HxRefactored Sneak Previe...
HxRefactored Sneak Previe...
HxRefactored Sneak Previe...
  • HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Nick Jehlen, Managing Partner, The Action Mill

    nickjelhenOur next HxRefactored sneak peak is an interview with Nick Jelhen!  Nick is the designer of My Gift of Grace, a conversation game that helps people have challenging conversations.

    What is your burning mission in health and why?

    NJ: To help everyone – from doctors to home health aides, healthy teenagers to terminally ill patients – have conversations about life and death before they’re in crisis. The fear around these conversations is preventing us from having happier, healthier lives every day, and turning a time that could be meaningful for many patients and families into a maze of pain and suffering.

    What is your patient story?

    NJ: I’ve dealt with back pain for 25 years. Three years ago I had the worst episode I’ve ever had: 16 weeks of being unable to walk beyond a slow shuffle. My doctors couldn’t give me answers, which was frustrating. Some days the fear and uncertainty was harder to deal with than the pain.

    What new health-related website, app, or technology do you think will improve health?

    NJ: Technology should facilitate meaningful interactions between people, and we should expand our thinking about how we define technology so that we’re always using the most appropriate tools in the toolbox.

    Why should people come to your session?

    NJ: We’re developing tools that crack one of the hardest problems in healthcare: getting people to do meaningful end of life planning. I’ll be talking about one of those tools (My Gift of Grace), a game we released in December that is already being used by families, hospitals, and palliative care teams around the world.

    HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Josh Stein, CEO, AdhereTech

    23382756_josh_headshot-300x300We’re nearing the end of our HxRefactored sneak peak interviews!  But the upside is that HxR is soon! Don’t forget to register!  Helping close up this series is Josh Stein.  Josh is the CEO of a company that makes smart pill bottles, to improve health care!

    What is your burning mission in health and why?

    JS: My mission is to improve medication adherence, the biggest problem in healthcare. Average adherence rates are about 60%, and low adherence leads to about $300B in increased costs, $100B in lost revenues, and 125,000 premature deaths each year.

    What is your patient story?

    JS: Even as the CEO of a medication adherence company, I’ve been non-adherent to certain medications (in the past – before AdhereTech, of course). It’s an issue that affects all patients.

    What new health-related website, app, or technology do you think will improve health?

    JS: AdhereTech! I’m biased… Some other great health-tech hardware companies out there include Misfit Wearables, Kinsa, and IntelligentM. All of these firms leverage seemingly simple devices – in conjunction with elegant technologies and behavioral economics – to drive positive change in patient behavior.

    Why should people come to your session?

    JS: I will give practical advice about working with large healthcare firms, from a non-technical perspective.

    HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Vance Allen, CTO, Welltok

    VanceAllen-300x300Continuing our HxRefactored Conference preview series is Vance AllenVance has almost 20 years of architecting complex systems. His talk will be on his design technique, so don’t miss it!

    What is your burning mission in health and why?

    VA: Most people would say cure cancer or get pediatric asthma under control. Those are all extremely important and noble causes, but we are going even broader at Welltok. Our goal is to get everyone to be as healthy as they can be. We are setting out to transform the health industry from a “sickcare” system, to one that supports the 85% of consumers who make daily choice that impact their health. We’re pioneering health optimization by guiding and incentivizing consumers to achieve their optimal health status. The fact that healthy individuals = higher healthcare value is an equation that we can all appreciate.

    What is your patient story?

