Big Data: Improving outco...
Final Week to Apply to th...
Health 2.0 Europe: Interv...
  • Some Coffee, An API and a Vision

    One September weekend, three complete strangers randomly met at the Health 2.0 San
    Franscico Code-A-Thon
    . The event was sponsored by Allscripts to promote the new Allscripts PM API .

    After some coffee and bagels, the three strangers ended up around the table and agreed to team up for the weekend to build something awesome. There were 19 other teams with very talented members and great ideas. But, when the CIO of Allscripts came up to announce his winner, it was these three strangers who took home top prize.

    Fast forward to today, QueueDr is Allscripts App of the Month with their Allscripts TouchWorks and PM solution that automatically fills cancelled appointments in less than 1 minute. Perfectly integrated into an offices workflow, QueueDr doesn’t require the front office staff to press a single button. It saves front office staff 6-10 hours every week in frantic phone calls to fill appointments. It fills twice the amount of cancellations that an office is normally able to, resulting in an extra patient a day. Most importantly, QueueDr means that patients no longer need to wait 3 weeks for an appointment.

    QueueDr’s vision was to create an amazing experience for front office staff, providers, and patients. Such an amazing experience that offices couldn’t help but use it. That’s why QueueDr prices their product such that offices only pay if QueueDr fills an appointment. No other fees. It’s simple.

    Join QueueDr’s webinar on May 28 at 1 PM ET/10 am PT, you will be blown away.

    Iron Yard Ventures, the nationally ranked startup accelerator and seed investment program in South Carolina, today announces investments into 9 startup companies for its 5th cohort

    The Iron Yard Ventures, a nationally ranked startup accelerator and investment program located in South Carolina, announces their 5th cohort of companies funded in their Digital Health accelerator program.

    Key highlights:

    • The nine startups receive $20,000 investment, office space at The Iron Yard in Spartanburg, SC, mentorship from successful tech and healthcare leaders as well as perks including marketing, branding, legal work, accounting services, office space and demo days in South Carolina as well as Health 2.0 Conference in Silicon Valley.
    • The teams all move to Spartanburg, SC for 3 months of heads-down focus on building their product and companies as well as reaching their next big milestones.
    • Iron Yard Ventures has now made 58 investments into startup companies in the last 3 years.
    • This year’s cohort comes to the Iron Yard from Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Kansas City, San Francisco, New Jersey and Virginia.
    • Two of the companies in the cohort were founded by graduates of The Iron Yard Academy.
    • Joining the startups will be a Designer and Developer in Residence who also graduated from The Iron Yard Academy, as well as an Executive in Residence.
    • In 2014 Iron Yard was named a Top 6 program to launch a Healthcare startup in the United States
    • In 2015 Iron Yard was named an overall top 20 accelerator program in the United States by the annual MIT Seedrank Project.
    • Demo days will be August 13 in Spartanburg, SC and October 6 in Silicon Valley.

    The nine companies each receive a $20,000 investment, office space at The Iron Yard in Spartanburg, South Carolina and access to a national network of mentors.

    In addition, companies have access to the Iron Yard’s Designers and Developers in Residence program – which employs software engineers who have graduated from The Iron Yard Academy’s coding bootcamp.

    Quotes:

    “These nine startups and their founders are a diverse group with standout backgrounds that are solving real problems that have potential to improve our healthcare system and make significant impact in customer’s lives as well as their bottom line. Now in our 5th cohort of companies, the quality of founders we see applying continues to increase. The bar really has been raised this year. We were really impressed by the quality of startups that applied to our Digital Health program this year. That is a big testament to some of the great startups that have launched out of our accelerator program in previous cohorts and now have gone on to become successful companies..” says Marty Bauer, the Managing Director of Iron Yard Ventures. “Each year we focus on improving the value that Iron Yard offers to the startups we fund. This year that includes bringing on new mentors and partners as well as additional fulltime Designers and Developers in Residence to help our companies make the most of the next 3 months here. Finding and hiring high caliber software developers is big issue for any company as it grows. One unique asset Iron Yard companies have is access to a national network of developers coming out of our 14 code schools. Having that built-in hiring pipeline gives our portfolio companies an unfair advantage as they scale.”

    “The Iron Yard has humble beginnings with a goal to elevate the tech ecosystem in the Southeast. The environment for tech companies in the Southeast continues to mature and many people outside the area are taking notice. Today, the Iron Yard brand has grown on a national scale – and these nine companies are a reflection of that growth.  We still have a long way to go – and that begins now with nine new companies under the roof.”  

    Here is a run-down of the nine selected companies:

    ProAlert  (proalert.com)– Helping first responders save lives by saving time integrating dispatch data with GPS, and treatment protocol reference.

