Just in case you didn’t realize there still is a world going on despite last week’s election. Back in health technology, a systemic change is happening as older client-server companies (like McKesson) retreat or open up their technology (Allscripts) while investors still believe that there’s a big market for SMAC technology and cloud-based systems to run the next generation of American health care. More evidence of that today with the news that CareCloud has raised another $31.5 million to double down on the already large bet placed on it by its investors as a platform for growing medical groups. I talked to CEO Ken Comee about the company, the state of the market, and what he expects to do with the money! — Matthew Holt
I’m a pundit who like everyone else was surprised by Trump’s victory in the (profoundly undemocratic and hopefully-to-be-abolished-soon) electoral college, and everything I say here is prefaced by the fact that there was very little discussion of healthcare specifics by Trump. So there’s no certainty about what will happen–to state the obvious about his administration!
What we do know is that Trump said he’d repeal & replace the ACA and the House has voted to repeal it many times (but the Senate has only once & Obama has always vetoed that repeal). A full and formal repeal requires 60 votes in the Senate which it won’t get with the Democrats holding 48. Note that the Democrats needed 60 votes to to forestall a Republican filibuster in order to pass the ACA in 2010. That 60 vote total is a very rare state of events which existed for only only one year–from Jan 2009 until Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s old seat in Jan 2010 and one we likely won’t see again for many years.
But this doesn’t does not mean things will continue as usual for two reasons. Congress can change the budget with the Republican 52 seat Senate majority, and the Administration can change regulations and stop enforcing them. So we have to assume that the new Administration and its allies(?) on the Hill will roll back the expansion of Medicaid which was responsible for most of the reduction in the uninsured (even if it didn’t happen in every state). They’ll also reduce or eliminate the subsidies which enable about 10m people to buy insurance using the exchanges. Both of those were in the repeal bill Obama vetoed, although in the bill the process was delayed for 2 years.
This of course may not happen or may be replaced by something equivalent because many of the people who voted for Trump (the rural, white, lower-income voters) fall into the category of those helped by the law, and in a few of his remarks he’s also said that he’ll be taking care of them. Even this week Senator Wicker (R-Mississippi) said that they weren’t going to take away 20 million people’s insurance. In Kentucky which went from a Democratic to Republican governor 2 years ago, the new administration ended their local exchange (from 2017), but in fact not much consequential happened as people were sent to the Federal exchange. If there are changes to the exchanges and the individual mandate or they’re both abolished, there’ll be lots of commotion but it won’t be completely system changing.
My day job at Health 2.0 involves running a conference and innovation program based on a community of companies using SMAC technologies to change health care services and delivery–either by starting new types of health care services or selling those technologies to the current incumbents. So I’m acutely interested in what happens next, albeit somewhat biased about my preferences!
Overall I think that (unlike many other areas of American life) health care technology won’t be that greatly affected. Continue reading…
I never ceased to be amazed by how smart young clinicians solve problems that they see. Michelle Longmire was in residency at Stanford working with colleagues building point solutions when she realized that what they needed was an easy platform on which to develop medical grade apps. Her company Medable was the result. Then she realized that the other big market was clinical researchers, who now have access to Apple’s ResearchKit, but need an easy way to build a study without using developers. I interviewed her recently and she built a study for me using Medable’s new Axon product.
My old friend and former boss Ian Morrison will be giving the keynote at Health 2.0’s 10th Annual Fall Conference on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 27th. Ian was President of Institute for the Future in the 1990s, founded the Strategic Health Perspectives service, and is in more health care board rooms and conference halls than almost anyone. At Health 2.0, Ian will share his latest insights into the future of health care. Did we tell you he’s the pre-eminent jokester on the health care speaking circuit? Well he is! You can still Register and come hear what else Ian has to say! But here’s a taster — Matthew Holt
I am thrilled that Health 2.0 is today announcing a new program aimed at improving diversity in the field of health technology. This will run all year (and hopefully beyond) and will start at the Health 2.0 10th Annual Fall Conference on Sept 25-8, where we will host a group drawn from populations that are underrepresented in the health technology field. There’ll also be a dedicated session on the topic on Sept 26 at 12.15pm that has been generously supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Matthew Holt
The Problem: There is a lack of diversity among health technology innovators and a shortage of technologies that meet the needs of minority audiences. Technology is a powerful tool that can help improve health outcomes and alleviate problems within our current health system. As our society grows increasingly diverse and gaps in health among different populations increase, there is an urgency to develop solutions for underserved communities and diversify the population of innovators who are creating these solutions.
The Conference Support Program: The Diversity in Health Technology Conference Support Program, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, encourages individuals interested in diversifying the health technology field and who are interested in, or currently engaged with, health technology, to attend Health 2.0’s 10th Annual Fall Conference (Sept 25-8). Individuals from populations that are underrepresented in the health technology field are particular encouraged to apply. The conference support will include complimentary access to the annual conference. Conference support recipients will be required to attend the “Diversity in Health Technology” workshop. The workshop will serve as the formal kickoff to a year-long campaign focused on engaging more diverse voices in health technology. Conference support recipients must also attend and participate in two webinars hosted by Health 2.0 to further review the diversity in technology issue, submit a post-conference summary to Health 2.0 of the individual’s conference experience that Health 2.0 may use for a white paper on the diversity issue and a summary about specific activities the individual plans to do over the next year to address diversity in technology.
For more information and to apply to join the program, visit the Diversity in Health Technology site.
Launch! is always one of the most fun and most exciting sessions at Health 2.0. Ten new companies demo their product on stage for the very first time during at the 10th Annual Fall Conference. Previous Launch! winners have included Castlight Health, Basis, and OM*Signal and last year’s winner MedWand, which just beat out Gliimpse–itself since bought by Apple.
