ready. You don’t need to be afraid about can you pay salaries less on next.
And suddenly, let’s say, okay, the only way to make the work that we have done available to everyone is to cut from this perfect wall. Get out of that bubble and let’s go into the wild. So mainly I think what we needed by then for this to be convinced, and that’s why we’re two co-founders, that we decided to do this together, to convince our wife and to get a first.
Feeling of whether
it’s both possible to raise capital to start
Andrew: How hard was it, or what was the process of talking to your wife? What did she want in order to say this makes sense for our family?
Josep: I think that was the easiest
Josep: family wise, she knew anything That’s that, that’s, that’s why we are together, is that she knew that that was my lifetime work. So the next. Logical chapter of it was to make it a commercial success. So that was fine. The next level and the the next step is to, to, to, um, stop working in a huge research institute.
Just go out, sit down on the floor of small office with no chair and no, no, no table,
and start writing a
pitch deck to start raising money. That was the
Andrew: Okay. And you knew that if you could raise money, then at least you’d be safe financially. And somebody who had skin in the game believed that this made sense. Okay.
Josep: and that’s why
Andrew: When you were thinking about it, who did you think, how did you think about manufacturing this? Because this isn’t an easy thing to manufacture, and then what’d you think about?
Were you thinking you would go direct the way you did now, and how did you think you’d be able to manufacture it? Right.
Josep: We just had no idea by
Josep: our idea is, our idea was we are good scientists. We know how to handle
this. We have no clue how to scale up on a commercial way, so let’s get the money that allows us to find the right people that can sit next to us and create the know-how that we don’t have. So we literally started as two scientists raising money on the virtual capital. Uh, pitching the idea that, that we have a potential Brexit technology and we’re simply raising money to create a team that could make this creative thing a real medical device product out there in the market, being produced, being logistically sent to countries and being used
patients. And that’s a
How much did you raise?
Josep: Uh, the first round was four.
Andrew: Okay. From.
Josep: this is allowed to, to create the first team that could embrace our craziness. Uh, make it real in the sense of creating the first prototypes, creating the force product, and to make it ready to go for regulatory approval. Because just to make things more difficult, you were speaking about heart rate before, so anyone can create a device that goes on.
That measuring heart rate using optical sensors. This doable when you want, when you want to measure blood pressure, it’s not so easy and you need to get approval from regulatory bodies that allow you to be commercializing this in each and any country of this world, which is a lot. So we had to create that team that allowed us and our idea to became real and to became ready to go
through our regulatory approval.
Andrew: Who’d you get on the team that would allow you to clear regulatory process?
Josep: You want the, if you want the real answer. The guy that started with us from day one, uh, was a, a climbing friend, so I was climbing a lot by then and climber and discussing with a friend. I just planning him the idea of we’re going to do that. He said, oh, that sounds interesting. I wanna. So we put a team of people where the guy taking care of the regulatory processes was someone who was mainly a friend from us, from from, from my, my town, who simply learned by doing and who put in place all the process that allow us to get
into the European market.
Andrew: Okay. All right. Let me take a moment and talk about my sponsor, and then I wanna understand what that actual manufacturing process was like. Um, my first sponsor is a company called Lemon Io. Check out how they were founded. This guy Alexander, was traveling. He happened to be in Israel for a bit, and people said, Hey, wait, you’re from, uh, Ukraine?
He said, yeah, he, they said, You must know developers there. We hear that there are great developers in Ukraine. Can you help us connect with some? And he said, sure. So he made some introductions. Then he realized, look, a lot of other people are now coming to me asking for introductions to developers in Ukraine.
Why don’t I turn it into a business? So he did, and he made it into his little matchmaking service that became his company. Now, of course, the war in Ukraine broke out just as his business was really flourishing and. And he said, well, I’ve been a little bit lazy. I’ve depended only on Ukrainian developers because that’s been my world.
That’s where I live. I’ve gotta stretch quickly beyond my world. And there must be some other phenomenal developers in parts of the world where they’re not getting paid nearly as much as they would in. Say where you are, Joseph in Switzerland, or where I am in the us. And so he started exploring these places and he found pockets of opportunity of places where there are phenomenal developers who wanna stay at home, wanna stay in their countries and do good work.
