IAM1699 – Founder and CEO Passionate About Healthcare Technology

Podcast Interview with Michael Wang

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Mike's story of how he got started was a painful one–he put an axe in his leg–but it was an impactful one in many ways. They are able to take a hospital room into an AI platform. They were able to take the technology to build a disruptive technology within the business. It was also powerful that they didn't have a technology background which didn't limit them on what they could accomplish. When there weren't antiquated or consistent hospital rooms, it provided an opportunity to empower leaders in the healthcare industry to make “better” decisions for patients.

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Michael Wang Teaser 00:00

I wanted to do something to correct some of the critical gaps that I saw in patient care that could be solved with technology, that can drastically improve patient safety as well as the outcome. And I was also frustrated by the fact that knowing what the future of technology will be and its role in healthcare, there was really not a very good bridge between where we are today in healthcare and where we want to be, and where we aspire to be.

Intro 00:30

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:56

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we are repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics or as I like to call them, business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, and what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focused on technology. We're a technology company that does dot, dot, dot. Technology is no longer an afterthought or something that you might do and is actually a core part of your business. If you are a real estate investor, you're using it. If you're a financial firm, if you're a cleaning company, an author, or speaker, you are using technology. If you are in any business, you are using technology, and if you're not, then you're probably going to be disrupted by an organization that is.

So this month we are going to look into purposing episodes that are around technology, whether that be firms or organizations that are actually using and investing in technology as a core part of their products and services, or potentially those individuals that are using and leveraging CEO hacks and CEO nuggets that center around technology and sharing ways that we can leverage it as well. Remember that you are a technology company that does dot, dot, dot. Sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I am CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and have a very special guest on the show today, I have Mike Wang of Inspiren. Mike, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Michael Wang 02:26

Thank you so much for having me.

Gresham Harkless 02:28

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Mike so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Mike is the founder and CEO of Inspiren an award-winning technology healthcare company. He's a registered nurse and nurse practitioner with a vast clinical experience in cardiothoracic surgery in direct patient care.

In addition, he holds numerous patents on innovative technologies in both the healthcare and hospitality industry and has founded two successful companies prior to Inspiren. He received a bachelor's degree from Emory University, majoring in Biology and Sociology, and he attended graduate school at Columbia University studying both business and nursing.

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Mike, are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Michael Wang 03:09

Yes, absolutely. I'm very excited and thank you so much for having me.

Gresham Harkless 03:13

No problem. Thank you so much for being on, and I wanted to kick everything off by hearing a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Michael Wang 03:21

Yeah, absolutely. With Inspiren, it was a truly pretty interesting story of how it started. So my first career was in the military and I served seven years afterward. I got out of the war and attended the Columbia Business School and was trying to figure out, how to get back into society in a very productive way. And nursing just really spoke to me and I met my co-founder Paul Coin in Columbia Nursing. For both of us, it was our second bachelor's degree and we were a part of the acceleration program that Columbia offered. And after we graduated I went on to go into the clinical side and Paul went on to go into data analytics.

Actually what started Inspiren was a very unfortunate camping accident where I managed to put an axe into my knee. So I was out of work for a little while and there was an over overwhelming sense of restlessness in that I wanted to do something to correct some of the critical gaps that I saw in patient care that could be solved with technology that can drastically improve patient safety as well as the outcome. And I was also frustrated by the fact that knowing what the future of technology will be and its role in healthcare, there was really not a very good bridge between where we are today in healthcare and where we want to be, and where we aspired to be.

So during my downtime, I started formulating a plan for a technology that perhaps we can bring to market and I hit up my old friend Paul, and we ended up meeting Starbucks near Columbia and started to brainstorm about this particular technology. Fast forward three years three really amazing and challenging years we developed one of the world's most advanced computer vision platforms that can essentially turn any hospital room into an AI platform by collecting data from the physical world as well as the digital world, the capabilities of technology had gone far beyond what we had originally thought of. But the fact that we were not from technology backgrounds and we were in a way ignorant of the capabilities of the technology three years ago in a way, that allowed us to not be limited by the current state of technology and allowed us to not compromise our vision to be able to develop this highly sophisticated platform.

We teamed up with some world-class engineers, software developers, and designers from MIT, from NASA and we essentially established a team where everyday clinicians work side by side with technologists to develop the technology of the future that will be in the hands of the end users. Overall, as I said, it's been a very challenging journey, but it's a journey that I wouldn't trade for the world because of the people that I've met and the amazing stories that we've heard, and we're inspired by the real clinicians, researchers, and everyone who's in the trenches providing care and making a difference out there.

So, it's really truly an incredible journey, and Paul and I hope to be able to share this journey in more detail in the near future with a book that we are co-writing.

Gresham Harkless 06:58

Nice. So, I know you touched a little bit more upon it, but a little bit on it. Could you tell us a little bit more about Inspiren what exactly it does and how exactly it works, also what do you feel is your secret sauce and what makes it unique?

Michael Wang 07:10

Absolutely. So Inspiren's vision was to be able to put one singular small hardware that has advanced sensors, that can essentially analyze the physical and digital environment of the patient's care environment. So for example, right now, everything that happens to the patient is essentially recorded via a very subjective format, where we as clinicians are inputting these things into the electronic medical record system. Many of these things are not only subjective but inaccurate and some of it is highly inaccurate.

