Patricia Forts

ROI can be either reduced costs, enhanced member engagement, improved quality — or all three ideally.
— Patricia Forts, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

If you're a digital health or health tech startup, a big health plan client can help not only boost your bottom line but also offer opportunities to pilot or grow your solution to scale.

So, how does one catch the eye of a health plan? Patricia Forts, Deputy Chief of Innovation and Strategy at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care talks about how their Center for Innovation goes about choosing the hottest innovations in healthcare today.

Filmed at AHIP’s Consumer Experience & Digital Health Forum in Nashville, TN, December 2018.

Dr. Jack Resneck

That’s why we’re investing so heavily in the innovation space...we look at physicians and how they’re spending their days. The amount of time they’re spending clicking away on their EHRs, wasting time – we think we can help fix it. It’s been a lot of years of other people not fixing it. We think it’s time for physicians to actually be in the rooms helping to make those solutions.
— Dr. Jack Resneck

Sounds to me like physicians are a little disappointed in health tech. Don’t get me wrong. This is not another ‘digital health snake oil’ controversy. (Although we do go there…)

Instead, my main takeaway from this conversation with Dr. Jack Resneck, Chairman of the Board for the AMA, is that physicians don’t exactly feel included or engaged in the tech revolution happening in healthcare.

In short, while docs are excited about innovation, it seems they don’t feel heard. So much so that the AMA has created its own Silicon Valley-based investment fund called Health2047 to prioritize solution development for what physicians have deemed the biggest systemic issues in healthcare. What’s out there is just missing the mark and, more importantly, the practicing physician perspective on what problems need to be solved in the first place.

I open this interview by asking Dr. Resneck what digital health entrepreneurs and health tech startups can do to work more effectively with physicians. The answer it seems is as simple as, ‘just ask your doctor.’

Jen Lannon

The space of ‘social egg freezing’ is really interesting.
— Jen Lannon

Although egg freezing was only approved for general use six years ago, the business is fertile ground for disruption. The issues? According to Jen Lannon, co-founder of website Freeze.Health, the biggest problem is that there’s no price transparency! She and her co-founder started the site when, through their own consumer research, they found that the service could cost anywhere from $4,000 to $18,000 -- at clinics in the same market! Now that ‘social egg freezing’ is a thing, can Freeze.Health help millennial women price shop and make better decisions? Or at least find clinics without so many baby pictures on the walls? Tune in to find out how this startup is hoping to transform the economics and customer experience of egg freezing.

Sarah Holoubek

Most large healthcare companies will have numerous teams - innovation teams, maybe a venture fund, business units - all doing different things. How much more powerful would it be if everyone agreed on a common investment thesis? We know our business model is changing and, therefore, where is our big bet?
— Sarah Holoubek

She’s staged a number of open innovation challenges in health tech and is here to give advice to the ‘healthcare establishment’ on what works and what doesn’t. Sarah Holoubek, CEO of Luminary Labs, has an impeccable track record for bridging the gap between big healthcare systems, pharma companies, and health plans – and the startups they need to bring agility to the way they solve their business problems and enter new markets. How can these organizations best stage open innovation challenges, combat ‘pilot fatigue,’ and avoid scattershot investing? Listen in for her tips.

Glen Tullman 'On Our Terms'

If we just shop for healthcare like we shop for everything else…we would take care of a lot of the problems.
— Glen Tullman

Glen Tullman is CEO of Livongo, a very hot startup with a chronic condition management platform that has been batting away IPO rumors since earlier this year when it closed a $52.M round funded by existing investors. Even more exciting, Glen has just literally written the book on consumerizing healthcare, called ‘On Our Terms,’ and stopped by to talk about it at the HIMSS TV set on location at Health 2.0's Fall Conference where I was guest hosting interviews. Find out if he thinks we as consumers are ready to take on the responsibility of ‘buying’ healthcare like we buy other consumer goods and services – and, if you’re a healthcare company, what you absolutely must do to get ready for us.


Healthcare is a journey for patients. Just helping them with one piece of it — it just doesn’t get the job done.
— Bryan Roberts

Bob Kocher & Bryan Roberts of Venrock talk about what kinds of investments they're most excited about NOW and we're hearing it again: platforms NOT point solutions. Listen in on a very detailed description of what makes a good platform: patient engagement, total care journey, multiple disease capability, fully integrated. Advice to startups with point solutions who need to pivot fast at 4 minute mark. Want to understand ROI in health care?  The truth: "No one in the healthcare system makes any real money."

Casey Quinlan

The real revolution that I’d like to start is the ‘If you’re selling my data, cut me in” movement.
— Casey Quinlan

One of health's most outspoken patient advocates and Twitter voices @mightycasey, podcaster Casey Quinlan of Mighty Casey Media talks about her patient journey as a cancer survivor -- and why the awful experience led her to tattoo a QR code linking to her electronic medical record to her chest.

The 'physical political protest' is tied to her passionate views about the lack of data liquidity in healthcare and how patients suffer as a result. The 'gun-slinger' is looking for others to join her new "If You're Selling My Health Data, Cut Me In" Movement and weighs in on why more patients aren't clamoring after their health data to push real change in the healthcare system. 

Matthew Holt

The sorts of technologies that have transformed almost every other industry haven’t really made it into healthcare yet…
— Matthew Holt

‘S.M.A.C.K Health’ is the term Matthew Holt coined for the emerging healthcare sector that is trying to bring new technologies like…

Social platforms and sensors

Mobile platforms

Analytics / big data

Cloudbased storage and

Kindness (or patient-centerd design)

…into the health system.

Matthew’s just launched a startup advisory service — of course called S.M.A.C.K. Health — to help entrepreneurs figure out how to do business in healthcare and win. Leveraging his 20+ years of health industry know-how (and contacts!), founders can more or less ‘fast-track’ their way to understanding how to sell into the health system.

Listen in for extra reassurance that his career is not ‘crashing and burning’ now that he’s sold the Health 2.0 conference he co-founded to HIMSS. In fact, his future is extra bright. He’s becoming YouTube-famous with a 2 minute Q&A show called ‘Health in 2 Point 00’ that breaks down all the big headlines in health tech for The Health Care Blog

Lena Wen

Ask, ‘what do you need?’ Don’t come to us with a solution when the problem that you’ve identified is different from ours.
— Lena Wen

Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Lena Wen, talks about how the city is using data to take on -- and prevent -- public health problems like infant mortality and falls among seniors. Her team is collaborating with an extensive network of organizations across government, the health system, and the private sector to squash health crises exacerbated by socioeconomic conditions. Her best advice when collaborating with large health organizations? Pick a 'North Star' to follow.

uber Health

Uber has played a big role in the on-demand mentality that a lot of people have, and I think that the more that healthcare can think about patients as consumers, the better.
— Lauren Steingold

What did it take for tech giant uber to get into healthcare? Lauren Steingold from uber Health talks about how uber is hoping to contribute to the transformation of healthcare with their HIPAA compliant ride scheduling and sharing program. Any advice for others looking to launch consumer-friendly tech into healthcare? Listen in on her *FREE* completely disruptive idea for healthcare companies to steal at the 3:30 mark.