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  • NYSDOH Health Innovation Challenge Winners


    On Wednesday, October 15th in Albany, the NYS Department of Health unveiled the winning solutions for the NYS Health Innovation Challenge that sought to empower communities and individuals to take control of their own health. The challenge was initiated to simplify navigation of the health care system, and provide more information for consumers and employers. Using health data and other information like health care costs, services provided, and availability, the challenge worked to provide applications that will assist individuals and their communities in choosing the right hospital for their specific health care needs.

    This year’s winners represented the best and most user friendly health tech solutions:

    DocSpot takes individuals’ unique requirements into consideration, and created an application that allows consumers to search for providers based on user specific filters to quickly and accurately find a provider that will fit his or her needs. The DocSpot website provides users with a variety of information, such as procedure details, treatment location options, relevant hospital metrics, and a feature that allows them to compare nearby hospitals based on their costs, coverage, and procedures.

    HealthRank utilizes publicly available inpatient discharges data to provider users with a customizable ranking of hospitals they may be interested in. HealthRank provides an interface where users can input location, health diagnosis, and the importance they attribute to hospital elements such as length of stay, cost, number of cases seen, and proximity. The results are then ranked in order of best to worst match for the individuals’ needs. In this way, HealthRank is providing consumers with personalized health care recommendations.

    NaviNext seeks to simplify the search for health care by creating an application that can transfer from web to mobile and provide users with a data rich source from which to select a health care provider based on diagnosis, cost, and location. In addition, users can compare hospital quality ratings, procedure finances, and routes to the hospital. NaviNext has created a simple, map based solution to supplement the search for nearby and user relevant hospitals.


    The challenge was launched on the heels of Governor Cuomo’s OpenNY, which provides comprehensive state data collected from New York State agencies and the federal government. Acting State Health Commissioner Howard A. Zucker, M.D., J.D. noted “here in New York, the ability to compare and contrast health care option is around the corner- with quality, cost and efficiency data- to help consumers in making informed health care decisions.” The winning solutions are certainly a step in that direction.



    Incentivized Health Care Programs Driving Behavioral change

    Rewards play a critical role in driving behavior within virtually every consumer-focused industry. Restaurants, airlines, credit cards, grocery store chains, pharmacies and retailers of all kinds pour multiple billions of dollars into loyalty programs every year, and consumers’ wallets are bulging with plastic cards. Now it’s the health care industry’s turn.

    According to a Welltok survey, 96% of consumers would engage in healthier behaviors if rewarded. More than 85% of respondents said they believed that health care companies should offer consumers rewards for being healthy. The top three preferred reward types are cash (nearly 50%), reduced insurance premiums (nearly 30%) and gift cards (nearly 20%). Fortunately, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has opened the door to greater rewards, increasing the limit to 30% of premium dollars (and 50% for smoking cessation programs). With incentives driving health-related behavior change, the potential cost savings are significant. For example:

    • Prevent one emergency room visit and the savings can be $1,500 per incident.
    • Savings between the lower cost and higher cost MRI in the same market can be as much as $2,000 per test.
    • Lifestyle accounts for 75% of total health care cost so smoking, exercise, nutrition, weight and other lifestyle factors can have a large impact.

    Health plans that read the writing on the wall and take the lead in offering sophisticated reward programs will create a competitive advantage. Those that don’t will be competing on factors that have become harder to differentiate.  It is just a matter of time before every health plan has a rewards program for members—just like every credit card provider, airline, hotel and retailer.

    Moreover, the standard for health reward programs will be set not by health care, but by the work done by consumer industry players. What is already table stakes for retailers will soon become de rigeur for health plans—except that health plans need to tailor their programs to individual health conditions, biometrics, demographics, coverage type and more. And the reward levels need to be competitive to motivate consumers to make big lifestyle changes.

    Eventually, as health care exchanges start to rate health plans, the ability to offer attractive health rewards will become an important criterion. Experts within the health care industry will continue to tell consumers how they need to act- be healthier; make better provider decisions; choose lower-cost options. But that relationship is about to be turned on its head. Consumer empowerment means not only that consumers will be more accountable for their own health, but that they will also be more demanding of their health plans. And rewards are likely to be high on the list of demands.

