Why 3D Human Imaging Will Save Lives and Dollars in the New Healthcare Economy with Aaron Oliker, Cofounder, BioDigital Inc.

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Why 3D Human Imaging Will Save Lives and Dollars in the New Healthcare Economy with Aaron Oliker, Cofounder, BioDigital Inc.

Hey Outcomes Rocket friends, thanks for tuning in to the podcast once again. As a leader in health care, you have big ideas great products, a story to tell, and are looking for ways to improve your reach and scale your business. However there's one tiny problem. Health care is tough to navigate and the typical sales cycle is low. That's why you should consider starting your own podcast as part of your sales and marketing strategy. At the Outcomes Rocket, I've been able to reach thousands of people every single month that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to reach if I had not started my podcast. Having this organic reach enables me to get the feedback necessary to create a podcast that delivers value that you are looking for. And the same thing goes if you start a podcast for what you could learn from your customers. The best thing about podcasting in healthcare is that we are currently at the ground level, meaning that the number of people in healthcare listening to podcasts is small but growing rapidly. I put together a free checklist for you to check out the steps on what it takes to create your own podcast. You could find that at outcomesrocket.health/podcast. Check it out today and find a new way to leverage the sales, marketing and outcomes of your business. That's outcomesrocket.health/podcast.

Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. As the time change we have to consider many different options to tackle the problems that we're faced with in health care and resources dwindle. We've got to look at other options that's why today I'm so excited to introduce our guest. His name is Aaron Oliker. He's a co-founder at Biodigital Inc.. Aaron is an entrepreneur, 3D animator, programmer and academic working in the field of medical visualization and 3D simulation. Aaron founded his first medical visualization company called Cyber fiber incorporated in 2000. He's got over a decade of experience close to two decades of experience in this area. And so I'm privileged to really highlight some of Aaron's work here with him. He's been a pioneer in a new paradigm in the field of medical and surgical education. His current focus is the advancement of new features and applications using the bio digital human platform. And it's a thrill to be able to welcome you to the podcast Aaron. Glad you could join us.

Thank you. It's a real pleasure and honor to be here. I can't believe it's been two decades in the field but things are evolving and I'm very happy to have this opportunity to speak with you.

It's a pleasure. And Aaron you know you are a pioneer. You've been in this before it was even a popular thing to do. And now companies are starting to look at 3-D visualization as a true option for doing more with less. What is it that's kept you in the game for so long?

I think the game is always evolving as you say things are getting cheaper. Technology keeps improving and I'm I'm such a techno nerd and an anatomy nerd and these are the things I really love. And I wake up I can do it whenever it's like a videogame game to me but it helps people so I just love the tech and I love the fact that we're doing something positive that improves a person's health. So that's just my motivating factor I guess for us to keep doing it it's just selfish enjoyment at the most basic level.

That's awesome. And listeners if there's a partner they want to work with somebody that is willing to do what they do for fun for their own reasons that just tend to dovetail into what you're doing. Biodigitals their team over there Aaron and his team have had the privilege of working with some of the largest organizations in health care including Boston Scientific, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline just to name a few and so I always loved to understand the genesis of it all. Aaron I know you love this stuff but what is it that got you into health care to begin with?

I think the most basic level for me again is you know my sister was a physician and she actually got she had. And that's when she was about 27 years old. She is a resident. And I was a 3D animator at the time just starting out learning myself. I'm a little younger than her. And just to see her get sick and all these things and all these questions that came up in our minds. I said I wanted to do something in healthcare with my ability in 3D. And that's kind of what led me on this path. I got very lucky and I met a surgeon who wanted to do animations and it turned out that I was the first surgical animation that was ever done. We started our work at NYU in 1999 for a charity called Smile Train.

Amazing.

And that was the very beginning of my work in this industry.

Super cool man. And Aaron, you know I'm a firm believer that coincidence. I don't know if there's such a thing. You know when you're when you're properly aligned and focused. These things do tend to happen. Now you've been in this business for 20 years. What do you think a hot topic that needs to be on every medical leaders agenda today is and how are you guys approaching it at Biodigital?

So I think the real hot topic right now that's on people's agenda is what's going on with augmented reality and virtual reality and how that's affecting on medicine and for a special device companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals. I just came from a conference in Berlin a medical executive leadership conference for pharma and device and I did a presentation on what the direction of augmented reality is in medicine and it seems to be something that's very interesting to a lot of the big companies out there everybody including the institutions as well. A lot of people really want to understand where this is going. I feel like it's it's like the mobile technology of the early 2000s. And I think that's where it's going so I think that's the big hot topic right now. I think it's going to change a lot of things.

