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Outcomes Rocket - David Weingard

Fit4D is Improving the Lives of People with Diabetes with David Weingard, CEO and Founder of Fit4D

Thanks for tuning in to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I want to personally invite you to our first inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's a conference that the Outcomes Rocket and the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Sciences has teamed up on. We're going to put together silo crushing practices just like we do here on the podcast except it's going to be live with inspiring keynotes and panelists. To set the tone, we're conducting a meeting where you can be part of drafting the blueprint for the future of healthcare. That's right. You could be a founding member of this group of talented industry and practitioner leaders. Join me and 200 other inspiring health leaders for the first Inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's an event that you're not going to want to miss. And since there's only 200 tickets available you're going to want to act soon. So how do you learn more? Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference. For more details on how to attend that's outcomesrocket.health/conference and you'll be able to get all the info that you need on this amazing healthcare thinkathon. That's outcomesrocket.health/conference.

Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I really thank you for tuning in and I welcome you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you could rate and review today's podcast because we have an outstanding individual and leader in healthcare. His name is David Weingard. He is the CEO at Fit4D. Their goal is to solve for diabetes medication adherence in a very unique way. And David's got a really unique background with the technology and sales background. Spent some time at Microsoft then went over to start his own company as part of the startup health moonshot to help the diabetes solutions. He's done some really great and innovative things that fit Fordie. So what I want to do is just open up the microphone to David so he could fill in any of the gaps and then we'll get into the diabetes discussion. So David welcome to the podcast my friend.

My pleasure. So great to be here.

Hey it's a pleasure to have you. And so what is it that got you involved in the health care, David?

So I got into health care because one day I went to my doctor and I had absolutely no energy stepped on the scale of 159 on a good day and I was 129 and I lost 30 pounds in three weeks. And the doctor told me I had type 1 diabetes. So my life changed at that moment. And I was completely overwhelmed. I've been an athlete my whole life been a runner. I had already done nine man track funm. No diabetes in my family. So I needed help. And the doctor was able to prescribe medication for me, insulin and given a point with his nurse the next day to learn how to take it. But I really needed somebody to help me through and educate me. I looked online a lot of good information out there wasn't personalized to me, went to the local hospitals and the next diabetes training classes were two months away. Wow. And I needed help now. And I was fortunate to meet a great diabetes educator a lady named Cecilia who took the time to personalize all that content online and make it meaningful to me. Give me the support, the compassion and really help me get to an empowered place in my life. And that really changed everything for me it was a magical experience. And from that I decided to dedicate my mission to improve the health of people with diabetes and leverage what I learned through Cecilia.

That's amazing. David. What an amazing story. And you know I could feel the confusion, the frustration and in come Cecilia and she just lights the path for you which is amazing right. And not everybody has a Cecilia and so it's interesting that that you were able to locate her and she was able to provide that insight for you. What do you think today is missing from the health system? What's a hot topic that needs to be on every medical leader's agenda?

Well when you look at the providers and ask them what's the number one thing they want to accomplish with their patients they say we want them to follow our care plan and take the medication and the number one thing they don't have time to follow up on is exactly that. So how do we deliver a value based service that makes it easier for the provider to deliver outcomes for their patients and to get them back into their office to take care of them. And so when you look at diabetes specifically this 30 million people in the United States with diabetes about 5 percent of them have type 1 like myself. Body doesn't create insulin anymore. Type 1 is also called juvenile diabetes. And the other 95 percent of Type 2 people with diabetes which is more what you hear about in the media about type 2. And you know when you look at the numbers and getting connecting those people with Cecilia's, there's maybe 30000 of them in the U.S. the only way to do that is with technology to scale Cecilia's so they could virtually meet the needs of the population. People are busy. They take care of their families their careers. How are they going to take the time off to get to a diabetes educator and how are they going to do all the work in a way that fits into their life? And so I think that's a huge issue is about fitting into people's lives making sure that they follow the care plan that the doctor prescribes and actually delivering measurable outcomes.

Yeah for sure, David. So on this topic give us an example of how you and your organization have created results by doing things differently.

