2013
11.13

The name Mark Cuban made me pay attention to the company Validic; but its CEO and cofounder Ryan Beckland kept my attention. When I saw the news that an investment group headed by the billionaire owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks recently poured money in a mobile health company I had to find out more. And when I picked up the phone to find out more about this North Carolina-based company the man who picked up on the other line was, of all people, Beckland.

It didn’t take long before we were knee-deep in questions about the state of healthcare, the market for connected devices, the competitive landscape, and more. Beckland, who started the company with Drew Schiller back in 2010, knows the numbers:  97,000 apps and devices, a 40% compound annual growth rate in the next 10 years. But perhaps most important, he can identify the hindrance to it all: there is no way to integrate the data and manage the data flow.

This is where his company comes in to the picture. Beckland tells me the company currently integrates with 83 different devices (that is fresh info, as his Website only says 75), including those from Fitbit, Jawbone, Nike, Fitbug, Garmin, Withings, and more. It takes the data coming off of those devices (and health-related apps) and normalizes the data to provide a single API stream to its customers. And those customers are known as the “four Ps” by Beckland: Payers (insurance agencies), Providers, Pharma companies, and Preventative Wellness companies.

Just think about that for a moment. If you are one of those types of customers, no longer do you need to worry about how you will obtain the data coming off of these great new device, nor concern youself with developing one-off integrations. Instead Beckland and his team deliver the data all in a standardized JSON format (all HIPAA and PHI compliant, too), meaning all of the user data is converted into common endpoints with each activity being time stamped. For instance, if one device records step data with the stream ‘steps_taken’ Validic funnels that all under the API ‘steps’ to make it easy for the customer to understand.

Here is what I enjoyed the most about my conversation with Beckland; the fact that he gets it. He started the company, which began building health-related software, by listening to his customers who repeatedly voiced concerns about API integration.

So he decided to switch gears and provide a service that makes it so the “Four Ps” aren’t concerning themselves with building thousands of API integrations, and instead focusing on how to extract the value from all of these great devices on the market in order to do the great things we are talking about, like develop better care models or modify patient behaviors.

Certainly this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a company try and integrate all the wonderful data coming off of connected devices. But I must say that spending just a few moments with Beckland makes you realize that Validic doesn’t view this challenge like others. As he says, “If no one can access the data and communicate it to stakeholders, then what is it there for?”

Perhaps even more to the point, he told me, “There is a big opportunity in healthcare and technology is a market that is exploding. But that ecosystem presents problems to the current healthcare landscape in deciding how to integrate, what data to integrate, and how to manage the data flow.”

Exactly. Besides, Mark Cuban doesn’t like to waste money, so it’s a safe bet he sees something in this group too.