How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Healthcare and Every Industry with Bill Moschella, Chairman of Evariant
Episode 123

Bill Moschella, Chairman of Evariant

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Healthcare and Every Industry

Improving outcomes through AI and digital technology

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Healthcare and Every Industry with Bill Moschella, Chairman of Evariant

Episode 123

Outcomes Rocket - Bill Moschella

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Healthcare and Every Industry with Bill Moschella, Chairman of Evariant

: [00:00:01] Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes and business success with today’s most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez

Saul Marquez: [00:00:18] Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with today’s most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders. I want to thank you for tuning in. And I welcome you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you can rate and review today’s podcast guest because he is an outstanding contributor to Health Care. His name is Bill Moschella. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Evariant. He’s a growth entrepreneur and actually Bill I just realized that you know we’re here. And so you are now the chairman no longer CEO is that correct.

Bill Moschella: [00:00:56] That’s correct. Yeah I turn this into a role now which has been a great transition and brought in a fantastic new set of management team CEO Claytor ReGGI and CFO Andrew Keenan. So that’s that’s been a great process over the past two years and I finally was able to step out of the day to day operation just thanks for the clarification.

Saul Marquez: [00:01:15] Absolutely Bill and you know listeners here’s a cool thing about Bill now. He went to a music school he toured in bands. He opened up a recording studio and became a software and tech entrepreneur. In that order and he loves being disruptive. He has done so with the company that he built. And in today’s podcast we’re going to dive into some of his experiences as well as some of the things that they did over at Evariant and what they currently focus on. So Bill to begin with from music to health why did you make the transition here.

Bill Moschella: [00:01:46] It wasn’t on purpose it just had. And the trajectory that was followed was I just was getting into software because the recording studio that I was running was essentially a digital recording studio. So I had to learn how to catch software and get involved in the digital aspect of business. And I was recording TV commercials and radio spots and that put me in touch with the advertising of different organizations. And once that happened it was kind of it opened up a whole new world for me so I became more involved in the business of music as opposed to you know the making of music and the touring and the playing to so it just shifted and part of it was a lifestyle and part of it was just it just started to excite me and I became extremely interested in it. So that was a big transition but it happened and so as I started to get into CRM and became an early sales force dotcom partner and became a local partner. I mean these were you know two huge cloud companies who were revolutionizing not only just a cloud movement but the way that we look at what’s referred to as CRM today. So sales service and marketing platforms for organizations and that space although I was in very early and very successful got crowded quickly and as it was getting crowded what we were finding was an area that was not quite crowded was bringing in the concept of digital marketing and CRM to help systems and providers. And we found a couple early adopters and just realize that wow this is we can be extremely disruptive here I mean this is a market that’s surely selling direct and that was there core vendors were selling direct mail services and that was the core communication method for health system to speak to patients. And we brought him in said Weiner email why not text messaging Weiner landing pages. You know why not using analytics to actually target where people are going to be outlining to figure out the best way to communicate with them. And that became the beginning of the very. It just steamrolled from there and that we were able to raise capital. I don’t want to say it was easy but we weren’t in all the other noise of all the other horizontal cloud but we had something unique and focused and vertical and as we can tell now with the advent of disk consumerism and digital health I mean it’s the hottest topics in consumer engagement patient engagement physician engagement. We just got in really really early and were able to establish marquee logos and platform very very early on and it was a wild ride. But that did get around back to your question. What I’m that the healthcare it didn’t happen on purpose it’s just one of those things you couldn’t even plan for it.

Saul Marquez: [00:04:25] Yeah that’s so interesting and we had a guest previously and his name is Walter and he’s he’s out of L.A. and he can like a music studio now is making a transition into health through a company called Healthtunes using music to affect the hearts of the patients. Pretty interesting yeah you guys are kind of mini car from the same cloth. They’re connecting. You know it’s so interesting experience I’ve found this niche and it wasn’t crowded you know you took a niche that was hot and then you found a vertical that wasn’t crowded. And I think that’s a good lesson for entrepreneurs working outside of health. Find something that’s hot find something that is working and then figure out how to apply it in health. Because one of the things that Bill did that is tough to do is implement and in health implementation is the innovation. And so Bill kudos to you and your team. I know you made it sound easy but I know there’s a lot of hard work that went into it no doubt.

