One of the more interesting guys in health tech is Dale Sanders who’s been data geek/CIO at multiple provider organizations (InterMountain, Northwestern, Cayman Islands), was in the nuclear weapons program in the US Air Force back in the day, and now is the product visionary at Health Catalyst. Health Catalyst is a very well-backed date warehousing and analytics company that has Kaiser, Partners, Allina and a host of other providers as its customers and investors (and has been a THCB sponsor for a while!). I’ve interviewed CEO Dan Burton a couple of times (here’s 2016) if you want to know more about the nuts and bolts of the company, but this chat with Dale at HIMSS17 got a tad more philosophical about the future of analytics–from “conference room analytics” to “embedded decision support.” I found it great fun and hope you do too!
Continuing my series of interviews from HIMSS17, is one with Robert Armstrong, CEO of Appstem. Appstem is one of the companies that quietly builds most of those ubiquitous mobile apps branded by health plans, pharma companies and a large number of product companies too. It’s an example of the hyper-specialization going on within technology, as even well funded product companies start to use companies like Appstem to build onto their partner APIs and build out their portfolios. An interesting niche and one that’s a lot more important that you’d think–it’s well worth a listen to Robert to find out more.
It’s 6 AM and Anna’s alarm clock goes off. She has a busy day ahead of her, starting with getting her children to school, heading to her doctor’s appointment and taking on a double shift at her part time job. Anna is on a tight budget and has difficulty juggling work and her kids. On top of her often stressful situation at home, Anna suffers from Type 2 diabetes and has been inundated with medical bills. Although Anna doesn’t own a computer, her doctor introduced her to a smartphone application that helps her to monitor her glucose levels and communicate with her care team if she needs medical assistance.
Millions of individuals across the U.S. have experience with at least one aspect of Anna’s situation. As a country, the U.S. spends less money on social services and more on healthcare.1, 2 Yet, a large majority of what makes us sick can be attributed to the social determinants of health (SDOH)—factors such as socioeconomic status, availability of resources, employment and access to healthcare. While using technology to address social factors in underserved regions has generated momentum, it’s an area of healthcare and digital health that is emerging with the shift from reactive to proactive healthcare.
One of the more surprising announcements at HIMSS17 (or anywhere so far this year) was that a company led by some well known health tech veterans has both invested a ton of money and been off the ground for some time, while being very quiet about it. Integra Connect is the company and it’s a tech and services company providing ACO/APM/MACRA/ MIPS-type services for high cost specialty care (think cancer). CEO Chuck Saunders was at Aetna’s Healthagen group (and before that Broadlane/WebMD/EDS and some others I forget) and the Chairman (and source of most funding) is Raj Mantena who built several companies in the specialty pharmacy space (inc ION and Oncoscripts). Integra Connect already over 1,000 employees and several large physician groups as customers and I spoke with Chuck about the (high cost and pretty large) niche they’re in and how they’re working.
Continuing my interviews with various health tech players from HIMSS17, Julie Yoo MD may be one of the brightest people in health IT. She and her colleague Graham Gardner founded Kyruus to deal with one of the most complex problems in health care. The issue is the patient accessing the right doctor/provider, which is somewhat equivalent to getting everyone in the right plane to the right vacation (or in computer speak “load balancing“). While this sounds simple it’s a very complex issue with both a huge data problem (tracking which doctors are available and do what) and a rationalization issue (what patient needs what). Julie explains the problem and how Kyruus works with provider systems to fix it.
Last week was HIMSS17, the biggest health IT conference and as per usual I ran around interviewing various techies. I’ll be releasing these interviews over the next few days and weeks–Matthew Holt
First up is a rather fun live demo I did with Cirrus MD‘s medical director Blake McKinney. Cirrus MD is a niche player in the telehealth space, and has spent the last few years building out a text-based tool which is now being rolled out in Colorado and Texas. How does it work in practice? Well funnily enough, I happened to have a medical condition that needed to be checked out by a doctor. So here’s a real impromptu demo that shows how it works and gives a good idea of the user experience.
The fourth iteration of Digital Health Marketplace, sponsored by The New York City Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with Health 2.0, is underway! The Digital Health Marketplace connects health technology Buyers and Sellers through curated matchmaking, assistance to facilitate rapid technology adoption, and competitive commercialization awards to encourage piloting and procurement of new digital health technology in NYC.