So it's interesting if we take for example two different patients one is a mom who's taking care of her kids. You can't take care for diabetes till the evening something so simple as having diabetes educator on the phone or communicate through technology like e-mail and text when the kids are in bed is a way of fitting into the person's life you know rather than trying to figure out how to do it during the day or traveling to a doctor's office. The virtual component is really key. The other part is really personalizing to what the person needs the most. May have a patient that was diagnosed a specific diabetes medication and the side effect is nausea in the first 30 days. We can't really talk to them about improving their diet until you help them with what they're stuck on because they don't want to hear about it. They might not even take the medication or drop off because they're dealing with that nausea. So getting them through that issue and then moving to the things that you can try behavior change so the level of personalization making it meaningful. You know another example is someone who walks out of a doctor's office overwhelmed with a sense of failure maybe their grandfather passed away from diabetes. So again you have to have compassion and support and help them through that experience before you're going to help them learn how to take the medication. Do the behavior change that's critical to take care of the diabetes. Meeting people at where they are. It's one of the biggest lessons we've learnt.

So totally love the outline that you just provided, David. How do you guys meet people where they are? How do you do that?

So one of the things that are diabetes educators do me they focus on building trust with the patient and it's always the same. Diabetes educator that works with the patient. So if we're calling on behalf of a health plan we are saying you know what I got your back. Basically your personalized diabetes educator for the next X months. And people really resonate with that. They're not used to that level of service from their health plan or provider. They appreciate it because the patients are motivated to change. You just don't know how to do it. They don't either have the education or the time or they need somebody there to keep them accountable. And so what we make sure our educators do is they build a trusted relationship first solve for what the patient is stuck on and then start moving them through the diabetes journey. And that's an art. I mean it's taken us eight years of innovation and testing in the real world with big pharmaceutical clients, medical device clients, health plans. How do we do this in a way that not only creates trust but is scalable. There's a lot you can pay clinicians ten different ways if they are with 10 different patients. How do you do in a way that is scalable drives return on investment for the clients the is measurable outcomes. That's the art and that's really what we spent most of the time on during our innovation years.

That's fascinating. Now listeners David and his team are doing some outstanding things. They recently made an announcement of an expansion with Humana to deliver personalized diabetes coaching in South Florida. David you want to dive into a little bit of that and kind of give the folks some insight into what you guys are doing over there?

Sure. So if you look at Florida as an example one out of every four people in Florida have diabetes.

One out of every four. Is that right?

Yeah. It's a large part of it is that there's such a large senior population and type 2 diabetes usually progresses as people get older. But we really these people are overwhelmed and even if they can visit the doctor and they have the mobility to do so and the support system they really need somebody that's going to get to know them and motivate them and help them through the questions and their stocks around some of the things we've talked about so far the medication. How do I change my diet? How do I integrate exercise at my age? There's so much education that needs to be done. So Humana recognized that there was a need. The providers were completely overwhelmed to our earlier point of you know the number of diabetes patients and how did they get them educated and on a healthier direction without spending hours that they don't have per patient of their own. And so Humana stepped up to deliver this service to for their benefit to lower costs and improve quality measures and for their members benefit for that to improve their health. And so we're really the provider that's delivering the service. And it's a win for the physicians it's a win for the patients and it's a win for Humana.

That's amazing. So just want to say congratulations to you guys on that partnership but also the bigger picture you know helping this population that is that is struggling and that is Unnur served in a really big way. So it's a big kudos to you and your team, David.

Thank you. We're making a difference every day and it's one of our core values is the passion we have for members and it's really incredible to see how lives can be changed.

Let's zoom into that a little bit more. Maybe this example or maybe another example that you guys have changed lives. Can you tell us a little bit about how you guys have improved outcomes?

Absolutely. So this a clinical measure called A1C which is the average blood sugar level over three months and that is from Medicare it's a triple weighted quality measure in the commercial population it's a key measure that the commercial population uses to measure the likelihood of diabetes complications. People don't die from diabetes they die from or have complications because of related things like heart a heart attack or a neuropathy where they lose feeling in the nerves and the fingers or in the feet. And so A1C is a key measure to see how diabetes health is progressing over aid is considered poorly controlled. So we'll work with health plan or watch provider group to take their patients that are poorly controlled and work to do the behaviour change to get them on the medications and get that agency measure down in one population we work with. We were told that the patients were all on an oral diabetes med and when our diabetes educators got to work we found out they were prescribed mealtime insulin as well which you know gets into a lot of medical science here but basically a mealtime insulin covers the food that you're eating. So when you eat carbs you need insulin to cover those carbs so you're enjoying the meal. And these patients didn't want to take the injection they didn't know why it was important and just want to stick with the pill. And by getting these patients to recognise the importance of taking the insulin we were able to change the A1C measure and deliver quality measures lower costs and get the patients healthier.

