Meet Kerry Conaty, MedaCheck's Director of Operations
Posted April 11, 2015
To give you an inside look at what it’s like to work at fast-paced startup, we sat down with fellow team member, Kerry Conaty, MedaCheck’s Director of Operations. Kerry oversees business support services and operations for MedaCheck, but read on to see how she describes a “typical” day at MedaCheck in this role.
How would you describe your role at MedaCheck?
My role at MedaCheck is ‘Operations,’ or the team sometimes says, ‘Chief of Staff.’
My day-to-day responsibilities include working with the development team on our product, shipping our product, interacting with our amazing customers and keeping the office from burning down—no joke!
MedaCheck is a finalist in two categories for the 2015 Innovation & Technology Awards: the Best Software Product and Best Device/Application categories. How are you staying on top of, or evaluating the latest innovations in health IT?
Healthcare is complicated on every level. Any product or service that helps to ‘un-complicate’ it, make it easier for people to not only have access to, and be able to afford care, as well as understand it, will only help to incite change. As many would agree, we have a care model that is out-of-date right now. I have seen first hand how there are so many health care applications looking to help solve the problems we have in heath care.
We’ve seen everything from wearables that tracks your daily steps/workout, to a new kind of health insurance company like Oscar that looks to change an individual’s approach to their personal health. When I look at the solutions that help people manage and preserve their health, I’m looking for customer-fit and efficacy, to start with. I’m asking questions such as, “Can the person this was designed for easily and realistically use this application over time?”
MedaCheck is growing and is currently looking for a designer to join the team. How do you describe the working environment at MedaCheck?
We are fortunate to have a really collaborative culture here. Everybody loves coming into the office and working to solve big problems. We’re a small team and many of us are scattered throughout the world, so communication is key for us. But we really enjoy hanging out with each other both during and after business hours. We’ve made it clear that our mission is to help others preserve and better their independence and health, and so as a team we feel united in accomplishing this mission.
MedaCheck serves as a reminder system, but the platform also has built-in behavioral support. What kind of reminder systems do you use?
I always have what seems like 50 million things going on or running through my head, so I’ve found scheduling and note taking are huge. I put everything on my Google calendar, even simple things like what I plan to make for dinner. Otherwise I would forget!
I also have a reminder for everything because it’s not always a guarantee I will continually check my calendar throughout the day, so it’s super helpful to have reminders pop up on my laptop and phone. This is evidence of how information delivered to you at the right time is powerful!
Aaron Levie of Box once wrote in Fast Company that, “only companies or products that will succeed now are the ones offering the lowest possible level of complexity for maximum amount of value.” From your day in and day out role, do you agree with this statement?
Simplicity is a tough thing to get right. Most would assume it’s easy to build a product or service that is easy to use but what is easy for me might actually be very difficult for someone else and vice versa. I personally hate reading instructions, especially if it’s a whole book for something that is meant to be ‘simple to use.’
We’ve learned the importance of creating something that is simple to understand within seconds of someone picking it up.
We are always working to simplify our products and continually ask ourselves, ‘If I had no idea what this was, how long would it take me to figure out with no help and no directions.’ And of course, we always go to the customer for that feedback. That mindset is at the core of everything we do.
Last question for you: What makes #StartupCincy ideal for a startup like MedaCheck?
StartupCincy is an amazing community that was born from the growing entrepreneurial talent that is in [the Cincinnati] region. Not only is Cincinnati an area where startups can find the right talent, but there is funding and customers within our ecosystem that others don’t have. People here are committed to helping the ecosystem grow, and we have benefited from that!
We have one of the nation’s top 10 accelerators, we have the #1 incubator in Ohio and we have leading funding/seed-stage investor groups/venture capital investors—just to name some of the highlights of #StartupCincy that are top of mind. Locally, we have been able to find invaluable advice we need and great relationships with hospitals and partners looking for low-cost, high value solutions.