Spun out from university research, Reach Health is an interesting case study in building a company around concepts like Telemedicine and remote healthcare.
Sramana Mitra: Steve and Grant, I would love to have your back stories. Where were you born and raised, and in what kind of circumstances? What paths did you follow in terms of college and so forth? How did your paths intersect?
Steve McGraw: I’ve been with Reach for about a year. Prior to that, I was CEO of a chemical compliance company, and prior to that, was at various executive and management roles. I’m more the professional manager who was hired about a year ago to take Reach to the next level. Grant was part of the executive search team who was looking for the next CEO to run the company.
Sramana Mitra: Grant is the founder of the company?
Steve McGraw: Correct. Grant is one of the co-founders of the company.
Sramana Mitra: Grant, how about you?
Grant Kohler: I guess it started back in New Jersey where I was born. I stayed there for the first couple of years of my life before relocating to Georgia where I’ve spent the majority of the rest of my life. My background is in information systems. I got a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems that allowed me to get into IT. I had the opportunity to move over to Augusta, Georgia where, at that time, the Medical College of Georgia was based. It’s now known as Georgia Regents University.
I was introduced to Dr David Hess of the Department of Neurology and got exposed to this project known as the Reach Project, which was the genesis of our company. I took a job over at the Medical College of Georgia that exposed me to the opportunity of retail, which is where we spun the company out of a hospital.
Sramana Mitra: What year are we talking about? What time frame?
Grant Kohler: Conceptually, the idea of Reach started in the early 2000’s. I believe it was around March of 2002 when the concept of Reach started to come to fruition. As you may be aware, the company itself was founded in March of 2006 when we started getting a lot of outside requests for using our concept.
Sramana Mitra: When you say you spun this out of the hospital, can you tell us a little bit more about what were the circumstances and what specifically happened in that process?
Grant Kohler: To provide a little bit of back story, what we were seeing was a group of neurologists at the Medical College of Georgia who were trying to solve a problem where stroke patients can be treated with a very particular type of medicine within three hours of the onset of symptoms. The Medical College of Georgia doctors realized that these patients were 60 to 120 miles away from the medical center.