Month: August 2017

Avik Som grew up in Houston, Texas, and attended Johns Hopkins University for his bachelors in Biomedical Engineering, and currently a National Cancer Institute NRSA F30 fellow in the MD/PhD program at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine.  Most recently, he defended his PhD where they developed a novel type of nanoparticle made of calcium carbonate that can be used to turn cancer into a chronic disease and increase the synergy of chemotherapies. Further he’s been interested in clinical translation, and as he transitions into the clinic, he has been focused on direct applications of innovation through the combination of entrepreneurship, research, and evidence based clinical care. Epharmix was born at the tail end of his PhD on the premise that the same research methods used to bring biopharmaceuticals to clinic using evidence based methods could be applied to the wild and often non-evidence based world of digital medicine. This new role builds on his previous forays into biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship, including his time as a design team leader at Johns Hopkins, and as the founder of IDEA Labs (now known as Sling Health), today a national medical student driven biomedical incubator.

Towards this end, he currently leads a team of 60 clinical students and over 50 physicians and providers across 10 institutions to build, develop, and clinically test Epharmix products through peer reviewed randomized controlled trials. He’s excited to be part of bringing Epharmix technologies to the next level of standard of care. He is interested in being part of innovation that improves biomedical and therapeutic care for patients. He is heavily involved in the biomedical design community through research, consulting, bio-entrepreneurship, and eventually medical practice. He is always looking for interesting projects to pursue.

Why Healthcare? I was really excited about how to innovate. I love the concept of the biomedical innovation. Growing up, I realized that to really make a change in health care system, you have to be in the medical sector and you have to be a physician to make those choices and really have a share of experience.

Hot Topic that should healthcare leaders agenda: Going from Fee-for service to Value-based care.

Setbacks that you learned from:  When we were first developing the heart failure capabilities, we were focused on detecting water retention through weighing.  Lots of false positives due to normal variations.  What we found was that asking questions that are more subjective questions about how the patients felt vs. using a scale.  Increased access because now they don’t even need a scale to detect deterioration.

Proudest leadership moments: Epharmix research center at Wash U.  Seeing over 60 faculty and students generate the actual valid research to tackle very real problems.

Avik 101 Course on Outcomes Improvement:

  1. What is the best way to improve healthcare outcomes?

Be disease specific. I think the best way to improve is to say “what is it that my patients have, who are my patients, what diseases do they have and being very specific about which groups of patients and that specific disease and outcome you want to improve”.

  1. What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Choosing intermediate outcome that sounds nice and broad and helpful but actually may cause issue.

  1. How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

One is the variety of economic models that are coming into healthcare we constantly building our systems and how. Second is research so that the system we built is underlying outcomes.

  1. One area of focus that should drive everything else is:

Patient outcomes for everyone.

Recommended book:

Influencer -by Kerry Patterson (Author), Joseph Grenny (Author), David Maxfield (Author), Ron McMillan (Author), Al Switzler (Author)

Closing Thought:  Despite the challenges and trying to get the value-based care, it’s definitely possible.

The Best Way To Contact Avik:


Healthcare 2.0 Fall Conference

  • PROMOCODE: FALL17ROCKET for $100 off

Enabling and Implementing Connectivity in Healthcare Devices with Scott Phillips, CEO Starfish Medical

Scott Phillips is the founder and CEO of Starfish Medical, a medical company that helps medical device companies commercialize their products and rise to the top. He holds a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia. He worked in diverse areas such as lithium battery development and manufacturing UV spectroscopy instrumentation in hi-fi audio speakers.

Why medical sector? I worked in lithium batteries and we invented lithium battery technology. We’re a medical family. Our very first substantial project was ophthalmic ultrasound system. I had a website and someone contacted us and decided to visit our office so I rent a space. The project was a good success.

Hot Topic that should healthcare leaders agenda:  (Device) Connectivity – implement connectivity in your institution to your full advantage about that information.

Setbacks that you learned from: Look at situation or someone objectively and not get too attached to anybody’s idea. Validate more carefully.

Proudest leadership moments: Outset medical – significant impact on how dialysis is done.

Scott 101 Course on Outcomes Improvement:

 1. What is the best way to improve healthcare outcomes?

The single, biggest thing is actually the whole thing, realizing that you don’t have the solution to solving the whole problem. There is no substitute for experience. Make sure your viewpoint is broad enough.

2. What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Technical people focusing on technology, it’s necessary but not sufficient. You need a lot of pieces to make a goal, and too much ego attached to it and not recognizing we need other expertise.

