Impact, Insight and Inspiration at the Healthcare Tech Innovation Forum

09 June 2017
By Valentina Lakhina, Business Development, Healthcare & Life Sciences

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DataArt in partnership with MedStartr and PwC hosted a full-day Healthcare Tech Innovation Forum on June 5, 2017, at PricewaterhouseCoopers’auditorium, in New York City. Bringing together leading health tech executives and entrepreneurs, theForum provided a fertile platform for in-depth panel discussions, short pitches from innovative health tech companies and insightful keynotes. The dialogue continued in the networking area where topics were revisited, ideas exchanged and contacts established. Over 130 attendees gathered to hear first-hand insights on a wide array of topics from how to succeed as a health tech start-up to the role of AI in healthcare.

The opening keynote What a Startup Needs to Succeed was presented by Jonathan Stout, SVP, Strategy and Development at AbleTo – a leading tech-enabled behavioral health provider. Stout identified common traits of successful start-ups. These were: an idea that makes sense and meets a market need, the team to execute on the vision, solid business model, secure funding and the right timing. He also identified three key problems that tech start ups must solve to be accepted by the health plan, which are: better patient experience, improved quality of care and hard ROI (Return on Investment). Stout also devised a formula for a successful strategy Q X A = S where Q is the Quality of Your Solution, A is Market Acceptance of Your Solution and S = Likelihood of Success.

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This insight was well supplemented by the Innovation Partnership Framework by Ed Marx, Executive Vice President, The Advisory Board, Clinovations, whose advice to start ups consisted of being thoroughly knowledgeable about the organization they are selling to. He summarized it as a number of ‘knows’. Know the organization (know me), knowing what it stands for (know my vision), understand their biggest challenges (know my pain), don’t oversell yourself as this may deteriorate trust (know yourself), understand what proportion of risk you are willing to take (know shared risk), have metrics for your goal (know measurement), and be clear on the terms of the partnership (know partnership).

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Throughout the forum various innovative health tech companies each took the stage for a 5-minute Pitch & Partner Sessions to present their health tech solutions. These included Peter Clagett from My-Meds, Gary German from NonnaTech, Susheel Jain from InterveneRx, Murray Jones from TalkAboutHealth, Samson Magin from HealthSnap, Mark Punyanitya from Body Imaging Startup and Matthew Sydney from PicWell. All had a great value proposition.

The first Panel Discussion Innovation Adoption Challenges was moderated by Brent Stackhouse, VP, Mount Sinai Health System, who guided the conversation between Steven Berman, Director, Business Development, Montefiore, Rose Maljanian, Chairman & CEO, HealthCAWS, Les Funtleyder, Healthcare Portfolio Manager, E Squared Asset Management, Matt Sydney, President and Chief Executive Officer, Picwell, Philip Gillich, Head of Payor Relationships and Population Health, Call9 and Daniel Trencher, SVP Product & Strategy, Teladoc.

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This panel discussion focused on challenges that start ups face in selling their solutions and gave the perspective of investors, healthcare organizations and payers. The panelists agree that the greatest source of failure is the lack of commitment on the client’s part. Consequently, the key to success is finding a champion within the healthcare organization who has the authority to support the new product, help navigate the political structure, involve appropriate stakeholders and decision makers. It helps greatly if the solution is beyond the pilot stage and if the start up can refrain from asking too much of the organization (i.e. to provide all relevant data). Large healthcare organizations, that may seem to be the most direct avenue to success, are in fact not a good place to begin the adoption of the start up’s solution. They tend to be bureaucratic, have conservative investment policies and complex political structures, that are difficult for a start up to penetrate. It’s best to achieve success with smaller companies which can then be used as proof of the benefits for larger organizations.

Daniel Piekarz, SVP, Head of Healthcare & Life Sciences, DataArt moderated the second panel discussion: Healthcare at Home will focus on technologies that help bring quality care to patients at home and improve health outcomes. Piekarz was joined by Jonathan Stout, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Development, AbleTo, Peter Clagett, CEO of My-Meds, Susheel Jain, Chief Revenue Officer, InterveneRx, John Loughnane, Commonwealth Care Alliance and Eliza Ng, Senior Medical Director, Care Management Organization of Montefiore Health System, Montefiore, Julie Pelta, UK Business Development – DataArt

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Panelists noted the many barriers to care at home, including an unsafe home environment and absence of the right wireless infrastructure to deploy patient technologies at home. Furthermore, large hospital networks may find it difficult to coordinate and synchronize processes required to establish care at home as well as deploy the technology across their various locations. Another challenge is the ability of patients to use the new devices and hence the need for solution providers to identify and set up patient training. While the panelists agreed that a lot of work and coordination has to go into organizing care at home, they noted that the financial incentives are not in place and therefore these technologies can not be deployed at scale. Panelists also noted the need for physical contact and described the future as hybrid care, where in-person care is extended through digital means.

Next keynote was on Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, presented by Anton Dolgikh, DataArt’s Head of AI. Dolgikh looked at ‘AI’ as a combination of various technologies such as robotics, machine learning, natural language processing, automated reasoning, knowledge representation and computer vision. He spoke of the various applications of AI in healthcare including microbiome modification, novel drugs development, disease diagnoses and treatment as well as population care.

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Kirill Timofeev, Principal Architect at DataArt, followed with a presentation on blockchain, as a foundational technology that enables progress from the Internet of Information to the Internet of Value. By enabling the flow of digital assets in a secure environment blockchain allows transactions to take place without intermediaries, increasing their efficiency and reducing cost.

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Walter Olshanski, John Frazier,Doug Mears, Yasin Turkcanof PwC talked about Trends in Healthcare.

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One of the central trends was the increasing complexity of insurance products, specifically the pressure to utilize health services where patients have to pay different copays and co-insurances, for the different providers they are referred to. When combined with a very low average health literacy of the American population, and an even lower insurance literacy the result is a highly confused patient.

Overall, this rich and impactful event was a great boot camp for health tech start ups and consumer-driven healthcare entrepreneurs, immersing participants in most relevant and controversial issues in healthcare technology.

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