    VA: Have you met Evan? He’s the very first ‘user’ of CaféWell Concierge and is on on the road to reach his optimal health. He is a 26 year-old single male, insured with Acme PPO plan, who lives in the zip code 11231-4710 but is currently at 23 St. & 5th Ave., NYC. His health interests include running, hiking, and biking; he is currently at 75 minutes of 120 minutes of his goal activity for the week. He has a recent tendency to be active outside, and has been discussing men’s issues. He asks CaféWell Concierge on his smartphone, “what should I do?” CaféWell Concierge responds: “You could go for a run in Central Park, bring your Fitbit Pebble and you’ll be closer to earning $50 from Acme Healthcare. Why don’t you invite RunnerDude100?” Using Evans health hisotry, goals, contacts and location, CaféWell Concierge is able to give him a personalized recommendation tailored to him. It also learns and evolves as Evan motivations, health status or goals change.

    What new health-related website, app, or technology do you think will improve health?

    VA: Thank you for the set-up. What Welltok is doing with the IBM Watson technology is transformative. It will be a quantim leap to personalized health and wellness technology. With CafeWell Concierge powered by IBM Watson, consumers will be able to answers to health questions in natural language like “What can I do today to improve my health?” Simple, personalized and effective. The Watson-powered CafeWell Concierge also lets you balance multiple goals, rather than just one at a time. It can take a series of individual health itineraries or goal and tells you the most effective and productive way to accomplish all those things. It’s seriously “a health concierge in your back pocket.” (Thanks ABC News)

    Why should people come to your session?

    VA: It’s like an 8th grade science class, you’ll get to see the inner-workings of the IBM Watson “brain”. You’ll hear about IBM Watson’s ability to uncover insights from Big Data, by understanding the complexities of human language, reading millions of pages in seconds and learning to improve its own performance. For example with CaféWell Concierge, Watson will learn which health programs or rewards are most successful in helping consumers reach health goals, and refine recommendations accordingly. You know you want to learn how about the computer that outsmarted Jeopardy! C’mon.

    News & Updates

    In England, the NHS is preparing to kick-off of a nation-wide program designed to expand out-of-hospital care availability, and drive down non-emergency visits presenting in local emergency rooms. The program, called the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund, is backed by an $80 million fund, and focuses on funding primary care groups willing to pilot new technologies related to telemedicine, access, and care management.

    Palo Alto-based personal health assistant service Better raised $5 million in seed funding from Social+Capital Partnership and The Mayo Clinic. Founded last year by Geoff Clapp and Chamath Palihapitiya, Better is debuting with a free basic service and access to a personal health assistant for around $50 per month.

    A VA survey of 18,000 randomly chosen users of its My HealtheVet system found that a third of them use Blue Button, with three-quarters of those saying its main value is collecting their information in one place. Barriers to adoption were identified as low awareness and usability issues.

    Nike fired 55 of the 70 members of its FuelBand team and canceled the planned fall release of a new model. Nike says it wants to focus on software, not hardware.

    Healthbox, which runs medical accelerator programs, raised $7 million in expansion funds. One of its investors is Intermountain Healthcare. The company will also launch Healthbox Solutions to showcase healthcare IT products to hospitals.

    Physicians Interactive, a provider of online and mobile clinical resources and solutions for health care professionals, launched free iPhone and Android versions of its Omnio application. Omnio allows clinicians to have access to the right clinical data by channeling the vast array of information into a customizable interface, directly within their workflow.

    MDLIVE, a provider of telehealth services and software, partnered with Carenet Healthcare Services, a provider of care management, nurse triage and engagement solutions, to combine MDLIVE’s 24×7 physician solution with Carenet’s Nurse Advice Line service.

    Webby Awards, presented for excellence on the Internet by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, named 11 mobile applications as honorees. The list includes AskMD, PingMD, WebMD, MyFitness Journal, Veteran’s Mental Health Apps Suite, First Aid, Diabetes HealthMate, CVS Pharmacy mobile app, My Pregnancy Today, Fit Star, and ZYRTEC AllergyCast app.

    vRad, a telemedicine and radiology practice with over 450 physicians, completed a strategic partnership with E-Techco Information Technologies, a telehealth company based in China. The partnership names vRad as E-Techco’s exclusive agent for remote professional radiology interpretations in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau beginning in May 2014.

    iPatientCare, a provider of cloud based ambulatory EHR, integrated practice management, and patient portal solutions, launched updated version of its native iPad EHR app miPatientCare.

    HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Drew Schiller, Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder, Validic

    drew schillerContinuing our HxRefactored Conference preview series, have Drew SchillerDrew works to improve data delivery to health organizations. Here’s his story:

    What is your burning mission in health and why?

    DS: To organize and transfer health data from patient to provider, in real time, from anywhere to anywhere in the world. Health apps and monitoring devices are gaining popularity, and as more data is created, it adds to the pervasive problem of siloed data. Validic accesses each of these silos and transmits actionable health data for all stakeholders.

    What is your patient story?

    DS: My wife was diagnosed with celiac disease in December of 2007. The process of getting the correct diagnosis was unbelievably difficult, but that was only a precursor to the difficulty of managing the condition long term. The ordeal reinforced my view of the healthcare system as a reactionary illness management institution in need of innovation and renovation. We are in the midst of a technological revolution, and there is now a plethora of data available for the individual patient. Healthcare companies are in a unique position to leverage this data to move towards preventative care and individual monitoring. With this data, organizations have the ability to manage and engage their diverse population of healthy, acutely ill, and chronically ill individuals. Now, the issue for many health companies is enabling the technology of apps and devices to communicate this vital information to their organization.

    What new health-related website, app, or technology do you think will improve health?

    DS: The pace of health innovation is staggering. Every day, I am awed by a newly-announced app or device. The rapid change and innovation within all sectors of healthcare is causing continued disruption as companies struggle for a competitive advantage in acquiring and managing the data from these technologies. Validic has created a truly integrated ecosystem connecting apps and devices with healthcare systems. Solving the question of the in-between, Validic enables developers to connect and distribute standardized, HIPAA-compliant data to health companies, who can then access and utilize the data.

    Why should people come to your session?

    DS: Validic gives healthcare developers one simple API connection to access diverse health data from the continuously expanding market of health apps and devices. Without worrying about creating, maintaining, and updating a proprietary pipeline or the painstaking process of working with app and device developers on APIs and integration, health organizations can focus on utilizing and leveraging this data.

    HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Magga Dora Ragnarsdottir, Senior Experience Designer, Mad*Pow

    MaggaDoraOur second HxRefactored Conference sneak preview is an interview of Mad*Pow’s Magga Dora Ragnarsdottir.  She uses a combination of psychology and CS to build the ultimate user experience.

    What is your burning mission in health and why?

    MDR: Making it easier. In a crisis, as a health problem can be, there is no energy left to deal with bad technology. It should aid the patient, provide relief, make it easier.

    What is your patient story?

    MDR: I remember walking around my hometown Reykjavik with my pregnancy report (soon to be birth report) in my bag thinking, why am I delivering this to the delivery room? What if I forget to bring it and they will not have the information in there that may be vital for a successful delivery for mother and baby? I brought it with me but during the delivery I would still have time to baffle over the midwife filling it in with a bic pen.

    What new health-related website, app, or technology do you think will improve health?

    MDR: I think middle ware like HIWAY that allow give a comprehensive view of the patient but not a siloed view dependent on the patient to supply information are going to pivot us into a new era in health.

    Why should people come to your session?

    MDR: Designers or developers that want to create good software, that want to understand that their work isn’t don’t until the users can use it. Some may have struggled with this in the past, some may think they are done when they deliver/compile/launch. I want to talk to them about taking it all the way.

    HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Katie McCurdy, Experience Design // UX Designer & Researcher

    KatieMcCurdyTo give you another HxRefactored Conference sneak preview, we’ve interviewed Katie McCurdyKatie uses her own experience, both as a patient and a designer, to make participatory design a bigger part of heathcare.

    What is your burning mission in health and why?

