HxRefactored Sneak Previe...
HxRefactored Sneak Previe...
HxRefactored Sneak Previe...
  • 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!

    HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Adam Connor, Experience Design Director, Mad*Pow

    AdamConnor-300x300Today, we present another HxR sneak peak! Adam Connor works at Mad*Pow to ensure that customers reach great design solutions, with a better design education and better collaboration.

    What is your burning mission in health and why?

    AC: I guess I have two. First, I want to help teams, whether they be patients, doctors, analysts, developers, whomever work better together to improve patients lives. I believe that collaboration is critical, but it takes a lot more understanding and action than just putting people together on a team and expecting them to make something. Second, I want to help bring basic, compassionate, empathic human-to-human interaction back to healthcare and avoid the industry becoming so enamored with technology that patients become database records, or usernames that log into apps and websites. Technology is great, used as an assistive tool it can add both power and speed to interactions, but nothing, nothing is superior to meaningful human interaction, especially when it comes to a person’s health.

    What is your patient story?

    AC: I was diagnosed with a rare, chronic condition when I was five. Given how relatively little is known about the condition, I’ve gone through a wide variety of treatments and dealt with the relative successes and failures of each. Over the long view of that time, I’ve had great experiences and healthcare, and some that we’re so mind-blowingly absurd it leaves you to question wether anyone knows what they’re doing. In my experience these absurdities tend to happen between things, between events, for example transitions of information from one doctor to another. These situations leave patients feeling helpless and hopeless. Getting teams to think through these kinds of challenges is part of what drives my interest in designing for healthcare.

    Why should people come to your session?

    AC: Chances are you’ve worked as part of a team. And it’s more than likely you’re going to have to again in the future. The success of your projects and of your organization rely on teams being able to work together. Taking a step back and understanding the challenges that teams face so that you can proactively address them means better ideas, better progress and happier team members. And I’m pretty sure that those are all good things.

    News & Updates

    The ONC is inviting voting for ideas submitted in its Digital Privacy Notice Challenge, which include games, responsive templates, a Web widget, and an NPP generator.

    eCaring raised $3.5 million in a Series A round for its platform to support aging in place. The platform, which monitors day-to-day behavior and activities, helps identify any changes indicating a decline in patient condition or anything that requires a rapid response. Ascent Biomedical Ventures led the round.

    BlackBerry invested in Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth. The companies are jointly developing a smartphone optimized for viewing diagnostic images, scheduled for a late 2014 release.

    HeiaHeia, a Finnish startup offering a social and corporate wellness platform that helps employees live a healthier lifestyle raised €1.5 million in funding led by Finland’s Wallstreet Financial Services.

    CMS introduced a Code-a-Palooza Challenge to encourage developers to create apps that use the new Medicare payment data to help consumers improve their healthcare decision-making.

    Stockholm, Sweden-based calorie counting app company Lifesum (formerly known as ShapeUp Club) raised $6.7 million in its first round of funding led by Germany’s Bauer Media Group and SparkLabs Global Ventures. The company has 4.5 million members and 6.5 million downloads in Europe for its Android and iOS apps. At the end of last year it reported having about half a million monthly active users.

    Anoto, a digital writing solutions provider, achieved Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance for its Anoto Live™ forms as a hosted or locally installed solution to the US health care market.

    Sandlot Solutions, a health interoperability and analytics provider, signed a five-year contract with Dialysis Clinic Inc. to provide clinical interoperability. DCI will implement two Sandlot modules, Sandlot Connect, for comprehensive data gathering and exchange, and Sandlot Dimensions, which combines a data warehouse with business intelligence tools.

    The SMART Platforms project at Boston Children’s Hospital formed an advisory committee to guide the project on strategy, technical approach and business development. Members include The Advisory Board Company, AARP, BMJ, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, England National Health Service, Hospital Corporation of America, Eli Lilly, MyHealthBook, Polyglot Systems, and Surescripts.

    MeMD, a telemedicine company, will now provide telehealth services in all 50 states in the US. Patients will be able to request a medical consultation with a MeMD Provider and obtain an e-prescription. MeMD provides both single-use and monthly membership-based options for consumers as well as businesses seeking telehealth services and health benefits.

    Txt4health, a mobile health and wellness program for adults age 18 and over, reached 100,000 enrolled members since launching in December 2013. Txt4health provides timely and personalized health information on recommended guidelines for physical exams, preventive screenings, flu shots and vaccinations, etc.

    HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Ahava Leibtag, President & Owner, Aha Media Group

    AhavaL-300x300Here is an interview with Ahava Leibtag, continuing our HxR conference sneak peak series.  Ahava will be talking about how population research/information should inform design.

    What is your burning mission in health and why?

    AL: For people to get quality healthcare information, no matter where they are and which device they are using.

    What is your patient story?

    AL: Don’t have one.

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

    AL: Better content out there.

    Why should people come to your session?

    AL: To learn the dos and don’t of writing healthcare content that converts AND educates!

    HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Krisa Ryan, Service Designer, Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation

    krisaThis interview is with Krisa Ryan, who works on the Practice Redesign platform for the May Clinic Center for Innovation.  Come watch her speak at the HxR conference.

    What is your burning mission in health and why?

    KR: My burning mission in health is to enhance awareness, anticipation and communication for care teams and patients through knowledge and tools.

    What is your patient story?

    KR: Two patients I’ll never forget were the “Two Fathers.” They had the same disease and medically looked identical on paper. They would have received the same treatment until we were able to use design tools to highlight their lifestyles and formative backgrounds. To me, the Two Fathers represent the need for design in healthcare, the need to meet patients where they are, and the need to see patients as individuals.

    Why should people come to your session?

    KR: People should come to my session to find a passionate designer willing to share stories.

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