Bill Moschella: [00:05:30] On the implementation side the difference between what happened when we started you know where Evariant is now and my team is completely different. I mean what it took to and what it takes to run Evariant operationally now is much different than years Ago. When I was running and you know over the course of two years it changed and went through various maturities and it’s the biggest thing that we have to pay attention to and that the company is focused on now and the management team that’s there now which is doing an amazing job of is maintaining all the compliance and the security. So all the different breaches that have occurred over the years not only in healthcare but just across the world globally in kind of digital data have just put a new light on cybersecurity and compliance and what it takes operational to run a business and maintain your compliance the compliance and stark warning and sock 2 type 2s. These are major efforts and they become business units within an organization. And as more people are focusing on that at the company now than there were you know the whole company a few years ago. Let’s just talk about testing into the change in the industry and the work effort that’s required to stay at the top of the game and you have to take security and compliance is going to be on top of your list.

Saul Marquez: [00:06:49] Yeah that’s a really great hot topic and there are miners listening to this and if you want to share with them you know what’s an example of how Evariant has created better outcomes and results through what you guys are up to there.

Bill Moschella: [00:07:05] Sure there’s a couple of core use cases and the business really has 4 unique offerings and that sits on the platform the variant platform the first which was the bread and butter and still is to this day which is kind of the core offering is around patient engagement and acquisition and consumer engagement acquisition. So that’s really working with the health system to identify their population understand their segment and understand within that population who is a patient and who is not a patient at this time which was referred to as a consumer and using third party data and their first party data both clinical as well as social and psychographic you know being able to look at those populations and understand who’s got the highest likelihood for one of our services and we would really like to drive growth and our orthopedics service line. We want to drive growth in oncology or growth in cardiovascular areas are centers of excellence where should we do that and how should we do that. What’s the right communication. Where is the right location within our primary secondary and tertiary service markets. And not only just one message but how do we keep an ongoing campaign. And how do we connect those individuals to our message and track the outcome and the spend through return on marketing investment. I mean that’s a huge thing. I mean for a lot of organizations who are spending millions of dollars and being able to take a step by step methodical process of looking at my patient population looking at my consumer population understanding the market share that I want to go after choosing the tactics deploying the tactics tracking them in real time and understanding the returning marketing investment so from call it Google keyword or Facebook page search or direct mail or email doesn’t really make a difference in many many combinations and touch points not just one but many. What was the combination of those which ones influence and which drove new patients which drove returned patients. You know what was their insurance. What were the procedures that they came in for and understanding and maintaining compliance along the way. So that’s a huge value prop and driving that growth and the marketing department Chief Marketing Officers and strategy officers have an ability to make a contribution to the bottom line. They’re not just putting out design and brand now but they are truly driving volume and taking part in the supply chain of the growth of health systems. So that’s one of the biggest value props that we started off with and it’s still a huge piece of the business today.

Saul Marquez: [00:09:31] That’s really fascinating the distinctions that you made here Bill and and also the ability to track the ROI1 of marketing dollars. I think it’s a very difficult thing to do and extremely you guys have figured out a way to help providers find a way to do that.

