MP recently sat down with John Halloran, the CEO and founder of Mobile Health. He’s a Boston native who has spent his entire career at the intersection of technology and healthcare. Now, he’s focused on helping companies better connect their people to the well-being and care they need.
What is Mobile Health, and how is it unique?
Mobile Health is a digital health and well-being technology company. We are the only solution built from the ground up to make it easy for employees to connect with their health & well-being in impactful, personalized ways — all in a single platform.
How is Mobile Health making employees’ lives better?
Our goal is to provide technology that makes it radically easier for employers to get guidance and support out to employees — and their dependents — for the health, well-being, benefits, and care available to them. People are managing a lot in their daily lives. Along with work, family, leisure, and the unexpected, it’s hard to also manage all aspects of your well-being effectively, including physical, mental, financial, and career-related health. Most healthcare solutions are complicated, unintuitive, and hard to use. Employees historically under-utilize available care, which increases the risk for employee health and business productivity. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Mobile Health simplifies care for employees in three major ways:
- Aggregating holistic health & well-being programs to a single point of access
- Driving well-being engagement with personalized communications and health education based on AI
- Providing real-time analytics and insights to help companies make better well-being decisions and improve employer culture, employee retention, and manage healthcare costs
Our technology uses data and science to recommend when someone should join a well-being challenge, get a screening, or get a service based on data. The most valuable outcome is one of the people improving their health & overall well-being. It’s the best feeling when we receive news of users improving their well-being, getting treatment, and recovering from early signs of serious illness because the Mobile Health app prompted them to act.
What three obstacles have you faced while getting Mobile Health to a viable company?
Whenever you start a new venture, you must start with what problem we were trying to solve and what unique way we could solve that problem. There is a lot of data about how broken the healthcare system is. Healthcare costs too much and is over complicated. But an even bigger problem was the health of workers was deteriorating. When you add the pandemic to this, this is a critical time for employers to step out and help employees. Once we settled on a core problem to solve, the three biggest obstacles were:
1 - Recruiting a world-class team to help us pursue the opportunity. If we didn’t get this right, the company would never have made it past our first year.
2 - Finding real customers who shared our view of the problem space and how to solve for an overly complex and costly healthcare system with a population whose health is deteriorating. If we hadn’t found our first set of customers, we never would have proven our solution, and we would never have made it past our second year.
3 - Scaling and commercializing the product so we could help millions of users. Had we not been successful with this, we would not have made it past our fourth yrar, when our growth started to take off.
Do you believe there is some pattern or formula to becoming a successful leader?
As a leader, you must set the vision for where the organization needs to go and remove obstacles to help your people see that vision. In my experience, the job comes down to putting the best people in roles they are best suited for and focusing most of my energy on supporting them to do their best work. After all, they are the experts.
What are three pieces of advice you can share with people looking to become influential leaders in their businesses and why?
- Get diverse input. When you hire a smart, diverse group of people, you have a wealth of rich perspectives to help you make the right decisions. In addition, diversity helps you understand the market more holistically and develop products for a better market fit.
- Become an expert problem-solver.This starts with making sure you fully understand what you’re solving for before you begin executing. When your team encounters obstacles, you’ll come to better solutions if you can sharply identify exactly what the problem is.
- Look at all the angles.Before jumping to conclusions, be exhaustive to consider all potential outcomes when making decisions. This will help you see potential pitfalls and make fewer big mistakes.
What are your greatest fears as an entrepreneur, and how do you manage them?
The biggest fear as an entrepreneur is missing the opportunity window by being either too early or too late. It’s very difficult to know where you are in the arch of the business cycle, and getting this right is critically important to the success of an enterprise. Being too early or too late is a fear most entrepreneurs share. Just ask anyone who bought a Newton Personal Digital Assistant before iPhones took off.
How did you build a successful customer base?
Our focus is always on providing the best customer experience. To achieve that, we strive to hire diverse talent and take great care of our people. For any sizable business, your customers will be a diverse group of people — if you want your business to grow and succeed, that is. The best way to build relationships, establish trust, and deliver a great experience for a diverse customer base is to have that diversity reflected in your workforce. Diverse teams will naturally bring different perspectives and experiences, allowing an organization to consider different problem-solving and product development approaches. We believe a diverse team will simply perform better, make better decisions, and result in better customer outcomes.