And so he started adding them to his network. And the thing is just grown and grown and grown today. People know lemon.io is the place where you can go to get phenomenal developers who work remote. Reasonable prices from a team of people who will make the match and make sure that it’s a good match. And if it’s not, they stand behind it and they will fix it.
Um, and make sure that you’re happy. So if you’re out there listening, you can go to lemon.io or you can use my URL and get a deeper discount than other people get on their already low prices. All you have to do is go to lemon.io/mixergy, lemon io slash mixergy, and uh, they’ll know you came from me. I’ll get some credit and compliments from them.
And more importantly, you’ll get a phenomenal developer. And if you don’t like. Don’t hire, but definitely add them in your mix, especially these days with what’s going on in the economy. All right, Joseph, how many, how long, how many years, how many months did it take for you to actually get a working prototype that you can sell?
Josep: It took us exactly two years and a half. Exactly. That was the time it took us to find out crazy people that wanted to join these two crazy guys. Uh, to have that, that people to fight day and night to move the thing further.
Josep: And to go through the, the regulatory
approval. So that’s a lot of
things to be done.
Andrew: not, that’s not that long. Two years to get a working prototype and to
get to clear regulatory hurdles. That’s impressive.
Josep: that’s the thing about startups, that the process that we went through initially on this company, uh, Normally there, there are things that take five, 10 years in a normal medical device, uh, industry environment. On our case, we’re a bunch of
Josep: clear goal and we just have been fighting for this.
So it was extremely short with very small resources. The company was less than 20 people by then, so we had to let that less people team being created at the same time that they. Generating all the materials and all the processes for making the device to happen in such a short time. And that’s the kind of things that you can only get now that I
In a startup environment, there’s no
Andrew: Where did you get it manufactured?
Josep: Oh, we have been through the wall looking for different manufacturers. It really depends on the versions. Um, prototypes hasn’t done in Switzerland.
Then the mass manufacturing is done elsewhere.
Andrew: I’m guessing that you got the Swiss manufacturers just through your relationships, through C S E M. Right.
Josep: Mm-hmm. Correct? Correct. Now, the thing is, in, in our environment, the manufacturing part, it’s very important. As I was saying, that our product is one bracelet that’s being worn by users, but. Most important than, more important than that. And on top of that is all the services. All the services. So we had to develop all the backend infrastructures and all the services that could package those algorithms that never existed before, and to make them approved by regulatory bodies.
And that was most of the work came on that side. So measuring optical signals on the wrist is easy. Everyone is doing any smart watch, any smart bracelet is. those signals get to something. So a value that can be used clinically, that’s a huge step. And that’s mainly the software part of our company, which is most of the
Andrew: How did you get through regulatory issue? The regulatory, um, hurdles, I guess is how I would call it.
Josep: Uh, so there are very well defined processes for doing that. We don’t know anything about this before, so we learn by doing. So we, in our case, We have different components of the system. So we have the device that’s being manufactured on one. We have the software that the, the user is seeing on the app, and that’s engaging the, the user to continuously monitor blood pressure, to take care of their lowering the blood pressure.
And there are all the algorithms and those algorithms that need to be tested, they need to be validated. So in our case, we also had to create from scratch all the infrastructure for the clinical operations of the.
we are a pretty small company in the, the scheme of a medical device, uh, company. But still we have a full clinical operations team that takes care of running continuously clinical trials that are used for the regulatory approval. So that’s the kind of thing that we assigned is really, don’t know what thought at the beginning, but we had to create all that bunch of people around. That could tell us how those things had to be done so that finally we can
pack everything together and go to the regulatory
Andrew: I’m guessing the reason I can’t buy it here in the US is you haven’t gone through that here.
Josep: Uh, it’s a long process.
Andrew: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I’ve seen,
Josep: So in, in our, in our case, n now, I mean, today, today our device is being sold in four to five countries in Europe. What happens And, and going to, to, to your initial point, why did not classical or legacy medical device companies do this, what we see now? So those companies, they didn’t see that the, that this could be useful.
