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RSNA 2019 AI Round-Up

Shah Islam
Hugh Harvey

By HUGH HARVEY, MBBS and SHAH ISLAM, MBBS

AI in medical imaging entered the consciousness of radiologists just a few years ago, notably peaking in 2016 when Geoffrey Hinton declared radiologists’ time was up, swiftly followed by the first AI startups booking exhibiting booths at RSNA. Three years on, the sheer number and scale of AI-focussed offerings has gathered significant pace, so much so that this year a decision was made by the RSNA organising committee to move the ever-growing AI showcase to a new space located in the lower level of the North Hall. In some ways it made sense to offer a larger, dedicated show hall to this expanding field, and in others, not so much. With so many startups, wiggle room for booths was always going to be an issue, however integration of AI into the workflow was supposed to be a key theme this year, made distinctly futile by this purposeful and needless segregation.

By moving the location, the show hall for AI startups was made more difficult to find, with many vendors verbalising how their natural booth footfall was not as substantial as last year when AI was upstairs next to the big-boy OEM players. One witty critic quipped that the only way to find it was to ‘follow the smell of burning VC money, down to the basement’. Indeed, at a conference where the average step count for the week can easily hit 30 miles or over, adding in an extra few minutes walk may well have put some of the less fleet-of-foot off. Several startup CEOs told us that the clientele arriving at their booths were the dedicated few, firming up existing deals, rather than new potential customers seeking a glimpse of a utopian future. At a time when startups are desperate for traction, this could have a disastrous knock-on effect on this as-yet nascent industry.

It wasn’t just the added distance that caused concern, however. By placing the entire startup ecosystem in an underground bunker there was an overwhelming feeling that the RSNA conference had somehow buried the AI startups alive in an open grave. There were certainly a couple of tombstones on the show floor — wide open gaps where larger booths should have been, scaled back by companies double-checking their diminishing VC-funded runway. Zombie copycat booths from South Korea and China had also appeared, and to top it off, the very first booth you came across was none other than Deep Radiology, a company so ineptly marketed and indescribably mysterious, that entering the show hall felt like you’d entered some sort of twilight zone for AI, rather than the sparky, buzzing and upbeat showcase it was last year. It should now be clear to everyone who attended that Gartner’s hype curve has well and truly been swung, and we are swiftly heading into deep disillusionment.

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The Definition of Health Data has Changed—and HHS is All Over It | Dr. Mona Siddiqui, HHS

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Dr. Mona Siddiqui, Chief Data Officer at the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), says the definition of health data has changed. Health data is not just about what kind of data or where it came from, but, now, she says health data is more or less data that is defined by its intent. (Think how social media data is being used in healthcare these days for just a minute here..) Mona led a meeting with over 70 stakeholders across the healthcare industry this summer to talk next steps for this new era of health data: assessing risks and benefits, talking transparency, and looking at issuing recommendations for actions that HHS can be engaged in. What’s next as the industry continues to look to HHS for guidance around data policy? Tune in to find out.

Filmed at the HIMSS Health 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara, CA in September 2019.

Jessica DaMassa is the host of the WTF Health show & stars in Health in 2 Point 00 with Matthew HoltGet a glimpse of the future of healthcare by meeting the people who are going to change it. Find more WTF Health interviews here or check out www.wtf.health.

THCB Spotlights: Mike McSherry, CEO of Xealth

Today on THCB Spotlights, Matthew talks to Mike McSherry about Xealth—which is an “X” not a “Z” as in, the missing variable in health. How did Mike end up in health care from Swipe, the touch screen keyboard that is now ubiquitous on all touch screen phones? Find out how Xealth facilitates adoption of a vast range of digital health services by making it easy for providers to prescribe them as well as track engagement levels. Within the complexity of Epic and other EMR systems, how does Xealth fit in?

Will Omada Health be Digital Health’s Next Big IPO? | Sean Duffy, Omada Health

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Sean Duffy, CEO of Omada Health, proves why his company is one of those digital health startups everyone’s watching in the chronic condition management space. Never mind the buzz around their latest massive funding round or Livongo’s IPO, the real story here is Sean’s idea about building a “completely digital” care provider for folks with pre-diabetes, type II diabetes, hypertension, and mental health issues — or, at least that’s the goal for the next decade. What does a “full-stack view of supporting someone’s care look like? How do you get there? Tune in to find out about Omada’s proprietary tech-testing litmus test, “The Sean Duffy’s Mom Test,” and some good advice for other health tech startups about what it takes to win over clinicians with your tech.

