The healthcare industry has always been complex, with opportunities and challenges constantly shifting in the endlessly changing industry. Without effective leadership and innovative products and processes, it can seem near impossible to meet the evolving needs of patients while also supporting hardworking medical staff.
Effective decision-making is a core competency of any leadership role, but it takes on an entirely different level of complexity in the healthcare industry. The most effective leaders can obtain and analyze data from numerous sources, which they then use to make proactive decisions.
One emerging healthcare leader who enables innovation and perpetual betterment is Paul Edalat, Chairman of the Board, Founder, and CEO of Vivera.
Under his leadership, Vivera is known as an innovative, science-driven biopharma and MedTech company with multiple divisions, including technologies, biosciences, medical devices, and advanced diagnostics.
In an exclusive interview with Insights Success, Mr. Edalat shares valuable insights highlighting his professional tenure and the challenges he surmounted to reach the horizons of success. He discusses the significant impact he is dedicated to bringing to the industry, the foundational pillars he has established with the Vivera team, the importance of technology in healthcare, and his goals for the future. Lastly, he offers advice for the next generation of aspiring business leaders.
Please briefly describe your professional journey for our readers. What challenges did you face along the way?
Throughout my professional journey, I’ve faced numerous challenges, but the most disheartening was my brother Peter’s cancer diagnosis. Peter was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2004. During his battle, I witnessed many flaws within our healthcare system, particularly in the drug delivery process.
Peter’s doctor prescribed him opioids to manage chemotherapy side effects, including pain. Despite the potential side effects and addiction risks associated with these medications, no safety measures were in place. Consequently, Peter became addicted to his medication. It was painful to watch my brother struggle with not only cancer but also addiction.
I realized the need for a more effective way to prescribe and dispense medications, especially those with a higher propensity for misuse.
I used my brother’s experience as a catalyst to start Vivera. Today, the Company is committed to developing innovative biopharmaceutical and technology solutions that focus on controlled, highly addictive, and frequently abused medications, with an emphasis on prioritizing individual patients over profits.
This mission honors my brother’s legacy and Vivera’s core mission of putting patients first. At the heart of Vivera’s foundation are TABMELT, a patented and patent-pending medication delivery system for biopharmaceutical compounds, and ZICOH, a patented smart medication delivery system in development..
What significant impact have you brought to the industry?
By prioritizing patients, I’ve guided Vivera to develop innovative therapies and solutions that address unmet medical needs and improve patient lives. Vivera’s focus on the patient experience and patient outcomes sets a precedent for the industry to adopt a more patient-centric mindset.
Tell us about Vivera and its foundational pillars.
Vivera’s foundational pillars are ZICOH and TABMELT.
ZICOH is a patented, electronic, dose-controlled, smart drug delivery device in the Company’s technology division.
One of my good friends and longtime colleagues, Dr. Mehdi Hatamian, and I invented the device and technology as a potential tool to help prevent prescription drug misuse while improving medication adherence.
ZICOH works by dispensing precise medication doses only to the registered patient, leaving little room for misuse or diversion. The timing feature supports adherence by restricting access to off-schedule doses.
ZICOH integrates seamlessly with ZICOH Connect™, a synchronized, cloud-based software system with strong data organization and AI capabilities. Together, they collect and aggregate real-time prescribing data and generate actionable insights to facilitate prescription medication adherence, oversight, and compliance.
Ultimately, the ZICOH medication delivery system aims to provide the targeted release of medications and may offer a solution to better control medications known to be addictive and highly abused.
Another foundational pillar is TABMELT, a patented and patent-pending sublingual drug delivery system within Vivera’s biosciences division. The sublingual delivery system is designed to deliver medications by dissolving a tablet under the tongue, a method that largely bypasses the digestive system, potentially allowing for lower dosing and a quicker action of onset.
What is your take on technology’s importance, and how are you leveraging it?
Technology plays an essential role in healthcare and pharmaceutical advancement. Leveraging technology can optimize drug discovery, development, and patient care, fostering a culture of innovation and adaptability. Vivera uses technology to explore novel drug delivery systems and technologies, like ZICOH.
What will be the next significant change in the healthcare industry, and how are you preparing for it?
Artificial intelligence (AI) will revolutionize the industry in numerous ways. With AI, the healthcare sector can use aggregated data to make real-time, personalized decisions about patient care, with the goal of improving patient outcomes. Vivera has long understood AI’s value and incorporated AI technology into ZICOH and its back-end system, ZICOH Connect. The device uses AI to organize complex prescribing data, generating predictive analytics. Businesses that take full advantage of AI will remain competitive in the healthcare and drug delivery space.
What are your goals in the future?
My goal is to improve medication safety and enhance patient experiences by focusing on drug delivery. I’ve seen first-hand the challenges of taking medications and the ease of developing dependencies on addictive prescriptions. I will do everything it takes to bring the solution we have developed to market.
What advice would you like to give the next generation of aspiring business leaders?
I advise the next generation of aspiring business leaders to find the right mentor who can teach them the ins and outs of the industry. A mentor can provide guidance, share their experiences, and help you navigate the challenges you may face as you pursue your career. Learning from someone who has already achieved your goal is invaluable.