    KMC: My mission is to use my design skills to help improve the healthcare experience of other patients like me. I work to help patients take control and ownership of the communication they have with providers, and I advocate for close collaboration with patients throughout the design process. I love my job, and I love to feel good about applying myself to helping improve the lives of my patient kinfolk.

    What is your patient story?

    KMC: I have had the autoimmune disease Myasthenia Gravis since I was 13. It was always a minor part of my life, but it never defined me. Over time, many of my symptoms began to become more prominent, and simultaneously I went to school and became a User Experience Designer. (Are those things related? It’s possible.) Soon I started applying my design background toward solving some of my own health problems – like how to communicate better about my health history, and how to visualize my symptoms. I found it really helped improve my experience in the healthcare system, and before long I decided to take the leap into a career focusing solely on healthcare UX; there are so many other healthcare problems that need dedicated and idealistic designers.

    What new health-related website, app, or technology do you think will improve health?

    KMC: I have great hope in healthcare data exchanges and blue button technology that will allow data to flow between systems and apps. The fragmented nature of my health information has caused me untold hours of lost time, money spent on unnecessary procedures. I look forward to the day when patients can contribute to their ‘official’ records.

    Why should people come to your session?

    KMC: Understanding the necessity, utility, and process of involving end users in your design process benefits you in so many ways. It helps you create products that are more competitive, viable, and beloved. It saves you money by helping you build the right product in the first place. It gives you an advantage over competing products, because you are able to understand deeply-rooted mindsets, mental models, and emotions; and you can use this knowledge to create the right solution at the right time for your users. Join Susan and me for a very hands-on session and a lively discussion.

    Thinking Out Loud About A New Approach To Digital Health Innovation – PART 1


    Note To Reader – As some of you know I recently left Health 2.0 after a great three year run. Over the last few weeks I’ve spent time reflecting on my experiences and thinking about the future of digital health. This piece, which has been broken into three posts, is a distillation of my thought process and culminates in an idea for advancing digital health innovation. Today I’m publishing Part 1, and will be publishing the other parts over the next few days. I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on how to move forward, so please feel free to comment. Thanks for your time. JL

    Digital Health Is Taking Off – Believe The Hype

    It’s a very exciting time in the world of digital health (or “e-health” or “health tech” or whatever term you’d like to use).  Back in 2007 when my buddy Ed Shin (now CEO/founder of Quality Reviews) and I launched our online clinical trials matching company, Healogica, nobody seemed to care about technology-focused health companies.  In “those days” everybody was obsessing about “Web 2.0” companies and the big ideas of the day: social networking, social media, user-generated content, etc.  Digital health definitely wasn’t sexy.


    Fast forward a few years, however, and it’s amazing how much the digital health industry has evolved.  Until recently, I was the Director/GM of the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge program, where I worked with large health stakeholders and digital health innovators to solve interesting problems using technology.  Over the course of three years, I watched interest in digital health EXPLODE with thousands of individuals and many-hundreds of companies creating new products and services to address a wide range of health care problems.

    Major pieces of legislation like the ACAARRA-HITECH, and America Competes are creating many new opportunities in digital health that simply didn’t exist before.  The excitement around the space is palpable and highly reminiscent of the mood in the early internet days (depends on your perspective, of course, but I’m talking circa mid-nineties).

    You Want Evidence?  I Got Your Evidence Right Here!

    To understand how much has changed let’s take a look at investment in digital health companies.  MobiHealthNews analyzed 10 years of publicly disclosed funding data (see graph below) for “patient-facing digital health companies”.  Their analysis showed that funding for digital health companies increased every year from 2002 to 2012 (except for a slight drop 2009), totalling $939 mm in 2012 (up from only $6mm in 2002).

