Dr. Ramón Catalá Llosá: Transformative Role in Healthcare Evolution

Dr. Ramón Catalá Llosá | Chief Executive Officer | tellmeGen
Dr. Ramón Catalá Llosá | Chief Executive Officer | tellmeGen

In the fast-paced world of healthcare, some leaders ignite change, pushing the boundaries to improve patient care and redefine medical norms. Dr. Ramón Catalá Llosá is one such leader, making waves in Spain’s healthcare sector with his dedication and expertise at tellmeGen.

As the Chief Executive Officer of tellmeGen, Dr. Ramón brings together his medical background and entrepreneurial spirit to drive innovation. His experience in Medicine and Surgery, particularly in orthopedics and traumatology, equips him with a unique perspective. Under his guidance, tellmeGen has become a leader in genetic testing, offering a range of analyses that dive into clinical relevance, pharmacological compatibility, and ancestral heritage.

Precision and quality are non-negotiable values at tellmeGen. The company ensures that all genetic analyses are conducted in certified laboratories, maintaining strict quality standards. Moreover, safeguarding client privacy and data security is a top priority, with advanced security measures in place.

In our exclusive interview with Dr. Ramón Catalá Llosá, we uncover the driving forces behind his pursuit of excellence.

Could you share with us your journey leading up to becoming the CEO of tellmeGen? What inspired you to pursue a career in the healthcare industry and specifically in genetic testing?

tellmeGen was born nearly 10 years ago as a small company in Valencia, Spain. Since then, there have been significant developments, including a continuous expansion of the genetic markers we analyze and the degree of specialization of the companies we collaborate with.

However, we have always had the same objective: to ensure that everyone has access to their genetic information, from anywhere in the world with an internet-connected device, to share it with their trusted healthcare professional.

As a medical doctor (specializing in traumatology and orthopedic surgery), I believe that everyone should have access to genetic information. Due to personal reasons, a close family member suffered from a serious illness, prompting me to research who might develop certain diseases and who might not, in order to help prevent them.

What core principles or values do you prioritize in your leadership approach within the organization?

The main values we seek to convey in the company are ambition, humility, discipline, and camaraderie. These values aid in growth, especially in our sector, where development, efficiency, and staying up-to-date are indispensable pillars.

In all hiring processes, I consider whether I would work for that person myself. I have personally met all of our employees and have taken into account the opinions of the various departments that make up the company to ensure that our dynamics are optimal.

What do you believe sets tellmeGen apart from other companies in the genetic testing industry? How do you ensure innovation and competitiveness in this rapidly evolving field?

Our main difference is that we provide all information updates for free. This means that as new discoveries are made, we update the results for all our users at no additional cost. Other companies offer this service only for a limited time, or they directly charge an annual fee to incorporate it.

We treat old and new users with the same respect.

Additionally, we are the company that provides the most information, and we have a team of doctors and geneticists who respond to any questions or inquiries that may arise. A positive aspect is that we have always placed great importance on having a close relationship with our users.

We have several professionals dedicated to technological innovation, but we have never neglected the value of letting people know that we will always be there to help them with any doubts and problems that may arise regarding the results of their genetic tests.

Can you highlight a particularly challenging moment you faced as CEO of tellmeGen and how you navigated through it? What lessons did you learn from that experience?

There have been many challenging periods. Of course, the first one is always the launch of the company, scaling the product, the COVID pandemic, issues with distributors, etc.

Nothing insurmountable in the end, as long as you understand that these are the moments when you have to work at maximum capacity. I suppose, as Edison said, “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”

Can you discuss a decision you made that was particularly difficult, and how it impacted the direction of tellmeGen?

Everything related to personnel. In the end, the majority of a company is the people who make it up. Just like in genetics, you can make an exact prediction, but the human factor is unpredictable.

Retaining talent, improving the company to enhance the conditions for workers and colleagues, all of that poses a challenge. When someone leaves, or even worse, when you have to let someone go, those are very tough moments.

How do you encourage collaboration and teamwork among your employees and partners at tellmeGen?

Communication in the company is fundamental. At the moment, we have a hybrid model of work (combining in-person with remote work), so all teams communicate remotely.

Additionally, we use tools like Atlassian’s Jira to have tasks clear and well-documented, and to be able to track them within the Agile methodology we work with.

We hold in-person meetings periodically, and the different departments maintain very good relations with each other. It’s common for company tasks to be done collaboratively. This also allows us, when implementing changes developed by a group, for all employees to be informed in advance.

What are the most pressing challenges currently facing the genetic testing industry, and how do you believe tellmeGen is positioned to address them?

I believe that privacy and data protection issues are among the most important challenges facing the industry. In our case, being a European company, we have stricter and more protective legislation regarding user privacy compared to others, such as those in the United States. We strictly comply with data protection laws, ensuring that nothing can be done with that genetic data without the explicit consent of each user.

Furthermore, regarding technology, at tellmeGen we believe that the future lies in routinely performing whole genome sequencing. We hope to launch this product before the end of the year with the same characteristics as we have now: affordability, free updates, and easy understanding for everyone.

What advice would you give to aspiring leaders looking to make a mark in the healthcare industry, particularly those interested in genetic testing and personalized medicine?

It’s a long and difficult journey, with a lot of regulation. It’s necessary to have patience and improve every day. And to keep the focus on improving, improving, and improving.