The greatest challenges pave the way for the greatest innovations.
This pandemic is pushing businesses to rapidly evolve with the current reality. Some are taking advantage of government support, while others are experiencing greater demand and stressed supply chains. No matter the circumstance, these are trying times for us all.
Amidst unprecedented changes, it has been incredible to see how local #OKGNtech businesses have adapted and introduced some good into the world. They are making positive waves throughout the Okanagan and beyond. We couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this community.
Let’s take a moment to highlight those entrepreneurs who are embracing change and inspiring acts of great innovation.
Ashley and Mike Reina are the CEO and VP of Product for Therabyte, respectively. Therabyte is a Vernon-based company that’s created practice management software for therapists, notably Occupational Therapists(OTs) and Speech-Language Pathologists(SLPs). Their focus is to introduce software that enables therapists to focus on closing the loop with clients. Recently, Therabyte launched Therabyte Meet, a telehealth platform that allows OT and SLPs to host virtual sessions with their clients.
We recently spoke with Ashley and Mike to see how Therabyte is responding to COVID-19.
How is Therabyte providing support during COVID-19?
We started to build our telehealth platform, Therabyte Meet, back in December but no one was using it. After we heard of the growing need for a telehealth platform from the Canadian Association for Occupational Therapists(CAOT) during the pandemic, we quickly brought our software up to speed to allow clinicians to host secure peer-to-peer private meetings with their clients. That’s what’s made us busy in the last few weeks. We’ve enabled Therabyte Meet as an affordable stand-alone feature for clinicians and we’re excited about the difference it is making.
What makes telehealth a valuable resource during these times?
In the wake of COVID-19, OTs and SLPs have been forced to go online to meet with clients. It’s something they’ve never had to do before or to have a budget for. They’ve been our primary audience, but we’re seeing lots of pediatrics now, too. Clients ranging from new grads to people in their 60s are using the platform, we’ve really seen a wide range. Initially, there was a lot of attention from individual therapists, but it’s starting to shift quickly towards mid-size practices. It offers a lot of peace of mind. It’s continuously shifting and growing to include more.
What made you decide that your company would be the one to take this step?
Social responsibility, it’s really been important to Ashley as an Occupational Therapist. As we had conversations with CAOT, they told us that adopting a new electronic medical record technology is too much to digest, everyone is overwhelmed. If we could offer them something that could just keep them in business, like telehealth, that’s what they’re looking for. It helped us position ourselves in the market, we could offer telehealth at a lower price and give them an idea of what our EMR offers. A lot of the existing telehealth solutions are very expensive. It was beyond having a profitable business, it’s now about helping those therapists stay engaged with their clients.
What are your long-term goals for Therabyte Meet?
Our goal is to keep growing in the market to become the tele-practice health care system to use. People are coming to us because of Therabyte Meet but we’re finding people are staying because of our electronic medical record features. Telehealth will continue to be a big part of Therabyte.
What support has helped you during this time?
It helped that we weren’t starting from scratch. Those first couple of weeks were so reactive, and we were fortunate to have awesome developers that could adjust to that need. Being in the OKGN Angel Summit and making it to the quarter-finals gave us the attention that we needed. It pushed us to also make deeper connections with Accelerate Okanagan, where we also participated in their Venture Acceleration Program. Just this week, we reached out to someone we met during the OKGN Angel Summit for some support.
What advice would you share with companies during this pandemic?
Start where you’re at, jump on the phone if that’s where you’re comfortable. Listen to your customers and pivot to give them what they need. I keep coming back to asking “what’s the one thing I can do today to make an impact?” Build your network, there are lots of people willing to support.
Interested in more COVID-19 innovation success stories?
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