130123_10177_phcm137.jpgWith the abundance of wearable activity trackers currently available, it has never been easier to track steps and other health indicators. Currently 21% of US online adults use wearable activity trackers (Forrester Research). The pace of innovation in devices and the relative affluence of many purchasers lead to frequent upgrades to new devices, and to abandonment. One study found that 1/3 of devices are no longer used after 6 months (Endeavour Partners). Given current sales, there are conservatively millions of devices sitting in drawers. With the cost of these devices out of the reach of many, was founded to give a second life to unused wearable activity trackers. (more…)

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Telehealth under alternative payment models

Susan Philip

The post below originally ran on Milliman, Inc. on November 23.

Telehealth, as a modality of delivering healthcare services, is growing in terms of acceptance and adoption. There are a few key drivers for this dynamic: (1) consumer demand for convenient access to care; (2) availability of lower-cost telehealth technologies; (3) clinician comfort and willingness to provide certain services remotely; and (4) evolving payment models that seek to incentivize value and better population health.

Evolving payment models reflect the need to mitigate perverse incentives for the unnecessary healthcare utilization, waste, and inefficiencies that are inherent in a volume-based payment system, such as fee-for-service Medicare. Both private and public sector purchasers, such as Medicare, state Medicaid programs, and employers, are in the midst of testing and scaling alternative value-based models. Under these payment models, there are opportunities for telehealth adoption to the extent it encourages efficiencies in the system. Examples include: (more…)

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Social Determinants Impact Health More Than Health Care

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

imageToday’s post first ran on Health Populi on November 9.

The factors of where people are born, live, work and age — social determinants — shape human health more than health care. Yet in the U.S. much more resource per capita is funneled into healthcare services than into social ones.

Beyond Health Care: The Role of Social Determinants in Promoting Health and Health Equity was published by The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured in November 2015, calling attention to the opportunity and wisdom of baking health into all public policy.

The social determinants of health (SDOH) include economic stability, the physical environment and neighborhood, education, food, community and social context, and the health care system, shown in the second exhibit. (more…)

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The New Rules of Fight Club, as Written by Women

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe post below originally ran on Venture Valkyrie on November 18.

BB8PORT.jpge204a4df-b817-46ad-a795-355912fc5e70OriginalIf you have any doubt that women’s roles are becoming more important in the workplace, look no further than the upcoming new Star Wars film. In the film, the main robot character, BB-8, has been designed to be female, according to news reports…and not just female, but pivotal to the plot and strong in character.

I love this new twist on Star Wars, as it occurs to me that it is our national standard to default to assuming most things are male, especially robots and CEOs, unless they are pink and purple and frilly. But most of the strong, fierce and successful women I know are neither pink nor purple nor frilly but are far closer to BB-8: curvy perhaps, but strong in character and pivotal to the plot. More often than not, they dress in black like the ninjas they are.Female-Ninja-ninjas-34049725-600-451

I read this story about BB-8 while on my way home from a retreat with a group of very senior female healthcare leaders.  It’s an organized group who meet once a year to share thoughts, stories, encouragement and support. (more…)

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Re-Imagining the Life Sciences & Research: A New Disruptive Women in Health Care Series

Robin Strongin

When I think of the value of the Precision Medicine Initiative that President Obama announced earlier this year, the money involved isn’t the first thing that comes to mind (although over $200 million in proposed dollars to entities like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute are worth cheering).  Actually, the focus on precision medicine provides a tremendous opportunity to take a step back and consider the future of research, medicine and the life sciences.

That’s exactly what we’re going to be doing over the next several days here in the Disruptive Women in Health Care space.   Experts from a variety of health related sectors and with diverse perspectives are going to be sharing their views on “Re-Imagining the Life Sciences and Research.”  We need discussions like this because, while the potential in this field is truly breathtaking and difficult to fully comprehend, there are critical unanswered questions. (more…)

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Meet Disruptive Woman to Watch: Anne Wojcicki

Anne_Wojcicki_IMG_5679_A_2The success of the Human Genome Project, over a decade ago, created a foundation from which science and the practice of medicine could be revolutionized, enabling greater knowledge about human health and new insights into the origins and nature of complex diseases.  For genomic research to reach its full potential, however, requires the vision and energy of pioneers who can democratize the science and give it profound, everyday meaning for the population at large.

