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The Fund Founder Spotlight Interview: Guillermo Ramas of Notisphere
Guillermo Ramas is Founder & CEO of Notisphere, a platform with communications software that ensures visibility and minimizes the time & effort required to address backorders, shortages and recalls.
Welcome to The Founder Spotlight where we highlight the incredible people behind the companies we’ve backed at The Fund. The Fund is a founder collective and early stage firm, by founders for founders.
About 15 years ago, there were 100’s of medical recalls any given year, but today it’s in the 1,000’s and the scope of those recalls has exploded with millions of units being affected. Notisphere’s mission is to prevent recalled items from ever causing harm to a patient. Their digital platform allows immediate and accurate communication between suppliers and providers. They are expanding their platform to include other supply disruptions and you can see a more detailed video explanation here.
Founder and CEO Guillermo Ramas was born in Argentina, grew up in Spain, and has spent the last 25+ years in the U.S. working on healthcare technology, with a large focus on supply chain. He was volunteering with a group of providers and suppliers to come up with recommendations to the FDA to improve the recall process and the idea for Notisphere was born. Guillermo founded the company in 2018 and was accepted into the Cedars-Sinai accelerator program the year after, which gave him the right push to bring his idea to fruition.
How has Notisphere disrupted the medical recall process?
The recall process hasn’t changed in 50 years. Suppliers and manufacturers will FedEx papers overnight to hospitals. Oftentimes they don’t even know who to send it to, so it can take days for the right person to actually receive it. Then the FDA requires the supplier to get an acknowledgement from the provider saying they’ve received it and are aware of it. The entire process is communicated through snail mail, so you can imagine the back and forth, confusion, frustration, and why it usually takes months. What we’re doing is not rocket science and it’s not sexy, but we’ve introduced a concept that allows a provider to acknowledge the receipt of an alert in real time through technology, rather than waiting for a paper to arrive and a response to come back. Our software is improving communication and reducing the overall cycle time.
What’s Notisphere’s North Star?
I would say transparency and efficiency. Our platform allows for very clear information to be communicated to those that need it in a transparent way. And we do this efficiently by making it simple and intuitive. We can implement and train people in one day with zero integration needs. We want to take away the burden of the process.
Tell us about some recent milestones that Notisphere crushed.
We recently achieved what I think is the fastest ever acknowledgment from a provider back to a supplier …. 18 minutes, when the norm right now is months. I’m excited for when minutes, not months, becomes the standard.
In 2022 we tripled the number of users on the platform.
We’ve expanded our platform beyond just recalls to include other disruption events like back orders and shortages.
With our new software we will allow a supplier to communicate with anybody, regardless if they’re on the platform. Obviously there's added benefits if you’re on the platform, but we have a broader vision and desire to help the healthcare industry with all supply disruptions.
How does Notisphere inspire “customer love”?
We have a few white papers and case studies from customers explaining how easy and beneficial it is to use our product. A couple that come to mind are this one describing how easy our solution deploys to 100+ surgery center sites in a matter of hours; and this one covering how The Joint Commission was favorably impressed when they saw how Baptist Health, AR was using our platform to manage recalls.
We have several more on our website, and plenty in the works. I do love knowing that we make our users extremely happy, and that they get excited about what we are doing!
What makes Notisphere a must-have vs a nice-to-have?
If you think about all of the supply disruptions today, regardless if it's a recall, or a backorder, or shortage, etc, they end up affecting patient care. If a patient goes to a hospital for a procedure and it gets canceled because there’s a backorder on a particular item, that can be a huge problem. When we solve these supply disruptions, patients receive better care.
When you consider recalls, the issue can get very serious. If somebody is scheduled to have an implant procedure and that manufacturer issues a recall that week, but the hospital doesn’t realize it until the next month, then that person ends up receiving the defective implant. Then the surgeon will need to decide the risks and whether the implant needs to be replaced. It can be a matter of life, harm, or even death, which definitely makes it a must-have.
Any words of wisdom?
My advice to folks would always be, don't let what makes you different be a deterrent (in my case being an older, first-time founder), because in the end, you have a unique set of skills that you bring to the table.
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