Suburban Tech Companies Elevate Communications in Healthcare, Branding
When people think of the local tech community, the focus is typically on what’s going on in Columbus’ urban core — and there’s certainly enough to talk about. But the city’s suburbs have followed suit, investing in their own communities and contributing to the region’s tech status. Dublin has seen its own share of growth in the area of technology.
To learn more about Dublin’s tech scene, CU sat down with three of their companies, each in different stages of growth: Wilke Global, a 35-year-old company improving communications between brands and their users; Updox, an 8-year-old company that just scaled its secure patient and physician portal; and Healthy Roster, a recent startup facilitating patient-parent-physician interactions in sports medicine and orthopedics.
As an established company, Wilke Global needed to adapt as technologies have evolved over the last three and a half decades. A business managing customer to company communications, they’ve gone from handling letters and emails, to texts, Facebook posts and tweets. It’s all aggregated in one location for companies to monitor, allowing them to oversee questions, comments and complaints.
“We build the software that allows companies to do that at scale, and importantly, to take all that feedback from consumers and learn from it and drive it back into their business to make products better and communicate more effectively,” said John Stieger, Chief Marketing Officer for Wilke Global.
Since their founding, Wilke Global has taken on more than 500 brands, working with more than half of all Fortune 500 food and beverage companies. They create differentiations for each type of communication, separating questions from comments and comments from complaints, creating a platform that’s easy for companies to navigate.
To stay relevant, Wilke Global’s technology has modernized, using industry standards to make their processes smarter and faster.
“We didn’t go out and write our own AI software. We used one provided by, frankly, a company that’s 100 times bigger than we are,” Stieger said. “We interfaced with somebody else to try and buy the best breed of cutting edge technology and bring it to our space.”
As they move forward, Wilke Global is further investing in the future, supporting Girls Who Code and other youth tech groups in Columbus.
For more information, visit wilkeglobal.com.
Founded in 2009, Updox combined existing healthcare communication strategies and brought them into one approachable platform, connecting physicians with patients and everyone involved in that patient’s care. The company caters to the 400,000 independent providers of care and 70,000 independent pharmacies unable to use pre-existing data tools designed for large health systems.
Using Updox, a physician can see and send secure, HIPAA-compliant emails, text messages and faxes all in one spot. Over the last eight years, the company has been able to adapt those communication technologies, adding video messaging and live video chat as options.
“We continually work with our customers to identify new opportunities for communications,” said Mike Morgan, Updox CEO. “We’re very dedicated in saying we want to help manage all the different ways that you could communicate, because if we could do all those things, that adds more value to the provider.”
Providing this ease in communication makes a physician’s job easier, allowing new forms of patient monitoring to be used.
“If I’ve done a good job of basically automating and making all these communications efficient, then I can start thinking about, ‘Hey, can I do things like take my diabetes population and put together programs to make sure they’re going to the gym, that they’re staying healthy?’” Morgan said. “Ultimately, that improves care all the way around.”
As the tech industry faces an employment drought, Updox has remained a popular choice for techies seeking employment. Morgan credits the company’s mission for that.
“Most have felt the pains and struggles of trying to navigate the healthcare system,” he said, “and the fact that we have a mission of really helping this key part of health care — these 400,000 independent providers of care, these 70,000 independent pharmacies much more effectively work inside the system, it’s a great mission for people to rally around as well.”
For more information, visit updox.com.
Healthy Roster was founded in 2015 by the former owners of Digital Scout, an app allowing coaches, parents, and statisticians to track high school game stats and access player and team reports.
Healthy Roster still focuses in on high school sports, but connects student athletes and their parents with athletic trainers and physicians, allowing all to keep up on any injuries, treatment and surgeries.
It all takes place inside their app, which they developed with the help of local healthcare organizations OhioHealth and the OSU Wexner Medical Center.
“They helped us develop a platform by giving us feedback on what their athletic trainers needed on a daily basis, how they like to communicate,” said Nathan Heerdt, CEO of Healthy Roster, “and then obviously we built in a lot of parents’ feedback into how built out the app for the other side of it.”
The process starts with an injury, which the athletic trainer can report using the Healthy Roster app. The app then notifies the athlete’s parents of the injury, refers them to an orthopedic physician, and allows them to schedule an appointment. That physician can send out a new patient intake form through the app, and throughout the evaluation process, parents can use the app to take notes on what’s going on. If surgery is necessary, physicians can send videos on what to expect during surgery, as well as other materials and post-surgery care plans. Live chat allows parents to ask questions, so “they don’t have to worry about calling and playing phone tag or dropping an email.”
Just two years in, Healthy Roster is in the middle of their growth spurt, working in 33 states with 80 healthcare organizations and getting ready to scale up.
For more information, visit healthyroster.com.
Our new technology series is presented by our partners in the City of Dublin.
Dublin is a city of more than 47,000 residents located just northwest of Columbus, Ohio. The City of Dublin Economic Development team has a vision to make Dublin a Midwest IT Magnet through business leadership and sustainable workforce development. This commitment goes beyond short-term skills training to include long-term strategic and cultural support for the entire Dublin business community. Dublin is one of America’s Top 20 Creative Class Cities and is home to more than 20 corporate headquarters, an entrepreneurial center, 3,000+ businesses, world-class events and the urban, walkable Bridge Street District.