Communication and Trust: A.R. Weiler
A.R. Weiler, President and CEO of Healthsense dives into the importance of communication and trust-building in leadership.
A lot of the problems in healthcare today are not technology problems. They’re workflow problems and technology adoption problems.
My name is A.R. Weiler. I’m the CEO and President of Healthsense. What we are working on doing is monitoring seniors in their homes and in senior living facilities to help them live better lives.
We have a very huge challenge in our country.10,000 people a day are turning 65. The baby boomers are aging. Most of them are healthy. In their first couple years, 65, 70, 72, people don’t change their lives much. A lot of people continue to work but as people live longer they start to have more chronic diseases. That group is growing at such a high rate: two and a half times the rate of the rest the population. The problem is not only do we not have enough people to take care of seniors but it is a huge unfunded liability to our government.
What we do we is actually take monitors (similar to monitors you might find in your home,) motion sensors, door sensors, sensors that determine if you are in or out of the bed, and we install them in someone’s home and monitor the activities of daily living (their ADL’s).
The people who started the company are engineers. They built a rock-solid system in terms of the the sensors themselves, and the connectivity. They had some success, but the issue here, again, was not the technology, it was how we apply the technology to seniors and their families and help them get comfortable with it.
A lot of people in our company come from a variety of backgrounds. There might be some techies, the engineering types, there may be some softer people that are more involved in healthcare and more involved in the work flow. The challenge is bringing them all together. What I’ve noticed throughout my career is that the best teams
I have been on, the team has been very clear about their mission and what their goals are. This happens through communication and a leader who communicates messages very clearly and consistently, and helps them put in context what they’re doing—not just coming to work every day and leaving.
Internally, a key thing to do is to get the teams together. Trust is a huge part of it. Coming into a company and making sure that trust is established takes months, and years, in some cases. You have to be careful with that trust—it can be destroyed very quickly. So you always have to be on, communicating well, and reinforcing trust and communication. Externally it’s different—you have to modulate a different way and that means being very concise, and be consistent in the press about what you’re trying to do. The other thing is be very genuine, both internally and externally. It comes through if you don’t feel like you’re excited about what you’re doing, that there’s a passion and a mission to what you’re doing. Reinforcing that with the team is important—but it really has to come from within. People smell it from a mile away, whether external or internal.