    Prenovate (prenovate.com) – personalized food grade engine for chronic conditions

    Play-it Health (playithealth.com)– custom software for medication and behavioral adhearance

    Headsup Health (headsuphealth.com)– personal health and fitness record system putting the consumer at the center of their health and fitness information.

    Intuneto (intuneto.com)– influencer focused health habit and fitness platform

    Triage Security (triagesecurity.com) – threat detection cyber security software

    Hygeia Health (hygeia.us) – complete health kiosk and point of care devices for healthcare

    Data Minded Solutions (datamindedsolutions.com) – decision management platform for diabetes care

    GlassChart (glasschart.co) – Siri for doctors

    Interested in learning more about these companies or Iron Yard Ventures? For more information visit IronYardVentures.com or contact Ventures@theironyard.com

    Big Data: Improving outcomes, lowering costs, increasing patient satisfaction with innovation

    In a recent interview with the Health Data Consortium, Dr. Jordan Shlain, founder of HealthLoop, offered some advice to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into health care—“Health care is a people business in need of technology, not a technology business in need of people. . .[this] implies that there’s [sic] a lot of people building health tech that they need people to interact with, rather than seeing where there is a real need and figuring out how we can leverage technology and make people’s lives better.”

    Digital health innovation has exploded within the health care industry, creating more opportunities to share data. By mid-2014, digital health funding approached $2.3 billion, a 170 percent increase over 2013.[1] This trend is anticipated to continue with the market for digital health expected to surpass $200 billion by 2020.[2]

    That said, many entrepreneurs still struggle with developing a sustainable business model in digital health. Various regulatory uncertainties have also added an additional layer of complexity for entrepreneurs trying to develop a sustainable business model.

    However, the growing shift from the current fee-for-service payment model to value-based payment models is beginning to alter this paradigm. Instead of encouraging volume over value which results in inefficiency and wasteful spending, value-based payment models recognize the importance of data liquidity and access to quality information to better inform timely clinical decision-making. It also makes stakeholders more accountable and encourages patient engagement—opening up opportunities for innovators in digital health. The overall result? Improved outcomes, lower costs and increased patient satisfaction powered by innovation. Continue reading →

    Final Week to Apply to the 2015 NY Digital Health Accelerator

    Anticipating many innovative entries, the New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA) program has entered its last week of accepting applications – the application deadline is Monday, May 18, 2015. The program will choose up to 10 early- and growth-stage companies that are developing cutting-edge technology products in care coordination, patient engagement, and workflow management for healthcare providers. Selected companies will receive access to customers, up to $100,000 in investment capital, and invaluable mentoring from senior-level executives at leading hospitals and other providers in New York.

    The NYDHA program is designated for companies where access to clinical and technical feedback from provider organizations could have a meaningful impact on the company’s development prospects. Graduates from the first two classes of this highly successful program have raised nearly $41 million post-program, launched 33 pilots and created approximately 120 jobs in just its first two years.

    For a full overview of the program, including entry instructions and eligibility requirements, please visit www.DigitalHealthAccelerator.com

    There is less than a week left to apply – the application deadline is Monday, May 18. Apply here!

    Health Data Consortium: Transformative power of Big Data

    In a recent interview with the Health Data Consortium, Dr. Jordan Shlain, founder of HealthLoop, offered some advice to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into health care—“Health care is a people business in need of technology, not a technology business in need of people. . .[this] implies that there’s [sic] a lot of people building health tech that they need people to interact with, rather than seeing where there is a real need and figuring out how we can leverage technology and make people’s lives better.”

    Digital health innovation has exploded within the health care industry, creating more opportunities to share data. By mid-2014, digital health funding approached $2.3 billion, a 170 percent increase over 2013.[1] This trend is anticipated to continue with the market for digital health expected to surpass $200 billion by 2020.[2]

    That said, many entrepreneurs still struggle with developing a sustainable business model in digital health. Various regulatory uncertainties have also added an additional layer of complexity for entrepreneurs trying to develop a sustainable business model. Continue reading →

    Why Cancer Patients and Clinicians Need a Decision Aid Upgrade

    We have learned a lot about how to treat cancer in the past 30 years, yet patients still experience significant symptoms, pain, and stress from cancer and its treatments. And we are nowhere near curing patients of some of the most debilitating forms of this disease.

    The outlook for lung cancer can be particularly poor because it is often diagnosed at a late stage, tends to occur in older people who often have other medical conditions, and remains one of the most difficult cancers to treat. The average survival has increased a few months with new treatment, but is still only to about a year – way too short.

    However research has shown that palliative care – which addresses the emotional, physical, practical, and spiritual issues of serious illness – can help lung cancer patients live better, longer lives.

    So, how do we incorporate palliative care into our conversations with patients and families who expect us to tell them about the latest treatment, downplay its side-effects and demonstrate the tenacity with which we will fight for them and with them against this scourge? It is especially tough when 70% of people (and some of their doctors) don’t know what palliative care is, or think of it just as “end of life care” or hospice.

