Justin Keenan of LusioMATE tells us about physical therapy and the effects of Covid-19.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Justin Keenan: We are very well, thank you.
Late last year and the beginning of 2022 were certainly impacted by Omicron. But Australia has resumed business as usual, so we are very fortunate to have the freedom to get out and about.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded LusioMATE.
Justin Keenan: Having spent the best part of my career before Lusio within IT, specializing in real-time systems such as banking and gaming. I emigrated to Australia in 2014, where I had my first taste of leading a team and building a business from the ground up. This is where I met my business partner, Armin, who later co-founded Lusio Rehab with me.
Armin’s background is in robotic engineering. He had been asked one day back in Iran, before emigrating to Australia, to help a Doctor friend of his who was having trouble ensuring that a young patient of his with Cerebral Palsy adhered to his physical therapy routines. Armin conjured up a ‘therapy toy’ by customizing an off-the-shelf remote-controlled car. When young Arshia, the boy in question, did his therapy movement exercises, the car moved back and forth; Arshia was delighted and engaged, and the problem for Armin’s Doctor friend was solved.
Fast forward a few years and a number of sliding doors later. Armin and I found ourselves working together.
A great working relationship and friendship ensued, and one day he told me the story of Arshia. Safe to say, it was a lightbulb moment! I knew within the story there was an incredible vision to help people with their boring and mundane therapy routines. Within a very short while after that conversation, Lusio Rehab was born.
How does LusioMATE market its product/services online?
Justin Keenan: We use a number of social channels, as well as email outreach to market LusioMATE.
For example, Instagram has been an excellent platform for us within the pediatric community. We have been fortunate enough to work with some wonderful families and service providers with excellent profiles on Instagram, and through these partnerships, we have seen both the profile of LusioMATE and the flow of leads build.
On the B2B side, we use LinkedIn a lot to reach key decision-makers in service provider businesses and to open the conversation towards them trialing or buying LusioMATE outright.
In the early years, we used email marketing as the main thrust of our marketing effort, and while we still use it, the above platforms have taken a big chunk of the focus over the last 12-18 months.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Justin Keenan: We have a global team working across multiple time zones so the traditional workplace model never existed for us. We no doubt felt the early effects of uncertainty during the first lockdown. Of course, having built the business up to that point via a lot of face-to-face consultation and demonstration, we were suddenly presented with the need to pivot quickly, like so many people and businesses around the world.
Luckily for us, our tech lends itself perfectly to the Zoom boom that rose up overnight during the lockdown, and we were able to easily pivot to showcasing the product via Zoom demos. Furthermore, with one of the key benefits of LusioMATE being that it extends the impact of face-to-face appointments beyond the clinic, we were immediately presented with an opportunity. At-home therapy and telehealth became the hot topic in healthcare, and we were perfectly placed to help clients and their healthcare networks maintain critical therapy and rehabilitation programs.
All in all, our efficiency as a team and business improved our client experience, as well as our tech being relevant to a much wider demographic of our community. The introduction of all age and diagnosis groups has been most welcome.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Justin Keenan: We use Salesforce for our CRM and the mothership of the marketing side of the business. From there, we use Sales Navigator with our LinkedIn profiles, and we have just started using a great little piece of software called Leadjet.io, which synchronizes our LinkedIn and CRM.
We also use a product called Phantombuster, which allows all sorts of great automation and shortcut action within all the social platforms that we have a presence on.
For email marketing, we use a software called Lemlist.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Justin Keenan: Digital Health and innovation is a hugely important sector as we see demand for services grow across the globe. The rising tide of innovation in the health domain is here, and there are a number of businesses using apps and wearables across the health domain, which is super positive.
Our R&D function works 24/7 to build on what we have today to ensure we exceed our clients’ expectations tomorrow and remain relevant to all client groups.
Your final thoughts?
Justin Keenan: We chose the gamification of therapy. More specifically, we chose to make custom games in which players could only play by doing movement activities prescribed by their clinicians. This sounds easy, but to not replicate the mistakes of Wii and Xbox gaming therapy ( we call 1st wave game therapy), we invented 2nd wave game therapy. That is, therapy gaming is not retrofitted onto mass-market devices but rather a specifically designed clinical gaming ecosystem.
Our early adopters trialed an exact movement tracking device that can be used to play games on any mobile technology anywhere, any time. Clinicians and patients agree on programs in the clinic or via telehealth, and the patient is engaged to complete them between appointments. Furthermore, we built remote tracking, reporting, and prescribing into the system, so clinicians can remain connected and engaged with their patients’ therapy outside of the appointment too.
The combination of the virtual experience and the patient/client being connected to their chosen clinician allows for each individual to select their preferred way of staying on track.
After 4 years of self-funded experimentation on every aspect of commercializing and launching a business with a purpose, we now have clients across the globe with increased motivation who, for the first time, are adhering to their clinical program when not in a clinic/hospital.