Category: Health Tech

TOMORROW: ZS Impact Webinar on Digital Health

Join ZS’s Ahmed Albaiti with me, Matthew Holt, author and founder of The Health Care Blog, as we discuss the considerations and approaches that policy experts, regulators, clinical leaders and the venture capitalist community can take to affect a future for connected health technologies.

Date: Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Time: 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

Duration: 30 minutes

Register here

Paul Jaglowski, Feedtrail

Feedtrail is one of a new breed of customer experience companies. Most health care experiences are captured in paper surveys that end up in H-CAPS and Star ratings. These are very important for how providers and plans get paid but probably don’t actually reflect what happens very well and give very poor feedback to organizations and staff about what’s actually going on. They also don’t give a chance for patients to directly give positive feedback to staff who do a great job–which likely helps them feel good about their work. Feedtrail is working to fix all that. I got a full demo and explanation from founding CEO and chief strategy officer Paul Jaglowski–Matthew Holt

Pin Me, Please


You had to know I’d write about the new Humane AI Pin, right?

After all, I’d been pleading for the next big thing to take the place of the smartphone, as recently as last month and as long ago as six years, so when a start-up like Humane suggests it is going to do just that, it has my attention.  Even more intriguing, it is billed as an AI device, redefining “how we interact with AI.”  It’s like catnip for me.

For anyone who has missed the hype – and there has been a lot of hype, for several months now – Humane is a Silicon Valley start-up founded by two former Apple employees, Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno (who are married).  They left Apple in 2016, had the idea for the AI Pin by 2018, and are ready to launch the actual device early next year.  It is intended to be worn as a pin on the lapel, starts at $699, and requires a monthly $24 subscription (which includes wireless connectivity).  Orders start November 16.

Partners include OpenAI, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Tidal, and Qualcomm.

Mr. Chaudhri told The New York Times that artificial intelligence  “can create an experience that allows the computer to essentially take a back seat.” He also told TechCrunch that the AI Pin represented “a new way of thinking, a new sense of opportunity,” and that it would “productize AI” (hmm, what are all those other people in AI doing?).  

Humane’s press release elaborates:

Ai Pin redefines how we interact with AI. Speak to it naturally, use the intuitive touchpad, hold up objects, use gestures, or interact via the pioneering Laser Ink Display projected onto your palm. The unique, screenless user interface is designed to blend into the background, while bringing the power of AI to you in multi-modal and seamless ways.

Basically, you wear a pin that is connected with an AI, which – upon request – will listen and respond to your requests. It can respond verbally, or it can project a laser display into the palm of your hand, which you can control with a variety of gestures that I am probably too old to learn but which younger people will no doubt pick up quickly.  It can take photos or videos, which the laser display apparently does not, at this point, do a great job projecting. 

Here’s Humane’s introductory video:

Some cool features worth noting:

  • It can summarize your messages/emails;
  • It can make phone calls or send messages;
  • It can search the web for you to answer questions/find information;
  • It can act as a translator;
  • It has trust features that include not always listening and a “Trust Light” that indicates when it is.
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Joanna Strober, CEO, Midi Health

Women’s health in their mid-life has been very poorly treated. No one has been managing all of women’s health, and almost no one has been delivering hormone replacement therapy since a now debunked 2002 study. Midi is a new company with protocols for many conditions, and it has been training NPs to deliver the care (because no one has been training them!). CEO Joanna Strober explained how Midi is providing care in 14 states now and will be in all 50 next year, and how Midi is delivering virtual and comprehensive care to women–many of whom do not have access to any other type of regular care. They just raised another $25m from GV (Google) & others–Matthew Holt

Jean-Claude Saghbini, Lumeris

Jean-Claude Saghbini is the CTO of Lumeris and also the President, Lumeris Value-Based Care Enablement. Lumeris has been in business quite a while now, providing the technology which (in general) hospitals and medical groups use to manage to their workflows predominantly for Medicare Advantage. It also owns a big medical group (Essence in St Louis) and has close connections with John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins fame, whose brother was involved in its formation. Kleiner also funded Healtheon (the precursor to WebMD) of which current Lumeris CEO Mike Long was the founding CEO. I interviewed Jean-Claude at HLTH to get the update on Lumeris. How are they helping those providers manage their patients at risk? How are those providers actually getting paid? And how that makes them behave. Plus his views on how CMS is adjusting the way Medicare scores and pays his clients! Matthew Holt

THCB Gang Episode 137, Thursday October 26

Joining Matthew Holt (@boltyboy) on #THCBGang on Thursday October 26 at 1pm PST 4pm EST were delivery & platform expert Vince Kuraitis (@VinceKuraitis); author & ponderer of odd juxtapositions Kim Bellard (@kimbbellard); futurist Ian Morrison (@seccurve); and our special guest was Kat McDavitt(@katmcdavitt) President of Innsena.