What we see now is that people, they need, that need this technology and this product. So the patients in these only four or five countries in Europe in which we’re selling now, they’re just trying to buy as much as. So we as a company, we cannot produce more and the manages continuously, continuously increasing.
Any patient, anyone who has been diagnosed with hypertension, let’s say you are 40 and your physician tells you, okay, you are hypertensive from today and for the rest of your life, you need to monitor your blood pressure. Now if I tell you, you look, look, you go and you buy that calf and you use it once a month and remember to use it because otherwise, when you go one year in, one year from now to see your, your, your physicist, if you didn’t measure, you’ll be blamed. Either you do that or you go, you buy this bracelet, you just wear it. The device will be taking the, the measurements on the background. It will generate the report that will go directly to the. What would be your choice? I mean, it’s, it’s so obvious. So to today, only with these four countries that we are selling now, the demand is just much more than any startup could manage at our, at our stage, and we could be now selling to all the countries across Europe plus plus, uh, Canada, plus plus, plus a lot of other countries, 42, 42 countries in total, we’re only addressing four or
five. The demand is
Andrew: And you’re getting demand from where it’s all being sold online.
Josep: This basically b2c, so it’s, it is basically online. So, uh, I think that’s a very good point. We, uh, after six months of, uh, starting the company, we had a very ugly prototype of, of the device. It was big, it was black, it was ugly, it was gluing. We, we call it, Uh, so you, you could wear that thing. We took it and we went to a medical fair that’s done every year in Germany.
It’s called medical. And we just, yeah, we had a small booth that we could pay a small startup there. And we were showing this first time that this, this was shown, um, publicly, you know, what happened after, after one day being there, people, they started to. So that was a small booth of a small startup with that queue of 20 meters of patients that were coming to see it.
And they were asking, where can I, where can I buy it? When can I use it on that queue? There was almost no one coming from the medical device industry. They didn’t, they didn’t care about that, but already there even it was ugly and nasty and I just, just not. Those that would need it the most, those that that would be wearing, they heard that that thing was happening at Medicare.
They just came to sit and try to see if they could get a, an early prototype, and that was just a trigger to say, okay, the best way to get this deployed is not through the typical or the, the classical medical device provider channels. Let’s give it directly to those
that need it, which are the patients,
and it’s just.
Andrew: You know, Joseph, I was trying to figure out where you’re getting your traffic, where you’re buying ads, how people can see it, and I don’t see any major source of of customers. How are they coming in?
Josep: You’re asking to the worst guy of this
Andrew: Oh, really?
Josep: is working. So I said we started from a scratch. We do a lot of things. We just have teams that take care of that look. What I can tell you is that the, the, the cohort of. People out there that are expecting this to be on their wrist is very, very big.
So digital ads work very, very well. Now on the, on the tactics
on how this works the best, I cannot
Andrew: Because that’s not something that you
Josep: I mean, we do, it
not my, my part
Andrew: it’s not outsourced. It’s just you’ve hired somebody and you
said, look, here’s the great product that we created. Find ways to sell it. Got it. I’m gonna focus, and you said I’m gonna focus on improving it and making sure that this is the best device we can make.
Josep: Correct. And that also, that’s also something that we learned over this process is that when you start from a scratch, being a, a team of two people, you better get surrounded by great team members than can develop what you cannot do. So there are so many aspects of this business that we can, I mean, you cannot be everywhere.
So we keep focusing, focusing the two founders on what we are good at, and we just continuously look for the great rockstar people that come with us and that help us deploying the rest of the of the
Andrew: Okay. How many of these devices have you sold? So,
Josep: As much as I can say there are several tens of thousands of those devices being used. The amazing thing about them is that, I mean, the, the retention of variable devices is very, very small. So normally one by one of these variable devices normally is being used by 1, 2, 3 month and then everyone stop using it.
In our case, the retention is excellent. Our, our after six. Almost everyone is still using the device. And again, this speaks about the need that this was there. So there was a real need to have these kind of technologies and solutions ready. So we sell the devices and they’re continuously used. So what happens?
These are collected device and all the data is also flowing into our. So we’re selling a lot. The devices are being used continuously because our retention is very good. So the amount of data that our servers are com compiling
is just exponentially increasing.
