Company name: Aventura
Address: 1001 17th St. Suite SL-100, Denver, CO 80004
Web address: www.aventurahq.com
Year founded: 2008
Aventura overcomes technical hurdles that exist at the intersection of where your caregivers use your computer systems to deliver the computing experience that doctors and nurses demand.
Business and product summary
Aventura is in the business of making caregivers happy and IT look like heroes. Aventura’s revolutionary new platform fundamentally improves the usability of computing systems for doctors and nurses, leading to increased productivity. Aventura also centralizes and standardizes many aspects of the enterprise environment, saving IT significant time and headaches. Our software is licensed to hospitals through enterprise agreements, and our raving fans are the caregivers that use our solution every day.
The best way to understand Aventura is through a quick example of a user’s experience. A doctor or nurse logs on at a new terminal in a patient room using dual-factor authentication (smart cards, proximity cards or biometric). Based on who this person is, their new location, and any other pre-defined set of rules established by the hospital, Aventura begins updating this person’s existing desktop session (which has been securely locked from their last location) before displaying it.
For example, printing defaults are updated, some applications may be hidden, necessary ones pop up automatically, and some URLs (including already open ones) may be restricted or hidden. This updated desktop and all appropriate applications are then presented to this caregiver.
What is most important about this process is that it all happens in less than five seconds. Log-out is as instant as removing his card. Access is simple and secure. Usability for doctors and nurses is significantly increased because they are no longer wasting time logging in and accessing the right applications and data, and instead can focus on the job they signed up to do: provide incredible patient care.
Who is your target customer?
Today Aventura sells its services to small, medium, and large size hospitals. In the future, Aventura will be delivering its services also to physician practices.
What customer problem do you solve?
Aventura is a small company focused on solving one enormous healthcare IT problem. All the billions of dollars being spent on new IT systems and improving clinician productivity will never realize their full potential because of a “weak link” at the intersection of where doctors and nurses have to access these systems. Adoption of these new systems, including CPOE, suffers not because of the applications themselves, but because of the painful process and useless time wasted by doctors and nurses trying to access these new applications 50 to 70 times a day.
That is simply unacceptable for us, so we’re doing some pretty amazing things to fix it. Aventura has designed something totally new, an architectural framework that delivers what caregivers need in order to do their job from any location, securely, in less than five seconds every single time.
Aventura architecture (click to enlarge)
Who are your competitors?
Today, there are no other companies in the market providing the breadth and depth that Aventura delivers when it comes to delivering a dynamic computing environment. While there are a number of folks piecing together clinical desktop solutions using various virtualization and SSO solutions, these projects don’t overcome the technological barrier and the associated issues of roaming a static desktop session.
Why are you better than your competitors?
The idea for Aventura was born in a hospital. We understand that doctors and nurses want instant access to the right data and computing services from any computer at any time. However, in order to make this happen, we recognized that there are significant architectural limitations in today’s computing environments, and that the only way we were going to be able to address this problem is with an architectural solution.
Other companies have partial fixes; single sign-ons, roaming desktops, expensive one-offs, but they are all still based on a static operating system that was never designed to serve people who work on dozens of different computers in a single day.
Aventura’s new platform called Enterprise Operating Framework allows us to dynamically update clinicians’ computing sessions, and respond to their needs based on who and where they are. Access is intuitive and consistent and completely respects the way clinicians want to work. Further, Aventura is designed to provide this improved caregiver experience using whatever computing infrastructure a hospital currently has in place.
In other words, we can deliver our dynamic computing experience using any virtual desktop technology, or what is even more cool, leveraging only the existing PCs that most hospitals have in place.
Customer interview (infrastructure and customer support manager for a two-hospital, 300-bed system)
What problems have you solved using the Aventura technology and what has been the overall impact on the hospital?
Aventura has allowed us to extend the refresh cycle of the hardware inventory and still take advantage of new software technology that requires greater processing power and memory. The smart card solution improved the security and authentication process, which helped meet HIPAA requirements. The ease of use and ability to move the user’s desktop from workstation to workstation has greatly improved the clinician’s workflow.
If you were talking to a peer from another hospital, what would you say about your experience with Aventura?
We have had a very positive experience with Aventura. Their staff has been responsive to requests for enhancements and is readily available to provide technical support when needed.
How would you complete this sentence in summarizing for them: “I would recommend that you take a look at Aventura under these circumstances:”
If you would like to reduce the cost of your hardware refresh and provide a secure, standardized desktop solution for your end user.
An interview with Howard Diamond, CEO of Aventura
Hospitals seem pretty happy with single sign-on and technologies like Citrix that allow wireless users to stay connected even though their connection may drop temporarily as they move around. Why do they need your product?
I probably don’t accept your basic premise. Most of the customers that we have and most of the pilots we’ve got going are people that are probably already using an SSO and are already using virtualization like Citrix or VMware or Terminal Services. They still have significant problems in terms of caregivers getting access to the different systems and applications they use.
