In June 2022, David Webster joined Body Vision as the new Chief Executive Officer. Webster brings decades of experience in medical devices, having led multiple teams and organizations through clinical development, regulatory submission, commercialization and market share acquisition in more than 60 global markets including the United States. David will be the driving force in Body Vision’s next chapter of growth. Recently we got a chance to sit down with him to hear what attracted him to Body Vision and his plans for the company in his first 90 days and beyond.
Body Vision Medical: What attracted you to Body Vision Medical?
David Webster: I’ve been interested in the unique value that Body Vision brings to the bronchoscopy space for a while. Body Vision’s AI imaging platform has the ability to maximize diagnostic outcome using just a regular C-arm. Regardless of whether the bronchoscopist uses a catheter-based or robotic bronchoscopy platform and regardless of their navigation platform of choice, they can benefit from the real-time, intraoperative 3D imaging our platform provides.
The fact that you can introduce the Body Vision solution into any procedure room setup and make use of the existing C-arm, bronchoscopes, disposables, and tools is revolutionary. We also know hospitals’ budgets are under heavy constraints. So the fact that we can install our system in any bronchoscopy suite and take it to the next level in terms of diagnostic yield without requiring users to make any changes to the existing equipment that they're using is a dream come true for many hospitals.
What is your philosophy for leading an organization?
I'm about organizational optimization, which means focusing on setting up the right organizational structure, establishing the key functions we need, and putting the right people in those roles. I like to be more of a coach, where I enhance the best in everyone and get them working together more efficiently. I'm also a big believer in transparency and dealing with issues within an organization. I don't sugar coat them. I don't pretend that they don't exist. I believe in creating a safe space to discuss those issues and how to improve. I believe this approach encourages maximum participation from everyone within the organization.
What are your first priorities in this new role?
My first priority is familiarizing myself with the technology, our thought leaders and their opinions on Body Vision–how they're using it and where they think we could improve. The second is acquainting myself with the organizational structure of the company, understanding what our capabilities are in terms of people, internal systems and processes. After that, I’ll focus on making the changes necessary to support exponential growth for us over the coming quarters. The initial response from the pulmonology market to our advanced imaging technology has been incredible. So many institutions and physicians are interested in Body Vision that we need to scale our team appropriately to ensure we're prepared to deal with the flood of interest we’re seeing.
What do you see as the biggest challenges that Body Vision faces to commercial success?
Our biggest challenge is scalability. More than ever, it's challenging to find good people who are passionate about their work and who are excited to get up every day and evangelize new, disruptive technology. However, the opportunity to bring a new technology to market that not only improves patient care, but improves provider care and helps the clinician be the best that they can possibly be I think will be attractive to a lot of folks.
What will success look like for you in this role?
Clinically speaking, success will be more people adopting Body Vision’s technology and increased utilization rates. The second success metric will be our ability as a company to listen to feedback from the field and improve the customer experience based on that feedback.
Last but not least, it’s important to me to create an environment where Body Vision employees feel valued and know their contribution is impacting mankind and saving people's lives. This hits close to home for me because my father died of complications from lung cancer years after having his left lower lobe removed. More recently, his younger brother who was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer three years ago is in full remission. I have directly seen how lung cancer impacts individuals and families. As the CEO, it is my job to get this team inspired by the work we're doing and the impact that we’re having on the quality of patient care.
What is your vision for Body Vision?
There's tremendous potential for Body Vision to expand into other areas of care, like kidney, liver, pancreas and even cranial and spine. The future of surgical intervention is going to be increasingly shaped by innovations in three areas: imaging, AI, and robotics. We are already seeing this convergence where more and more companies that have a core competency in one or more of these areas are collaborating with others that have expertise in the areas they lack so that they can leverage that synergy. I firmly believe that surgical procedures will evolve into something completely unrecognizable by 2050. Imagine a world where you go into a procedural room and there's a surgical table with integrated imaging and a robot that's being guided by AI under the supervision of a surgeon. This means more complicated procedures performed better, faster, and less invasively resulting in better patient outcomes using fewer staff and less resources. Body Vision, with its expertise in AI and intraoperative imaging, has the opportunity to play a key role in helping build that future.