Andrew: So let’s talk about the software and then the data that you get. Overall, I’m looking at screenshots of your software on your site. It basically says the high and the low for blood pressure. I guess that’s what it is. No. What. You know what? Truthfully, I don’t even know the two numbers and blood pressure.
I keep getting my blood pressure whenever I go see the doctor. It’s part of what they do and they tell me, they explain to me and then I think this is not an issue I need to worry about. I’m just gonna move on. I can suddenly, I need to know about it. What are these two numbers that you get? And it seems like looking at your, your app, all it does is it gives me those two numbers for the day, for the week, and for the month.
Josep: Mm-hmm. Okay, so these two numbers, they might not be important for you because you are a healthy guy like you. Now, if in some years from now you go to the doctor and he tells you, ah, those two numbers are getting too high from now on, I want you to have those numbers under a threshold. Normally it’s 130. There, you will start caring about that there. You will know that if you forgot to take your medications, those numbers will be too high there. You will know that you, if you continue to eat too much salt, these numbers will be too high. So from that day on, and for the remaining 45, 50 years of your life,
you will obsess on those
Andrew: By the way, I remember when I interviewed the founder of, um, shoot, I, I’m spacing out on the name where they gave me a continuous blood glucose monitor levels and I told the, the one of the co-founders that I was gonna go cycling and that my plan was to get some running bars with me. And she said, no, take instead some nuts.
It’s going to be better. And so I said, you know, I’ve got one day riding out and then another day riding back. I’m gonna try my usual BL bars and see what happens. And then I’m gonna try nuts because I feel like the usual bars, they get me, they give me enough energy to keep going. And sure enough, I saw that in the numbers.
My num, my glucose would shoot up and then it would go down and I could see that if I switched to nuts, it was just level. And I wouldn’t have this instant euphoria or instant I got energy to go, followed by a sag. I’m, I’m oversimplifying it. Do you see similar, uh, action and response happening when somebody has salt, or does it take some time for it to influence
Josep: We call it the the cheese fond effect. So just come to Switzerland, wants to visit us. We’ll go a night out for a cheese fondu
and you will see your blood pressure. Normally over the night, the blood pressure of health individuals simply goes down. That’s the moment where you hark, relax. If you take a cheese fond, which a lot of salt a a lot of fat, what will happen is during that night, your blood pressure will just stay at the sky, will not go down at all.
And if you keep going on with this kind of, of, of. Food, salty food, what will happen is mainly that your blood pressure will never go down.
I will start slowly raising day after
day, day after day. At some point
you, you will need to do
Andrew: Ah, so now you can see the immediate reaction to the food that you eat, which then gives you more of an understanding of how it impacts you, and I’m guessing, incentivizes people to stop the bad eating.
Josep: correct. So eating is one of them. Sleeping habits is another one. Exercising is another one. The more you exercise doing aerobic exercise, let’s go. Let’s say let’s go walking for one hour. The more your blood pressure will start decreasing the day after. So there are a bunch of very easy things to do that will help you controlling your blood pressure.
And you know what? It doesn’t work for everyone. So your physician, the day you will be diagnosed, if you. We’ll give you a list of 10 different things that you must do, donate salt to exercise, stop, uh, smoking, blah, blah, blah. But from those, only one or two will be good for you. You’ll be respondent to one, one or two of those, but you, you don’t know which one.
What we are doing with these kind of time feedback is that we let people test themselves and see the day after if there was a reaction, and from then they know, okay, for. If I simply start sleeping two hours more per day, I will have my bp, my blood pressure under control. And that’s, that’s disclosing the loop of the continuous flow of data to your first point about why do we need that data?
Disclosing the loop is what engage the users into the Avis
that will matter for them.
Andrew: And what levels had me do was constantly take photos of my food so that I can connect back to my levels in the app what I ate. Do you have a way of connecting back?
Josep: Yeah, so in the current version of the app, we have ways for people to annotate what they do. So there is a way to annotate, I dunno, which, which version you, you might be exposed to. Uh, there are new versions of the app where this becoming more and more sophisticated. We’re still not at, not at that level.
So we are really, we’re still on narrowly, uh, stage medical device companies. We’re building up all the, all, all the part of services. But yeah, for sure. The next step, or a very logical next step is to allow people to easily track what they did so they, they can one week later, see which of the interventions had a real effect.
