Founders Readers - Ep 43 - Scott Montgomery - Your biometric smartphone scanner via Advanced Health Intelligence
The Founders Keepers podcast, podded
The Founders Readers podnotes are not a transcript, but accompany the weekly podcast detailing key insights from that exact conversation
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This week, we’re speaking with Scott Montgomery about his company Advanced Health Intelligence - on a mission to support proactive personalized healthcare to every smartphone user globally…
💬 Quote from the pod:
“The quest there is to try and replicate that initial GP consult on a phone as much as possible to bring less episodic interaction with healthcare and more proactivity to healthcare because people are more comfortable with their phone than they are with a stranger poking and prodding and asking questions”
🔑 Key insights from the episode:
On his journey to entrepreneurship via training elite athletes: Scott started out as an exercise physiologist based in NZ, and went through a trajectory of working with elite sports performance elite athletes before arriving in the health insurance industry, where he claims to have encountered “holes everywhere of inefficiency”. Seeing these inefficiencies spurned his desire to build a business himself, which was “putting health professionals inside workplaces”.
On harnessing technology in business: Scott claims to have “…thought if we could wrap some technology around a new proposition, we could bring true accessibility and scale to a corporate offering”, which underpinned his entrepreneurial journey in building, scaling and acquiring propositions, including AHI - a NASDAQ ASX listed company operating in six countries with staff around the world “offering digital health solutions to corporate partners” typically as healthcare employers and insurance companies.
On bringing healthcare consults to smartphones: Despite the ubiquity of the mobile phone worldwide, Scott claims “there's very little user education” when it comes to adopting health metrics: “We use the camera and on device processing to give a health assessment using biometrics for the individual… then we are using algorithmic coaching to help program a structured outcome”. This biometric health assessment and detailed report is then used to “encourage or facilitate people into a triage function”, whether that be self-attained programs or through connection with telehealth care providers.
On healthy scepticism: Scott claims to have encountered “a very healthy amount of scepticism, as there should be” around AHI’s technology: “As with any new pathway or new technology, there's the early adopters and these are the avid enthusiasts that will give anything to go”. This has been eased by the more commonplace knowledge of health metrics and vital signs in the general population: “People understand body fat, people understand blood pressure, and so these are very easy markers to say high or low or where you sit against population norms. And so the, the user adoption has been very good”.
On wider technology adaption and AHI launching: Scott claims that there is a “belief threshold” still to be crossed for underwriters and insurance companies as well as epidemiologists who are looking for population-level scaled change, and that AHI are “modeling all of this… The outcome of this first product that we are launching as an integration is in the throes of going out to first users at scale at the moment. So it's still yet to be done”. Scott claims that with AHI’s smartphone integration, “the quest there is to try and replicate that initial GP consult on a phone as much as possible to bring less episodic interaction with healthcare and more proactivity to healthcare because people are more comfortable with their phone than they are with a stranger poking and prodding and asking questions.”
On the value of their product: Scott cites that initial results from AHI’s products linked to smartphones have shown reductions in user waste-to-hip ratios; BMI; smoking; and sugar intake, which they are hoping to also capitalise on in Singapore, where AHI has offices, given the added value of “ROI of 7.9 million per year for early screening and intervention just for metabolic syndrome and type two diabetes… So you, you cascade that out against a population of 30 million Australians (and) the ROI just becomes undeniable… It's in the billions and trillions of dollars over time.”
On AHI’s strategy and rollout: Given Scott’s recent appointment as CEO of AHI, he claims that the current strategy is a “roll up over the last eight years” with a focus on providing users with comfort and evergreen access to insights around their health in the privacy of their own homes: “I think with that comfort and accessibility, the, the strategy here is, is probably at its inception point… now that we've got all the componentry, we're integrating it, and my job is to make sure that happens as quickly and seamlessly as possible.”
On scepticism and safeguarding AHI’s tech: Scott cites that AHI have “a very big IP lawyer bill” in order to protect their patent portfolio and company technology, and that they have “some of the best counsel in the world” working with them to do so, particularly as a publicly-listed company: “It's a constant focus. It's a constant priority for us...we've gotta make sure that we're fighting the right fight…we work very hard to make sure that that's at the front edge of what the industry is doing or trying to do.”
Because population health needs to be unique, right? You can't have the next person over the road offering the same thing, um, because there's, there's just nothing premium or prestigious or, or unique about that. So we work very.
Look, I think time zone is, is one of them.
On managing an effective international team: Scott addresses the difficulties and rewards in building a global team largely remotely and on multiple timezones, citing the strong need for organic connections and garnering respect quickly where different team members have different needs: “Every professional has their optimum environment… Getting to know people at an individual level, understanding where those teams work at the best, is harder in the own right… when you're adding time zone and, and majority virtual to a lot of those conversations, I would say that's probably the most difficult part where I think - if you're smart - you can turn a five day working week across all of the time zones into six, but if you’re efficient, you know that can easily be three.”
On the factors that have led to his success: At the top end, Scott claims that enthusiasm is his biggest advantage - “if you've got people that don't believe what you're trying to do, uh, then it, it's very hard to motivate unmotivated people” - as well as trusting his team, pushing boundaries and encouraging these traits in others: “Getting people to put the shoulder to the wheel and to, um, and to, you know, to really test things out… it's a lot easier to do that in a state of excitement and a state of belief than it is where you're trudging yourself up the stairs to your office every day.”
On making, and recovering from, mistakes: Scott claims that mistakes have been his biggest learning opportunities, and that he was once told to never give advice “unless you're asked three times for it”. He also claims that working with people “you actually wanna work” is an enormous advantage in overcoming mistakes and improving on past failures, “because when you're in the trenches, when you're trying to overcome problems, doing that with people you like and you trust and you believe is a lot easier to do and equally when you celebrate, it's a damn sight more fun when you're doing that around people you like.”
Location: Perth, Western Australia
IPO status: Publicly Held (AHI)
Industry: Hospitals and Health Care
Market size: USD $211 billion (global healthtech)
Employees: 51-200 employees
Funding stage: Corporation
Advanced Health Intelligence Ltd (AHI) is engaged in developing and delivering user-friendly biometric scans to render vital signs and health risk estimates to a user’s smartphone, performing biometric health assessments and supporting individuals in their journey to better health outcomes.
Technology: By leveraging the smartphone with purpose-built computer vision, machine learning models, and patented algorithms, AHI claims to provide a private and secure way for individuals to perform biometric health-risk assessment and stratification from the comfort of their own smartphones, based on a combination of patented and proprietary FaceScan and BodyScan dimensioning and composition capabilities to return vital signs that are subsequently fed into an individualised biometric assessment and report.
🏙 Company tagline:
“Advanced health data for intelligent actions”
👉 Find out more about AHI:
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