Anne Wojcicki, the founder and CEO of 23andMe, is one of those pioneers.  She is also a Disruptive Woman to Watch for 2016.

Wojcicki, who had spent years investing in innovative healthcare companies, saw the decoding of the human genome and realize it presented an opportunity to bring a new degree of empowerment to patients and healthcare consumers. (more…)

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Meet Disruptive Woman to Watch: Elizabeth Gore

elizabeth-gore2The United Nations is committed to the idea that the health and well-being of people throughout the world can be significantly improved through a vibrant expansion of entrepreneurship.  In fact, it is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that all of the world’s citizens should have free and equal work through job creation and entrepreneurship, with a goal of creating 600 million new employment opportunities worldwide by the year 2025.  The task of translating that goal into action falls upon leaders like Elizabeth Gore.

Let’s strike the term “falls upon” and replace it with “is enthusiastically embraced by,” because that’s the spirit Gore brings to her efforts to make an impact on the global stage.

Gore is Entrepreneur-in-Residence for technology giant Dell.  Her job title has a far different meaning today, or at least in the way she performs her responsibilities, than it has in the past. (more…)

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Meet Disruptive Woman to Watch: Susan DeVore

Susan-DeVore-president-and-CEO-Bio-Photograph2In the continual quest to develop a healthcare system that delivers higher quality and better patient outcomes at lower costs, experts would do well to turn their sights to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte is the home of the Premier, Inc., an alliance of approximately 3,400 hospitals in the United States and over 100,000 other healthcare providers, including nursing homes, community hospitals, surgery centers and physician offices.  Under the direction of president and CEO Susan DeVore, a Disruptive Woman to Watch for 2016, Premier is transforming patient care in this country from the inside.

With such a large membership base, Premier is in an ideal position to demonstrate the value of data sharing and collaborative innovation.  In a healthcare system that is frequently criticized for its fragmented nature, DeVore and her organization are proving that the sharing of ideas and information is good for both patients and the financial bottom line. (more…)

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Thoughts on the Digital Health Gold Rush

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe post below was originally published on Venture Valkyrie.

In 1998 I was forming my first venture fund with a focus on healthcare IT and healthcare services. It was an interesting time to be undertaking such a mission. The Internet boom was in full swing and the money was flooding away from healthcare. Few were yet talking about rising healthcare costs the disastrous state of healthcare errors, or the need to share data to improve the management of chronic disease, much less the operating efficiency of payers or providers. One seasoned VC, whose firm was in the process of laying off all of its healthcare partners in 1998, told me that my firm’s strategy was “quaint.” In other words, maybe I should consider a career in plastics.

237e2d6Fast forward 17 years and the times have changed, to say the least. Everyone is talking about the fiscal crisis wrought by healthcare cost escalation. Even at cocktail parties you can hear people discussing mishaps they have experienced while colliding with our dysfunctional healthcare industry. And in a particular twist, healthcare IT, or its new more hipster moniker, digital health, has become THE place to invest for many. (more…)

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Disruptive Woman to Watch says there’s one simple problem with our healthcare system

The following was written by Kevin Loria and was published in Tech Insider on September 2nd. You can see the original article here. Elizabeth Holmes was one of Disruptive Women’s 2015 Women to Watch.

Billionaire founder of Theranos says there’s one simple problem with our healthcare system

elizabeth-holmesThe basic problem with our healthcare system, according to Elizabeth Holmes, the billionaire founder of the blood testing company Theranos, is that we diagnose disease in the wrong way.

As she explains in a recent video on Makers, a web documentary site that tells the stories of women leaders, “If you look up the word ‘diagnose’ in the dictionary, it’ll say ‘to determine the presence of disease from its signs and symptoms.’”

But as Holmes has pointed out many times, once signs of disease are clearly visible, it’s often too late to cure an illness, or at the very least outside the ideal window for effective treatment. (more…)

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Opportunities in the Connected Health Market

rania nasisThe connected health market has been growing exponentially, resulting in the consumerization of healthcare. Connected devices are increasingly becoming a routine part of lives with roughly one-fifth of the smartphone and tablet owners using a health app on a monthly basis, according to research from Parks Associates. If there’s any doubt of the role connected devices will play in our lives, check out Apple’s recent special event. Following Tim Cook’s welcome address, Airstrip, a veteran in the connected health space, took the stage to showcase their Sense4Baby app, which allows doctors to remotely monitor a mom and her baby during pregnancy.