The video is below. If you’d rather listen to the episode, the audio is preserved from Friday as a weekly podcast available on our iTunes & Spotify channels

Y2Q and You


Chances are, you’ve at least somewhat concerned about your privacy, especially your digital privacy.  Chances are, you’re right to be.  Every day, it seems, there are more reports about data beeches, cyberattacks, and selling or other misuse of confidential/personal data.  We talk about privacy, but we’re failing to adequately protect it. But chances are you’re not worried nearly enough.

Y2Q is coming. 

That is, I must admit, a phrase I had not heard of until recently. If you are of a certain age, you’ll remember Y2K, the fear that the year 2000 would cause computers everywhere to crash.  Business and governments spent countless hours and huge amounts of money to prepare for it. Y2Q is an event that is potentially just as catastrophic as we feared Y2K would be, or worse. It is when quantum computing reaches the point that will render our current encryption measures irrelevant.

The trouble is, unlike Y2K, we don’t know when Y2Q will be.  Some experts fear it could be before the end of this decade; others think more the middle or latter part of the 2030’s.  But it is coming, and when it comes, we better be ready.

Without getting deeply into the encryption weeds – which I’m not capable of doing anyway – most modern encryption relies on factoring unreasonably large numbers – so large that even today’s supercomputers would need to spend hundreds of years trying to factor.  But quantum computers will take a quantum leap in speed, and make factoring such numbers trivial. In an instant, all of our personal data, corporations’ intellectual property, even national defense secrets, would be exposed. 

“Quantum computing will break a foundational element of current information security architectures in a manner that is categorically different from present cybersecurity vulnerabilities,” warned a report by The RAND Corporation last year.

“This is potentially a completely different kind of problem than one we’ve ever faced,” Glenn S. Gerstell, a former general counsel of the National Security Agency, told The New York Times.  “If that encryption is ever broken,” warned mathematician Michele Mosca in Science News, “it would be a systemic catastrophe. The stakes are just astronomically high.”

The World Economic Forum thinks we should be taking the threat very seriously.  In addition to the uncertain deadline, it warns that the solutions are not quite clear, the threats are primarily external instead of internal, the damage might not be immediately visible, and dealing with it will need to be an ongoing efforts, not a one-time fix.

Even worse, cybersecurity experts fear that some bad actors – think nation-states or cybercriminals – are already scooping up troves of encrypted data, simply waiting until they possess the necessary quantum computing to decrypt it.  The horse may be out of the barn before we re-enforce that barn. 

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Fay Rotenberg, CEO, Firefly Health

Fay Rotenberg is CEO of Firefly Health, which is an advanced virtual primary care group (a bastardized phrase she hates). That means they are both providing virtual care, with an integrated care and health plan coverage model, and are also a risk-bearing medical group working with other payers. They adjust the model using health guides, MDs, NPs, etc. and they help their patients manage their in person experience with specialists, labs, imaging, etc. — they have 1900+ partners nationwide who will actually know the patient is coming, and is integrated into Firefly’s model. Clinical outcomes are great, and costs are 12-15% lower, yet they have 5,000 members per MD. Maybe it really is the 21st century Kaiser?

Alex Katz, CEO, Two Chairs

Two Chairs has an interesting model. Their concept is to find the right therapist for you, and they actually start a patient off with a therapist who diagnoses AND directs in a session, separate from the one who treats. Once the “right” match is made, the patient gets set up with a therapist and the results have been pretty good in terms of the patient coming back–one of a number of things Two Chairs measures rather intently! CEO Alex Katz explained the model and the business–Matthew Holt.

The Future of Digital Health: How UX Design is Shaping the Industry


As the digital health world continues to expand, more and more people are turning to apps to manage everything from diabetes and obesity to depression and anxiety. People rely on these apps for their physical and mental health, so it’s crucial that product developers ensure a safe, effective, and engaging experience for them. Healthcare experts agree.

A team of researchers and health system leaders recently introduced a new framework called “Evidence DEFINED” for evaluating digital health products. This framework offers hospitals, payers, and trade organizations a precise set of guidelines to assess the validity and safety of a digital health product. It also gives digital health companies good benchmarks to work from.

As digital health companies create new products in the space, they should keep specific points in mind — from user experience design to considerations for data privacy. While clinical outcomes will always reign supreme, the framework suggests that patient experience, provider experience, product design, and cost effectiveness can’t be discounted.

Here are a few critical considerations that product delivery teams should plan for when creating digital health apps.

Clear navigation

First things first: a user won’t use an app that’s hard to navigate. To help people stick to their health goals, developers need to create apps that are intuitive and easy-to-use. When a user logs onto an app, they want to find the content they need immediately and be guided through the experience step by step.

A lot of different people use health apps, and not all of them are tech-savvy. Health apps need to be accessible to all demographics, including people of various ages who speak different languages. It’s also important to remember that digital health apps can be used across multiple platforms, so the navigation should remain clear when switching between devices.

While navigation might seem like a no-brainer, it’s often overlooked when designing for digital health.

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