Bill Moschella: [00:09:46] Yes we have. It is a combination of obviously compliance of course and security because to move that data around it has to stay compliant right. You have to make sure you’re watching out what’s going on with ph NTIA and removing it and hashing it and encrypting it always at every step. And so we have an infrastructure that does that. But the next crack here is really data science and machine learning and we deploy that many many years ago before even the term AoM was coined and came out and was made popular right. This was we were doing that when cloud was returned and big data was returned and so I. What we’re doing is we’re Imagine that. Let’s just say you’re always myself as an example and I am suffering from an you know an old college injury from playing soccer and I have the issue and you know I’ve got choices right. You know I can kick the can I can get physical therapy I can start to think about what surgery looks like. But I ski and interacted with my kids and I just I want to understand what are my options. And so does digital health care. I’m online I’m researching I’m looking at social media I’m talking to people I’m looking at reviews and going online and looking up physicians and doctors and clinics and health systems and I’m just gathering information. Right. It’s part of the process that we all go through today whether it’s for our health or whether we’re buying a new phone or a computer or a car. So that retail process retail mindset right puts us out there in front of a lot of different communication mediums. And I might touch a health systems advertising in a dozen different ways multiple times over each. So you can’t just say we need to do advertising and Facebook and we get the highest returns from that. And that’s absolutely not true. That’s not where you get the highest return the highest return is what machine learning will show you. And this is our AI which ends up telling you it’s not that one tactic. It was the seven tactics that you were influence you over the past 90 days in this particular order when you look at pattern recognition and you start to map that pattern recognition with outcomes and time series events you start to find out that there are different patterns and orders in which people consume your advertising and consumer information that turns them into consumers to patients and by looking at those patterns we’re able to benchmark and go into a particular demographic in a particular area and telehealth system right out of the gate for the campaign and says We think that X dollars spend we’re going to predict that this is about how many patients we’re going to get and how many are going to call into the complex that are sick be prepared for volume. Here’s what’s going to happen to your web traffic. It’s a complete prediction around the supply and the demand and that is where we’ve made transformational shifts and going from call it a marketing agency as platform whole lists to an actual Insight’s platform that drives predictions around spend and around actions and supply and demand and how you need a statue or contact center and which areas are going to start to affect your retail and your clinics and so on and so forth. That’s how Evariant AI.

Saul Marquez: [00:12:50] That’s pretty interesting balance. Just thinking through how powerful that could be it really takes a lot of discipline and also a lot of technical savvy to make something like this happen.

Bill Moschella: [00:13:02] Absolutely it does. I mean the interesting piece about this is forget about in healthcare and marketing in the worlds of marketing and digital marketing and strategy. I mean the best of the best they’re doing it but you’re not going to find this type of capability where the average marketing department has a team of data scientists crunching down numbers. It is absolutely what the industry is going broadly and I spent a lot of time in that kind of horizontal space around machine learning is. Digital marketing and advertising and contact centers and service centers. But when it comes to healthcare I think it’s even more of a challenge on the provider side in terms of how their staff. So our platform to be able to do these things that our team to build these things internally it becomes so important to have operational efficiency and to be able to scale. And that’s what we’ve been able to do over time and we attribute a lot of it to the support of our investors and we’ve been able to raise a great amount of capital as folks like myself and others that we have in the board who have supported the company over the years have given us the opportunity to invest in these things because they are expensive and you have to put a lot of R and D into them. And we’ve been able to achieve quite a bit from the market need support supportive customers and early innovators and adopters and then the investment community who is believed in what’s happening there.

Saul Marquez: [00:14:14] Very interesting Bill and listeners just think through the capabilities that a company like Evariant could do for you without having to build it out yourself. It’s just a very fascinating idea to think what you could do with a platform like this. Bill It wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine. Can you share with us now is the time when you had a setback. One of those moments where you just say Ah and what you took out of it.

