By Sramana Mitra (Founder, One Million By One Million)
The world of healthcare is complicated. And as more healthcare organizations adopt cloud technologies, electronic health records and other digital mediums, the healthcare industry and, consequently, healthcare IT become more complicated, too. Physicians and other healthcare workers must ensure that they are HIPAA compliant, among other concerns. Healthcare IT is a fascinating industry that I have covered more than once on my blog, and I am naturally excited to be covering a woman entrepreneur who, like myself, is technology-focused.
Michaeline Daboul founded MMIS after working for more than 25 years in the pharmaceutical and life science industries. Michaeline worked with major pharmaceutical clients like Merck, Roche and GlaxoSmith Kline. But a desire to learn more about the life sciences industry inspired her to join a friend’s company, which specialized in medical education and marketing services for big pharmaceutical companies. Working with big name biotechnology brands including AmGen, Genentech, and Biogen, Michaeline focused on educating physicians on the use of new drugs and therapeutic treatments to enhance patient care.
Then, in 1999, she decided she wanted to start a business of her own, and MMIS was born. Michaeline initially founded the company as a way to bring education to physicians on the Internet. In fact, and MMIS was the first company to provide physicians with continuing medical education (CME) online, according to Michaeline, and is one way in which MMIS differentiates itself from competitors like Cegedim and Aggregate Spend 360. While the education business generated substantial revenue, Michaeline decided to try her hand at technology.
Today, MMIS is a technology company that develops and markets business collaboration and compliance software. The company’s software products meet the growing demand for Web-based, globally accessible, secure collaboration and compliance tools.
MMIS has two tradmarked central technology platforms: Network Fortress, which is a collaboration suite, and MediSpend, an Aggregate Spend tracking system for pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Since launching the MediSpend SaaS platform in January 2011, MMIS has actualized as many customers as its closest competitors have acquired in the past five years.
Recently, MMIS introduced a low cost, high-feature set platform that disrupted the market and is now a market leader. Pricing for these services is as individual as each client. How a client is charged depends on a number of different items such as the number of spend transactions, expense systems for MMIS to integrate with MediSpend, etc. It also depends on which features and modules they choose.
Michaeline would like to increase MMIS’ customer base by 100% every year for the next three years and have MMIS become the leading provider of global aggregate spend and transparency reporting systems.
“The market demand for collaboration suites and aggregate spend software is greater than it has ever been,” said Michaeline. “With greater market demand there is an opportunity for a market leader to rise, and we are currently establishing ourselves in the IT sector of the life science industry.”
One of the main challenges that Michaeline faces as her company grows is scaling.
“Many pharmaceutical and medical device companies believe that they can meet their aggregate spend reporting requirements on their own; however, this route almost always leads to higher costs, more employee hours, and lower productivity,” said Michaeline. This mentality makes the sales cycle somewhat lengthier than she would like.
As a result, MMIS has begun building a sales team and dedicating resources to educating potential clients so that they can see the advantages of the MMIS Aggregate Spend platform.
At this point, MMIS has crossed $1M in revenue from its healthcare IT business and boasts an admirable roster of clients. The business is validated, and rolling along very nicely. Major system integrator partners are also rolling in, making the scaling challenges manageable, since they have large sales forces, client relationships, and also, of course, system integration resources.
One scaling challenge that Michaeline faces is financing. The company’s New Hampshire location is off the investor grid. Consequently, Silicon Valley investors, or even Boston investors, are reluctant to engage. However, for an investor interested in healthcare IT, MMIS may be a hidden jewel tucked away in the heart of New England. If you are such an investor, do give Michaeline a call!
Women 2.0 readers: What women-led healthcare IT startups are you excited about?
About the guest blogger: Sramana Mitra is Founder of One Million By One Million, an educational business development and incubation program that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond. She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant. As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka, and Uuma. Sramana has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT. Follow her on Twitter at @sramana.