Paula LeClair has over 20 years experience in digital health solutions, medical devices, and technology enterprises in Fortune 500 companies and startups alike. Most recently she was Executive Director and General Manager of Outpatient at Glytec. Previously, she was Head of Operations at Onduo, a joint venture of Sanofi and the Alphabet company Verily. Prior to Onduo, she was President and CEO of Telecare, a medical device manufacturer of the first FDA-cleared cellular-enabled blood glucose meter. She ultimately directed Telcare’s successful acquisition by BioTelemetry. Paula has an MBA from Bentley University and a Master’s in Healthcare Delivery Science from Dartmouth College.
Give us the Healthy.io elevator pitch.
Healthy.io is the global leader in turning smartphone cameras into clinical-grade medical devices. By combining image and color recognition technology with best-in-class UX design, we create new clinical pathways through smartphone powered urinalysis and digitized wound management. Our FDA-cleared home urinalysis kits aid in early diagnosis of CKD, UTIs, and prenatal testing and are used by leading healthcare systems worldwide. Additionally, our recently launched digital chronic wound management tool replaces outdated wound tracking modalities and improves data-driven clinical decision-making.
What have been the company’s most exciting milestones thus far?
We have had several. As a company committed to creating clinical-grade solutions, our first FDA clearance in July 2018 for our home urine test was a particularly exciting milestone for the company. Our home urine test is also the only FDA-cleared and CE-approved home urine test on the market that is identical to lab testing. The II IVD clearance was based only on the cell phone camera, which was quite a novel approach.
Seeing our first 10,000 users was also an exciting moment for the company and highlighted the transformation we have created. Finally, closing our most recent Series C funding round in September 2019, bringing our total funding to $95 million, was another milestone that made us all feel incredibly proud.
Why is now the perfect time to launch the Digital Wound Management Solution?
The burden of chronic wounds in the United States is significant, affecting 6.5 million people and costing $25 billion annually. With an aging population and an increased prevalence of chronic conditions, these numbers are primed to grow. We also know that nurses, already overextended, are on the frontlines of treating chronic wounds. Unfortunately, they don’t have the tools they need. In light of this reality, we saw a real potential to apply our expertise in colorimetric analysis and computer science within the context of day-to-day clinical practice. With our solution, nurses can now digitally measure, document, and monitor chronic wounds with a cell phone, tackling a growing health challenge in the U.S.
What are the big milestones to come in the next few years for Healthy.io?
Building and expanding our presence in the U.S. market will be a major milestone for us in the coming years. A particularly exciting partnership is with the National Kidney Foundation, to offer diabetic patients our home ACR testing kits that can be sent directly to their homes. I look forward to updating members of the Medical Alley Association about our other exciting partnerships.
What does leadership look like to you in such a fast growing company?
First and foremost, leadership in Healthy.io is focused on responsibility and trust. As a clinical grade, regulated company, we are always thinking about our responsibility to patients, partners, and the healthcare system as a whole. We work hard to be responsible innovators, thinking creatively about how our technological expertise can help more people, maintain evidence-based standards, and bring together world-class tech leaders and healthcare industry veterans.
What is the best advice you have received in your career? What is the worst?
The best advice I received is that what you accomplish during your career matters, but how you did it and with whom is far more important. You won’t remember all of the metrics you met or goals you accomplished, but you will always remember the team with whom you accomplished all of that — the team that supported you and the team that you supported. Building and working with great teams should never be taken for granted.
The worst advice I got was to be patient. You can’t be patient and hope that others will guide your career as you would like. Working hard and waiting to be recognized is not enough. You need to advocate for yourself; for the promotions you have earned, for new opportunities you would like to explore, and ultimately for the role in which you will thrive. Being patient and waiting for someone else to orchestrate these things will leave you disappointed.
What have been the most rewarding moments in your career?
I have been fortunate to have held many different positions for many types of companies. Big, small, private, public — I have had great experiences at all of them. I’d have to say being part of the team that successfully completed an IPO in the healthcare space for a product that continues to improve the lives for so many, including my immediate family, was one of the most rewarding, personally and professionally.
More generally, having teammates that have worked for me in the past and want to work for me again is deeply rewarding. It means I was a good mentor for them and I think it is really important for everyone to find a mentor, no matter what stage you are at in your career.
What is one personal goal for the upcoming year?
I recently joined my teammates in Israel for a team building event at an extreme adventure park where I tried new things I never imagined I would do, including bungee jumping! It got me thinking there are a few things I keep talking about doing or learning that I have not done. So, this year a goal is to learn something new, starting with golf lessons.
How do you relax / decompress?
I am not a great cook, but I enjoy it. The invention of the Instapot has added a whole new dimension to cooking for me. It’s fairly new for me so researching and experimenting with ways to make appealing meals in under an hour has been a great way to decompress.