Iryo’s advisor Andraž Logar: “Medical applications are poorly built, users struggle with the usability.”

3fs is a software powerhouse based in Slovenia, working closely with Fortune 500 companies and multinationals such as Nokia and Ericsson. The company’s expertise lies in combining enterprise IT experience with the best possible user experience. 3fs is the seed investor in Iryo, providing not only funding but also expertise from internal senior experts. CEO Andraž Logar explains the thinking behind the investment in a healthcare startup.

Andraž Logar

Can we start by explaining how 3fs works? What are the current projects of 3fs apart from consultancy for multinationals?

When we are not working with enterprises, we are developing our own niche solutions, starting products and creating spin-offs if the products prove successful. For example, we created Toshl — a company developing a solution for personal finances. Later on, we started addressing the needs of a younger audience and created Toonia — a company working on apps for toddlers. Since we have always been interested in the gaming industry, we also have a gaming studio with many titles, mostly web, the last two are for mobile phones as well.

Through our experience we learned that there is an important overlay between the products for end consumers, such as a games, and enterprise solutions. For a game to be successful, it needs to be scalable, secure and inviting for the users. The enterprise world is faced with the same kind of problems. We want to bring this knowledge about security, scalability and user experience to healthcare.

Where does the idea to dive into healthcare with Iryo stem from?

One of the major KPIs for our company is solving critical social problems. I believe everyone agrees that healthcare systems around the world are one of the most critical things that touch upon every single individual. A couple of years ago, when we were identifying new opportunities for our company, we did a thorough research and found that the quality of IT in the medical world is substandard compared to what we have been working on so far in the enterprise world. It was substandard in terms of security, scalability, and cost of operation. On top of that, the user experience is poor and underdeveloped.

In our preliminary research we spoke to around 60 people from the medical world — physicians, nurses, domain experts, people in charge of procurement, IT… Our conclusion was that IT companies have been serving this industry very poorly and IT problems have only piled up. We said to ourselves: we have two options — either we accept this state as a society, as patients, or we do something about it. We decided to do something about it and created Iryo.

Where does the name come from?

The name Iryo, which I am pretty sure we are pronouncing the wrong way, comes from Japanese. When we were searching for the name in the languages of the world, we found we were drawn to Japanese. Iryo translates to medicine. At 3fs we have always been big fans of the aesthetics of the Japanese culture, and the way they solve certain problems. Considering the fact that Japan has a well-developed health system, we also read profoundly about how their medical system is built and this is how we decided that the name is appropriate for what we are trying to do.

What is Iryo bringing to healthcare?

When it comes to software, we usually have two approaches on how to build it: bottom-up or top-down. Bottom-up works in environments which can provide you with a lot of time, energy, but usually this approach means that the end user is considered at the last step. This is the approach the healthcare world took and as we can see, the results are not very good. Iryo is bringing the top-down approach, where apps are easy to use and just work well, into healthcare IT. At the moment, medical software is quite the opposite. It seems that medical applications are not programmed in a way they would work well, and users would always struggle with usability. And at the same time, we are hearing horror stories surrounding scalability, interoperability and security. Iryo will usher in a completely new way of building software for the medical purposes and will listen to users first; the users being healthcare staff, hospital IT engineers, security experts and patients. Without patients, I do not think problems in healthcare can be solved successfully.

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