    Michael Dermer is the Senior Vice President and Chief Incentive Officer of Welltok. Twitter: @rewardforheatlh

    Healthcare Redefined Through Technology

    We stand at an unprecedented time of transition and opportunity in healthcare. Providers and healthcare organizations are leveraging big data, genomics, mHealth, and other transformative technologies to advance care, improve clinical outcomes, and enhance the patient experience.

    The New York eHealth Collaborative’s fourth annual Digital Health Conference on Nov. 17-19 in New York, NY will bring together 850 senior-level professionals from across the healthcare ecosystem to learn about cutting-edge innovations and foster dynamic conversation addressing how healthcare is being redefined through technology.

    Keynote Speakers:

    • Eric J. Topol, MD, Director, Scripps Translational Science Institute
    • Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives & Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania.

    Why Should You Attend?

    • Engage with thought-provoking lectures and attend interactive panels as part of a peer-driven educational program
    • Network and increase your visibility with 850 fellow healthcare leaders
    • Interact with technological exhibits showcasing emerging health IT tools
    • Connect with leading solutions providers that can help you improve efficiencies and patient outcomes

    Join your peers and put yourself at the center of the conversation!  

    Health 2.0 Colleagues: Receive a 10% registration discount. Use code H20 when registering at

    Combining Crowdsourcing & Gaming for Cancer Research

    There are more than 200 types of cancers currently known to us, and with new mutations of each coming to light regularly. Cancer research involves considerable time and resources, making it tough to keep up the speed of cure with the speed of these discoveries. To help increase the momentum of this research, the scientific community has turned their attention towards a resource gaining notoriety for making amazing technologies possible.

    Online crowdsourcing, that brought us products like the Kite Patch (mosquito repellant), Scanadu (bio metric tracker), SIGMO (voice translator), etc., is now its stepping up its game with ‘Reverse The Odds’, a mobile application that combines crowdsourcing and gamification to help solve the issue of limited resources to some extent.

    The game, created by Cancer Research UK for the Stand Up To Cancer campaign, is completely free to download across iOS, Android, Amazon phones and tablets.  The story line follows a girl who is caught in a fantasy world of magical creatures who become grey & lifeless when her energy level goes down. Players have to conquer each level to restore the world from a wasteland to a wonderland. Users progress through levels by analyzing images of real cancer cells to aid researchers extract vital information, as well as by answering questions around how bright the cells are or how many particular types of cell are present.

    Data collected from the game will be used by Cancer Research UK and fed back to research teams to understand cancer and find new ways to beat cancer sooner. Since it is a crowdsourcing platform, players do not need to worry about the accuracy of their results.

    Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Channel 4 and Cancer Research UK, focusing on translational cancer research through online and televised efforts. Hannah Keartland from Cancer Research UK is going to be speaking at the 5th Annual Health 2.0 Europe Conference in London (Nov 10-12, 2014). Be there to see this technology in action, live. Register here!

    From Idea To Service: Bruce Hellman, CEO, uMotif

    uMotif will take the London Health 2.0 stage this year discussing the process and progress of services and products being adapted into hospitals and health systems.

    Bruce Hellman, CEO, uMotif came by the Health 2.0 San Francisco office for an interview with Matthew Holt to discuss uMotif’s progress over the past year and gave a snap shot of their participation in the larger session, “Getting Your Product or Service Into Hospitals and Health Systems” during the 5th Annual Health 2.0 Europe Conference this Nov. 10-12 in London.

    Viewics: Changing the World of Health Care Data

    is a health care data analytics company that uses a cloud-based SaaS model to provide health care organization with solutions to improve their operational, financial and clinical outcomes. Viewics raised $8M in additional funding today, in a round led by Canvas Venture Fund. This is the second funding round for the company this year. Earlier this February, it raised an undisclosed amount from a group of savvy Silicon Valley investors, including Morado Ventures’ Farzad Nazem, who also is the former Yahoo CTO, and AME Cloud Ventures, a venture capital group led by Yahoo’s founder and former CEO, Jerry Yang.

    Viewics’ flagship product, Viewics Health Insighter (VHI), allows health care organizations to have a standardized suite of analytics tools to aggregate, extract and share insights from the vast amounts of data in their information systems. It eliminates the hassle of developing an internal business intelligence infrastructure. Viewics has over 100 hospitals and laboratories as its customers, and processes data for 20 million patients across multiple departments and visits. The VHI data aggregation platform enables clinical analysis on a database representing 650 million tests.

