MedSnap tackles counterfeit drugs

Meet the Boss: Patrick Hymel of MedSnap

Birmingham Business Journal

Patrick Hymel is the CEO and cofounder of MedSnap, a tech firm targeting clients in the health care industry. In July, MedSnap released MedSnap ID, an app available on the iPhone 4S and 5 that identifies prescription medications.

Hymel said the app aims to alleviate errors that have resulted in hefty costs for the health care industry. He said that 7 percent of electronic prescriptions and 37 percent of handwritten prescriptions contain at least one error.

MedSnap ID has generated some buzz in the tech and health care industries this summer, including being recognized by Gizmodo as the app of the day for Aug. 13.

Hymel, who also cofounded MedMined Inc., comes from a medical background. He earned a medical degree and completed a residency in emergency medicine at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine.

BBJ: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Hymel: Primum non nocere (first, do no harm). It has equal application in medicine and business.

BBJ: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

Hymel: Establish long-term relationships. The cofounder of MedSnap and I have been best friends for 30 years, and the employees here have worked together for a decade in various capacities.

BBJ: What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? Was it worth it?

Hymel: I decided to become a serial entrepreneur, and yes it was worth it. The first time I did it, I had nothing. Being a serial entrepreneur is about starting over and working through challenges.

BBJ: What’s a goal you would like to accomplish in your career, but haven’t?

Hymel: Provide a technology or service we develop to be used internationally. It’s something I tried to do with another company. I think it will be a great accomplishment.

BBJ: What’s the biggest mistake in business?

Hymel: Failure to grasp that innovation is about embracing risk. Your job as a manager is to support team members to keep going and use failure as a spring board to create something innovative.

BBJ: What’s a lesson you learned about management?

Hymel: Avoiding a tough decision makes it tougher.

BBJ: What’s lesson you learned about yourself?

Hymel: I’m stubborn. Tackling the problems I have requires a very focused persistence, but when persistence taken to the umpteenth degree, it becomes stubbornness.

BBJ: What’s a lesson you learned about customers?

Hymel: They don’t truly care about your technology as much as what your technology can do for their business, which necessitates you to wrap your technology in service.

BBJ: What’s something that keeps you up at night?

Hymel: Have I communicated the value of MedSnap as well as I possibly can? I sweat the details of communication.

BBJ: What keeps you motivated?

Hymel: Patients. I’m in this to create business models where revenue and patient help are directly correlated. That’s what keeps my team together.

BBJ: What’s an interesting fact about you most people don’t know?

Hymel: I have a son with special needs, and my wife and I spend a great deal of time advocating for him and others with special needs.

BBJ: What’s your favorite thing to do outside the office?

Hymel: Run. I solve most of the day’s problems on my afternoon run.

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