    While the Mobihealth data shows a funding dip in 2013, a report by RockHealth showed a 39% annual increase in venture funding for digital health companies in 2013(totalling $1.97 B), and recently-released data from Q1 2014 show an 87% (!) year-over-year increase from Q1 2013.  Health 2.0in a report using a more precise methodologyto determine funding levels (they include venture funding, angel funding, and other sources), showed that funding for the digital health sector increased from $1.61 B in 2012 to $2.31 B in 2013, a year-over-year increase of 43%.  Bottom line – a lot of money is being invested in digital health now and that amount is growing steadily.


    What’s even more encouraging is that investment in digital health is now being rewarded with meaningful exits.  In the last month we had TWO digital health IPOs: Castlight Health (CSLT), the SF-based health transparency company, and Everyday Health (EVDY), the NYC-based digital media and content company.  By going public, these companies have shown that it’s possible to build a significant digital health company AND achieve a significant exit, something that many investors have been dubious about for a long time. An increasing number of acquisitions of companies like MapMyFitnessAvado, and Bodymedia has also strengthened investor confidence.

    There are a number of other really well-positioned companies out there like ZocDocPracticeFusion, and Vitals that could also IPO or be acquired soon, and it will be exciting to see where they end up.  I believe that success begets success and predict that the strong financial performance of digital health companies will continue to drive investment and growth in the space.

    Meanwhile, Back In the “Real World” Of Health Care

    Despite all the money invested, all the new companies formed, all the talented people who have come into this industry, and all the hype, the truth is that very little of the innovation that we are collectively building is making its way into the “real world” of hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, nursing homes and other places where health care is delivered.  Why does this matter?  Well, if you want to innovate and slow the relentless upward climb in health care costs you have to go, as Willy Sutton (might) say, “where the money is”.  Where the money is (see table below) is in hospital care and professional services (almost 60% of total national health expenditures) – i.e. direct health delivery.


    Ask yourself, however, what has changed at your local hospital or doctor’s office since the foundation of WebMD, the first big digital health company, back in 1996?  What percentage of doctor visits are booked online?  What percentage of prescriptions are filled online?  What percentage of provider-patient interactions happen virtually?  Ask yourself a similar set of questions about any other industry – banking, retail, entertainment – and you realize that health system that you and I experience every day is still phenomenally ANALOG.

    I will admit that there has been some progress made in the use of technology to deliver health care, particularly in the area of electronic health records (EHRs).  A recent study showed EHR adoption increasing year-over-year across all provider group sizes (small physician office, large physician office, and integrated health system), with the overall adoption rate in 2013 being 61% (vs. 50.3% in the prior year).  I think everyone would agree that the adoption and use of electronic health records is a good thing.

    The cynic in me, however, would like to point out that the increased adoption of EHRs has been fueled by big-time government incentive programs that won’t go on forever.  The part of me that “keeps it real” would also like to point out that the incentives have driven the adoption of antiquated legacy EHR systems that primarily allow providers tobill more aggressively, and don’t really improve the quality of health or the health experience.

    Aside from EHRs I’m sure that there has been some progress made in other places, but overall I think it’s safe to say that we’re not anywhere close to where we need to be.

    Next Up: Thinking Out Loud About A New Approach To Digital Health Innovation – PART 2 (Coming Next Week). In the next post I’ll talk about the issues holding us back and how we addressed the innovation problem at Health 2.0.

    HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Catherine Rose, Senior Manager, Healthcare Lighting Applications

    CatherineRose-300x300Our next interview is of Catherine RoseCatherine (along with Derek) made the Lightaide, a teaching tool for children with low vision and those with cognitive disabilities.  Read on for this next HxR sneak peak.

    What is your burning mission in health and why?

    CR: I am passionate to make sure that our daughter’s care is not an exception; but rather it is a norm that parents have tools to support themselves. I’ve shared how to build a team to discuss with doctors, find a community for support and communicate frequently with our care team. I look forward to a world that consolidates silos to care for patients in their single body, cares for patients where they are, communicates compassionately and creates a future for Alexis’ health and well-being. Caregiver stress spikes from unplanned hospitalizations. My dream includes using innovative technology to allow more care to be delivered at home.