Now that's pretty interesting Aaron. And you know we've had several guests on the show come talk to us about augmented reality and virtual reality the applications being you know hey you know there's fellowship and resident training, there's company sales rep and clinical training, there's a lot of applications that that technology could be useful for can you take us down maybe what you think the top 2 or 3 areas that our listeners could apply this tool to?

Yeah definitely the education is number one. Education and communication. And that's basically what our product does. Just to take you back a couple that surprised the Biodigital human has is probably the biggest library of 3D interactive assets on the planet. We literally were building. We built out every nerve every vessel, every vein, every bone and what have you and we're building out every disease state and disease condition and you can interact with it in 3-D like we Guler to the human body. And what we're doing now with augmented reality is we're taking it into the real space like you use like a house like. Some people use it with like Pokemon and you're just overlaying something onto your field of view of a smartphone and you're just looking at something and there's like a filter there. But what we do is we use more advanced headset and you're able actually able to walk around and inspect and interact with the body at which is lifesize. So I think it's a game changer meaning where you can look at the body and go through a procedure and have a surgical view would have been impossible before unless you're in an OR or in a certain scenario. So I think it's great for education, for sales, I think it's it's also very powerful because it's something people haven't really seen done well before. And now you're able to see the body and look at it from any angle and look into it and it's like right in front of you like it would be if you were in an operating room or an exam table. So I think it is going to have a very powerful effect once it's in wide distribution with good equipment.

That's pretty awesome Erin. So as a customer whether it be institutional or even maybe an individual. Do you guys offer it to both just one or the other and how did they how do they access your platform.

Our platform is a cloud based platform. You can literally on any device you can go online. Just log in and have access to the entire human body and we've got pretty much any disease state or condition known to man and see it in 3D. And the same goes for mobile. So our platform is really device as an operating system agnostic. You should be able to access it from any device or any type of system you're using.

That's awesome and so as far as as users as institutional users only. And then in that you access it through your institution or can you get it as an individual too.

So my digital acumen is like I said before it's a cloud based platform so anyone can access it you can be a third grader and get on and explore the body.

Nice.

The really exciting thing about what we do is we integrate into other people's systems so we have an application programming interface and a software development kit. So if you're running a school or a student or something you can go on to Biodigital human and explore. Like you would like Google Maps.

Amazing.

And just like if you're like me and you're like an anatomy geek geek and you want to just just mess around and look you can look and look up everything you can see the beating heart and dissect the heart. I look up a bit. This is where you can hear in the way we work with device companies and clients is a lot of times they'll integrate our system into their website or they'll add their CAD files to our system and you can visualize how devices work inside the body. You can create a procedure for you so you can see a procedure step by step. You can see how the device affects the body. You can create air your pathways if you're a pharmaceutical client or a pharmaceutical, we go mechanism of action but it's interactive it's not just an animation and rotated. You can interact with it. You can test it you can test people on it and that's essentially how it's used where we use different types of configurations whether you're configuring for you know an MOD or you have a new device or you're doing training or something along those lines. We customize the system to whatever the client need is and they can disperse it internationally on all devices and in multiple languages for all the different users that target audience might be.

That's super powerful and super powerful. And to know that the base of the technology exists kind of like that like you said right the Google Earth for the human body. And then when companies or providers or anybody wants to make use of it they just go, reach out to you guys and then you guys find a way through API and SDKs or whatever get access to what you guys are doing to make it a playable to their particular needs?

Right. Very much so. And a lot of times what we want to do is make it cheaper and easier for people to get access. Like you said people have less resources and less time and things are always getting more demanding. So think of it like almost like a Lego set and you have all these different building blocks and so if you wanted to do something yourself you know you wanted the storyboard something or or just add a condition to a Web site. It's very easy just to come in and you know like a YouTube movie and you get embedded into a Web site or into a mobile application or you need something more complicated. We definitely do a lot of different complex projects for enterprise projects for the large institutions and organizations.

That is outstanding. Now you guys are doing a lot to improve outcomes in this way. Is there one particular thing that sticks out Aaron as something that has been just amazing that you guys have accomplished?