    To explore new ways of approaching this problem, the California HealthCare Foundation and I have partnered with HxRefactored to sponsor the Decision Aid Upgrade Challenge. We’re asking designers in healthcare to use their skills to reimagine the tools used to support the conversation between providers and patients about treatment options.

    Decision Aids Have Potential

    Decision aids provide a framework to help patients understand their prognosis and disease trajectory, evaluate available treatment options and corresponding side effects, and learn about other sources of support, including palliative care and hospice. In addition to these “education” pieces, by communicating objective information about success rates – in a direct and honest manner – decision aids also help patients consider how they want to live, and what they want their focus of care to be.

    When it comes to treating advanced lung cancer, most decision aids I have seen fail to demonstrate the limitations of multiple rounds of chemotherapy, and overlook the benefits of palliative care and other supportive services. They also don’t help people transition from thinking “this treatment could work!” to addressing “the disease is growing again, what do I do now?” Decision aids could help people with the big picture of their illness, including advance care planning, making their wishes known about life support, and developing their legacy.

    For this reason, I have spent the last 10 years developing my own decision aids to help people understand the best curative and life-extending treatments, balance side effects, encourage advance care planning while they are still well, and help with the transition to hospice. Which, with stage IV lung cancer, will happen at some point, whether we want to think about it or not.

    Ripe for a Re-Design

    While I am immensely proud of what my team and I have developed, we need to do even better. Our decision aids provide a wealth of information, but as static PDFs they lack opportunities for patient engagement and don’t go far enough in creating a true experience that fosters shared-decision making between patients, families, and oncologists.

    We hope that designers in the healthcare field will use their skills in user experience, human-centered design, information architecture and rapid prototyping to help us develop decision aids that truly put patients and their families at the center of care.

    Patients want a roadmap of what is coming. Over 80% want to know what is going to happen to them, even if the news is bad. We should emphasize that potential benefits of treatments may outweigh risks early in the disease course, but, depending on response and symptom management, risks may later outweigh benefits. Patients need to know how likely it is that their cancer will respond, shrink, stay the same or grow—and what the rare and common side effects may be. They also need to be given some resources to help them discuss with their family and doctors their wishes about treatment, hospice, their own goals, and what is important to them. With all this information, patients can truly consider their preferences for care and make treatment choices that align with their personal values and goals.

    Imagine if a patient could follow along with a graphic decision tree on a simple-to-use iPad app? Or what if they were asked a series of personal values questions that might guide them to options that best fit their beliefs and wishes? Wouldn’t that be better than being handed a document to read which does little to help you navigate concerns about quantity and quality of life?

    We have learned a lot about communication in the past 30 years. We have gone from “Don’t use the word ‘cancer’” to letting people know their best options. However, the data tells us we still have a long way to go:

    • When asked, most (69%) of patients with metastatic lung cancer did not understand that chemotherapy was very unlikely to cure their cancer
    • Only half of lung cancer patients have had any of their doctors mention hospice 2 months before death.
    • In one cohort study, oncologists talked with people about how they want to die only 27% of the time.
    • All of this can lead people to die in the ICU or in the hospital when most say would prefer to be at home, surrounded by their family.

    We know it is possible to have shared decision-making conversations—and that people who have those conversations have more control over their lives, and how they lead them. We know decision aides work, but with better design they could work so much more effectively. With your help, we can re-design the decision aid that my team and I created for first, second, and third line chemotherapy for patients with stage four non-small cell lung cancer.

    I am looking forward to seeing the thoughtful, empathetic and important new perspectives that the CHCF Decision Aid Upgrade Challenge will uncover.

    About The CHCF Decision Aid Upgrade Challenge
    The California HealthCare Foundation is a nonprofit grantmaking philanthropy that acts as a catalyst to fulfill the promise of better health care for all Californians. CHCF has partnered with HxRefactored and Thomas J. Smith, MD, Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital to seek out new kinds of decision aids that can engage late-stage lung cancer patients in their treatment decisions—and offer clear, easy-to-understand ways to consider their options. Complete rules and guidelines can be found here.

    Health 2.0 Europe: Interview with Beth Susanne, startup consultant and presentation coach

    Beth Susanne has coached close to a thousand of startups on how to present to investors: “You have about 10 seconds for an investor to decide whether you’re worthwhile to continue to listen to or not. You have to be clear about what you believe in but you also have to be coachable.”