Bill Moschella: [00:14:38] Sure just from a very transparently from my experience you know the setbacks. I mean that happened all the time right. I mean it’s part of growing the business you know and there’s so many great books out there to read about this. And I mean you can just go on and Manita with the recommendations but it really the theme here is that you just have to dig in and the setbacks that I really keenly remember have to do run operations right you operational efficiency and that when you’re at a hot market right. It’s a double edged sword. We cut through and we’re on a break away and just we’re we’re bringing in lots of customers. And then you flip a coin and it’s we have to bring on all these customers and we’ve got to deliver and we’ve got to maintain compliance. And so this perfect storm happened right around in 2014 2015. We’re just you know at your tremendous exponential growth and industry started to. Really really put more of a focus on compliance contracting changed CEOs and health systems started to become involved a lot more. When I think during that time frame they were really hands down on their deployments. All I also know that they are now looking at a broader ecosystem of platforms that are touching not just their operations and their critical operations but they started seeing platforms that were touching strategy and planning and analytics and population health and CRM and marketing. And so when they got involved know the bar got raids and then there was a number of breaches already there. But within the industry and the spotlight went on. Wait a minute CRM touches data on its clinical. What about your compliance. Everything got the bar got raise their hand. So the good news for us was that there was a number of other vendors and competitors out there who just didn’t make the cut and they either got consolidated went out of business. Right. And it just kind of sold the way side of the bar to get into this game got higher but to do that you have to spend more money and raise more capital and just keep the game going. And that just creates a lot of tension on an organization because you find very quickly that either people are lacking skills or that you just need to bring in people with more specific skills. And the way that you’re hiring in the way that your training starts to change and it just puts a lot of pressure where you kind of went from this as you said you know it was rainbows and roses I think is what you said something like that and that’s a time when you’re just cranking and you’re selling and you can do no wrong. And then the market just says we expect more from you Evariant right now and think about stopping a train that’s moving really really fast to boil and fix and build up and put better engines on doing that while you’re growing at the same time as a challenge in any market for any entrepreneur or for any business at any size. And those are times when we felt a lot of pressure and a lot of strain both operationally and internally. And you go from you know constant high fives because you’re winning all the time you know having lots of meetings like that what are we going to do about this and what are we to do about that. But it’s a testament to the team and the people who are working at that company and or who have worked there who have moved on or who are still there today and the managers that’s there now. I mean just it’s all about operations and execution. And no one ever fell completely down by it. We just got up and kept walking and a lot of lessons.

Saul Marquez: [00:17:51] Bill. If you had to summarize one key thing from it how would you summarize it for the listeners.

Bill Moschella: [00:17:56] One key thing I can I can summarize it I speak a lot about this whether it’s for young entrepreneurs or you know folks who have more established companies that just want to hear and share ideas. It has everything to do with the way that you run your culture and the way that you hire and the management team that you bring on. Everything comes in the top. No matter what no matter how small or how big everything comes from the top and the culture is so important and that everybody is marching to the same beat everyone is aligned to the strategy. And that was a difficult thing to do as the market changed. We changed and to communicate that down to everybody to make sure that anyone still feels like they’re marching the same direction will make or break a company. Right. And when I say make or break doesn’t mean go out of business. It could mean your Kraken along at 100 miles an hour and you could maybe go down to 80. But the difference between 80 and even going down to 30 or 40 that makes a big difference in a lot of things that you might want to do additional money that you might need no access to. So setbacks around not hiring the right folks just I mean those are huge setbacks. And you know there’s a lot of learning there is engineer culture.

Saul Marquez: [00:19:04] A great message and listeners whether you be at a company at a hospital at the forefront as an executive or a provider you know make sure you take care of your culture. This is a driver and Bill is a testament to what having a great culture can do for your company in the toughest of times. How about one of the proudest moments you’ve had and medicine. Can you share one with us.