Filmed at Health 2.0 in Santa Clara, California in September 2019.

Jessica DaMassa is the host of the WTF Health show & stars in Health in 2 Point 00 with Matthew HoltGet a glimpse of the future of healthcare by meeting the people who are going to change it. Find more WTF Health interviews here or check out www.wtf.health.

THCB Spotlights: Todd Clardy, EVP Marketing at Accolade

Today on THCB Spotlights, Matthew interviews Todd Clardy who is the EVP of Marketing at Accolade. Accolade is a company well-known for being in employee/patient advocacy. They’ve created an advocacy model that focuses on creating an outstanding member experience and supporting patients through their whole journey, whether it’s an acute or chronic condition or helping people maintain their health and wellness. Where do Amazon, Google and Haven fit into this space? Find out how many people have got this and how Accolade will be expanding going forward.

Now 30M Comcast Members Can Sync their Care Plan with their TV | Carina Edwards, CEO Quil Health

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Quil Health CEO, Carina Edwards, tells us what’s happening at the digital health startup born from the partnership between Comcast NBCUniversal and Independence Blue Cross. The new “baby” is just about a year old. How’s it faring? And how involved are the “parents”? Carina talks about the company’s patient engagement platform that connects via phone, web, and cable TV. That means 30 million Comcast subscribers can sync their TV with their Quil app and literally ‘watch’ their care plan along with their Nightly News. Will Al Roker be making another appearance on Quil soon? This, and all the important questions about their business model and client base are answered here!

Filmed at the HIMSS Health 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara, CA in September 2019.

Jessica DaMassa is the host of the WTF Health show & stars in Health in 2 Point 00 with Matthew HoltGet a glimpse of the future of healthcare by meeting the people who are going to change it. Find more WTF Health interviews here or check out www.wtf.health.

6 Core Patient Portal Features to Get More Patients on Board

By SANDRA LUPANOVA

Healthcare providers are moving forward with their digital initiatives, pursuing intranet development, implementing e-prescribing software, and deploying EHR systems and patient portals to enhance patient care, maximize staff efficiency, and improve the bottom line.

However, while medical professionals are largely enthusiastic about digital healthcare solutions, the disparity between the rate of clinical support and patient utilization of some of this software, patient portals in particular, is enormous. Even though patient self-service solutions have become ubiquitous in medical facilities nation-wide, over 62% of US hospitals report that their patient portal systems are used by less than a quarter of all patients.

Patients still don’t see enough value in patient portals, voicing concerns over the steep learning curve, lack of training, anxiety regarding data security and confidentiality, and other issues. Addressing these challenges is critical to encouraging patient buy-in and getting more patients involved in their health.

Since most medical facilities in the country already have patient portals in place, the next step to overcome barriers to their adoption is to expand these systems to deliver features that will get more patients involved.

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Livongo’s Post-IPO Plans? | Glen Tullman, Livongo

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

What’s next for digital health’s premier IPO, Livongo? Executive Chairman Glen Tullman says “the best day of going public is the day you go public,” but there’s got to be more to it than that right?! We get inquisitive about acquisitions, keeping the market happy, and how his applied health signals company is blurring the lines between tech and healthcare. Is Livongo a tech company or a healthcare company? What does that AI-plus-AI really add up to?

Filmed at the HIMSS Health 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara, CA in September 2019.

THCB Spotlight: Kuldeep Rajput, CEO of Biofourmis

Today on THCB Spotlight, Matthew catches up with Kuldeep Rajput, the founder and CEO of Biofourmis. Biofourmis uses biomarkers and sensors for health management, in pursuit of this dream of predicting disease before it happens so we can improve and health outcomes. The key question here is, how do you take a known pharmacotherapy and combine that with a digital solution so that it can synergistically act on patients to drive meaningful outcomes?

Biofourmis announced this week that they are acquiring Biovotion, as well as a commercialization deal with Novartis. Why did a device-agnostic platform decide to acquire a biosensor company? For the contract with Novartis for a major rollout of their heart failure platform across Asia—what are they trying to accomplish?

THCB Spotlight: Dr. Pascal Zuta, CEO of Gyant

Today on THCB Spotlight, Matthew catches up with Dr. Pascal Zuta, the Co-Founder and CEO of Gyant at HLTH. Gyant is a digital “front door” for hospitals which helps patients find the right care. In their vision, health care software should not smell like a hospital—they’ve worked to infuse their system with fun and empathy, with the goal of building a system that can follow someone all the way along their patient journey in an empathetic way in which AI and humans work together seamlessly.

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