The Genesis of LigoLab: What Started as a Shared Vision Between Friends has Become the Definitive Information System Choice for Modern Laboratories
April 12, 2020
Edward Kharatian knows talent when he sees it, and right away he saw something he liked in Suren Avunjian.
Edward first met Suren a little over 20 years ago.
Back then Edward was the CIO of Healthline Clinical Laboratories and he had a problem. The laboratories he managed were so successful that they’d outgrown the 15,000 square foot building they were in. They needed to move into a new 100,000 square foot building to accommodate the thriving operation.
“It was a very challenging project because we were dealing with infrastructure issues,” said Kharatian, President of LigoLab and the all-in-one LigoLab AP/LIS + RCM platform. “All the stations, all the servers, everything had to be moved. So we hired a company to help us out and Suren was working for this company.”
Suren was up for the task.
“Edward and I hit it off right away,” said Avunjian, LigoLab’s CEO. “We got straight into work and started answering each other’s questions back and forth. There was a lot of synergy, an instant click, when we first met.”
The move into the new building was smooth and successful. Next Edward offered Suren a position to work with him at Healthline.
Suren accepted and soon was supervising the IT department.
The business continued to grow and it became the largest privately held lab in California, processing up to 5,000 specimens a day. Edward and Suren worked well together, collaborating on the development of new products that didn’t exist on the market.
They worked together at Healthline for seven years, and a few years into their working relationship, they developed a shared vision.
“We started flirting with the idea of starting our own software company,” said Suren. “Whenever we brought on a big customer, or when the company experienced big growth due to some of the technologies we had developed, Edward and I would look at each other and say, ‘if this is helping one lab it can help thousands.’”
The seeds were planted but both Edward and Suren were so busy with everyday work that the dream was put on hold, at least for the foreseeable future.
Fast forward to 2006. The very successful company Edward and Suren helped grow was eventually sold to LabCorp. Edward and Suren had a decision to make. Stay with the newly sold company or go off on their own.
Suren and Edward decided to go off on their own as partners.
“When I was CIO at Healthline, I saw a lot of presentations and lots of types of billing and LIS software,” said Edward. “I saw the need for integrated and unified software, especially in the Anatomic Pathology environment.”
“At that point, there were just a few software vendors. I saw a great need for this so I decided to move that way,” said Edward.
Edward and Suren had a vision, now they needed a name.
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Ligo is a Latin word that means “to unite or to connect,” and that’s what Edward and Suren set out to do when they started LigoLab over 14 years ago.
Connecting laboratories is the most important thing,” said Edward. “Connecting, merging and integrating them into something whole between departments through shared technology.”
“The name fit because that was really our philosophy and dream, to build one system that united all aspects of the lab,” said Suren. “Ligo encapsulated that idea of union, a place of oneness, one source of truth.”
Like a lot of startups, the road was bumpy in the early going. In fact, many of those first business meetings between Edward and Suren were held in Edward’s garage. Also, virtually every penny that LigoLab generated back then was re-invested in the company, with most of the money spent on Tony Oganesian, who at the time was working for another company but contracting work with Edward and Suren. Tony would go on to become the company’s Managing Partner.
Despite the early challenges, Edward and Suren remained confident.
“I saw the success of the company from day one because of the reputation we had built,” said Suren. “We were fortunate enough not to need any investors and we were known to deliver on our word, so when the lab was sold, some of the sales people and VP’s at that company went to other labs. The sale was a blessing in disguise. During the acquisition, everyone was shocked, but it worked out really well for us because everyone spread out and a lot of them came to us for help on IT infrastructure and information systems.”
Edward and Suren leveraged their reputation and struck a deal. They would deliver, but it would take some time, at least a year.
“Right away we saw these people were putting huge trust in us and they were fronting us this money,” said Suren. “What greater success can you have as a company? There was such a demand that our early customers were willing to pay a year out for a software that didn’t exist yet.”
“We were purely working on the product itself with just one or two customers that believed in us,” said Suren. “We dedicated all of that time to make sure they got something out of it, and they did. They all grew their companies up to a point where they became very profitable.”
Thanks to those early customers, LigoLab was able to establish itself in the marketplace and grow. Thirteen years later, LigoLab is thriving and so are its client-partners.
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Today’s pathology laboratories are under pressure. Volumes are on the rise and reimbursements are being cut. It’s essential that modern-day labs adopt innovative technologies and processes to improve relationships with customers and partners, streamline operations and maximize value.
LigoLab offers robust solutions for Clinical Pathology, Anatomic Pathology, Genetics and Precision Medicine. It also operates in a way that allows it to stand out among the competition.
LigoLab can adjust its software solution to meet the specific needs of the customer, no matter the size of the lab, because the LIS platform is constantly being updated and improved.
And, unlike a traditional, legacy LIS, LigoLab asks for no upfront capital investment or licensing fees. Instead it offers an aligned pricing model that is transactional. Through shared risk, pathology labs and LigoLab are aligned and grow together.
LigoLab transforms pathology laboratories, fuels their growth and optimizes their resources. From order entry, to grossing, to billing, to reporting, it’s there every step of the way, helping laboratories grow and thrive.
ADVANTAGES OF THE INNOVATIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE LIGOLAB LIS PLATFORM
- Workflow visibility and control
- Increase productivity and automation
- Drastically reduce or eliminate human error
- Improve results-per-unit of staff effort and turnaround time
- The new Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) system offers real-time patient demographics
- Covers the entire life cycle of a specimen with LIS and RCM integration
- Future-proof your laboratory and fulfill your vision
LigoLab LLC is a thriving business in Los Angeles that specializes in software licensing for pathology and clinical laboratories, no matter the size. LigoLab competes with the giants of the laboratory industry thanks to its unique pricing model and its all-in-one Laboratory Information System (LIS) and Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) platform, the LigoLab AP/LIS + RCM.
For more information visit LigoLab.com. To request a LigoLab AP/LIS + RCM demonstration, contact Suren Avunjian at (818) 395-4659 or firstname.lastname@example.org.