Proteus Digital Health Reviews

Updated July 21, 2015
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Proteus Digital Health Co-Founder & CEO Andrew M. Thompson
Andrew M. Thompson
5 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews

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  1. Good place to work

    Former Employee - Staff IC Design Engineer in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Staff IC Design Engineer in Redwood City, CA

    I worked at Proteus Digital Health

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great intellectually stimulating atmosphere, broad cross-functional teams

    Cons

    Long product cycle, natural of medical devices company

    Advice to Management

    Keep raising capital


  2. d

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA

    I worked at Proteus Digital Health full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Free food. Relatively small company (~150 employees) – big chances that you will get a feeling of self-importance if you decide to join the company. People with Ego are quite comfortable here.

    Cons

    Relatively low salaries. Tight timelines. Politics. Stagnation. Very few true senior-level employees (those who come to my mind are software architect M, systems engineer B, firmware engineer E). Most of other employees with a title are middle-level at best. Mediocre engineers strive to get managerial positions and this behavior seems to be encouraged. Very few people who think (or care) about long-term progress. There are a lot of things that need to evolve. Hopefully it will improve in next 10-15 years.

    Advice to Management

    Just keep the sludge moving.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Culture of fear and disposability; false starts; high politics

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA

    I worked at Proteus Digital Health

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Proteus has a novel idea to capture the gray area between biotech and pharma. If you've read the press releases, you can see the potential and recognize that it's a valuable market to capture. Large pharma companies have bought in, and a recent partnership with Oracle handles the data back-end. If and when the company succeeds, it will do well. It is the first to market in its space, the most likely to succeed, and the market space is big. Many of the engineers are industry veterans with a clear idea of how to proceed in a heavily regulated environment. Most of the C-suite is well-pedigreed, if mostly staffed with friends more than people who seem qualified for the job. The company has been making health a part of its culture more than just a product. There's a free wearable for all people in the company (partly for market research), an annual fitness competition, and loaner bikes everywhere. The workplace is very diverse, albeit with a strange hyper-focus on hiring young, attractive women.

    Cons

    One of the technical challenges of capturing the biotech-pharma intersection is that there is little FDA guidance. Is the ingestible sensor a device, or a drug? The obvious answer is 'both', but the engineering answer struggles to find the path of least resistance between the two, resulting in confused project timelines, poor upper-management guidance, and a general feeling of frustration when projects inevitably fail. For obvious reasons, Regulatory is the most sought-after group for advice on projects, but they're always the most self-contradictory, because it's simply a guessing game for them. The technology itself isn't very challenging: the ingestible biosensor is based on 2-decades old chip technology, and the sensor has scarcely evolved since the company first developed it. Most of the work is in improving the patch (detector) battery life and sensing margin, which has made strides, but very slowly. And there remain some significant technical hurdles that management is unwilling or unable to acknowledge. That has resulted in numerous false starts; the product has been 'ready' to deploy for ages, but with poor clinical data, the justification simply isn't there. New side projects have come and gone at the rate of 2-3 a year; that lack of momentum indicates a lack of a long-term vision. On that topic of upper-management, getting the senior leadership team to recognize and respect projects is nearly impossible. Setting a budget and a timeline only results in aggressive pushback (not negotiation, but simply pushback). The company has been trying to save money by using people and project managers in the same role, which has resulted in numerous misses - especially when most managers are simply promoted to that level by virtue of having a PhD and being a good individual contributor. Sure, some might become good managers eventually, but they're not ready for it right now. The culture is simply the worst I have ever encountered. It is a culture of fear, the realization that most workers will not be around for very long, so why make friends? People rarely introduce themselves or make anything beyond small talk. There is almost no culture of going out, of doing social things, or keeping in touch. The general expectation is that you work 9 am to 7 pm and then leave. Entirely too many employees come on as contractors only to leave when they find a full-time position, or stay indefinitely as said contractors in the hope of a conversion. High-performing interns are usually stuck in this rut, where the company insists it has no money to hire them full-time, but they'd love to pay them intern salaries for another 9 months. The working environment is horrid: an open office culture filled with noise. Some may like it; I don't. Within the company, there are two locations. The main HQ in Redwood City is mostly engineering, while the location in Hayward is production. They are completely separate and rarely mingle, whether at winter holiday parties or summer outings. Hayward was recently gutted by a mass layoff of technicians, as order volume dwindled. Beyond that, the departments themselves interact poorly. If you have a highly visible manager, then you are likely to get the weekly recognition award with a company-wide e-mail announcing your latest accomplishment. If you are in a less visible group, you are left to wonder if you are under the ax. Recent layoffs have made that an easily answered question for some. The company has boasted of IPO for years. It's 2015 and they're still working through an alphabet soup of fundraising rounds; let's see where it goes. At this point, the stock is likely so diluted (the details of which they will not share) that their ISO grant price is pretty meaningless. I found working here to be a big mistake professionally; it taught me a lot about what I don't like in a company or in managers. I would not recommend it.

    Advice to Management

    None. I think you know your failings and haven't acted on them - it is hard for me to believe that people who have been leading Proteus for 7-10 years are blind to the company's biggest failings.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    working in manufacturing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hayward, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hayward, CA

    I worked at Proteus Digital Health full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Good benefits, good product, free snacks , fruits in the cafeteria

    Cons

    Management doesn't know what's going on, no good management-employees communication

    Advice to Management

    Need to create a manager- employees communication chanel & listen to your employees


  6. Helpful (18)

    Heavy on internal and external campaigning, light on employee appreciation or experienced leadership

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA

    I worked at Proteus Digital Health full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Gregarious, positive CEO. Many ambitious people. Great Redwood City location. Technology is attempting to break new ground in the grey area between pharmaceuticals and biotech.

