Becoming an industry-leading digital healthcare company takes a great product and an even BETTER team. Check out our conversation with Vice President of Innovation and Engineering Richard Hicks and see why Reflexion Health is a tech start-up you'll want to explore.
Why did you decide to join Reflexion Health? When did you join?
I worked in the entertainment software business for most of my career but eight years ago my daughter had the first of three knee surgeries, two ACL reconstructions and a meniscus tear, due to injuries sustained from playing competitive soccer. As she went through her physical therapy and home rehabilitation I saw a number of the challenges patients with knee surgeries endure every day on their road to recovery.
I quickly realized I wanted to change my career and do something where I could leverage my technical expertise while helping people improve their health. At the same time, the West Health Institute (WHI) was evaluating the use of the Microsoft Kinect as a way of assisting patients with their home rehabilitation. This project felt like a perfect fit for me since I was already familiar with Microsoft Kinect from the entertainment software business.
I joined the project at WHI as a contractor five years ago and then become one of the first employees of Reflexion Health in November of 2012 when we spun off as our own company. Now, we have more than 40 employees in multiple locations and the project has become a reality. We are helping patients all over the U.S. recover from joint replacement surgery with our signature solution VERA™, a virtual exercise rehabilitation assistant.
What do you do at Reflexion Health?
I am the Vice President of Innovation and Engineering. My team’s primary focus is to develop the current and future sensor options for our VERA solution that detect motion and remotely monitor the effectiveness of prescribed physical therapy in real-time. I also manage, test and assist with customer and technical support for our patients who are currently using VERA to ensure the best possible customer experience.
Why do you enjoy working here?
I am very passionate about our VERA solution as well as the mission of the company because of the significant improvements we have demonstrated in patients’ lives. I know that if VERA was available for my daughter when she had her knee surgeries, as well as when my father had his knee replacements, their recovery would have been much smoother.
In addition, my mother fell many times due to her increasing age. I truly believe her quality of life would have been dramatically better if she could have used our Stand Tall fall prevention program. Stand Tall which uses the VERA system, in combination with the Otago Exercise Program, delivers evidence-based fall prevention protocols that reduce the risk of falling in older adults.
The bottom-line is that I am excited about helping to bring VERA to every patient who can benefit from it. I also enjoy being part of a very diverse team that shares the same passion for transforming traditional medicine with technology.
What do you do when you're not at work?
The great thing is that while I love work and the people I work with, Reflexion Health provides plenty of work/life balance. In my free time, I read detective/murder mysteries, play bridge, wine taste, walk, and watch movies. I am also newly engaged to a wonderful woman who is my best friend and loves to travel with me. She is very supportive of my work and we both look forward to the future when VERA is used by everyone during their rehabilitation.
Would you recommend Reflexion Health to others seeking employment?
Yes. I can say from working on literally hundreds of software projects that it is personally fulfilling to work on a product at a company that has created a successful solution that continues to help more and more patients improve their recovery from joint replacement surgery.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Yes. I feel so strongly about the positive impact and potential of Reflexion Health that I asked my children to help us. My son interned at the company the last two years, and he may return this coming summer if his ROTC and Yale schedules allow. My daughter, who was one of my inspirations for joining Reflexion, came to our offices several times to give us a first-hand account of her rehabilitation experiences. Since then she graduated from UC Cal last May but continues to share her perspective and advice on rehabilitation.
Did you miss our conversation with Reflexion Health Senior Account Manager Ben Torres, Marketing Manager Holly Seidel, Product Designer Amanda Vidad, Product Tester & IT Support Toby Olaoye or Software Engineer Lovelle Cardoso? Click on their names and check them out.