Amazing. What a success story and something as simple as finally looking through what was going on. Identifying the problem and just communicating it being that that heart and that voice to be present during that care scenario at the home. So I really appreciate you diving into these very personal and impactful moments that you guys have been a part of David. In your mind to date it hasn't always been smooth, what would you say a setback that you guys experienced as you guys developed the company and what did you learn from it has made you guys stronger?

Well I think when I go back to eight years ago the health care landscape especially for innovation wasn't as mature or resilient as it is today. So we went to look for funding and we were basically told unless we were a million multimillion dollar business we wouldn't be able to raise money and it was true. So we went out and we delivered results by signing real paying clients where we innovated while we got paid and we were all we showed that we were results based and were able to innovate while we engaged in the market. Nowadays you can kind of get a startup amount of capital to begin testing but frankly I'm glad we did it this way because by the time we finished our art of signing multiple clients and growing up business, we had real data in the real world as opposed to just small pilots here and there.

That's amazing. So you really were just forced into signing your clients and delivering value ASAP and that was character forming.

It was great and it built the cultural business one of our five core values as being results based, on being results based for our clients delivering return on investment and quality. Another one is compassion for our patients so these really develop during these years and getting things done.

Love it. Hey have you ever read shoedog?

I Haven't.

You haven't I think about that because it just kind of resonates. You know those guys. Phil Knight and his team. Man, they were struggling they winning they couldn't get money from any banks and that was one and their one of their tough spots and with much grit and focus and vision just like you guys have that Fit4D. Much to your credit they were able to persevere and now look at them. So I think it's so awesome. Appreciate you sharing that story with us and listeners. The takeaway here is don't lose sight of your regime. Keep working at it and get those results. The money will follow. David you say one of your proudest medical leadership experiences to date is?

We have a system in our company where we share with our clients the best call the week. And I wouldn't say there's one particular call but it's the process of capturing those magic moments and sharing the wins with our health plan clients where we have patients who are literally crying on the phone for help and how they'll then subsequent calls saying how we change their lives. And those are the kind of things that we've learned to capture and share and treasure. And then it's you know simply things like understanding culture and language. We have now not only life in English but in Spanish and Chinese. And to understand.

Nice.

You know if you're going to guide people to even within a Spanish culture speaking culture to a taco it should be a Mexican Spanish speaking person as opposed to what we deal with here in New York which is mostly Dominican Spanish so the patients really appreciate that their clinician understands them understands their socio economic background and it's not just reading from a script. They're really authentic and really trying to help them in a very personal way.

Amazing. I love that David. And definitely something to be proud of. And you know I love that you mention that you know systematizing these magic moments rather than just experiencing them like let's let's find a way to capture them. And that's really thoughtful because being in the trenches it's easy to lose track. And so where did the inspiration to start documenting these and saving them come up from.

It actually came up from one of our clients they said you know we'd love to hear it. And this goes back maybe four years ago and said that's great let's do it. And we started realizing the power of both at a client level and also internally.

I think that's so great something that we can all take a note from. Tell us a little bit about an exciting project or focus that you're working on today, David.

So we continually enhancing our platform to be able to scale our clinicians and one of the things that we're being asked for is not only to help with diabetes but comorbidity as well. So a lot of the same patients who were dealing with diabetes were also dealing with cardiovascular disease. And so there's a slice of the population that we can help at a much deeper level and so continue to innovate. There is a big focus when you look at a health plan that's 18 percent of patients account for 40 percent of the costs. And for us to be able to focus on that 18 percent which is really the hardest part of the existing care management programs that sees management may help someone out there may help the core population. But the chief medical officers are really struggling with the people who are poorly controlled and an 18 percent. And so branching out with diabetes and cardiovascular as exciting new opportunity for us.

That's awesome man. And with the success you guys have had in the core offering I'm sure that will definitely be another area of high impact. So excited to keep up with the things that you guys do and and really look forward to hearing more about that. David let's pretend you and I are building a medical leadership course and what it takes to be successful in diabetes and in medicine. It's the ABCs of David and so I'd like to write out a syllabus with you today. I've got four questions, lightning round style followed by a book that you recommend to the listeners. You ready?