Bill Moschella: [00:19:28] You have to be sensitive about client names just because of disclosure. But there are a few customers in particular over the years who had unbelievable our lives where they came back and just said we have met with our CFOs and our CEO So chief marketing officer and chief strategy officers who have worked very hard to have a seat at the table to be able to say I’m not just controlling the brand I’m contributing to growth and to the longevity of this business and organization right to the profitability and the margin and that that’s a huge thing for a marketer to say. And we’ve had a number of our customers come to us and to say I want to thank you. We officially got the nod the thumbs up the approval and the recognition that yes we did drive these patients and they were the right types of patients for the right services and we did it through analytics and targeting with a partnership between Evariant team and our internal team. And so to see that happen in these numbers hundreds of millions of dollars over years. You know like a three year plan to actually have that kind of net contribution to the organization was just wow you know it was a testament to the company that we’re working hard and we’re building something that is truly transformational and disruptive to the investors to say we have invested in a company that is changing the industry and driving our wives for their customers which means that’s going to be our ally for the business. And those moments just you know it’s like wow all the hard work we did it you know it’s just now we did it and it resonates through the market and you start to win again. And you really get that wind in your sails so that’s definitely definitely a proud moment to have.

Saul Marquez: [00:21:14] Sounds like it and thank you for sharing that it’s the excitement in your voice and your passion my friend. So you’re moving on to the next chapter of Bill and so tell us about an exciting project or focus that maybe you’re thinking about now.

Bill Moschella: [00:21:30] Sure. I am extremely focused on all things I write under that umbrella I would call that conversational platforms right machine learning data science that practice the intersection of all that with big data and streaming and then your deep learning image recognition etc. are natural and natural language processing which of those are kind of to me the you know the underpinnings of the building blocks of what AI really means when you strip away that acronym pretty well. Yes. And I’ve just learned a lot about what to do in Data Science standing up in Data Science Department challenges and being able to help organizations achieve that right. Because it’s not just building a model and training model putting a model into operations and actually taking those insights and delivering them to customers and those customers can be contact center agents they can be marketers they could be business leaders operational leaders and I’m passionate about operationalizing machine learning and data science across the continuum in the healthcare system. So I’ve had a lot of great conversations with customers. Now I’m I’m actually getting brought into even just the horizontal market like organizations who just find it very interesting and want to either disrupt the market or they’re being disrupted larger organizations are saying wow it’s not even nipping at the heels. There are amazing startup properties for coming into our global multibillion dollar market cap space and they are shaking the tree. And can you help us see OK what do we need to do here. How do we need to pivot. One area that we could really make a difference. And how do we start to change the way that we do our business in the way that we think that is exciting for me and to be able to continue to support Evariant as a board member will give insights and just be a supporter like I’m doing right now and speaking about the company or going into other organizations and sitting down with their C suite and talking in-depth about what can we do here. What aren’t we doing. What can we do and what’s a good place to start like with a small proof of concept that we can really just test this without having a massive massive change management issue. And so those are things which are really really exciting for me and I’ll give you a couple examples. Know how do you use conversational platforms and natural language processing inside the service center of the health system. There’s tons of clinical notes there’s an even there’s tons of Contact Center calls that are being recorded all the time. How could you automate and use AI for natural language processing to anticipate what someone is going to need to take them through a workflow without having to have them wait on the phone or to speak to somebody who to look up information and just give them access to things and predict things for them during their service experience. So you know I find those things extremely disruptive. And they haven’t quite hit the healthcare space. They’re starting to happen in the insurance market and in the financial services market they’re like not quite there in healthcare. So I think that that’s a great extension of things that are there. It doesn’t CRM companies do bringing in the conversational champ out is probably kind of a quirky word but thinking about how to use natural language processing and in machine learning during conversations and out while on the phone to understand sentiment and direction and matching positions and services to the needs of the patients through a huge huge market there. I mean if you follow the trend in healthcare lagged behind the digital marketing space and behind kind of the tech companies and the Pfizer world and you follow now what’s happening in retail and now healthcare wants to follow more of a retail focus and how do we be more intimate with our patients. Consumers well follow that trend. It’s going there and then go look ahead and what’s happening in financial services. There’s natural language processing in recognition happening telephone and in service centers I see no reason why that’s not going to happen in health care and we need to streamline these processes so those are things that I’m really passionate about. I think they’re going to be disruptive and I’m enjoying the conversations that I’m having with companies and entrepreneurs and the investor community out there right now.

