elandas lends its ‘intelligence technologies’ to healthcare designers
Q&A Interview with Ryan Roberts, CEO of elandas of Saint John, New Brunswick
Advances at the intersection of technology and healthcare mean the latest drugs and medical devices can now be prescribed for the patients who need them most, sooner, thanks to a game changing platform that speeds and streamlines the way information can be shared and used across life sciences organizations.
Here EP&T’s Editor Stephen Law talks to co-founder and CEO of elandas, Ryan Roberts, who explains how his start-up headquartered in Saint John, New Brunswick, is leading the charge for integrating compliant and actionable data across the life sciences industries to make this happen, and the lessons he’s learning along the way.
Q. Ryan, of all of the challenges in the marketplace to solve today why did you choose this one?
A. When I was working in the pharmaceutical industry in the United States some years back, I saw firsthand how inefficiencies in getting updated and compliant educational and sales materials into the hands of pharmaceutical and medical device sales teams were causing delays in getting prescriptions written for life-saving drugs and health monitoring devices for people who desperately needed them.
I knew this was a solvable problem, and I made a decision to utilize my business, technological and systems expertise to build a team that would be able to overcome it.
I’m happy to say that by using elandas’ leading edge platform for life sciences crucial information and compliant materials can now be shared and leveraged in near real time instead of taking weeks or months to be inefficiently vetted across organizational silos and with external suppliers.
Our systems are built to prompt and engage these stakeholders at the right time so at the end of the day their teams are getting prescribers the critical information they need about new drugs and devices faster and more efficiently so they can become informed about access to these products and that can make all the difference for the patients in their care.
Q. Has it been difficult to get the funding to make this dream happen?
A. elandas is a bit of a poster child I guess for how the Canadian government is currently supporting tech companies that are now becoming empowered to solve complicated challenges across various industries including medical, and employing many Canadian developers and engineers in the process.
The agencies we have worked with at both the federal and regional level including The National Research Council Canada, The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Opportunities NB, and Canada Learnsphere have been extremely supportive of elandas and our mission, and our team is continuing to grow as is our client base as a result of those investments.
Although the data management issues in the life sciences arena are certainly more acute in the U.S because regulatory issues and insurance coverage complexities are constantly evolving. For those reasons most of our customers are based there, Canada as it turns out is a great place to assemble the kind of world class programmers and engineers who can leverage big data solutions, cloud computing, and mobile development capabilities into a single easy-to-use platform that can meet the challenges of huge teams with critical information needs across an enterprise.
Q. What are some of the tough decisions you’ve had to make along the road to make your product viable?
A. One thing that is so evident is that business solutions for life sciences companies need to be adaptive and flexible. So we need to be very disciplined in our approach to building our products. It’s a longer road to build products so inherently more flexible for our customers instead of creating something we would get out the door faster that would not be nearly as dynamic a solution.
This has led elandas to create robust platforms that support and streamline processes, integrates internal and external data, delivers actionable intelligence and expedites tactical deployment across sales and marketing teams in the life sciences arena. We really have developed unique solutions to the many of the huge and very specialized data challenges our clients in the industry were facing, and which by the way are continuing to become increasingly complex for them as the industry moves ever faster and finds itself with more and more regulatory rules and insurance landscape changes.
Q. Have there been other challenges in the journey as well?
A. As any developer will tell you today, there is quite a bit of work involved in delivering a great user experience across the many different types of devices employed by today’s mobile workforce and those specs are constantly evolving so it’s an on-going race.
Our systems are also being continually upgraded to meet new challenges our clients are facing and to account for industry specific nuances.
Q. What does it take to stay ahead of the competition?
A. I think two things really – driving real value and vision.
At elandas our team is committed to our mission to revolutionize life sciences in terms of data sharing in innovative new ways. We are changing the way people do their jobs for the better. Our solutions drive real results. We want to create solutions that our clients couldn’t imagine living without! That’s the customer piece, and it’s fuelled by the vision. In addition to our own proprietary industry knowledge and technology innovations we are powered by a very strong advisory board. Their insights coupled with careful listening and collaborating with our existing clients gives us a huge leg up on the competition.
Q. What do you see on the horizon in this industry?
A. Definitely the need for more real time and collaborative technology solutions. Information is power and putting the most relevant information in front of the right people at the right time and prompting them to act will make all the difference in terms of which teams are positioning themselves to win.
I also see the need to continue innovating the best ways to communicate and share information across wearable devices and other tools that are just ahead for the mobile workforce.
Q. Any final words of advice here to other developers and engineers in our readership who may want to launch their own start-up?
A. Secure a few key customers from the outset if you can for your solution out of the gate and grow your technology and customer base from there. It’s a much easier and faster road to success if you have a solution that is already proving itself in the real world.
I think it’s so important to realize as an entrepreneur you don’t have to do it alone. Get involved in the start-up community. Get some good mentors. It makes such a difference.
And of course make sure you really love what you’re doing and believe in the mission. The demands that creating and growing a successful start-up makes on you personally are worth it if you have that.