Absolutely.

What's the best way to improve healthcare outcomes.

Human touch, trust, leveraging technology. After building trust by the human being.

What's the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

To rely on apps or web sites to change behavior.

Love that one. How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

Teamwork and communication and learning every day.

What's one area of focus that should drive everything in your organization?

Patient care. The outcomes of the patient drives everything.

And what book would you recommend to the listeners as part of the syllabus?

One of my favorite books is a book called Blueprint to a Billion. It's especially would be dear to anyone who's an entrepreneur or a business minded talks about getting marquee customers about building your board of directors. And it has a lot of data from the most successful companies about how they got to this spot that they are so highly recommended.

An amazing shared thank you for that. Definitely going to have the added to my list, David. And listeners don't worry about writing any of this down. I know David's provided so much value in this episode. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/fit4D and you'll be able to find all the show notes links to fit for DS website as well as a transcript of all the things that we talked about and links to the book. So David before we conclude, I love if you could just share a closing thought and the best place where the listeners can get a hold of you.

You know this has been great and health care is in such a state of transformation now and the pace of innovation is accelerating. That we're excited to be part of it and I encourage everybody to engage as a transform and be open minded to what's what's possible fit4d.com is our website. We also have a Linkedin community called Diabetes Innovation and a Facebook community. Love you to engage and if we can help you let us know.

Outstanding and David they could get a hold of those communities through your website. fit4d?

Yes www.fit4d.com.

Outstanding David just want to say thank you again for spending time with us and we're excited with the stuff that you guys are doing to make the lives of people with diabetes better. Keep doing what you're doing man. The ripple effect is huge and we thank you for spending time with us today.

Thank you very much.

Thanks for tuning in to the outcomes rocket podcast if you want the show notes, inspiration, transcripts and everything that we talked about on this episode. Just go to outcomesrocket.health. And again don't forget to check out the amazing healthcare Thinkathon where we can get together took form the blueprint for the future of healthcare. You can find more information on that and how to get involved in our theme which is "implementation is innovation". Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference that's outcomesrocket.health/conference. Be one of the 200 that will participate. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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Recommended Book:

Blueprint to a Billion: 7 Essentials to Achieve Exponential Growth

Best Way to Contact David:

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4356467/profile

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiabetesInnovationHub/about/

Mentioned Link:

https://www.fit4d.com/

Episode Sponsor:

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Digital Innovation

Design more Beautifully and Intuitively with Sherisse Hawkins, CEO at Pagedip

Thanks for tuning in to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I want to personally invite you to our first inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's a conference that the Outcomes Rocket and the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Sciences has teamed up on. We're going to put together silo crushing practices just like we do here on the podcast except it's going to be live with inspiring keynotes and panelists. To set the tone, we're conducting a meeting where you can be part of drafting the blueprint for the future of healthcare. That's right. You could be a founding member of this group of talented industry and practitioner leaders. Join me and 200 other inspiring health leaders for the first Inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's an event that you're not going to want to miss. And since there's only 200 tickets available you're going to want to act soon. So how do you learn more? Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference. For more details on how to attend that's outcomesrocket.health/conference and you'll be able to get all the info that you need on this amazing healthcare thinkathon. That's outcomesrocket.health/conference.

Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with the day's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I really thank you for tuning into the podcast and I welcome you to go to our outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you could write and review today's podcast because we have an amazing leader on the podcast today and we're coming in with a different angle today. She is an entrepreneur that has a focus in digital platforms but in particular of value added marketing platform where education meets marketing so that you could share your message with your end user or patient and have the greatest impact. She's a builder, she's a learner, she's a risk taker, she's a motivator, a rainmaker and speaker, her name is Sherisse Hawkins, the CEO of Pagedip. And so I want to go ahead and open up the microphone to Sherisse to fill in some of the gaps in the introduction that I missed. Sherisse, welcome to the podcast.

Thank you. Thanks for having me. I'm smiling and hearing all of the wonderful adjectives and very kind. Well I would and I came at this particular path and unorthodox environment. I'm an engineer and a technologist by training. One of my first jobs would be in the Walt Disney imagineer in designing roller coasters and now I find myself a CEO of a software development organization with a detour through corporate America and being the vice president software development.. But when people say you know how did you as the CEO of the software company focus on medical sales. I had to tell you it was not a linear plan but I'm thrilled to be here. And I have to say that what we're working on now and the impact it had with individual. How we have the most, It's the most fulfilling of anything that I've worked on including Disney Roller Coasters.

