David Geller spent 20 years working with DreamWorks, Yahoo — Here's why he pivoted to healthcare

David Geller's technology career has taken a circuitous route, from fantasy sports gaming to healthcare data tracking, but he wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, that's why he believes his company is so well-positioned to support clinician workflow.

Mr. Geller is the co-founder and CEO of Logical Medical Systems, a startup that offers hospital staff a straightforward promise: an app to "help them get through the day a little bit easier," he said. The app integrates existing data platforms, such as EMRs and scheduling tools, to help clinical staff access the information they need to move a patient through the hospital as seamlessly as possible.

"With a lot of hospital software, like EMRs, there's training involved, but our bar for use is much lower," Mr. Geller said during an interview with Becker's Hospital Review. "When you install the Uber app no one shows up at your house for four hours of training — you're supposed to download it and get the benefit immediately. That's our approach with all of our products. It's a day-of application."

To ensure this focus on the end-user, Mr. Geller recruited the team for Logical Medical Systems from coworkers he met throughout his 20-year technology career, during which he served as a product executive at Yahoo, president and COO of DreamWorks Animation's mobile products incubator, and the founder and CEO of TopLine Game Labs, a developer of app-based fantasy sports games.

"People underestimate the importance of a product that the end-user actually wants to use, as opposed to being forced to use," he said. "Hospital software is sold to administrators, and then pushed down to the people who actually have to use it. The DNA of our company is so completely opposite, in that we had to earn the user [when we worked] at other companies."

Becker's Hospital Review caught up with Mr. Geller to discuss why he entered the healthcare industry and how his background in consumer technology informs his work at Logical Medical Systems.

Editor's note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Question: What prompted you to launch Logical Medical Systems in 2016?

David Geller: A good friend of mine, the chair of pediatric neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, was bugging me about an idea he had related to hospital efficiency. After my last company, TopLine Game Labs, was winding down, I decided to spend the day with him at the hospital. We walked through the perioperative workflow, from the time the patient is admitted to the time they arrive in postop, and it was startling to me just how much low-hanging fruit was available. That led to a six-month research project in which we interviewed people of every role in a hospital all over the country, from technicians to anesthesiologists to surgeons to nurses — everyone on the frontlines who moves patients through the workflow. We found so many common themes and issues. We realized we could bring our consumer product expertise and sensibility to healthcare.

Q: What challenges does the company aim to address in the hospital space?

DG: There are so many moving parts in hospitals. The first cases of the day are usually the closest to being on time — even those are usually not on time — and from there it's just a cascade. We looked at all the technology being used to manage that logistical craziness, and there wasn't a unifying way in which people were managing the experience. We knew we had to look at all of the efficiency improvements we could make in each individual role. When a user logs in at the hospital, we know if it's a surgeon, a technician, a nurse, and the interface adapts so it's highly customized to their role.

As an example, one of the areas ripe for improvement is when a nurse takes a patient into preop: Does the anesthesiologist know when to come in? Is the operating room ready? In our world, the nurse simply swipes on her phone when she brings the patient to preop, which triggers a series of events in the background, sending notifications to the people who are next up to perform an action on the patient. By tracking all these granular events that happen throughout the day that no one typically captures, we're able to keep you informed as to when and where you need to be, to support the advancement of a patient through the workflow.

Q: How does Logical Medical Systems use data to drive hospital performance?

DG: We capture workflow data more accurately, more timely and more granularly than what is now coming out of a hospital system. The data we capture is very informative from the perspective of scheduling, moving a patient through the workflow or comparing the metrics of one surgeon to another. A lot of interesting analyses can be done with the data we're collecting, but that isn't our expertise. We're not doing that analysis. We provide the discrete report — for example, what a surgeon's average cut-to-close time is — but in terms of the analysis and interpretation of hospital data, that's better left to the people who are really experts in it.

Q: How does your background in the consumer technology space inform your work leading Logical Medical Systems?

DG: We started the company with a team already in place, because I had already recruited the best engineers, the best product people and the best designers who I had worked with over the past 15 years at these other companies and who had demonstrated expertise in translating complexity into elegant, simple interfaces. It's a different mentality for us, how we approach hospital software versus how a lot of other companies approach hospital software. We take a fresh look at it. With the help of my friend, the pediatric neurosurgeon, we had the depth of experience of someone who's lived in the hospital space for the past 18 years, so we were really able to marry the best of consumer products with his hospital experience.

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