    Canvas, which is a spin off from Morgenthaler Ventures, was initially managed by Gary Little, Rebecca Lynn, and Gary Morgenthaler, with Paul Hsiao joining in as a general partner in May 2014.

    Rebecca Lynn is going to join Viewics’ Board of Directors along with Ash Patel of Morado Venture Partners. This is not a surprising news since Ms. Lynn has a long association with this company. In 2011, Viewics was selected as a finalist in the first DC to VC Startup Showcase, a contest organized by Morgenthaler Ventures with co-organizers Silicon Valley Bank, Health 2.0, and Practice Fusion, where US-based entrepreneurs competed to raise seed or Series-A capital for their health IT startups. Rebecca Lynn was one of the judges of the contest, along with Shai Goldman and JC Simbana, directors at Silicon Valley Bank; Matthew Holt, co-founder of Health 2.0; and Steven Krein, founder of StartUp Health and CEO of Organized Wisdom.

    The Unmentionables 2014: Personal Life In The Health Care System

    The Unmentionables is all about how intricately personal life is integrated into our health.  How can we worry about what food we eat when our budget is stressed? Alexandra Drane opens up about the abundant evidence regarding the lack of empathy in medicine and a call to reconstitute the way we look at personal life in the health care system.

    Susannah Fox recuperates the idea regarding the sharing of ideas and connecting with each other to improve health, lower stress, and pass on simple ideas to benefit society via the internet.

    Speaking of unmentionables, the topic gets a bit more steamy when Esther Perel explores the nuances of sexuality, desire, couples stability, and more.  Esther shares some very interesting insights regarding divorce, affairs, and why these specific things are important both in society and in corporations like Nike. What will a fragmented social structure do to our health? Can we stop treating sexuality as either smut or sanctimony?

    Computer Systems and Data Availability on Improving Patient Experience

    Health 2.0 Co-Chairman Matthew Holt drew from the recent experience of his son’s birth and medical follow up to highlight disparities in care based on location during his keynote in Santa Clara at the Health 2.0 8th Annual Fall Conference. He outlines his family’s experience with various health facilities in the San Francisco area that served different populations and their numerous inefficiencies.

    Holt transmits the mixed reactions from hospital staff concerning the new health technology that was implemented in the centers and their varying degrees of usefulness and actual use. He notes that congruity in computer system use and data availability were key to improving patient experience. See the full keynote below:

    Find more speakers, panels, and sessions on the Health 2.0 TV website!

    Re-Imagining The Scientific Methods by Digital Health

    Two weeks ago in Santa Clara during the Health 2.0 8th Annual Fall Conference, Health 2.0 CEO, Indu Subaiya, discussed a comprehensive re-imagination of the scientific method by digital health. She took to focusing on conventional applications of the method create large knowledge gaps that need addressing, and the emphasized on digital health’s ability to create more comprehensive and expedient results through technology and individual engagement.

    Dr. Subaiya focused on digital health as the ability to counter a multitude of health problems, from diabetes to breast cancer through its alternative methods of exploring data and classifying knowledge gaps. She also stressed the need for patient and physician interaction, open hypothesis generation, health plan personalization, and the consideration of data sets from various sources. See the full keynote below:

    Find more keynotes, panels, and sessions on the Health 2.0 TV website!

    Kaiser Permanente CEO Keynote: From Personalized Health To Improving Patient Experience

    During the Health 2.0 8th Annual Fall Conference last week in Santa Clara, CA, Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, discussed the importance of supplementing human knowledge with increasing technological capabilities and resources.

    Tyson emphasized Kaiser Permanente’s desire to redistribute the heavy resource use which exists at the beginning and end of life to include care that will maximize the healthy middle years of life. After noting the needs of the newly active consumer patients, Tyson noted that Kaiser Permanente would work to extend health care to apply to multiple facets of an individual’s life. He reaffirmed the company’s commitment to utilize cutting edge technology to improve patient experience through the creation of new medical centers, the use of artificial intelligence, and a personalized health “finger print” that would tailor life care patterns and, ultimately improve and extend life.

    Find more videos on keynote speakers, panels, and sessions on the Health 2.0 TV website.

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