3. How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

Make sure you have a home in your company where innovation can act.

4. One area of focus that should drive everything else is:

Enabling success of others.

Closing Thought: In change comes opportunity, those changes create innovation and it’s a wonderful time to contemplate how you can adapt and take advantage.

Book recommendation:

Biodesign: The Process of Innovating Medical Technologies

Storytelling: The Indispensable Art of Entrepreneurism

The Best Way To Contact Scott:

Website – Starfish Medical

Email –


Healthcare 2.0 Fall Conference

  • PROMOCODE:  FALL17ROCKET for $100 off

Outcomes Rocket Podcast

Jeffrey Roh

Jeffrey Roh is a board-certified, award-winning specialist in minimally invasive spine surgery. Dr. Roh is Chair of the Arthritis Foundation’s Leadership Board of Directors in Washington state, Board Member of ProOrtho, Division of Proliance Surgeons and Chairman of Swedish Hospital’s Integrated Spine Program. He is actively involved in key strategic initiatives centered on excellence in clinical care, optimization of patient satisfaction, and value-based healthcare delivery.

Dr. Roh has over fifteen years of experience as an inventor, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur and holds multiple patents through the USPTO. He is one of the co-founders of Intuitive IP, an intellectual property firm created to help inventors and entrepreneurs transform their ideas into products and services that scale into businesses that help patients lead healthier, more productive lives. He also serves as a consultant on Stryker corporation’s surgical design and innovation team as well as on Providence Venture’s Strategy & Innovation team.

He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Case Western Reserve University and his spine surgery fellowship at Weill Cornell Medicine’s world-renowned Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. He is a graduate of the Michael G. Foster School of Business Executive MBA program at the University of Washington and is currently enrolled at Columbia University’s Executive Masters of Science in Technology Management program in NYC.

Why Healthcare? I had influential mentors along the way. When I was an undergrad, I thought about going to Physical Therapy. I ended up doing a shadowing at a local Physical Therapy clinic here and I realized that it wasn’t probably for me. I volunteered in University of Washington Medical Center, by chance they hook me up with the chairman of the department of Orthopaedic Surgery. I was able to shadow and did some research and watch his first shoulder case and I was mesmerized. During medical school, I got invited by Dr. Howard, one of the best-known spines surgeons and invited me to do research between my first and second year. And the first case I scrubbed in was an eight-hour long scoliosis case and I fell in love with it. I knew that I wanted to become a spine surgeon at that moment.

What are we doing as leaders to raise our level in your circle of five? I’ve learned about that it’s not doing it on your own, it’s about creating a team of really smart and motivated people to help you. When I started as an entrepreneur by myself it’s a lonely road. If you don’t have people around you to give you encouragement and support, I think it’s defeating.

Hot Topic that should healthcare leaders agenda: We don’t realize the power that machine learning and artificial intelligence is gonna have in our day to day practices.

Have you identified a healthcare model that perhaps we could learn from in the US? You can take a model that already succeeded in the tech industry and overlay them onto healthcare and that’s automatically a great idea for a system or process it’s gonna be efficient.

Setbacks that you learned from: When I first applied in medical school, I didn’t get in. It was so humbling. It makes you much stronger. The next year, I applied to multiple medical schools and got in.

Exciting Project: Intuitive IP and Intuitive IQ. IQ is focusing on medical and surgical devices. Focusing specifically on minimally invasive endoscopic approaches for outpatient surgery.

Jeffrey 101 Course on Outcomes Improvement:

1. What is the best way to improve healthcare outcomes?

Always put the patient at the center in every decision that we make. Treat every patient as if they were your family member.

2. What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Not to recognize the blind spots. If we ignore things that will lead to negative patient outcome, if we ignore a developing complication, then clearly that is a blind spot that will have a negative influence on patient outcome.

3. How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

Maintain relevance by staying on the forefront, by staying on the cutting edge of what’s coming out there.

4. One area of focus that should drive everything else is:

Keep the patient at the center of every discussion and decision. We have to be better at addressing the needs of the customer.

Closing Thought: I really think our future is so bright, I think we have an opportunity such unbelievable impact in millions of lives that we can positively influence with technology.

The Best Way To Contact Jeffrey:

Linkedin – Jeffrey Roh


Healthcare 2.0 Fall Conference

  • PROMOCODE:  FALL17ROCKET for $100 off

OR012 Improving the Healthcare Experience with Matthew Holt, Co-Founder Health 2.0

Matthew Holt is the founder of The Health Care Blog and, with Indu Subaiya, he runs Health 2.0, which has the leading conferences showcasing innovative technologies in health care, along with challenges, code-a-thons, education, expos and market intelligence.

