Following the successful sale of iSirona to Nanthealth, Dyell and Leonpacher were eager to capitalize on their entrepreneurial and technical expertise in yet another health-tech venture in Panama City. They too had experienced the near-universal aggravation of waiting longer than expected or desired for an appointment. Could they develop a software platform that allowed greater transparency and improved efficiency in what’s known as “patient flow optimization” to benefit both the clinic and the patient? The pursuit of this solution led to the formation of Jellyfish Health, currently in residence in the Business Innovation Center on the FSU-Panama City campus.
It became clear that “non-clinical events” like patient walk-ins, late arrivals, no-shows and other unscheduled events make outpatient flow predictably unpredictable and often outnumber actual clinical emergencies. Mitigating the impact of the unpredictable and better managing the predictable back-ups in a transparent, efficient way through medical office software and a now-in-development patient portal phone app will give patients and the medical staff the information they need to avoid bottlenecks, shorten wait times and optimize patient flow—from registration and check-in through admitting and financial counseling. And what patient, as Patrick Leonpacher quipped, wouldn’t rather spend time being productive at work or even waiting at Starbucks than just sitting at the doctor’s office, if they could see on their phone that the clinician is running 30 minutes behind today? Like the jellyfish for which the company is named, it’s all about transparency and flow. THE BIC EXPERIENCE The Jellyfish Health leadership team is committed to staying in Panama City, which has not only become their home but which they feel has the promise of developing into a private sector start-up and hopefully high tech center here in the Florida panhandle. What brought Jellyfish Health to the Business Innovation Center (BIC) last September was the turn-key office infrastructure. Having had the experience of growing iSirona and housing over 200 employees, they understood the physical requirements of growing a business: flexible office space, Internet, access to training and conference rooms, etc. “With that operational infrastructure already here at the BIC, we could focus all of our attention to developing our product instead of having to manage facilities.”
Since setting up shop in the BIC, Jellyfish has grown to 16 employees, plus 2 college interns and a high school senior intern. In fact, its rapid growth is leading them to a larger office space in downtown Panama City, where they expect to double in the year ahead with 75% of its employees based in-house. Most of their employee growth will be in software development and information technology. Equally important to an employee’s “skills fit” is what Leonpacher calls a “cultural fit,” the entrepreneurial energy and excitement needed to grow a company and become personally and professionally invested.
In addition to becoming a successful and highly profitable company, Jellyfish hopes to serve as a proverbial beacon of high tech light, to inspire and encourage like-minded entrepreneurs. Leonpacher stressed, “We want to interface with students at the university, college and even high schools to grow our future employees in STEM fields (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math). We want them to see us and other companies like ours on their campuses and understand that there is a tech future here in Panama City.”
Consultant, Business Innovation Center