HR Tech Interview with Bill Gianoukos, Founder & CEO of Goodpath

The Covid-19 pandemic has only reinforced the need for mid to large scale employers to find innovative technology backed solutions that can help drive employee care at lower costs while contributing to overall benefits practices; Bill Gianoukos, Founder & CEO of Goodpath discusses more in this QnA with TecHRseries:


Tell us a little about yourself Bill…take us through your journey and the story behind Goodpath…

I’m the CEO of Goodpath. My co-founders, Carl Nehme and Dr. Akl Fahed, and I created Goodpath in 2018 because we saw that traditional healthcare in the US is broken. Our current healthcare system focuses on diseases that affect life expectancy like cancer or heart disease. However, care for chronic conditions that don’t impact life expectancy but have a negative impact on quality of life, like MSK is complicated, costly, and doesn’t always result in positive outcomes. Often, patients have to stitch together treatment on their own, going from specialist to specialist, and never getting at the root of their condition.

Carl, Akl, and I were uniquely positioned to address that, we are both serial entrepreneurs and technology leaders. Before Goodpath, we co-founded an augmented reality platform that we sold to Wayfair, where we both got what I call PhDs in ecommerce! Our third co-founder, Akl, is a cardiologist and scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is an advocate of integrative care as a more effective treatment approach than conventional care alone and is a thought leader in healthcare innovation.

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Goodpath builds on our expertise as well as that of our world-class medical, technology, and product teams to bring a better approach to health.

The 2020 pandemic has only shown global leaders the need to invest in different areas of HR and employee improvements, including benefits and care packages; can you share some of your observations on what leading tech companies have been doing since the pandemic? 

Companies are aware of the severe toll the pandemic has played on employees’ mental and physical health, causing more stress, sleeplessness, new pain with new work environments, and leaving employees uncertain about how to access care. Now that a lot of employees are home – and often unable to achieve a healthy work-life balance – they need resources and tools to help them maintain a better balance that supports their mental health and gives them access to complete care.

Leading companies have been shifting their benefits programs away from single-source solutions like a meditation app or partial digital pain care, since that puts more work on the employee to try to piece a care solution together. Instead, they are shifting to comprehensive, integrative programs that merge multiple treatment options into one to address stress, sleeplessness, and pain all in one place. 

What are some of the biggest pain points that you feel limit how much employers can do when it comes to enhancing employee care today? 

Most employers want to accomplish two things with the care options they provide employees: help improve employee health and lower costs. The tricky part though is that it is hard to do both parts of that well. Healthcare in the US is oriented around providing more and more treatment, which can cost an employer more.

Instead, there are healthcare options that focus on providing better treatment, not necessarily more. That comes from thinking about the value of an investment (not just ROI), finding solutions that address multiple parts of a condition vs just one, and making healthcare extremely accessible, so employees can access it anywhere. That’s certainly what we build at Goodpath, but I have been excited to see advancements generally on this. 

What are some of the most innovative HR Technologies and Digital technologies from the global HR tech market that you’ve seen change how businesses can now revisit and reinitiate their employee benefits processes? 

Obviously, the increase in telehealth is huge. More people are using it and there are more options out there for how to get care from home or really, from anywhere. Many businesses have been building on that by increasing access for their employees to new telehealth services or working with their coverage networks to expand telehealth accessibility.

Beyond that, there are more innovative options out there focused on making everything easier for employees. There are wellness program aggregators that help scale a company’s wellness offerings, platforms to ease access to in-home care for adults or children, and more robust online health surveys that accelerate diagnosis and care. For instance, the Goodpath integrative health assessment for each of our conditions combines around 15 different specialist assessments into one – allowing us to have a very full understanding of an individual and their condition in just a few minutes. That makes it faster for our medical program to align the right treatment customized just for that individual, and for that person to start care. 

As HR trends shift in light of today’s evolving workplace culture – can you talk about the top priorities in employee care that should be must-haves for mid to larger teams? 

Health-focused benefits are on the top of employees’ minds and companies are figuring out ways to implement these types of programs into their benefits packages. In a recent Goodpath Employer Health Index survey, over 80% of employers stated they are interested in adding more comprehensive wellness programs to their benefits portfolio.

Employers looking to improve their health and wellness offerings need to approach this process holistically. They need to offer benefits programs that can address a majority of their population’s needs, are easy and engaging for employees, and are more than merely a digital version of conventional care.

The addition of these robust health and wellness programs will attract and retain talent, keep employees happy and motivated, drive healthcare costs down over the short- and long-term. Companies that use integrative care can access a full year of care for less than the cost of a single doctor’s visit. Not to mention, employees accessing this care can reduce pain faster or get more healthy sleep, often without needing prescription medication. 

We’d love to hear a little about Goodpath’s people processes and work culture? 

Everyone’s nature of work changed with the pandemic. One of the things that makes me especially proud is how much our entire company keeps working to maintain our values of being medically-led and focused on improving quality of life within a culture that is fast-moving, collaborative, and playful. We have always had people working with Goodpath remotely – in fact, we have Goodpath employees in 6 countries and 10 states so we are used to working remotely and across different schedules.

The pandemic just dialed that up a bit more. To maintain our culture, we all work on it weekly and daily. We do weekly lunches or happy hours, have twice-a-week full company zoom meetings, have voluntary meditation or trial of our treatments sessions, etc. It’s the simple, regular things that help. For instance, do zoom meetings with the camera on. Everyone is past the point of wondering about what we wear or what is happening at home – just seeing teammates’ faces builds a stronger sense of connection.

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A few of your biggest takeaways and tips on working effectively from anywhere….and adjusting to the new normal in 2021…

The biggest thing I’ll say is to be flexible. We all know that life is more complicated and we work longer hours. But it’s amazing how much we are still late to meetings. One would think that with everyone at home and no need to commute, every meeting would start on time. Instead, I can run a bit late, as do others on my team. It’s not that each meeting isn’t important – it’s that I’m allowing time for other considerations, like life or running longer in a prior meeting rebuilding connections. We all need a bit of bend as we go into 2021.

Goodpath is a digital integrative health company with a mission to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from chronic conditions. We’ve built amazing technology that harnesses the expertise of many medical disciplines to create individualized programs for employees suffering from conditions such as MSK, digestive and sleep issues. Our integrative programs include many disciplines including physical therapy, nutrition and health coaching, exercise programs, mind-body interventions, supplements and medicines. These programs are all-inclusive and seamless for employees to use from the comfort of their homes. Because we treat the entire body and not just a symptom, our programs have vastly superior outcomes from traditional digital therapeutics.

 Bill Gianoukos is the Founder and CEO at Goodpath

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