    Pascal Lardier: Beth, can you describe your background and what makes you well positioned today to train startups on how to present their activities to potential investors and partners?beht

    Beth Susanne: Well, I have trained close to a thousand startups in the last three years since I moved to Amsterdam. I have worked in 12 countries in Europe and, I go back and forth to work in Silicon Valley. I’m originally from Silicon Valley. Before I began training startups to get funded or to get partners and clients, I had been consulting architecture and engineering companies to win huge projects: 1.2 billion, 1.6 billion dollar projects that last over a number of years. The keys to presenting are similar, whether you’re presenting in professional services or you’re presenting to investors.

    So, I’ve taken my experience over the last 20 years of working with companies, startups and venture capitalists and transferred from California to Europe and it’s been really going well.

    PL: So after training over a thousand companies on how to present their activities, what would you say is the best way to present to investors?  What should the presentation focus on?

    BS: The CEO needs to present a compelling story. He or she needs to be clear about what the investor wants to hear. They have to know what investors don’t want to hear, cut out what’s not necessary and tell their story in a very compelling way. They have to state the problem, what their solution is, why they’re better, and is it defensible? They have to state how big the market is. What’s their first customer market segment, do they have traction? And then they have to talk about how they’re going to make money and who they are, why them, why they are the best team. Finally, say how much money they need, how much money have they gotten, what are they going to do with the money they are asking for, what are the milestones.

    They have to tell a compelling story that focuses on a real life problem or solution that most people can relate to.  So that’s the main key.

    PL: What is the most common mistake you see in startup presenting to investors? Continue reading →

    Wellness is Dead – Part I

    “Wellness is dead, and it doesn’t matter if I believe that or not, but the pervasive perception is that wellness is not effective. Many companies have put in lots of money into programs for which they haven’t been able to measure results, or receive fair value for the product.” Josh Keas, CEO of Keas, explained as we trekked up the steep hills of California Street in San Francisco.

    It was quite surprising to listen to the brutal honesty of the CEO of Keas, a corporate wellness online tool recently re-birthed as an integrated health management platform.

    Josh Stevens CEO of Keas (right) with Rick Bruno, Sr. Dir. of Health & Wellness at Pfizer

    Josh Stevens CEO of Keas (right) with Rick Bruno, Sr. Dir. of Health & Wellness at Pfizer

    Keas works with some major US employers including Pfizer, Salesforce, and Safeway to name a few. We paused mid-voyage to pick up coffee and as we kept climbing, he explained why these colossal clients signed up with Keas even after wellness companies such as StayWell and Healthways had miserably failed following 20-year-long relationships.

    From Desktop to Workout

    “We are one of the tech companies that entered the space and asked ourselves: ‘How do we take this old model of health fairs, gym memberships and nurse hotlines and turn that into an online set of tools that educates employees about health, tracks their activities and integrates with their benefits?’”

    The struggle is real.

    The struggle is real.

    This unexpected hiking interview with the sharp CEO was a small fraction of the physical activity Keas coaxed me into doing during my three-month internship. Besides the data visualization and reporting work I did, I was also a Keas platform user myself along with the other employees. Continue reading →

    ONC Awards $300K in Funding to 6 Digital Health Pilot Projects!

    The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today announced the six winners of the inaugural ONC Market R&D Pilot Challenge. The six winners will live-test new health information technology (health IT) applications in health care settings administered by their challenge partners.

    The winning innovator-health care organization teams will each receive $50,000 to fund their pilot programs which will become operational in August are:

    • ClinicalBox and Lowell General Hospital
    • CreateIT Healthcare Solutions and MHP Salud
    • Gecko Health Innovations and Boston Children’s Hospital
    • Optima Integrated Health and University of California, San Francisco, Cardiology Division
    • physIQ and Henry Ford Health System
    • Vital Care Telehealth Services and Dominican Sisters Family Health Service

    The ONC Market R&D Challenge launched on October 20, 2014 with the goal of finding early stage health care startups from across the country and connecting them with health care organizations and stakeholders with whom they could potentially run a pilot program to test the application. Continue reading →

    Attention: Calling All NY Health IT Companies!

    The New York eHealth Collaborative and the Partnership Fund for New York City are looking for applicants for their next New York Digital Health Accelerator (NYDHA) class. This program is an initiative aimed at helping growth-stage digital health companies to develop cutting edge healthcare technology in the areas of care coordination, patient engagement, and workflow management.

    The Accelerator’s five-month program provides participants with unique access to mentorship from senior-level executives at more than 20 of New York State’s leading healthcare provider organizations. Additionally, the program also gives the option of up to $100,000 in funding for the accepted tech companies.  This year NYDHA will also allow companies to present a combined solution in a joint application to encourage collaborative innovation.

    Graduates from the first two classes of this highly successful program have raised nearly $41 million, launched 33 pilots and created approximately 120 jobs in just its first two years.

    Bottom line: get your applications in today for the New York Digital Health Accelerator, because really, why not?  Deadline is 5/18.  Learn more about this opportunity right here and don’t miss out!

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