    What is your patient story?

    CR: As an empowered and engaged caregiver, I am Alexis’ voice, I’m her pattern recognizer, I’m her numbers gal. I have pulled on my strengths and give it my all to have her have a chance for life. The first words about Alexis were “Your daughter is going to die within the first month of her life. And if not then, she’s surely going to die within the first year.” I had already said goodbye to Alexis’ twin, Kaitlyn, who had died in utero at 29 weeks. I am empowered by using technology to invent new devices to support Alexis’ health and wellness. I am equipped by knowledge through researching references and interacting with other parent caregivers to improve Alexis’ and Jessica’s care.

    What new health-related website, app, or technology do you think will improve health?

    CR: We have the following success stories from parents using LightAide: “Olivia has never truly had a toy that she has been attracted to enough to remember to play with. When she came home from school the other day, the first thing that she did was run to the LightAide. Cognitively, this modality had such an impact on her that she remembered. Wow, I have no words. I possibly just witnessed a miracle!” -Anna, Olivia’s mom “Aly loved the LightAide immediately! She was very drawn to the light and movement. The switches helped with her purposeful movement by utilizing cause and effect. Using the LightAide has been an eye opener for me. I have seen the LIGHT. Lights are the key to unlocking my daughter’s learning potential.” -Brittany, Aly’s mom

    Why should people come to your session?

    CR: LightAide might have been an idea from a mom, but the journey to bring LightAide to market inspired a team, which in turn has inspired a company. LightAide is highlighted as one of the products in the Innovation+You. Attendees will get to learn first hand how a little product with big potential is helping kids throughout the world.

    HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Judith Weader, Customer Experience Strategist, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island

    JudithWeader-300x300Judith Weader is a customer experience strategist at Blue Cross Blue Shield!  At the HxR Conference she’ll be talking about the changes that made a difference for Blue Cross Blue Shield’s customers.

    What is your burning mission in health and why?

    JW: I want people to have access to affordable, quality health care so they can live their lives to the fullest. Health insurance is a big part of that equation, and I want to inspire and empower my co-workers so that we can be a positive, supportive partner for our customers.

    What is your patient story?

    JW: One of the most intense patient experiences I ever had was when I was in the hospital to deliver my first child – my daughter. No matter how much you’ve read or learned about beforehand, nothing fully prepares you for having a child. When I was being prepped for my c-section, and the anesthesiologist pushed the spinal anesthetic, my blood sugar dropped like a stone and I started to feel incredibly sick and dizzy. I explained the situation to the anesthesiologist and he immediately gave me a sugar drip – which brought me back to normalcy. It was a perfect example of a healthcare provider listening to and trusting a patient, and that made the rest of the delivery a snap for me. Even better, with that knowledge under my belt, I was able to educate the anesthesiologist helping with my second c-section 3 years later, and he pushed sugar right after the spinal, so I never even had a moment’s difficulty. It was through those two deliveries that I learned that as much as I wanted to have a great obstetrician, it’s also incredibly important to have a great anesthesiologist, too! When doctors listen to and work with their patients, the experience is better for everyone.

    What new health-related website, app, or technology do you think will improve health?

    JW: I think integration on the mobile device will be of critical importance in the future. People don’t like fumbling with multiple passwords and systems, so integrated systems that combine weight-management tools with pedometers/speedometers and wellness incentive programs will encourage and educate patients without adding additional complexity. The more we make it easy for people to do things that are healthy – like tracking what they eat, how much they move, etc. – the more likely they are to do it.

    Why should people come to your session?

    JW: I’m here to show that you can improve the customer-centricity of an organization, even with limited resources. If a company operating in a traditionally paternalistic industry like health insurance can think more like a retailer, anyone can make customer-focused changes that improve their customers’ health and the company’s bottom line!

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