Rimidi is a cloud-based software platform that integrates with current clinical workflows to ensure smooth working of health systems and virtualize physician practices. On this episode of the Economic Development Podcast, Josh Claman, CEO of Rimidi shares how COVID-19 has impacted the general healthcare system and what opportunities does Atlanta of 2021 provides to companies and new innovators.
One reason why we’ve really enjoyed growing in Atlanta is the academic institutions, Emory, Georgia tech, University of Georgia, etc., are producing incredible talent. As long as that continues, that’s going to be a huge asset for the Atlanta area.
- 01:09 – The platform allows doctors to monitor patients remotely based on certain measurements
- 01:53 – Healthcare systems really lost touch with some of their high-risk populations
- 03:32 – Josh shares why Atlanta is a first choice from growth perspective
- 05:32 – Atlanta is attracting businesses by providing tax incentives, allowing access to resources, and educational institutions that teach the right things, computers, healthcare, technology, informatics
- 06:56 – Private equity companies and venture capital companies are now making investments outside of New York and Silicon Valley
- 07:52 – FQHC are rural health federally designated health systems that serve primarily medically underserved populations
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Josh Claman 00:00
It’s funny you mentioned that, I was just about to mention that as well. Nothing happens without capital, and I think these other centers have seen and in Atlanta certainly, I’m starting to see it; is that venture capital and private equity follow innovation. There are quite a number of private equity companies and venture capital companies now that really want to make their investments outside of New York and Silicon Valley. The reason is that they’re finding better talent and the startup costs are less, so they’re falling those companies and capitalizing on those companies pretty aggressively. I think we’re finding that, again, Miami, Austin, Atlanta, Boston, or all areas, venture capital is sort of flooding in and people are really looking for these opportunities outside, would have been traditionally the centers of venture capital.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 00:51
This is Fabiola Fleuranvil of Blueprint Creative Group, and you are tuning into the Atlanta CEO Podcast. Today I have Josh Claman. Hey Josh, how are you?
Josh Claman 01:00
I’m fine, it’s good to be here.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 01:02
Good. Josh is the CEO of Rimidi. Tell us briefly about the company. I know you’re in the healthcare tech space.
Josh Claman 01:09
We are a cloud-based platform essentially, that integrates with current clinical workflows. In health systems and physician practices, etc, and then helps them virtualize their practice. What I mean by that is that it allows them to monitor patients remotely, to communicate with patients when they’re at home and when they’re at work, based on the measurements of the vitals that we’re taking as they go through their daily routines. It manages to develop a platform for the continuous care of patients, and our focus is primarily on patients with chronic diseases, so diabetes, heart failure, hypertension, etc.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 01:47
Obviously the pandemic and the increase in telemedicine has probably been phenomenal for your company.
Josh Claman 01:53
It has, you know I think healthcare has, for a long time realized that remote engagement of patients and continuous care are good things, but there was never really an impetus to drive a quick adoption of those five forms and programs. COVID did two things for healthcare systems that really threatened them. One was that the healthcare systems really lost touch with some of their high-risk populations, and they were very concerned about that. The other thing is the big financial shortfalls, because people are no longer coming to clinics and no longer doing elective procedures, etc. So they needed to find new ways of engaging with patients that would drive revenue as well.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 02:37
How long has Rimidi been around?
Josh Claman 02:38
Rimidi was founded in 2012 by a woman named Lucienne, who’s an Atlanta native MD Ph.D. From Emory, and we’ve been working on our technology and our platform ever since, and it really started expanding three or so.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 02:38
Okay, so the Atlanta of 2012 is totally different than the Atlanta of 2021, you know industry growth; there’s been a lot of corporate relocations. The startup scene is just phenomenal and is grown by leaps and bounds. And there’s a lot of investments locally, from the local infrastructure to really invest in the startup scene. When it comes to healthcare tech and innovation, obviously we have the health centers of the East coast, between Emory and Piedmont hospital, you have the university centers; so that adds a tremendous amount of talent to the region. Where do you think Atlanta stands to still gain in terms of leading the path of healthcare innovation, or even being known as a hub for healthcare tech?
Josh Claman 03:32
Well, I think you hit on one really important component. One reason why we’ve really enjoyed growing in Atlanta is the academic institutions, Emory, Georgia tech, University of Georgia, etc., are producing incredible talent. And a lot of their majors, their curriculum are very relevant to healthcare technology, to public health, etc. As long as that continues, that’s going to be a huge asset for the Atlanta area. One other thing that we found was membership of the Atlanta Technology Development Center ATDC, has been a huge help to our company. Particularly in the early days when we needed facilities, we needed coaching, mentorship, etc.
