About John A. Bennett, M.D.
For the last 35 years, John A. Bennett, M.D., has been one of the most recognized entrepreneurs and businessmen in the Philadelphia area. A local and national leader in the healthcare and technology industries, Dr. Bennett is currently the president and CEO of the Devon International Group.
Dr. Bennett joined Delaware County Memorial Hospital as an emergency room physician in 1978. Three years later, he was elected to the hospital’s Medical Executive Committee and made director of Emergency Services. In June of 1984, he was elected president of the Medical Executive Committee.
In 1984, he founded ATI Centers, Inc., which consisted of 13 outpatient diagnostic imaging and physical therapy centers located throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Fueled by immediate interest in the company, Dr. Bennett and a handful of employees set out to build a preferred provider organization (PPO) with services to encompass all provider specialties – and succeeded. The company was renamed Devon Health Services, Inc. in 1995 and is now the largest privately owned PPO in the Northeast United Sates.
The success of Devon Health has given Dr. Bennett the opportunity to expand into the different sectors that now comprise the DIG group of companies. Consilium is an out-of-network healthcare claims company that uses expert negotiation and a proprietary, patent-pending business intelligence software tool to generate substantial savings for customers. Devon IT is a technology company and the world’s third largest provider of software that manages thin client desktop devices. Devon Medical Products is a global designer and manufacturer of medical devices used to treat wounds, complications from diabetes, and other health complications. And DIG also has various other entities operating in various verticals worldwide.
Dr. Bennett preaches the “Blue Ocean Strategy” – developing new markets rather than competing in bloody, competitive ones – and “The World is Flat” – conducting business on an international scale. Today DIG has over 500 employees operating in 22 countries.
Dr. Bennett is a true entrepreneur who identifies unique products and services that enhance global business. His work takes him throughout the world, where his international relationships and business partnerships help drive revenue in domestic markets.
Medical Travel Today (MTT): Give our readers some background on your organization and what its primary focus is.
John Bennett (JB): Devon Medical Products and Devon IT have many international focuses.
Devon Medical Products manufactures medical devices, either in the U.S. or in China, and these devices are distributed throughout the world.
Devon IT develops Thin Client Software in the U.S. and partners with our four major partners: Lenovo, Acer, Centerm, Quanta, which are located in Taiwan and China. This software is also distributed throughout the world.
MTT: How do you choose these products? Are they proprietary? Are they ones you develop on your own and how do you distribute them?
JB: For Devon IT, we’ve been into Thin Client Software for roughly 10+ years, so now that’s a legacy product. We used to sell the software along with the hardware and later decided that it was best to partner with hardware manufacturers for the making of the hardware. Now we just focus on what we do the best – which is creating the software.
MTT: Who are your clients for Devon IT? Any hospitals or healthcare organizations?
JB: We sell to Lenovo and Acer and they bundle our software with their devices.
MTT: Is the software healthcare focused?
JB: No, the software has nothing to do with healthcare, it’s a thin client operating system.
We are incorporating the software we developed for the IT devices into our new NPWT system.
The software will allow the patient to be monitored at home, as well as in the hospital where traditional NPWT devices are focused. We will introduce this revolutionary software next year, which will be a compliment to the light weight of 11 ounces and the extended battery life of 30 hours.
We do have other kinds of products that are aimed at the hospital market, but our premier product is this portable device.
MTT: How are these devices distributed?
JB: The devices are distributed in the same manner as the software. We find large distribution partners to distribute the product for us. For our negative pressure devices, we have a 16 billion market cap distribution company based in Denmark by the name of Coloplast.
We have different partners for different products.
MTT: How did you move the company in this direction?
JB: Everything is based on change. To achieve success, you can’t stay in the same format. We try to reinvent ourselves every 90 days, and as we reinvent, we diversify and service different market niches.
MTT: What are your thoughts on medical travel? Is this something that impacts your industry and business?
JB: I travel all the time and we have employees in different geographies. Healthcare needs to be considered by all of our employees, especially those who develop illnesses while traveling.
If a serious illness is developed in one of our employees while traveling, we prefer them to seek care state side.
MTT: How many employees do you have in the U.S.? Are you self-funded for those employees?
JB: We have roughly 175 to 200 U.S. employees, and yes, we are self-funded.
MTT: And there’s no direction of care on that side or do they have to use a network?
JB: The majority of our employees are located right here in the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, area. We created a limited network called the Premier Network (www.mypremiernetwork.com), which has its center around the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). They are our tertiary care hospitals. We also have 35 primary hospitals that surround the center, 10 of which are CHOP affiliates. All the hospitals of the premiere network are affiliates of University of Penn and CHOP.
MTT: On your international side – how do you evaluate new products?
JB: When we design our products, we try to make them so they can be sold ubiquitously.
Price points and electrical requirements vary between Europe and the U.S., so when you are designing a product you have to know whether it is going to be an international product or U.S.-centric product right from the get-go.
China and the Middle East prefer products made in the U.S., so you want to have your manufacturing lined up for U.S. manufacturing if you are going to go into those markets.
In terms of market size, U.S., China and Europe are the big three.
MTT: Do you do business in Korea?
JB: We just started doing business in Korea through Coloplast.
MTT: Do you do business with Brazil? It is such a robust marketplace right now.
JB: Yes, Brazil definitely has a growing market.
We introduced our negative pressure device in October and it is growing very rapidly throughout Brazil.
In Brazil, negative pressure is only offered to a private health system, and because of our price structure and affordability, we recently won a tender for the public system. The interesting thing is that negative pressure was never offered in the public arena before, so by making the products affordable and accessible to a community base, we opened up roughly 70 percent of the market in Brazil.