And it’s so, so easy and it’s so immediate to see who’s responding to. But today or until this was available,
it was just
Andrew: Yeah, I now, when you put a number in front of me, it makes me really want to do something to improve it, and I wish that it was. That all the Apple watch data that I collect was somehow united properly into something that could derive some meaning. That could bring some meaning for me. Like I would even love to know how does the amount of running that I do influence my heart rate, my, my resting heart rate?
I would like to know I keep track of my sleep. I’d like to know how much my sleep impacts my heart rate, and then frankly, gimme other numbers to worry about cuz I don’t think I need to worry about my heart rate that much. Just the one thing that’s monitored on regular. Do you think that a key that Octa will start to add more functionality?
That it will measure more things?
Josep: Yes and no. So look, going back on why this company has been successful so far. Since the beginning, we had a very clear vision of what we wanted to do. We wanted to deploy a way to keep blood pressure under control at large scale. So we have been laser focused on that single thing, and we have built a team focused on that single thing only. Now the more it goes, we are adding more functionalities. We’re adding new versions of how the user sees the data, how the user interact with the data. We start having ways to input additional data like diet, like, like, like whatever you did, exercise, physical exercise. But we don’t want to diverge from that.
Now, there is still so much to be done and so much to be. And the problem to the Hyperion problem, it’s so, so big that it deserve a company that does
anything really well, and that’s our goal.
Andrew: Going back to the origins of this company, a lot of the technology was built at C S E M. Do they own a piece of the business for this? Do they own the, the trade, uh, excuse me, the patents on it?
Josep: Yeah, I cannot, I cannot go too much into the details of that, but yeah, for sure. So the technology was developed in Switzerland in a, in a private public institution called, called ccm. So yeah, that institute still has
some pieces of, of the
Andrew: Okay. All right. If we look back, uh, say two years from now, do you think I’ll be able to buy this in the us?
Josep: uh, hopefully yes.
That’s the goal.
Andrew: And then
coming back again to the beginning, um, how is being an entrepreneur different? How is it better? How is it worse?
Josep: Wow. Excellent question. Uh, I think that the, the, the, the logic of the path that I’ve been following is that, As a young researcher, I had a lot of time to try and fail on the basic technology part of, of this, and I was very focused and I was very in a, in a protective bubble as I was saying, trying to develop that.
Now as an entrepreneur, now I have the chance to surround that core thing with all the elements. To make it a success. So what changes the most now is that the context on where this, where this is being used, how it’s being used, how it’s being financed, how it’s being deployed, how it’s being adopted.
That’s the kind of thing that being only in a research institute you will never get access to. That’s where moving from that research environment into entrepreneur environment, that’s very. And now seeing the, the, the result of all this work being used now. I mean, literally at this moment there are several tens of thousands users wearing the device and looking at data screens and changing their habits to control their, their, their blood pressure.
That’s something that only as entrepreneur you can
Andrew: Yeah. That is incredible impact. All right. I’m excited to have had you on here. I hope we’ll get to have another conversation maybe 10 years from now. Can you imagine, just do a follow up and see how far this has come into people’s lives? Um, but I, I have to be honest with you, I came into this feeling skeptical, like, here’s another device that we need.
Why can’t I just get the one from the grocery store and put it on and use it once a day? And now I understand. Several reasons to keep it on, on an ongoing basis. Uh, I could connect it back to the food that I eat, I could be sure to use it instead of getting lazy about using it or getting distracted by everyday life.
Um, and I see a huge future for this. Thanks so much for being on here.
Josep: Thank you, Andrew, for the
invite and let’s meet again for
Andrew: I freaking love it. And for everyone who’s listening, I told you about my first firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll tell you now that this podcast is over, if you want to hear what these decentralized, autonomous organizations are doing differently from the startups that I’ve interviewed here at Mixer G, I urge you to check out my other podcast.
It’s at. Join origami.com/podcast. Join origami.com/podcast. Origami keeps creating phenomenal, uh, Dows, and I want you to see them. Join origami join origami.com/podcast. Thanks. Thanks everyone.