Artera has seen a lot of change in the past two years — including its name — but for the employees and CEO Guillaume de Zeirek, the goal hasn’t changed one bit.
Based in Santa Barbara, Artera is a telehealth platform aimed at bridging the gap between patients and hospital staff in the healthcare industry. Recently, the company launched its “most significant” update to its platform, announcing Artera Harmony on June 12.
Many healthcare providers communicate with patients using an average of 11 different digital vendors, ranging from bill pay to appointment reminders to online portals, and more, according to Artera. But these different messages don’t all come from the same number and create a much more confusing experience.
That is what Artera Harmony is aiming to solve.
According to a company press release, Artera Harmony integrates those multiple digital vendors across a health system’s entire ecosystem and manages the communication workflow a lot smoother. The result is that patients will now receive the messages they need from their healthcare provider at the correct time, in the correct order and from a single provider phone number within a consistent communications thread defined by the patient’s preferred communication channel and language.
“This is our most significant launch,” de Zwirek told the Business Times.
The company announced Artera Harmony at its first annual customer conference, Heartbeat, held in New Orleans.
The conference was a success according to de Zwirek with over 100 people in attendance with next year’s goal to more than double that number.
The launch of Artera Harmony, as well as the company hosting the first of many conferences, is the culmination of how much Artera is banking on itself.
According to de Zwirek, Artera doesn’t take in a profit, instead reinvesting every single dollar back into the company. But, even more impressive, is the company spending more than 40% of its revenue on research and development.
The average company spends about 20% of its gross profit on research and development, according to Innovolo Insights.
“In 2021, right before the stock market dropped and so did tech valuations, we announced we were going to be doubling down on research and development,” de Zwirek said. “That was really well timed and we have stuck to that. We build code every day, we remain focused on our customers and we remain focused on our product.”
All that investment is paying off. For the past three years, Artera has experienced 100% year-over-year business growth and steadily grown its customer base, today serving more than 600 customers. Artera also now employs 315 people, many of which reside in Santa Babara.
The company also recently underwent a name change.
Back in October of last year, Well Health, founded by de Zwirek in 2015, changed its name to Artera.
A lot went into that decision, said de Zwirek, but one main sticking point is that Well Health was not very brandable and many other companies shared interest in it so owning that name would prove to be a tall task.
“We are building a long-term company with no intention of flipping or selling because we want to solve healthcare’s biggest problems,” he said.
“So we wanted a name that we can carry far.”
De Zwirek actually had the idea for Artera because he was dealing with heart complications of his own back in the 2010s. When he founded Well Health, the “e” in Well was shaped like a heart for that reason — something that people always liked.
So he knew that the rebrand would have to reference the heart and so came Artera, derived from the word artery and representing the heart.
“The heart of healthcare is the relationship between patient and physicians and we kept that, so I think it’s a huge upgrade,” de Zwirek said.
Back in November, de Zwirek also slightly flamed the idea of Artera possibly going public one day — taking a photo in front of the Nasdaq projecting Artera’s image on the side of a New York City skyscraper with a photo caption stating “Keep the bell warm.”
Regardless, de Zwirek said the company has zero intention of going public at this time, even if the IPO market is beginning to see a bit more signs of life in the coming months.
“I want to do the best for the company at any given time and we have a goal to help the healthcare industry and being a public company is not going to help us deliver on that mission,” he said.
“Public companies know how to run themselves well and we are focused on addressing our mission and running our company with professional aptitude that could make it a public company, but there’s no rush. When it makes sense for us, it will make sense.”
He also said no matter how big the company grows, he is committed to staying in Santa Barbara for the long term.
“We will always have an office here. The amazing community, amazing peer groups of CEOs and amazing talent that exists here is great. That is why you see people from LA even coming to Santa Barbara and wanting to invest here,” he said.
“We have some problems here with the cost of living amongst other things, but this is the best place in the world for our headquarters.”