50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2020
The Silicon Review
BrightInsight Inc. provides the leading global regulated digital health platform for biopharma and medtech.
The company was incorporated in 2017 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.
Dr. Kal Patel, BrightInsight Inc. Co-Founder and CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.
Q. What does BrightInsight do, in brief?
BrightInsight provides the leading global regulated digital health platform for biopharma and medtech. Every line of code of our BrightInsight Platform is built under a Quality Management System to manage the regulatory, quality, privacy, and security requirements of building and maintaining regulated digital health solutions including Software-as-a-Medical-Device (SaMD), digital therapeutics, wearables, implantables, and connected drug delivery devices.
The BrightInsight™ Platform uses software and services to capture, transmit and analyze data from CE-marked and FDA-regulated medical devices, combination products, apps, and Software-as-a-Medical-Device, in compliance with global security, privacy, and regulatory requirements. Deployed as a managed service, the platform accelerates time to market for biopharma and medtech companies, reduces the cost of implementation and maintenance versus a custom solution, and scales across products and global markets.
Our vision is to transform patient outcomes globally by bringing the power of digital technology to healthcare. And our mission is to accelerate regulated digital health innovation for biopharma and medtech customers through our scalable medical-grade platform.
Q. Developing a regulated digital health platform requires experts in the house. How do you continue to build your dream team?
For tech companies to successfully disrupt healthcare, it is critical to have experience in healthcare and to understand the regulated nature of the industry. Our leadership team collectively has more than 100 years of digital health expertise working at companies including Amgen, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Medtronic, and Takeda. Our executives have personally launched regulated digital health products, taking them successfully through the FDA and other regulatory bodies’ approval process through to commercialization. So far this year, we grew our staff by nearly 40 percent —successfully bringing on new members to our dream team by recruiting individuals who believe in our vision and want to help transform health outcomes globally through digital innovation. The nature of our work is fast-paced, impactful, and provides employees the opportunity to work across a wide range of therapeutic areas, across digital health products, and with the world’s top biopharma and medtech companies.
Q. ‘When people are having fun, they work together better and they produce better work.’ How do you interpret this saying?
At BrightInsight, we think a fun workplace is one that is rewarding, collaborative, inclusive, and where everyone is inspired to have an impact on people’s lives and health. Our team finds it fun to have an amazing product to introduce to the market, and to create real value and impact with our customers. We also enjoy being challenged in our work; learning, growing, stretching. We find it fun to be surrounded by people of diverse cultures, ethnicities, genders, ages, and experiences from whom we can learn and whom we can teach. Mostly, we find it fun to work for a company that is about more than making money and is about improving healthcare globally.
Q. Do you ask your employees what they are interested in doing and how they would like to see their career unfold?
Absolutely! We ask our employees about their career aspirations through a collection of channels.
Perhaps the most important channel is the manager. We recently launched cross-functional “manager circles” and spend time every month helping them become better managers. As part of our agenda moving forward, we are training our managers on how to have the right conversations with their teams, including discussing their passions, aspirations, and development plan. Our managers are also being trained on having “competency-based” conversations that allow the manager and employee to think through what the employee needs to know, what they need to be able to do, and how they’ve been tested in the real world to prepare them to take the next step toward their aspiration(s).
We also use a direct-to-employee channel we call “employee circles,” where each month we send a brief survey with an invitation to participate both in their e-response and, if desired, in a focus group format.
Lastly, we rely on the recruiting channel to test aspirations vs. possibility before entering into an employment relationship to ensure alignment.
Q. A good workplace stresses teamwork while still encouraging individual achievement and creativity. Does your company follow the same strategy?
Yes. Teamwork is foundational to our value-set as a company, which we call our partner values. We view our values as non-negotiable, and they include things like accountability to our customers and responsibility for our colleagues, respectfulness in interacting with one another, trust as integral to relationships, and real-world impact as a barometer that tests work that should be pursued versus work to be left behind. We also have an Objectives and Key Results or OKR-based management framework that identifies cross-functional teams that align to objectives and share accountability for key results.
Q. What does the future hold for BrightInsight and its employees? Are exciting things on the way?
We are on a fast track to cementing our position as the de facto regulated digital health platform for biopharma and medtech. Our commitment to our mission guides our continued growth and success—we are building a medical-grade platform that will accelerate regulated digital health innovation and reach for our biopharma and medtech customers. Our future is inexorably linked with the possibilities that lie on the horizon for biopharma and medical devices such as personalized drug dosing algorithms, implantable neuromodulation pain-relieving devices, and connected insulin pens, inhalers, to name a few. The number of connected medical devices is expected to be 50 billion over the next decade—a capability that will materially improve peoples’ lives—and BrightInsight stands ready to help the industry realize this ambition. Success will depend on focus, commitment, and cultivation of the highest of high-performing teams. This is exciting.
Dr. Kal Patel: The Leader at the Helm of BrightInsight
Dr. Kal Patel is a medical doctor and MBA with over 20 years of experience in pharma, medtech, and regulated digital health. He has been guided throughout his career by a passion to improve healthcare delivery at scale by harnessing the technology revolution that has fundamentally transformed so many other aspects of our lives. He co-founded BrightInsight with Ferry Tamtoro and Ben Lee as a spinout of Flex. He currently serves as the CEO of the company.
Before launching BrightInsight he was Chief Commercial Officer for Doctor on Demand, now the nation’s largest video-medicine provider.
Kal founded and built Amgen’s Digital Health business unit where he had end-to-end responsibility for developing and commercializing various regulated digital devices.
Before his focus on digital health at Amgen, Kal was the Global Marketing Lead for Enbrel, the company’s leading drug with over $6B in sales, where he created and launched major investments in novel clinical trials, innovative drug delivery devices, improved formulations , and differentiated patient support programs. Kal started his Amgen career as Head of Corporate Strategy.
Kal also spent several years at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in various sales, marketing, and account leadership roles. He began his professional career at the Boston Consulting Group where he worked for a broad portfolio of healthcare companies across the U.S. and Europe.