The past three classes of Digital Health Marketplace has provided over $2M in commercialization awards to innovative NYC health tech startups and their self-chosen healthcare organization pilot partners. This year, a total of $250,000 is available to fund health tech pilots in NYC.
The program helps established healthcare stakeholders, like hospitals and health systems (health tech “Buyers”), de-risk their investments in new technology by simplifying the search for market-ready solutions. At the same time, the program shortens the sales cycle for startups (health tech “Sellers”) by connecting them with relevant, forward-looking Buyers. Buyers and Sellers will be matched based on self-identified interest areas and business needs or abilities once they apply to “Find a Pilot Partner”. Buyers will receive a curated list of startups to choose to meet one-on-one during the half-day Matchmaking Event on April 6, 2017 at the New York Genome Center.
What do you do when your doctor says something serious, like, “Make an appointment with a Cardiac electrophysiologist stat” or “here is a prescription for some XYZ.” A what? And a whom?! “Oh, and you’ll need to get an MRI too.” Well, that’s overwhelming. It’s no surprise that about 20 percent of first-time prescriptions are never filled, according to a 2010 Harvard Medical School study1.
Patients often come to a road block and fail to follow through with doctors’ orders because of perceived financial burdens, or simply because they don’t know where to find what they need. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) feels that no one should be at a loss for health care services because they don’t know where to go for affordable services. The RWJF Choosing Care Challenge will therefore bring tech-enabled solutions to the forefront of this issue.
By ALINE NOIZET
The 4th edition of Trophées de la Santé Mobile took place last week in Paris which showcased the best French healthcare mobile apps in different categories.
The winning apps were clearly showing the changing role of the patient in the healthcare ecosystem. The patient is at the center, more informed, and plays an important role in his or her own health. Since the patient has a better understanding of his or her own health, they can detect a disease earlier, co-create their own treatment with the doctor, and adjust it based on the information being continuously collected through apps or wearables.
The winner of the Grand Trophée for this 2017 edition was Novi-Chek, an app that empowers and informs diabetic patients. Developed by Roche Diabetes Care France, Novi-chek is an app for patients who have recently been diagnosed with Diabetes type 1. It supports them during the 1st month of the disease, explaining what diabetes type 1 actually is, the treatments available, why they need to auto-check their glucose level, and how diabetes will impact their everyday life. The patient can also use the app to set up alarms to check glucose levels or enter useful information to track the diabetes.
The Texas Medical Center has been working with Health 2.0 to promote startup competitions, incubators and health tech innovation for a while now. But this is the first time that I recall them giving the opportunity to win Superbowl tickets. Intrigued? Read on–Matthew Holt
On February 5, Super Bowl LI will take place in Houston, Texas at NRG Stadium. Houston is home to technology breakthroughs across all sectors: Spindletop, the Port of Houston, the Houston Ship Channel, Johnson Space Center, and the Texas Medical Center (TMC). With every discovery comes great benefit to those locally, and beyond.
With that spirit of innovation, the NFL has partnered with the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the world, to host a sports-tech pitch competition — 1st & Future.
1st and Future is a unique pitch competition that will take place at the Texas Medical Center Accelerator (TMCx) in Houston on February 4, 2017. Up to nine startups will be invited to present their solutions to help advance the game and the safety of its players to an exclusive audience including NFL team owners and executives, in addition to invitees of the Texas Medical Center and the NFL.
For more information about the pitch competition, here are some frequently asked questions:
What are the competition themes?
- Communicating with the Athlete: New technologies that will improve the secure and safe means of communication between a coach on the sideline or in the coaches’ booth and a designated player on the field. Specifications can be found on the event website.
- Training the Athlete: Educational and training innovations designed to reduce injury during practice or competition. Innovations may include training techniques or equipment.
- Materials to Protect the Athlete: Novel or innovative solutions and materials that advance player health and safety while allowing for the highest-level of performance. Innovations may include, but are not limited to, materials that: improve breathability, heat dissipation or provide better protection for players by absorbing or mitigating force. These materials may be incorporated into protective equipment, padding, uniforms or footwear among other potential uses.
How do I apply?
Visit www.tmc.edu/1st-and-future to find more information on the program and a link to the application. The application deadline is January 20, 2017.