Kickass entrepreneur: Reflexion
Imagine after surgery, knowing you need physical therapy. Now imagine a technology that allows you to do physical therapy in the comfort of your home and reports the results back to the physical therapist so adjustments can be made to fit your needs. Thanks to Reflexion Health, that is now an option.
The idea came about when Spencer Hutchins and Ravi Komatireddy met in 2012 at an open forum brainstorm on innovation and healthcare.
They agreed that the future of medicine was not in the hospital, but in the hands of patients in their homes. So together they created their first product, VERA, which provides 21st century therapy for patients through improved rehab affordability, convenience, data driven evidence and an engaging platform. Physical therapists who implement VERA can focus on the problems of their patients and watch the progress that each client is making. VERA is used by patients preparing for and recovering from joint replacement surgery and used as a preventative therapy to reduce falls.
Q: CEO or company that you admire and why?
Hutchins: Irwin Jacobs. He built an iconic San Diego company at the foundation of one of the world’s most powerful technological revolutions, the smartphone. As important, he set a culture for doing right by his team and his community in a way that persisted long after he left the corner office.
Komatireddy: IDEO and one of their founders, David Kelley. It’s one thing to be an innovator, but it’s another to change the current way of thinking. They’ve set up ideologies that seem really fun. People confuse fun with triviality and that doesn’t need to be the case. There are so many opportunities to bring “fun” things (like video games) to different verticals (like physical therapy); you just have to think outside the box.
Q: Misconceptions that people have about Reflexion?
Komatireddy: The biggest misconception is that we’re a physical therapy company. We’re a behavior change company; we’re a psychology company. One gadget, one widget isn’t going to profoundly change the current way of thinking. What actually needs to happen is to empower people to care about themselves.
Q: What words of advice would you give to your 10-year-old self?
Hutchins: Girls will dig nerds; keep at it. Plus they’ll all love it if you can dance, so get up at the school dances and learn to shake it a little. It’ll pay off in spades in your 20s and 30s.
Q: Describe your perfect day in San Diego.
Hutchins: Dawn round at Balboa Golf Course. Meet Laurie (wife) and Cole (kid) at Toby’s for brunch, and then head to the water for swimming. Grill up some street tacos in the backyard with friends and beer.
Komatireddy: One of my favorite things to do in San Diego is to head out in my plane and fly over the coast of La Jolla.
Q: Best/worst part about working in the medical industry?
Hutchins: Best -- building a business always means helping people when they really need it. Worst -- so, so, so, so, so slow.
Komatireddy: Best - to me, this is not a business, this is a calling. It’s not about the money, it’s about making a difference in people’s lives. It’s fascinating to me that you just don’t know how many people’s lives you can change. I love that. I also like the translation of medicine, when you’re able to take something you learn in practice and apply it to something in a completely different, but extremely effective context.
Dislike - It takes a lot of effort to change people’s way of thinking.
Q: Motto you try to live by every day?
Hutchins: Stay calm. Listen. Understand problems and solve them.