We basically just needed connections. It was a huge help and we were located right next to universities. We grew talent from internships and graduates, Georgia tech; that’s all going to continue. I think a few things are going to change post COVID, I think real estate, arguably, and this isn’t a debate for today, but arguably would become less important. The availability of commercial real estate or the (inaudible 04:46) working from home or balancing work from home with office work, but the things that will continue to add value to the banner are, innovation or the Big Hill. So you mentioned Piedmont, Emory; it serves for attacking some of these challenges with the presence of the CDC, etc. So I think it’s a natural hub for health care technology and with the influx of talent from these academic institutions, you’re going to have a lot of fuel to fuel that growth, and fuel the further concentration of innovation within the Atlanta area.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 05:25
What do you think it’ll take regionally for us to really accelerate that type of growth that we need to see in healthcare tech?
Josh Claman 05:32
I think a lot of it is attracting young innovators, attracting healthcare, software companies and technology providers. Some of that is done through tax incentives, some of that is done through just again, allowing access to some of these great resources that Atlanta already has. If you think about where Silicon Valley is sort of moving now to Austin, Texas, to Boston, to Miami, to Atlanta, they’re doing that for a reason. They can find talent at a reasonable price, and facilities are available. They’re great educational institutions that teach the right things, computers, healthcare, technology, informatics, etc., things weave together to form a great framework to attract and grow wonderful companies in the Atlanta area.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 06:16
You really spelled out what the formula looks like, which I think you hit it perfectly on the head. And the fact that we are seeing a lot of relocations and movements coming in from the West and even from the Northeast, that a significant opportunity to really start to make the pitch known more widely for what Metro Atlanta has to offer; the talent availability and even the growth in the startup and the entrepreneurs sector. Obviously the big bucket that still needs to be filled is the VC capital and bringing more of that into the region so that there’s more capacity desks added for the businesses that are here and want to scale and grow.
Josh Claman 06:56
Yeah, it’s funny you mentioned that, I was just about to mention that as well. Nothing happens without capital and what I think these other centers have seen and Atlanta certainly, and starting to see it is that venture capital and private equity follow innovation. And there are quite a number of private equity companies and venture capital companies now that really want to make their investments outside of New York and Silicon Valley. The reason is that they’re finding better talent, that the talent and the startup costs are less. And so they’re falling those companies and capitalizing those companies pretty aggressively. I think we’re finding that, again, Miami, Austin, Atlanta, Boston, or all areas, venture capital is sort of flooding in and people are really looking for these opportunities outside, would have been traditionally the centers of venture capital.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 07:45
Good, so any exciting updates or news or highlights that you can share, what’s going on with Rimidi?
Josh Claman 07:52
Well, there’s a lot, one local piece of news that I think was released maybe three or four weeks ago was a co-marketing agreement with Emory healthcare. What Emory’s done is use our platform in ways that no one else has, they’ve configured with our help obviously. (inaudible 08:10) around procedures are operative, preoperative, postoperative engagement with patients. The two examples that are finished are, deep brain stimulation, and for Parkinson’s patients. The attributes of that are you need to stay close to the patient, there’s a complex ramp up to that procedure. There’s a team of clinicians that are part of that, and so the patient needs constant engagement over an application, over a mobile application, to remind them what to do, what not to do, when their appointments are, what’s the next stage of readiness, etc. The same is true with major orthopedic procedures.
I think it was remote patient engagement or elements of that complete engagement, whether it’s surveys and, monitoring the physiologic data, communication, and very easy ways like, text messages, attaching things to text messages, etc. You’re finding that as people become more comfortable as health system administrators provide comfortable engaging patients remotely, they’re seeing this whole opportunity open up, this whole world open up. Whether that’s procedural, whether that’s chronic care management, whether that’s preventative medicine and wellness, what you’re going to see is a continuation of Rimidi’s growth as a prototypical example of what’s happening in health tech. We’re excited about that relationship with Emory; the point that I’ll make, because it’s important to us, is that FQHC, which are sort of a rural health federally designated health systems that serve primarily medically underserved populations are ramping up RPM efforts as well.
We, just in the last two months have contracted, I believe it is six FQHCs, and we’re especially excited about that, because these are populations that have an issue with these. There’s an epidemic proportion of this population with one or more of these chronic conditions, but they have traditionally been underserved. They haven’t had access to good medical care. Sometimes their lives are complicated and busy and they can’t make it into the clinic in a traditional format. We’re really excited how we can upturn healthcare and provide access to really excellent healthcare to these populations as well, and this is a very new development in healthcare and for Rimidi itself.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 10:20
Wow, you have some exciting news, all of that compounded with what other firms like yourself are doing in the region will help to develop the capacity and the infrastructure that we have. I thank you for sharing your insight and your thoughts and Atlanta’s development in this space.
Josh Claman 10:37
It’s been a pleasure.
Fabiola Fleuranvil 10:40
Thanks again for tuning into the Economic Development Podcast presented by Blueprint Creative Group. There’s more episodes featuring economic development leaders throughout the country and we thank all of the participants for sharing their perspectives. Check out all of the episodes in this series at blueprintcreativegroup.com/economicdevelopment.