Jessica DaMassa

Veritas Genetics

People don’t want really the data; people want the insights. How many of your x-rays have you asked to receive and keep in your home?
— Rodrigo Martinez, Veritas Genetics

DNA testing companies like 23andMe and Ancestry have made DNA testing mainstream, with adoption skyrocketing among consumers. Meanwhile, health tech startups like Veritas Genetics are starting to push the trend even further – from genotyping to whole genome sequencing. What’s the difference? Well, genotyping looks at less than half of 1% of your genome, while whole genome sequencing looks at over 99% of your genome.

Veritas is betting that consumers are ready for what’s revealed by looking at more than 6.4 billion letters of DNA and are promising that the value of that information will only get richer as time goes on and the science that makes sense of our genome achieves new breakthroughs.

In fact, Veritas is positioning their $999 test as “a resource for life” and Rodrigo Martinez, their Chief Marketing & Design Officer who I chat with here, shares a vision for the future that includes asking Alexa to scan your genome before taking medications or risking allergic reactions to foods.

This is fascinating proposition for the future of health (investors are jazzed too, having poured $50M into the company), but ethical questions abound. How do you make this information useful and actionable? How do you handle situations where major health issues are reveled? And what about data privacy? This is about as personal as personal health information can get. Rodrigo weighs in…

Together.Health

We’re building a hub-and-spoke model
— Stephen Konya, Together.Health

Will Together.Health be the organizing body that finally helps health innovation get its #%&! together? Stephen Konya & Nick Dougherty think so. And they’ve managed to convince 40+ different partners from across the ecosystem -- including the gov't, consumer tech co's, & almost every major digital health accelerator/incubator in the country -- to join in. Listen into my chat with Stephen to find out where Together.Health plans to start and whether or not you need to jump on the bandwagon too.

Filmed at HIMSS19 in Orlando, Florida, February 2019.

Trenor Williams

One of the most exciting things is the link between social risk and PMP, or per-member-per-month, cost...”
— Trenor Williams, Socially Determined

How can understanding the underlying social risks impacting patient populations improve health outcomes AND save health plans some serious per-member-per-month costs?

As healthcare continues to realize it’s ‘data play’ – and look beyond the typical data sets available to healthcare companies – the opportunities for real and meaningful impact are tremendous. Listen in to hear more about what Dr. Trenor Williams sees as the new business opportunity for Social Determinants of Health.

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

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.

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.