Connected Medical Devices is an emerging trend in Healthcare. Read on to see how a company from France has been navigating and pushing that trend.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?
Olivier Hua: I was born in France 58 years ago. I started my career as a banker. After seven years, I decided to become an entrepreneur. We actually bought three companies in the automotive industry and I stayed there for 12 years. Back in the early 2000, the automotive industry was a very traditional business. I wanted to be part of the new things that were happening. I then changed careers and became an investor. I was an investor for 12 years and during that time, I’ve helped several companies grow.
Sramana Mitra: All this you were doing in France?
Olivier Hua: Yes, I was doing this in France even though one of the most interesting companies that I backed was a company which is in US. It’s Vistaprint.
Sramana Mitra: I’ve done the Vistaprint story.
Olivier Hua: In this career as an investor, one of the companies in which I invested is Visiomed. I actually invested back in 2009 on the idea that health was going to be connected. That was the vision of the founder Eric Sebban. When I left the venture capital industry back in 2012, I was spending a lot of time with Eric. Eric asked me several times and I decided to help him with the business.
Sramana Mitra: What is the Visiomed principle? What was the premise on which you invested in Visiomed?
Olivier Hua: Back in 2009, Visiomed had launched a revolutionary product called ThermoFlash, which was the first no-contact instant thermometer. That was a breakthrough technology. It was sold mainly through pharmacies. It was in 2009 when Eric had the vision. Eric wanted to do connected medical devices.
Sramana Mitra: What was the product roadmap beyond the thermometer?
Olivier Hua: Today, we have a full range of connected products from thermometers and pressure monitoring to trackers. We are continuing to look at products around this full suite of connected products. One of the ideas around that was not just to develop products. If you think about the connected products in every type of business, what is the usage behind the product? More often than not, you would see that a lot of connected products are fancy without any utility. When you think about the actual usage and utility of what you have in hand, you end up asking the question, “What do I do with it?”
The overall idea behind the development of this product is to have a full suite of products connected to one app instead of connecting one product to one app. The real value of the product will come from services than from purely the fact that you can connect the products. We are continuously developing the product. We will launch three to four new products by the end of this year. We already have the largest range of connected medical devices.