Interview with Michael - Synopsis Regional Sales Director
Michael became part of the Intouch with Health team when Intouch acquired Synopsis in August 2019. Michael is the Synopsis Regional Sales Director at Intouch, overseeing the dedicated pre-operative assessment side of the Intouch Patient Journey Platform.
Joining Synopsis originally “to be a part of something exciting and to make a difference within the NHS”, Michael is incredibly passionate about his role and the difference the Synopsis solutions make.
Michael’s career began at Stoke Mandeville Hospital assisting the Remedial Gymnast. Providing sports therapy to spinal injury patients, Michael become involved in the Paraplegic Games for Team GB which is now the Paralympics team.
Transitioning out of sports therapy into health-tech, Michael has built a wealth of experience with cutting-edge technology. Beginning with the first integrated speech recognition solution within PACs (Picture Archive and Communication system), to the first fully digital pre-operative solution (Synopsis iQ).
As Michael approaches the end of his first year at Intouch, we sat down for a quick Q & A session.
Hi Michael. Can you tell us a bit about your background in healthcare technology?
I have been working in Healthcare Technology for over 20 years, choosing to work with cutting edge products that transform the way clinicians work. From providing the first integrated speech recognition solution within PACs to the first fully digital pre-op solution. In some ways I like to think that I have been a part of health-tech history.
Can you explain how your role supports Intouch with Health customers?
The challenge for me is to understand the current situation the customer is in and then where they'd like to be. I think if I can understand that, I’m able to match the efficiencies and benefits of the solutions to solve their problems and make their lives easier.
In August 2019, Intouch announced the acquisition of Synopsis. What excited you about joining Intouch?
We knew Intouch with Health well before we joined. We had successfully worked as partners, but what a difference a year makes. The Synopsis platform has gone from strength-to-strength as part of the Intouch with Health platform. We have been able to execute our vision in a culture that nurtures and supports us to grow, providing solutions that meet the needs of the NHS.
It has been a challenging year for healthcare since the outbreak of COVID-19. As a result, there has been the need for rapid digital transformation. How has Intouch reacted and supported its pre-op customers?
Our reaction was immediate.
The day the country went into lockdown the Synopsis team sat down (virtually of course!) and started planning how we were going to make a difference and support our customers. We asked ourselves how we could support them find a way through the challenges they were suddenly facing. Challenges including infection prevention and control measures, social distancing, and the backlog of pre-op assessments due to the temporary pausing of elective surgery.
We redesigned our offering and created a Lite version of our main solution - enabling rapid implementation. We also focused on the ability (through Synopsis Home which was launched just before COVID-19), for patients to provide all the information they need for their pre-op assessment from home through our digital health questionnaire. As a result, as elective surgery restarts across the NHS, the pre-op process can restart without requiring all patients to attend hospital for a face-to-face appointment. We are also now able to give our customers the ability to triage and manage patients virtually through a process that has changed overnight.
Our recent deployment at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is a great example of this new process.
What is the biggest change or development you have seen in the industry during your career?
The biggest change I have seen is that the public (all of us) no longer see technology as a luxury but an integral part of everyday life. Organisations have to adopt digital change, not just to meet public expectation, but to become more efficient themselves.
What do you think makes for a great relationship between health-tech providers such as Intouch and the teams using the technology on the front line?
It’s the age-old answer, we need to really understand their challenges by listening, and then collaborate. We find our customers know exactly what they want. Sometimes they just find it hard to articulate. It is our job to listen, understand and create solutions that match their needs.
What advice would you give to anyone starting their career in health-tech?
I love health-tech and I would not want to provide solutions for any other sector. However, I would say do not enter health-tech to become a millionaire (that rarely happens). Do it because you care about making a difference. Like most of the NHS staff, you need to be passionate, flexible, but most of all patient. The NHS is a big ship and it can take a while to turn a corner. That said, we've recently seen a rapid adoption of digital transformation within the NHS.
How do you define success?
If you had asked the 16-year-old Michael he’d probably tell you, “having a good job, which made a lot of money!”
The considerably older, wiser Michael will tell you “success is waking up every morning with fire in your belly and contentment in your soul.”
What do you enjoy most about working at Intouch?
I think what I enjoy most is the whole company is pulling in the same direction. Everybody rejoices in everyone's successes. Each person roles-up their sleeves and works together ensuring we don’t fall short of our goals and all the time there is humour.
It is a real pleasure to be a part of a company that cares. One that cares about the NHS today and tomorrow, and that they develop solutions that really support clinicians and patients. Intouch cares for the wellbeing of each and every staff member, physically and mentally, and cares that we constantly strive to make a difference.
What word best describes the way you do things?
What word best describes Intouch?
What do you think makes Intouch stand out from its competitors?
I believe there are three things that separates us from the rest.
- A genuine desire to provide the best solutions we can.
- A cohesive team pulling the same way.
- A successful track record proving we are doing something right.
When you are not at work, what are we most likely to find you doing?
I have a passion for music, so you will probably find me sitting at my piano playing and singing.
If you were not part of Intouch and could have any job in the world, what would it be?
Back in the day, I really wanted to be a Physiotherapist specialising in sport therapy.
My first job, I worked at Stoke Mandeville Hospital assisting the remedial gymnast, providing sports therapy to spinal injury patients. I got heavily involved in the Paraplegic Games for Team GB which is now the Paralympics team.
I look back to that time and think maybe I could have trained in Physiotherapy and travelled the world with Team GB Paralympics team!
If you'd like to speak with Michael about any of the Synopsis pre-op solutions, please contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org