A Series of Forbes Insights Profiles of Thought Leaders Changing the Business Landscape: Mike Baird, Founder and CEO, Avizia Telemedicine
June 18, 2015
Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer
Mike Baird was comfortable in management at a blue-chip firm but when opportunity knocked, he jumped to start his own business.
He found himself at the top of a pretty successful career at Cisco five years ago; managing over 200 people across a breadth of divisions, he had enjoyed for years the stability and security that can come with working for well-known, global corporations.
But in April 2013 that all changed when he founded—and jumped—to a start-up. “Here I was in the middle of the healthcare space that’s having the most prominent transformation in decades, and even an analytical, introverted person like me sees a massive opportunity,” he says. “[My job] was really interesting, but you reach this level where you want to have impact; the fast pace and excitement of that is just too hard to ignore, and it’s thrilling to build something with your hands and start something where there is that impact.”
His “something” is today called Avizia, a company that uses technology to better connect medical professionals with patients. Mainly through the use of its telemedicine carts – computer monitors mounted on wheeled carts featuring high-quality cameras and easy-to-clean surfaces that reduce the spread of germs – patients can interact with doctors or nurses via Avizia’s video client from the comfort of their own homes, long-term care facilities, or rural areas where doctors are few.
The goal is two-fold: to reduce costs associated with getting to a doctor as well as to provide patients with more immediate care.
An evolving technological culture promising instant gratification, in part, has created opportunity in the healthcare space. Baird says. “We’re at that point now where you expect it: ‘Why in the world can I not talk to my doctor via cell phone or over video?’” he says.
Baird also attributes the Affordable Care Act, aka ‘Obamacare,’ as a growth-driver for Avizia. “At a very basic, macro level, we’ve added 30 million people to the rolls of the insured, and they didn’t come along with 50,000 doctors to take care of them. So hospitals are at a state where they have got to figure out a way to bridge that gap, and this technology is the answer,” says Baird.
“I founded Avizia with the intent to figure out a way to serve those patients, and figure out a way to really deliver health care on demand,” Baird says.
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