Yeah you know there were several great projects that we've worked on in a couple come to mind. One is the outcome health project. You know it's wallboards that people use that point of care for patient education and essentially what happens with these Walboards that in doctors offices and doctors to the patients. And right now that technology was embedded into 50000, 50000 doctors offices around the country. It's not just that one client but several different clients that yes you add to that in that capacity and you hear the testimonials and it's amazing. So better to think of it as a point of care application. A 3-D technology is very powerful because the better you can communicate with your patient population and they really truly understand what you're saying the more likely it is for them to take that advice and regimen to heart. So you're going to get better patients because they really understand why the why they should. They're not just talking at the patient they're talking to the patient in a way that the patient understands and that it's extremely powerful. So for a point of care we find this is one of the most powerful usages of our technology to really connect with the patient alleviate their anxiety, to really communicate them about what's happening inside their body in a way that's very quick and easy to understand really efficient and something that can affect their behavior which is probably the most important part.

Now at super critical and for those of you listening that are providers looking for ideas to take your practice and outcomes to the next level. Think this is a really great education and communication tool as as Aaron described it to help patients really understand and level set with providers at the point of care. Aaron how about on the other side of this. Have you had a setback in your journey. And what did you learn from that setback that you could share with the listeners?

Oh there's there's always a setback. Many setbacks. I think one of the biggest things that I can say is it's just before we had a platform we really did a lot of one off projects that were very expensive to create very expensive to maintain. And that's what led us to this. And I say it's a failure because it drove us to some difficult times because we we really needed was just so hard to maintain many different applications that were so. And we spread ourselves kind of thin as a result of that and what we did the positive thing as a result of this kind of failure to create a more consistent to have a system in at these one off projects is to create the digital platform was born out of that that failure to have a consistency where you're trying to reduce cut costs really and create something that that's very high quality for our clients and like easy to maintain. So the failure I guess was just not having that consistency in technology which is very difficult to do. It's a learning process I guess.

Yeah, so you guys went through the pain of having to figure this out going from individual projects that were expensive tough to maintain. And then you sort of hit this point in the road where you're like we've got to fix this and that's when the Biodigital platform was born. What is it that makes the Biodigital platform so I guess able to serve so many customers. Because you guys serve a ton of customers.

It's the technological evolution that made it possible. In about 2000 when we wanted this to happen. We knew kind of struggling with the way the system was and in 2011 when she came out web G.L. like the graphics card because the games the graphics started improving in the computers and mobile technology really started improving in about 2011 web G.L. came out where he didn't need a plug in because before you have that the reason you have to maintain all these different graphics cards and all these different things and the big companies like Apple like Google and Firefox got behind putting 3D in a browser. And so what that allows us to do was just focus focus on delivering 3D. Like you didn't have to download anything you didn't have to have certain dry resolves whatever crazy stuff that happened a decade before and now because of that it was just say OK let's just focus on making awesome content. Let's just focus on making one really great engine and that's what we did. The more focused the more you can kind of narrow how much how many technical things you have to do the better the outcome is.

That's so cool. And I appreciate you walking us through that air and you know it's been an evolution and folks like I was telling you before you know if you're looking to partner with somebody in 3-D Aaron and his team literally have been around the block and back several times and they've seen an entire shift in our ability to access technology as it sits today even in the actual browser. So take a look at what they have to offer. Their Web site is biodigital.com. They've got some pretty cool demos available there. Aaron this has been a blast to walk through. If you had to say right now and one of the most exciting focus areas in your company is today what is that?

Yeah I think like I mentioned before the augmented reality in our expanding library what we're doing right now is very exciting. It's something that I'm leading and I'm really enjoying every minute of it just because you're taking something from a flat screen just like put things in the browser. Now you're taking it out of the computer and putting it into like a real space. And I think that it's super exciting and it's a real experience so I'm very excited where everything is headed on that front.

Yeah and let's just take it a little glimpse at the med device piece of this. You know folks if you're looking to use augmented reality, you buy yourself a pair of those glasses. Let's just say on the high end they cost you five six hundred bucks and you are able to provide your sales force, your clinical people with training from home. And they don't have to fly. You don't have to get them hotels. All of this is going to save a bundle with technologies like the one Aaron is talking to us about. So if you're not excited about this I think it's time to learn a little bit more because it is truly an exciting time and we're turning around the corner of some excellent efficiencies. And would you add anything else to that?