The recent Connected Health Summit in San Diego brought together a panel of investors to discuss opportunities in the growing connected health market. The investors highlighted key areas of opportunity and provided sage advice for entrepreneurs in the space. Panel participants were Casper de Clercq of Norwest Venture Partners, Jason Russell of Citi, Euan Thomson of Khosla Ventures, Jeannine English of AARP, and David Schulte of McKesson Ventures. (more…)

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Disruptive Innovation in Childbirth Care

nanstrauss1 PhotoIn considering what to write for Disruptive Women in Health Care, I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of disruption juxtaposed with the experience of birth and the US maternity care system.

In the context of maternity care, the concept of “disruption” hints at intriguingly different possible meanings: the consequences of a newborn entering a family, disruption during the childbirth process, or the urgent need for disruptive innovation in maternity care.

Birth itself is an absolute disruption of the status quo. Birth can be tumultuous, even when it is a joyous occasion. It is a turning point, beyond which things are never the same for those who give birth and those who incorporate a newborn into their lives, not to mention for the baby who is born.

Disruption of the process of birth is a different type of disruption. Few things are as important to a positive birth experience as feeling safe, private, and calm – in other words, being free from intrusion and interference. (more…)

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The Internet Of Things, Privacy and Women

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

The post below ran on Health Populi on August 4.

A Congressional hearing on the Internet of Things was held on July 29, 2015.

“As we talk about your home, your lighting, your messaging, your voice, and, of course, your health and your actual biological function, issues like privacy and data security for these interoperable technologies become not just something to talk about but an area in which we in Congress play a large and potentially destructive — if we’re not careful — role in the development of these technologies,” cautioned the Honorable Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, U.S. House of Representatives.

cong briefingPictured with Chairman Goodlatte are the other witnesses particpating in the hearing: Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association; Dean Garfield, President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council; Mitch Bainwol, President and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; and Morgan Reed, Executive Director of ACT |The App Association. (more…)

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Harnessing Big Data – MedTech Innovation that Segments Patients According to Need

m shepherdA recent interview with Battelle researchers David Giles and Stephanie Kute proves that big data is here to stay. An incredible amount of innovation is happening in the world of medical devices as technology improves, growing increasingly smarter and recording more information about its users. This innovation raises a few new questions: how can we utilize new technology to be most effective, and how can we ensure that private information is kept secure?

Stephanie Kute, platform lead for the Battelle analytics and health research team, spoke to MassDevice about Battelle’s strategies in the rapidly-changing world of big data. “Previously we had a clinical device development group and we had an advanced analytics group, and those were separate groups that would communicate occasionally,” Kute said. “But now, we’ve found, with the changes to big data, the availability of it and what’s being required by the market, it makes more sense to put us together. We now have a formal relationship within the structure of the organization, and medical devices and advanced analytics are coupled. The engineers need to be coupled with the data scientists, the mathematicians, and the statisticians in order to develop innovative products going forward.” (more…)

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Flip the Clinic Goes to the White House!

Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin

The following ran earlier today on Flip the Clinic’s blog. Flip the Clinic’s program director Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin is a Disruptive Woman. Congrats to Whitney and Flip the Clinic!

Flip the Clinic is proud to announce it has been chosen as one of the organizations featured at the White House Champions of Change for Precision Medicine event. Flip the Clinic’s program director Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin will share the news of a transformational idea that has been picked up by over a dozen health systems, organizations, and clinics across the country. Right now, the solution—what Flip the Clinic calls “Flip 55”—is set to reach 20 million patients and 160 thousand clinicians. And interest is only growing.

Flip 55 is an elegant yet practical solution that helps health systems encourage patients to access their electronic medical records. It also directly supports patients as they request their electronic health data from clinics, hospitals, and labs. Starting today, Flip the Clinic is offering a toolkit to accompany Flip 55 aimed at helping health systems get the word out to patients and helping patients navigate their electronic health record requests. Flip the Clinic will also offer targeted support to electronic health record providers, hospitals, clinics, and patients. (more…)

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