In over 25 years in healthcare and healthcare IT as a generalist forecaster and strategist. He worked for renowned forecasting and polling organizations, conducted several groundbreaking in-depth studies about many aspects of health care, and delivered several keynote addresses.

Why Healthcare?  While at Stanford University, we were asked to write a research paper at Stanford University and I thought of writing about Japanese healthcare system. Later, a man showed up who’s studying Japanese healthcare and cross comparison with US healthcare system and I got the job for him to research the system. The same man advised me to get a degree and focus on health services research. I ended up on getting a job in Institute for the Future.

Hot Topic that should healthcare leaders agenda:  When moving from a healthcare system dealt with patients on a transactional point in time basis. Collecting data about patients and arrange healthcare to fit their healthcare experience to fit their lifestyle.

Conference coming up where people can go to: Health 2.0 Conference October 1 – 4 – 11th Annual Conference

What would be one or top 2 things you would recommend to a healthcare executive when it comes to implementation?

First, focus on customer, patient, citizen experience and improve the experience. Second, open up technology stack and allow other people build on top.

Matthew 101 Course on Outcomes Improvement:

1. What is the best way to improve healthcare outcomes?

Track them, track patients when they leave the vicinity for a long time

2. What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Not talking to patients about what their preferred outcomes, what they want before the procedure.

3. How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

The most important thing is to have compelling communication about the clarity of mission of the organization.

4. One area of focus that should drive everything else is:

Improving patient experience and meet patient’s expectation.

Matthew’s Recommended Books

Demanding Medical Excellence: Doctors and Accountability in the Information Age – Michael Millenson

Closing Thought: Outcomes mean different things for different people – focus on what happened and consequences rather than just the routines.

The Best Way To Contact Matthew:

Twitter – @boltyboy

The Health Care Blog

Health 2.0


Healthcare 2.0 Fall Conference

  • PROMOCODE:  FALL17ROCKET for $100 off

Amanda Goltz is the Vice President of Digital Innovation at BTG leveraging extensive experience across the healthcare system (payers, purchasers, and providers) to drive meaningful, effective, and measurable business transformation using digital health solutions. By solving specific business problems using digital health integrations, I build bridges between entrepreneurs’ emerging solutions and large institutions in the healthcare industry. Amanda advises several start-up companies as a mentor at Rock Health, a San Francisco-based health IT incubator, and StartXMed, health and life sciences incubator for Stanford University’s top entrepreneurs through experiential education.

Why healthcare? She wanted to become a doctor and cure AIDS. Unable to continue medicine, she then pursued Political Science focusing on healthcare.

Hot Topic that should healthcare leaders agenda: The cost crisis in American healthcare.

How have you created results by doing things differently and questioning assumptions? Apply 3 principles: engagement, flexibility, and personalization in all we do. We’re able to avoid a lot of pitfalls that sometimes our colleagues do. We don’t build things assuming people work on. Second, we don’t do digital initiative unless it has value for the payer, provider and patient.

Setbacks that you learned from: It’s really hard to live and strategize and operationalize in the future world when you have to deploy in today’s. My noticeable failures are the ones where it’s really a great initiative for the organization in which I work but because it didn’t yield value back to the other shareholders not in the negative way did it hurt them, adoption was always going to be limited and resulting business transformation was always going to be limited.

Exciting Project: Excellent patient engagement and provider patient communication platform work

Amanda’s 101 Course on Outcomes Improvement:

1.What kind of advice or tips would you give to the listeners for asking the right questions?

First, there are 3 components to any intervention: engagement, comprehensiveness and efficacy. Second, look for flexibility and personalization of the particular intervention. Third is measurement – what is it you’re looking for and can you actually gather that data.

2. What would you recommend to better understand the payer part?

First, lower the medical cost of somebody in a year in a way that can be demonstrated by claims. Second, any tool for health plans that would help them differentiate between treatment plan which is effective vs not the right fit for the individual. Third, the insurance company has a profound interest on their members.

Amanda’s Recommended Books:

America’s Bitter Pill – Steven Brill

And the Band Played On – Randy Shilts


Healthcare 2.0 Fall Conference

  • PROMO CODE:  FALL17ROCKET for $100 off

Outcomes Rocket Podcast