Chris Grottenthaler is the founder and CEO of True Health Diagnostics LLC (“True Health Diagnostics”) is an innovative healthcare services organization dedicated to earlier detection and management of disease. It was founded by Chris Grottenthaler in March 2014 as a specialty lab that would specialize in early stage identification of diseases. The company began operations in October 2014. The company’s headquarters is in Frisco, Texas and the satellite office is in the Virginia BioTechnology Park located in the historic downtown neighborhood of Jackson Ward in Richmond, VA.
True Health Diagnostics provides chronic disease detection and management to medical professionals and patients with cardiovascular illness, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune and genetic disorders, among other conditions. The laboratory uses biomarkers and more than 100 assays for chronic health conditions to assess a patient’s health. After this assessment, True Health Diagnostics provides health management services including online disease prevention programs, wellness education programs and nutrition plans for their patients.
True Health Outreach, an affiliate of True Health Diagnostics, provides hospitals with laboratory management services as well as access to systems of patient engagement. The program was introduced in December 2016 and is expected to be a focus for the company moving forward.
How did you get started?
I grew up in Loudoun County in Northern Virginia and studied international affairs at James Madison University. After earning my MBA from American University, I went on to work for a private equity firm in Chicago. While at that firm, I took leadership roles in two rising health care companies, until I founded True Health Diagnostics in 2014.
What inspired you to start this business?
I saw a lot of success in healthcare ventures at my former companies that convinced me that a specialty health services company, backed by world-class laboratory methods, could make a difference if it offered patients modernized service focused on prevention. Our focus on disease categories is driven by a simple goal: providing easy-to-understand information that helps patients lead healthier lives.
What makes True Health’s business model different?
We offer niche, highly-valued biomarker testing in addition to a comprehensive menu of laboratory essentials. True Health Diagnostics differentiates itself by offering unique tests that are geared to a patient’s individual health profile and early risk for specific diseases, such as autoimmune conditions, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, men’s and women’s health, and others. Clinicians respond well to this scope of testing. In addition, we have begun offering laboratory management services for hospital systems nationwide. Hospitals often struggle to keep up with scientific advancements – they have so many other demands. True Health Diagnostics offers a solution: We manage the lab inside the hospital, leap-frogging their laboratory science and patient-centric results ahead of most others.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Absolutely. This was a big risk. The start-up investment was significant. On the other hand, it was obvious that conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease and others were not being detected soon enough for patients to address their health issues. Our society very much needed a company that could make that happen. Our goal is nothing short of transforming health care, both by reducing costs within the system and helping people live longer, healthier lives. That helped me look past any doubts I had.
What is one marketing approach that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
It’s the oldest, most time-tested technique: Face-to-face and door-to-door relationships. I pick up the phone and connect with possible customers and my peers in the industry, or travel to have face-to-face conversations, to share with them what we are doing at True Health. I find that when we are able to connect at a personal level and tell the True Health story, this solid connection transforms into an opportunity for our company.
What is the toughest decision since you started True Health?
We acquired a company known for cardiovascular disease testing, but that’s not what we do. That’s only one product. We made a tough decision to become much more. We want to bring to other disease states what we and our competitors brought to heart disease. We want to bring it all to more people, through doctors’ offices and also hospitals and health plans. We’re thinking big and bold, not slow and safe.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
First, we have a talented, innovative team at True Health and are committed to accuracy, precision and quality in our daily operations. At True Health, we position ourselves as continuous learners. We listen to what patients, providers and industry professionals are doing and saying as they use our products. We pick up the phone and ask questions. If we find out that there’s a better way to do something, we change.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
There have been several: Establishing our first lab in Texas and opening the doors in 2014 was the first great milestone for our company. Our expansion to collaborate with hospitals last year was equally exciting. Hospital labs have for so long been neglected, literally set up in little more than supply closets tucked at the far end of hospitals. It’s gratifying that we can help hospitals modernize their labs and bring in leading-edge science and equipment. This will make it much more likely that patients will get their lab work done, get their results quickly, and can immediately become proactive about improving their health.
What are you most excited about?
I am excited about expanding our product categories and building relationships with more hospitals. I am also excited about how True Health Diagnostics will continue to become a part of the story of companies who help to transform healthcare with evolving technologies, effective management services. With patients benefitting from this, proactive lifestyle changes will help lower the cost of health care in the U.S.