- Valeet Healthcare‘s platform gives patients personalized health information while allowing providers to have a rounding tool and giving healthcare systems a dashboard to track metrics.
- gripAble is an innovative mobile technology that bridges the gap between functional therapy and objective measurement of upper-limb function.
- Cricket Health works with payor and provider customers to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), manage the transition from CKD to End Stage Renal Disease, and improve ESRD care.
- Qidza is a population health mobile platform that enables parents work with their physicians to track their children’s developmental milestones
- Docent Health guides health systems to embrace a consumer-centric approach to healthcare by curating patient experiences.
- Albeado builds Healthcare prediction and optimization solutions based on proprietary data science platform which combines clinical AI and Graph-Based Machine Learning.
- Siren Care offers temperature-sensing smart socks which provide health data on foot ulcers, hot spots, and more to prevent future injuries.
- MDwithME integrates soft and hardware components in a suitcase enabling full remote physical exams with an option of instant or delayed physician’s consult with quality of testing that equals or exceeds the current state of art.
- DayTwo maintains health and prevent disease utilizing a microbiome platform, starting with personalized nutrition based on gut bacteria, aiming to normalize blood sugar levels and cultivate a healthy gut microbiome.
- Regeneration Health is a health ecosystem powered by artificial intelligence that collects and monitors health in real time and curates free personalized health info and recommendations based on integrative medicine.
You can see them on Wednesday, the last day of the Health 2.0 10th Annual Fall Conference Sept 25-8 in Santa Clara, CA.
Yup, more blowing the trumpet about Health 2.0! We’re celebrating our 10th conference in 2 weeks and over the summer we’ve been looking back at the people and organizations who’ve made a mark in health tech, digital health, Health 2.0, or whatever you want to call it. For ten years Health 2.0 has showcased and connected with thousands of technologies, companies, innovative thought leaders, and patient activists through our many events and conferences, challenges, code-a-thons, market research, blog posts, pilot programs and general industry promotion. Since our first conference in 2007, Health 2.0 has grown into a global movement and community of over 100,000 entrepreneurs, developers, and health care stakeholders, and 110+ chapters on six continents
As we prepare to usher in the 10th year of Health 2.0, we want to take this opportunity to reflect on and recognize the accomplishments of this powerful community and movement. To do this, we asked our community to nominate the top influencers from the world of Health 2.0. Over the summer thousands of people voted and now the finalists are showcased on Health 2.0’s 10 Year Global Retrospective Awards for all to see. It’s time to vote for the finalists, and the winners will be celebrated at Health 2.0’s 10th Annual Fall Conference on September 25-8 in Santa Clara, California.
Please go take a look at the finalists and vote for your favorites!
HxRefactored, the conference put on jointly by Health 2.0 & Mad*Pow about technology & design in health care, draws a relatively small crowd–participants numbered in the hundreds, not the tens of thousands found at some health conferences. So I asked a leading health IT expert, Shahid Shah, why he invests so much effort in coming and make presentations to HxRefactored each year. He answered, “This is the only health IT event that covers not just the digital aspects, but the entire healthcare experience, focused on developers and designers who are building solutions. It goes beyond platitudes, cheerleading, and hand waving and gets into actionable advice that engineers need to know to build complex systems that will actually get used.”
And that really shows the key influence provided by design, broadly defined. You can get as “meta” as you want and stay within the field of design:
- Worried whether your staff will adapt to and use a new IT system? Success with that is a design goal.
- Determined not to let an IT system “get in the way,” but to ensure it enhances relationship-building with patients? Definitely a matter of design.
- Eager to make innovation a standard kind of thinking throughout your institution? Designers with the proper combination of support and independence can get you there.
Reflecting the sweep of design itself, sessions at HxRefactored varied from chronicling the path to successful designs, to describing the contributions technologies make, to recommending strategies for getting designs adopted.
Design as a way of Life
A hoary shibboleth of design is that practitioners must seek out users and collaborate tightly with them. A more pointed statement of that principle is to turn all users into designers. This means not flying in to do a design, collecting your pay, and taking off again. Instead, designers hang out in the hallways to meet people, cajole users into joining creativity workshops, and–with teeth gritted–attend committee meetings.
Comprehensive engagement came up from the start of the conference, as when Adam Connor in his keynote pointed out that isolated researcher can’t transfer their insights automatically to others in the organization–everyone in the organization must participate in user research. He also pointed out that no system makes sense except when one views the larger environment of which it is a part.
The CTO of HHS, Susannah Fox, in her inspiring keynote, said “Technology is a Trojan Horse for change…We say interoperability and open data, but we mean culture change.” Design, for her, must recognize people without power, which currently includes most patients and their caregivers.
Fox championed Maker-style innovation at the grassroots, such as promoted in the famous work of Eric von Hippel at MIT. Hundreds of people are making custom prosthetics, for instance. She also mentioned that a very useful sleeve to keep an IV firmly in a child’s skin was designed by a parent. Similarly, patients could improve their medical devices, but manufacturers deny patients access to their own device-generated information, and prohibit patients from making changes. Patients who lack access to research labs and academic libraries are finding the information online to improve their experiences. Fox didn’t describe the risks and downsides of these practices, but I found that acceptable because the risks and downsides are cited all too often to throw up barriers to competition and innovation.
After years interviewing people at HIMSS, I got interviewed by a patient (as in putting up with me, not sick!) Fred Goldstein. My pearls of wisdom include the history of EMRs, eHealth, and how much money HIMSS makes by not buying food! Thanks to Greg Masters of Health Innovation Media for this and all he does!–Matthew Holt