The average nurse logs in 50 to 70 times a day. Even with an SSO, the amount of administrative burden on them is pretty dramatic.
This would be a fairly key piece of infrastructure if your technology sits between the clinicians and their systems. How do you convince hospitals to trust that aspect to a relatively small company?
That’s a challenge, without question. The approach we take from a sales perspective is we have three phases of implementation.
Our first phase is what we call a lab pilot. If somebody is seriously interested in our technology, for $15,000, we come and show them how it would work in their specific environment to connect it to their specific infrastructure. They get to play with it for three to four weeks in a lab environment.
Once they’ve done that, they opt to go into what we call a production pilot. They try the technology in a real unit of the hospital with real caregivers interacting with real patients.
Based on those two experiences, they then make the decision to buy the software. We set up a pretty sophisticated try-and-buy in their environment.
Sounds like that’s good for the customer, but difficult for the company since hospitals have a long buying cycle anyway. Is it difficult to plan your business around a long-term pilot?
There are two different pieces to it. First of all, we charge $15,000 for the lab pilot. We charge $40,000 for the production pilot. We’re not doing it for free.
We have a hospital doing their production pilot right now. One week into the production pilot, they called us up and said, “All right, we’re convinced. We want to buy the software now.” Even though the theory is that it can lengthen the sales cycle, what is actually does is truncate it, because once they get the technology in front of the caregivers, the caregivers who are not using the technology see the caregivers who are and say, “Wait a minute, you’ve got to be kidding me. We’re not going to wait three months to get access to that. We want access to it now.”
Who is it that makes that decision and what objectives do they have when they come to you or you come to them?
Our point of entry is usually a CMIO if they exist. A lot of time we work directly with IT, but our focus is to get caregivers directly involved pretty quickly because the core of the technology really dramatically addresses things from the caregiver’s perspective. So where there isn’t a CMIO, we work with both CMOs and their like and influential doctors. We definitely get the caregivers involved very early in the process.
Has anybody done studies of the benefits?
Yes, pretty dramatic. Caldwell, which is actually just finishing up their lab pilot and moving to a production pilot, has actually already done a research study where they claim that their analysis showed that doctors would save over 40 minutes per shift and nurses would save over 80 minutes per shift using our technology.
What’s your method of pricing the solution and how do customers justify its cost?
The approach is it like a SaaS charge. Our base price is $15 per user per month.
The ROI actually is pretty easy to do. We show dramatic productivity gains on the caregiver’s side. Because of the fact that we do things like manage printing and provide them with a significant amount of self-help from a printing perspective, we actually show some pretty quick specific gains for IT, particularly in terms of reduction of calls to help desks.
I saw your Web site mentions the roving printer concept. I guess that’s a weakness in a lot of clinical systems. Is that a big draw for customers?
Yes. I’ll be honest with you — when my staff first built it into the product, I thought it was pretty boring. It was not an area that I had particular interest in. It’s turned out to be a dramatically important thing.
It turns out that pretty much every back-end system out there, particularly the EMRs, are horrible when it comes to managing the printing. The fact that we fixed that has actually become an enormous positive for us, even though as CEO, I was too stupid to understand that for a while.
You mentioned a couple of customers on your site, Denver Health and Alegent. Where are they in their implementation and how many clinicians do they have using the devices?
Thousands. Denver Health has been using the technology for a few years and they use it everywhere. The same thing is true of Alegent at their 10 hospitals. If you talk to Mike Westcott, who’s the CMIO at Alegent, he’s actually an embarrassingly great evangelist for us. Greg Veltri, who’s the CIO at Denver Health, is as well. In both cases, they’ve got literally thousands of caregivers using our technology every day.
I was curious why you sell only to healthcare. It seems like that the solution that you have would be of interest to other industries. Is healthcare just the entry point, or is there something unique about healthcare that makes this more attractive than it would be elsewhere?
You’re pretty on top of it. I’m impressed. The reality is that we work with a lot of virtualization partners. The very first thing they ask us whenever they get to know the technology is why we’re not bringing it into other industries.
This technology was born in a hospital, it was developed in a hospital, and the founder started it there. I came and took over the company a little over a year ago. We will go more horizontal in the next year and a half, but I believe that small companies fail a lot because of lack of focus.
Since the heart of the company is in healthcare, we’ll establish our beachhead in healthcare pretty strongly before we move horizontally. But there are a number of other industries that are appropriate for it, and a lot of the virtualization partners we work with want to bring it into places like manufacturing and legal right away.
What do you hope to gain from this exposure?
When we get in front of caregivers, they are blown away by the technology. It literally is something that every time we do a bake-off comparing our technology with anything else out there. Caregivers give it a dramatic grade.
The exposure is just a really important thing. It’s a very small company. We’re just starting out. The technology has just been released in its new form as we talked about some of the stuff we submitted to you. Getting exposure is just great for us.