    Cons

    Pay is medicore, there is no bonus structure, no 401K matching, ungenerous PTO, paltry raises, long and often stressful hours, and wide-open seating where people must wear headphones or earplugs if they don't want to be distracted by nearby conversations. With such little to offer as tangible incentive, Proteus offers some small stock option grants and boasts they'll be a multi-billion dollar company one day. Meanwhile, they're a long way from being in the black as their ingestible sensor product, or more like product concept, continues to change shape, has little clinical data behind it, is expensive to make, clumsy to use, and is fraught with technical challenges. Management core is comprised of a close-knit, almost fraternal group of individuals that have been working at Proteus for several years to a decade. Few have any real experience outside of this perpetual startup environment. As the company grows, this shows up in lack of appreciation for outsiders, impersonal people managers, chaotic timelines, fear of change, wasted resources, and junior-level mistakes by high-level individuals. Internal evangelism and self-promotion is high, almost cultish: large TV screens throughout showing barbara walters style interviews of managers on continuous playback, company-wide emails celebrating the latest recipient of the obligatory weekly award and the ensuing chain of reply-all hoorays, frequent all hands meetings with managers declaring their love for the company or hamming it up on stage to a spectacle of video and dj music, holiday parties that serve more as a formal stage for propaganda speeches than as an enjoyable time for employees to get to know each other, and walls decorated with founder slogans and catch phrases. While the concept of an ingestible sensor is cutting edge, the manufacturing process is anything but. The sensor is basically just a small microchip. The process to make it is very similar to any other traditional silicon-chip industry of the last 20 years except with the added bureaucracy of FDA regulation. Another big part of the business focuses on data-trending, patient monitoring software applications for mobile devices. Mildly interesting, but many would rather be programming games, line of business apps, or social media apps. And again, there is the documentation-heavy overhead of FDA regulation.

    Advice to Management

    There are a few good, very capable senior-level executives. They should spend more time looking at the internal details of the business and examining the management structure and less time trying to sell, sell, sell. Choose managers because of their experience, communication skills, and ability to motivate and appreciate others. Do not choose them for their zeal to be a manager, the fact that they have a PhD, or that they've been at the company for 10 years. Realize that this is silicon valley, one of the largest talent pools in the nation, and with many options available to good people. You will not attract talent with a chaotic, bureaucratic business and little to offer except a haughty attitude. Also, flatten the management hierarchy. There's far too many manager/director/VP types with just a few reports, and not enough key performers in critical areas. The business needs skilled/experienced accountants, engineers, IT support, QA personnel, project managers, and operations leaders. Not everyone wants to be rich. That carrot of hope dangling at the end of the stick only works for so long, and often attracts the wrong ego-driven individuals. Some just want to enjoy their work, build rapport with coworkers, solve meaningful problems, feel like they've accomplished something at the end of the day, and have a work-life balance.


  7. Helpful (3)

    Cutting Edge Company to work for, but crazy workload

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Proteus Digital Health

    Pros

    Its definitely worth the experience to work for this up and coming medical device company, from the relaxed environment to the fully stocked kitchen, to learning and contributing to such a unique concept of medicine, one cant complain.

    Cons

    First, upper management has got a bit more learning to do. Second, my department needs to grow asap. The over flowing work load and level of expected responsibility does not at all translate in the salary.


  8. Helpful (2)

    Best in class

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior R&D Engineer in Redwood City, CA
    Former Employee - Senior R&D Engineer in Redwood City, CA

    I worked at Proteus Digital Health full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The best and the brightest people work here. Whatever creativity you have will be magnified by exposure to the luminaries at this company. Teamwork is the key to everything they do. Still Pre-IPO, and rapidly marching in that direction. Culture is carefully groomed and they hire only those who play as a team. Conflict resolution is baked in.

    Cons

    Location in Redwood City can be a tough commute location.

    Advice to Management

    Stay the course. This is the best management team I've ever worked for.


  9. Fast-pace environment. Mission driven. Challenging and supportive culture.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Proteus Digital Health

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Creative, passionate, smart employees. Ambitious, high-growth company. Opportunities for people who want to contribute directly to the company and make an impact.

    Cons

    Need to be comfortable with change and uncertainty as a precursor to growth and evolution.

    Advice to Management

    Keep communicating with your employees.


  10. Helpful (5)

    Chaos all the time

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Facilities in Hayward, CA
    Former Employee - Facilities in Hayward, CA

    I worked at Proteus Digital Health full-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits, Free snacks, soda and water. A recent remodel.

    Cons

    I worked in facilities which is a full-time job in itself. Management added HR responsibilities, not to mention an office move and remodel on top of that. I was doing the job of three different Departments. I lasted 8 months and buckled under the pressure. My Direct Manager was a bully. The Office was constantly in chaos mode.

    Advice to Management

    HR is called Department of "People." In order to deserve a department title like that, you have to be more in tune with the "people."


  11. They are at the forefront of innovation, and are an incredibly smart, committed team of people.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA

    I have been working at Proteus Digital Health full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Full of smart, conscientious people

    Cons

    Being at the forefront of technology, there's a lot of uncertainty which can be demoralizing at times.



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