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So there's really no insight into what is actually happening inside the patient's room and inside the care environment. So what Inspiren technology does is our hardware goes on the wall of the patient's room, behind the patient's bed, and through advanced sensors that we have developed in a proprietary sense, we are not only able to essentially map out the entire room, identify and analyze critical issues that are happening such as patient-staff interactions, safety protocol compliance any adverse events that are in danger of harming the patient in terms of falls or pressure ulcers. So all of these things are being analyzed automatically in our platform through our software and hardware that can identify risks very early on, and also feed these kinds of data into a predictive algorithm engine that allows us to have very high accuracy in predicting the likelihood or the probability of an adverse event happening inside the patient's care environment.

So, from that sense, we have a complete side and analysis of the patient's physical environment, but also from the digital side, we integrate and connect with a multitude of BLE devices, such as blood pressure cuffs, vital machines pulse ox, and other more sophisticated equipment all integrating with our platform in creating a multi-dimensional view of the digital and physical environment of the patient. So that has been the vision of Inspiren from day one and our goal is to be able to turn any antiquated hospital room. And trust me, we've seen some very integrated ones to be able to turn essentially any room into a platform where we can collect rich, meaningful, accurate, and reliable data to feed our analytics engine and our AI platform to make smarter and more intelligent decisions on patient care.

Gresham Harkless 09:49

That's huge. So to be able to have that and tap into that technology and all the intelligence and information that you guys are gathering, it allows it to be a little bit more, consistent across different hospitals.

Michael Wang 10:01

Correct. There's no standardization across healthcare right now, especially in the US market. It is extremely fragmented. And when you are talking about cutting-edge technology like AI, it is really like the wild, wild, wild west right now. It's anything goes and it's still in the very early infancy stages of development. But also that's also why it's so exciting because it's playing its part in helping define how we structure AI, and how we structure data.

We have a proprietary data structure format and conceptual framework called MDMDS. It stands for Multi-Dimensional Modular Data Synthesis. And this is really the framework of how data should work in AI platforms, and how predictive algorithms could play a part in enterprise-level solutions as opposed to very isolated independent ways of solving things.

So yeah, I think there are huge opportunities and huge potential, for improvement for technology in healthcare. It has really lacked behind the consumer market on many fronts, and there are various reasons for that. Overall, it's a very exciting time to be a part of that market because there's so much we can do to define it and not only just participate in it, but define how it's gonna be, and that is really, really exciting.

Gresham Harkless 11:24

Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Michael Wang 11:35

One thing that's been consistent throughout my experience as a CEO is I've had very consistent daily touchpoints and conversations with my co-founder Paul.

Gresham Harkless 11:49

That makes perfect sense. And so, now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice, or if you can hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business?

Michael Wang 12:00

I would tell myself that my perception of the amount of pain is involved in making something out of nothing and making a vision come true. My perceived feelings of how much pain it takes to be able to do that are justified.

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Gresham Harkless 12:20

I appreciate you for sharing that, Mike. And now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show.

So Mike, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Michael Wang 12:30

To me, a CEO is not necessarily smarter, or more talented. More capable than those other amazing people who are in the room. I believe that to be a fact. Matter of fact, you should not be the most talented or capable person in the room, but your job is to be the chief problem solver.

You're a professional problem solver, and the way you solve problems is to be able to put people who are smarter than you, more talented than you, more capable than you, to put them in a very cohesive kind of way that allows them to execute your vision and execute the solution to the problem that you're trying to solve.

Gresham Harkless 13:23

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, I love that perspective and that definition because it talks about things that you even talked about or words that you said, being relentless, being able to create that vision, being able to solve problems of course, but, and create that culture that, everybody kind of marches to the drum of whatever that culture is.

So it's important to implement that and create that. So thank you for sharing that definition. I appreciate your time, Mike, and appreciate all the awesome things you're doing. Thank you for your service as well. And I wanted to pass you to the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know, and then of course, how best they can get ahold of you and find out about all the awesome things you guys are working on.

Michael Wang 13:57

Yes. So, please feel free to reach out to us. My personal email is Please reach out to us for any interest in our technology or if you're trying to join a really exciting technical team that's executing perhaps one of the most exciting parts of technology in the medical field.

And we are really making huge progress in terms of capabilities of computer vision, sensors, as well as IoT devices in the context of healthcare. And for all of you who are clinicians out there who are at the bedside every day, improving the lives of patients, I always dedicate all of our success so far to all of you. Because you are us and we are you, and because of the compassion and empathy and the amazing technical skills of all of you it makes our job possible to create the technology to assist in what you do every day and to empower you.

And if you are the clinician that has that idea, if you are that clinician that is working night shift and you have this concept that just keeps bugging you and you want to create it and you want to go for it, and you want to change things instead of waiting for things to change. I say to you, think it through and do it.

Gresham Harkless 15:19

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, thank you so much again, Mike. I salute you my friend, for doing all the awesome work that you're doing and definitely, making the world an absolute better place. And again, I appreciate your time and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Michael Wang 15:31

Thank you so much for having me, and I really appreciate everything. Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear at This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


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