25 Jan 2019

Meet Chris Burke, and his new venture Tadashi: Part 2

In Part 1 of this interview series with Tadashi director, Chris Burke, we learned where the name Tadashi came from and some insights into Chris’ passion for digital in health. In this article, we dive into the unique approach Tadashi has to offer health and why building new tech isn’t always the right answer.


How do you think that gap affects us, the people engaging with the health industry? How does what you talk about translate to what patients need?

[CB]: That’s a tough one because sometimes, in terms of what you consume, you don’t know what you don’t know. For a lot of it, you’re accepting what’s there as right, or you simply get used to it. But there’s always room for improvement.

I think the ‘don't know what you don’t know’ is part of the issue with the decision makers too – they don’t have the knowledge of digital, so they often don’t know where to start - there’s room for better processes, communication strategies or ways to make websites more accessible. They could be building products that better engage with their audience.

There’s obviously lots of work in the app space to create apps to help with very specific tasks, but often those things are built as one-off products. They could be included in a more strategic approach or part of a bigger picture looking at more than just fixing what’s broken.


Yes, and something like an app for booking a doctor’s appointment, that’s the end point for patients, right? The app might just be a band aid for a much bigger problem. Can you talk to us about what comes before that? What are the other pieces of the puzzle that people might not be aware of?

[CB]: A lot of times things tend to be cobbled together. For example, you might work at a consulting practice or you’re a GP. You hear about an app from a friend to do patient bookings, so you might bolt that onto whatever you had before, like an old website you’re not using or a Facebook page - cobbling those types of things together is a known issue.

The Tadashi approach starts at the beginning, before any tech or apps, and strategically looks at the bigger picture.

From an Otaku point of view, we’ve been involved in a lot of discovery and consulting work where we pull the lens back and look at what’s going on end-to-end. We ask questions like:

What are you trying to achieve?

What are all the opportunities you could explore along that path?

Does it mean you need a new website? Sometimes. Does it mean that you could use some sort of app or apps to solve your problems? Sometimes. But not always – often people just bolt things on because it's new and shiny. I think organisations could be using that time and those resources better on other things, like actually engaging with their audience in a measured, strategic way.

At Tadashi, we draw a picture for businesses from the start and hold their hand through the process of working out what the best path is to where they want to go.


From your experience, can you give us an example of the Tadashi process in action?

[CB]: Yes, we [Otaku Digital] worked with a Victorian Government department of about 15 staff, so a pretty small team. They were all very good at what they did and passionate about water and the environment, as well as being a little green to technology and digital.

The person who was steering the ship at the time went to market (a post on LinkedIn) looking for a CRM [customer relationship management system], a place to store their client contact data that also handles email communications, but they didn’t know anything about the process of trying to work out what they wanted. They just put a call out saying, 'we need something', and everyone answered saying 'you need this product…or that product'.

I reached out and offered a different approach: what they actually needed was someone to help them work out what they needed.

We ran a couple of workshops where we spoke to key stakeholders, then we did some market research about off-the-shelf products that might suit their requirements. From there, we compared the best product to the alternative – which is building something from scratch. There were pros and cons (which we outlaid) so they had enough information to go away and really make a decision that considered in great detail what would work for their business. And ultimately, they chose to build bespoke.

The reason there was an opportunity there was because they didn’t have anyone internally who could take them through that process. And they also didn’t know where to start – there was a barrier there of 'we know we need something, but we don’t know how to figure it out'.


In Part 3, we chat to Chris about the unique approach Tadashi brings to health and how it might just be the antidote to current issues facing the industry.

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