SkyFounder Spotlight: Francis Wong of SkyTeam Outcomes.com
This week’s spotlight is on SkyTeam Outcomes.com co-founder Francis Wong. Outcomes.com helps healthcare providers bring patient-centered outcome measurement and real-time population management to everyday clinical practice.
Q: What problem does your startup solve?
A: The problem that we solve is that the vast majority of healthcare providers don’t have any feedback on how their patients do in the real world, once they’re discharged. In many cases, a surgeon will perform major operations, but they don’t really know how the patient does in the months and years that follow, and quite often that’s the most important part of a patient’s recovery.
Q: What was your background that lead you to create this startup?
A: I used to be a practicing surgeon in the UK; I was on a urology team where we experienced this exact problem, where we would treat patients but we had no idea what they were doing in the months and years that followed.
Q: How has Outcomes changed over time?
A: We learned a lot with our first customer, getting them up and running. There are a lot of things about the products that we didn’t really appreciate first of all, features they asked for, things that were difficult for them to use that we improved upon.
We were initially set up to work in urology, but coming out here and understanding the system, there seemed to be more opportunity in orthopedic surgery.
We’re continuing to learn more about how the marketplace is changing. There’s a lot of healthcare reform happening right now, a lot of which is still being defined. Staying up-to-date on everything that’s going on there, and adapting our strategy is how we move forward.
Q: How did you meet your team?
A: I met Christian through a club called Innovative Design on campus, and we began working together. We went through a program called Free Ventures on campus, and then we came up to SkyDeck.
Q: How did you hear about SkyDeck?
A: I came up here in the first semester when I was at Haas for a hackathon, so I knew the space existed, I saw some companies that were up here at the time, and I knew there were a few classmates who had companies they were working for up there. It seemed to be a really cool place, I heard really great things, and thought it would be a really great opportunity to apply.
Q: What are some of the bigger challenges you have faced?
A: Healthcare is incredibly complex, so even when you’re an insider, and you’ve got an MPH and you’re been a doctor in the past, it’s still very tough to navigate. Because of all the changes happening right now, there’s a lot of noise in the marketplace. A lot of providers are having to change things about their practice, which means they’re inundated with things they have to deal with. So getting above the noise, and making sure you have a product that really helps them, is one of the biggest challenges.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who’s trying to start a business?
A: Definitely the material they teach in LEAN startup is useful, definitely get to know your customers, talk to a lot of people, especially potential customers. Get as much experience as you can at school, to help you get that knowledge. I did two internships in product management, and I think that was incredibly helpful – it helped me transition to this, and the skills I got during those two internships is still very useful in what I’m working on now.
Q: Do you have a team motto?
A: One of the things that I’ve tried to draw a lot of inspiration from is the Haas Four Defining Principles.
Question the Status Quo. Confidence without Attitude. Students Always. Beyond Yourself.