Yeah you know and not just at home but just like conferences people eat it up. It's really great just to run the sales and one of our med device clients that uses it was telling me that you know they really once you have that one of these headsets on their people they're not going to you're not going to run away that easily. You really get a good conversation going. So it really does lead to some good great conversations with prospects and whatnot if you're doing the sales on that conferences. So that's another great way to use for sales.

So awesome yes. So so many great applications so if you haven't started thinking about this I would add this question to your arsenal of potential problem solving questions. How can I use 3D how can I use augmented reality as part of a solution to my problem. So Aaron Timeflies and you're having fun getting close to the end here. Let's pretend you and I are building a medical leadership course on what it takes to be successful business and medicine. The 101 of Aaron Oliker and so we're going to we're going to build a syllabus here for questions lightning round style followed by a better that you recommend to the listeners are you ready.

Yeah.

Awesome. What's the best way to improve healthcare outcomes.?

It's a safe focus. I think to have the best communication possible with your patients. And that means that really great communication if you can communicate well with your patients, if you can communicate well with the surgeons that you're training with your clinical staff, you're going to have great outcomes.

What's the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Spreading yourself too thin trying to do too much in too many areas. If you end up doing nothing well jack of all trades and a master of none. So I say it's really important to stay focused and to really master one thing at a time at the very least.

Love that. How do you stay relevant as an organization despite all the constant change?

You work really hard. You really have to stay on top of technology. You really have to stay on top of what's going on and have a great team. I think the other thing is just love what you do. It's sounds that kind of a corny cheesy thing to say but to really stay on top but to really work hard you got it. You got to enjoy it. So that would be my answer.

Love that. What's one area of focus Sessa drive everything in a health care company?

Outstanding experience for the end-user. I think the more you focus on creating a really fantastic experience. Easy to understand just intuitive and natural. I think you're going to be successful.

Love that. And finally Aaron what book would you recommend to our listeners?

A great book that I like. It's more of a business book right. It's Dog by Phil Knight the Nike story.

Love that. Oh yeah, oh man, it's so good.

Yeah. And you just listen to the struggles he goes so it's an incredible book and fun to read. I got a lot out of the in a couple of times.

Folks.

I recommend that book.

Great recommendation my Aaron there shoe dog by Phil Knight the founder of Nike. Incredible story inspiring. Much like Aaron's story and the path that he has taken and now where where his technology and him and his team are taking this so if you have any questions about today's interview, you can go to outcomesrocket.health/biodigital, B I O digital and you're going to be able to find all of the show notes the transcript as well as links to the resources discussed here today. Aaron if you can just leave us with a closing thought and then the best place where the listeners can get in touch with you.

Yeah my closing thought would be that it's a really exciting time in medicine and technology. All these different technologies are converging to create better experiences for education, for physicians. And it's just it's really a lot of fun. And if anybody wants to check out what's going out the body is like our system is constantly evolving, please check out the site. It's free to just get on in and look at it. So I highly recommend just going on and taking a look at some of the stuff we have to offer. I really appreciate that.

Outstanding Aaron. Absolutely. So take that call to action folks go to a biodigital.com and check out the platform that they're offering here. And again Aaron just want to thank you for carving out some time for us to discuss this innovation and we're excited to stay in touch with you.

It's a real pleasure thank you. The honor and a pleasure. Thank you so much.

Hey Outcomes Rocket friends, thanks for tuning in to the podcast once again. As a leader in health care, you have big ideas great products, a story to tell, and are looking for ways to improve your reach and scale your business. However there's one tiny problem. Health care is tough to navigate and the typical sales cycle is low. That's why you should consider starting your own podcast as part of your sales and marketing strategy. At the Outcomes Rocket, I've been able to reach thousands of people every single month that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to reach if I had not started my podcast. Having this organic reach enables me to get the feedback necessary to create a podcast that delivers value that you are looking for. And the same thing goes if you start a podcast for what you could learn from your customers. The best thing about podcasting in healthcare is that we are currently at the ground level, meaning that the number of people in healthcare listening to podcasts is small but growing rapidly. I put together a free checklist for you to check out the steps on what it takes to create your own podcast. You could find that at outcomesrocket.health/podcast. Check it out today and find a new way to leverage the sales, marketing and outcomes of your business. That's outcomesrocket.health/podcast.

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Recommended Book:

Shoe Dog

Best Way to Contact Aaron:

LinkedIn: Aaron Oliker

Mentioned Link:

BioDigital Inc.

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