Saul Marquez: [00:25:30] Yeah that’s super exciting. And with the success you’ve had with a variant and now just going through and looking at other areas where it can be applied I’m excited to see what you come up with. And I know the listeners are too so here to the end. Bill it’s been a ton of fun to show you what book and what podcast which you recommend to the listeners.

Bill Moschella: [00:25:50] The book that I would recommend right now that’s on my nightstand and I carried it down with me to my home office is by a gentleman named Ray Dalio. It’s called principles.

Saul Marquez: [00:26:00] Man. It’s so good.

Bill Moschella: [00:26:02] Yes. So good transformational for me. I read it twice.

Saul Marquez: [00:26:06] You have? It’s a long book, I’m not done with it.

Bill Moschella: [00:26:11] Well yeah it’s a long book and I’ve been on a couple of flights across country and wow that was one time I got to knock it out and then just take it off over the holidays in bits and pieces and now I’m back kind of like focusing on you know there’s key chapters right now you know whether it’s about dealing with like kind of each human emotional intelligence or just thinking through reality he has this concept about reality where he just says you’ve got to face reality like you know you might want something but what’s the reality of the situation. I just go back to my my times and the very when we just maybe as a team or as individuals had a hard time facing the difference between what we desire and what reality was at the time and it affects your decision making process. So yeah that to me is huge and as far as podcasts are concerned for me because I’m into the martial arts and I’ve been doing jujitsu for years. I watched Joe Rogan all the time. I don’t think it’s hysterical Yeah I love all the different kinds of topics that he brings and everything from helps to medicine and business and life and just extremely extremely interesting. So it’s interesting I haven’t got my hair it’s good that’s my wind down that’s my wind down. You know and I just want to turn off and just listen to something out of left field of it.

Saul Marquez: [00:27:25] I love it. Bill this is awesome listeners. Check out that book. It’s really an amazing book. Definitely another company that uses AI Bridgewater and the concept now is running through in health. Those guys are doing it in finance so definitely a lot we can learn from over there. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/evariant that’s E V A R I A N T and you’re going to find all the show notes as well as links to the things that we’ve discussed today. Bill why don’t you leave us with a closing thought. And then the best place where the listeners could get a hold of you or follow you.

Bill Moschella: [00:28:02] Closing thoughts. I’ll say this just because it’s on the top of my mind. There is such opportunity and disruption for entrepreneurs out there and I’m speaking really to entrepreneurs and individuals within organizations both on the healthcare side and on the tech side. Just don’t give up. Make every day about learning and about pushing it and pushing the limits because there’s so much to do out there and if you don’t do it some are going to come up behind you and they are going to do it because there’s so much opportunity and so you know be disruptive and don’t get down when when those challenges you know kind of come in front of you because they’re going to be challenges politically inside your organization. They’re going to be challenges as a startup or a small company trying to break into something groundbreaking. The big players don’t always want to kind of hold you back. And there’s always going to be challenges. So just muscle through just keep at it it’s all about hard work commitment and believing in yourself. So I want to thank you for having me on here. It’s awesome to have these kind of opportunities to get a chance to speak to a wider audience and to find me you know the best place in going on my LinkedIn profile on LinkedIn and just look at Bill Moschella and reach out to me from above to hear from everybody.

Saul Marquez: [00:29:06] Awesome Bill and listeners again just go to outcomesrocket.health/evariant and you’re going to find a link to Bill’s length and profile as well as his company that he founded where he’s chairman now and all the great things that he’s up to. So a big thank you to you Bill is a pleasure to have you on. And looking forward to keeping up with what you do.

Bill Moschella: [00:29:26] Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me I appreciate it. You do great things.

: [00:29:33] Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.health for the show notes, resources, inspiration and so much more.

Recommended Book/s:

Principles: Life and Work

The Best Way To Contact Bill:

Linkedin: Bill Moschella

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