Anish Sebastian, CEO, Babyscripts and Juan Pablo Segura, CPA, cofounder and president, Babyscripts
When founding Babyscripts in 2014, Sebastian, 30, and Segura, 30, had a vision of using Internet-enabled medical devices and big data to transform the delivery of pregnancy care. The duo partnered with health systems and raised $8.6 million in venture and angel financing for their business. They also orchestrated large partnerships with General Electric, March of Dimes, StartUp Health, and the White House. The result is the first toolkit for tech-enabled prenatal and postpartum care. The pair are also the architects of the first "Prenatal Care Moonshot,” focused on eliminating preterm birth by 2027.
MHE: Why did you choose your profession?
Sebastian: I chose it for two reasons. First was my obsession with data and self-tracking. Through my involvement in the quantified self-movement, I have seen the promise and pitfalls of big data firsthand. The second reason was more personal; I saw my family’s experience and struggle with the current status of healthcare.
Segura: It was partially opportunity and partially responsibility. While healthcare information technology is an up and coming industry, Sebastian and I chose to pursue a career in transforming prenatal care because of the debt we both had to our mothers and mothers everywhere. There were no companies solely focused on moms in that space. We strove to change that.
MHE: What has been your biggest learning experience?
Sebastian: Healthcare is a slow-moving beast that is extremely resistant to change—you won’t see rocket-like growth like that seen in consumer segments. This has forced me to be cautious with setting expectations with both our investors and employees.
Segura: That entrepreneurship is harder than what you see on TV … but, what I’ve come to appreciate is that the best things in life are not free. Everything worth fighting for will be difficult, and the biggest reward is surviving.
MHE: What change would you like to see in healthcare in the next 10 years?
Sebastian: Complete interoperability and the ability to combine data across several different patient journeys together to form one holistic view. One can dream, right?
Segura: More transparency in every part of how we deliver healthcare—from the pricing of services to the reasons for why certain events and outcomes occur. More transparency means more accountability, which is how our healthcare system will ultimately change.
MHE: If you could sit down to dinner with anyone involved in healthcare, who would it be?
Sebastian: Atul Gawande, MD, and Johnathan Bush together! Gawande authored one of the first books I read in healthcare, "Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science," and I've been a fan of his ever since. It was a firsthand view of how the healthcare system is both protocol-oriented, yet, at the same time, human. Once I started Babyscripts, I witnessed Bush, CEO of athenahealth, a healthcare technology company, in action. His leadership ability is on-point. Underneath his antics and eccentric behavior is one of the sharpest and most knowledgeable minds in healthcare.
Segura: Ignaz Semmelweis—the man who championed the simple notion of washing your hands. He was driven mad by naysayers. I would sit down with him and simply thank him for never giving up.