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Hadar Levy: Leading the Way in Mental Health through Technology

Hadar Levy
Hadar Levy

Effective leadership is only possible by those who are capable of deep understanding, innovative approach and a passion to drive the change in society. Leadership qualities like these are required especially in the field of healthcare as one needs to foster a patient-centric culture and create caring environments.

Staying true on such qualities Hadar Levy decided to join BrainsWay as CEO and led the organization to expand its access to patients through the Deep TMS technology platform. He knew he has got it all to make a real impact in the patient’s lives and thus is raising awareness of this technology to improve healthcare and transform the lives of people.

We at Insights Care acknowledge the courage of Hadar through an interview, as he has brought many other technologies like Deep TMS to the market, saving lives of the people.

Here are the highlights of the interview:

Kindly tell us the source of inspiration. What led you to venture into healthcare?

I have always been filled with an intense desire to explore the world around me, and invent new solutions to emerging challenges. My goal has always been to make a positive impact in healthcare. Many people walk around every day with mental health issues and mask them for fear of being stigmatized. At BrainsWay, I am in a position to potentially help tens of millions of people not only become more aware of mental health issues, but also to destigmatize mental illness and improve access to mental health treatments like Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, known as Deep TMS™. Some people have callings in life for a specific career like teaching or healing. My calling is helping people and improving health on a mass scale by delivering life changing technologies to clinicians.

Brief us about yourself and shed some light on your journey towards becoming a part of BrainsWay.

Experienced Global Medical Device Leader with both corporate and startup experience. Currently Chief Executive Officer of publicly listed mid-size Med Tech global player. As a veteran executive with an abundance of experience working for global corporations and MedTech companies, I have led organizations to improve performance, and value in early-stage, expansion, and turnaround.

Enjoy building winning teams. I decided to join BrainsWay as CEO after I saw how the Deep TMS™ technology platform is superior in its science and evidence. In the past, I have brought many other technologies to the market and helped expand their access to patients. I knew I could do that here and make a real impact in patients’ lives. BrainsWay has innovative technology, talented and passionate people, and a large underserved market. By raising awareness of our technology and how it can help people suffering from depression, anxious depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and addiction, we can not only improve health, we also can transform — and in some cases even save — lives.

What roles and operations do you play at BrainsWay daily? How do they contribute to delivering the type of service that clients need?

As the Chief Executive Officer, I am involved in all aspects of the Company’s operations to varying degrees. Ultimately, I am responsible for everything that happens or doesn’t happen in our pursuit of our annual objectives and mission. With BrainsWay being a commercial stage medical device company, I’m very closely tied to the selling activities of the business as we look to achieve our revenue goals. I work closely with our sales leadership team to ensure that we are on track to achieve our quarterly targets, and at the same time, I have to be in lockstep with our operations and finance groups to ensure that we have product available to meet our customers’ needs. Lastly, BrainsWay is founded in research. We have a great solution for multiple conditions today, and as we pursue our mission to boldly advance neuroscience, we have to have a constant eye on the future in delivering even better solutions to meet the mental health crisis head on.

Tell us about the variety of services and products that you are part of, at BrainsWay.

BrainsWay developed, manufactures, and sells a unique and proprietary medical device for treating a wide array of mental health conditions. Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (Deep TMS™) delivers a repetitive, pulsed, electromagnetic field over targeted structures in the brain to regulate neuronal activity. For example, patients suffering from major depressive disorder, both with and without anxiety symptoms, typically have an under active region of their brain associated with mood. By stimulating that region of the brain over a number of sessions, we can increase the activity associated with those circuits and help patients overcome their depressive episodes. Given the amount of energy required to create the magnetic fields, it requires a large piece of capital equipment that is most frequently installed in physician practices. After we sell the system to a customer, we also spend a significant amount of time helping them establish their TMS practice and provide service to keep them up and running.

What specific R&D operations are you leading at present? Why do you find those essential?

Being founded in research, we have a very robust medical and clinical affairs team that is looking to advance our technology across a number of indications in psychiatry, neurology, and addiction medicine. TMS is really just in its infant stages with respect to what we currently address. Our intent is to capitalize on the life changing abilities of Deep TMS across a wide range of indications. Additionally, our innovation and R&D teams have been working to deliver an evolution on our established Deep TMS platform. All current TMS technology only stimulates neurons in one orientation. We have developed and patented a technology that will allow us to treat neurons regardless of their orientation, and we look forward to implementing this technology over the upcoming years.

How do you handle challenges and setbacks in a professional setting? Can you provide an example of a difficult situation you faced and how you resolved it?

The mental health market is very dynamic and often change and lots of area and decisions had to be ‘reinvented’. There were two big lessons for me at the start – both of them come to the same conclusion: you can’t do it alone. You must have the right people around you. You don’t need the numbers, but you do need a small group of people who ‘get it’ and are capable to deliver. This is invaluable because no matter how good you are, you don’t know everything in a business. The other lesson was that you have to go out and meet a bunch of diverse people. I have learned more from meeting and listening to people/industry partners etc. I won’t call it ‘networking’ it’s just about being open-minded to an ecosystem and people who are out there that can really help and are willing to.

At BrainsWay, continuous learning and personal development are encouraged. Can you discuss how you actively pursue professional growth and stay motivated to improve your skills?

First and foremost, I am an avid reader. I consume just about anything in written form, both hard copy and digital, to ensure I am continuously up to date, and I approach every day with the mindset that I can learn something from everyone I encounter. The motivation is the easy part. I am generally self-motivated, but I also learned early in my career to surround myself with competent colleagues and mentors. When you surround yourself with people smarter than you, you are constantly challenged to better yourself.

What do you think are the key qualities or skills that are necessary for success in a medical device company like BrainsWay?

In the medical device field, patience, discipline, and accountability are critical. Unlike many other fields, our timelines regularly span years if not decades to bring new technology to market. The only way to be successful and motivated over such a long horizon is to set a comprehensive strategy, associated timelines, and ensure that everyone involved continues to work towards those common objectives.

What are some of the challenges you face when conducting operations and how do you turn them into opportunities for growth?

I learned early in my career that every challenge is ultimately an opportunity to excel. Whether it was the pandemic or supply chain challenges, we as a team never lose sight of the fact that there are millions of patients counting on us to help make their way back to a positive mental state. Once again, the patient is the center of our mission, and we lean into our values define creative solutions to continue expanding the reach of Deep TMS to those in need.

What advice would you like to give to budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who desire to venture into the healthcare sector?

I would encourage budding entrepreneurs in healthcare to take calculated risks. When you look at the field of medicine over the past decades, the catalyst to advancement and delivering innovative solutions has always started with bold ideas and individuals with a clear vision. Find an idea, embrace it, develop a plan, and execute violently and in a disciplined manner.

How do you envision scaling your services and operations in 2023 and beyond?

BrainsWay intends to continue our global penetration strategy with our cleared indications while at the same time controlling our expenses closely. The demand for Deep TMS is vast, but we need to continue our efforts in increasing awareness to ensure that all healthcare providers involved in addressing mental health conditions are informed about the treatment and its benefits for their patients. We are additionally pursuing an aggressive strategy to achieve break-even EBITDA by the end of 2023 to position the company for even broader success in 2024 and beyond.



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