That's so awesome Sherisse and listeners, I met Sherisse at a health IT meeting and we just kicked it off. She's just electrifying personality really knows how to connect with people and I think you know it's that putting that care back in healthcare no matter how it is that you do it that really matters and so that's what really struck me about Sherisse and say we've got to get you on the podcast. And folks I don't know if you know this but Sherisse was also on Shark Tank. She was up on the stage, right Sherisse?

Yes we were.

Now also recently I was I was looking through the news feed here. I saw you on Vanity Fair?

Oh my gosh. Yes. Just this month.

Tell us a little bit more about that?

Vanity Fair reach out to a number of individuals, women CEOs actually women CEOs of color and ask us to be a part of a piece that ran in April magazine. It was a fantastic experience being able to be recognized. So the women that were in the piece. I was one of 26 women who we have one photograph taken and in it some details around what we do. But it was really highlighting the fact that so many women are turning to entrepreneurship and starting companies. It's a really interesting groundswell of economic growth. And so they highlighted the 26 of us and I was, oh for the numbers on that...

Super awesome Sherisse. Since the beginning, you've taken an unconventional path and an exciting one. And so one of the things that I want to kick off our conversation with Sherisse is really giving the listeners an understanding level, setting them to what Pagedip your platform does?

Absolutely. So Pagedip is, it was born out of frustration on the part of our team of how we're currently engaging with content and we'll watch the content right now and all sets the form and we noticed a couple of things. The first is that we tend to consume content based on what extension that is. So if you send me a text file or a pdf or a movie or audio file. There's different behaviors or even a web link. Specific behaviors that we make assumptions around to how we're goin to need to that content, how we will store, remember it, go back to it or not, whether it's current or whether it's not. And there's really no reason that that comes out of 20 years of maybe pediatrics read and I don't know how long they've been around but we were following the same helpful traps of having what we refer to as stale, an engaging content and not being able to share it very easily or go back to it. So it was born out of primarily just frustration. In the early days, we work considering how that one have a positive impact in healthcare say that that became well apparent we'll talk about that a little bit later. So at the heart of what we do is we are experts in creating interactive engaging of ever current and measurable content. What that looks like is a responsive document called the pagedip that that will be shared in a number of ways. It could be a part of someone's Web site. About 20 percent of our clients who did that way. It can be a replacement for something that you might print out and hand it to someone. It can be something that you send to someone's phone or have them utilize in a mobile or smaller screen device and there is elements that allow you to telescope in and see additional information common thinks that allow you to go in and actually delve into the information and understand even more. So the key benefits are being current, engaging, measurable and being able to help drive content reader towards a desired call to action and make this entire process very, very fast easy and actually fun for the content creator.

that's a great great way of summarizing what you guys do and listeners if you haven't seen that what Shari's just described go to their Web site. It's Pagedip.com and you'll find that their website really just goes through the functionality and the way that the layout of their tools makes your information easier to access friendlier to access. And let's face it, PDFs and print outs oftentimes become either a fan in the summer or a doorstop that don't actually get used. And so at the end of the day, why not make it interactive. And that's what they're doing. And so I love this Sherisse. And so when you think about what got you to focus this on health care you know the answers could be plentiful but what would you say the core reason that you focus this initiative on health care where you could have focused it on a lot of different things but you landed on health care, Why is that?.

That's a great question. And I'm smiling because when people look at the tour they say they can used it for anything basically whatever they've read most recently they say, what are you ding this days and the reason health care is definitely, we have our team our culture is really interested in how we can help humanity and healthcare was an excellent space to be able to do that in but more practical more tactically I should say. When we were on the show Shark Tank as you mentioned before the first two organizations that contacted us millions of viewers we had a really interesting we have kind of tidal wave of excitement that came towards us that the first two people that contact us is the World Health Organization and GE health care. At this time we were pitching something I will save you the time of having to go the show. The sharks could not provide us money and we were looking at more long form an Ebook like face of the time, so the fact that those two organizations well respected organizations saw the technology aligned in a slightly different way and thought that it would apply so well to medical wat a really big wakeup call for us.

Absolutely.

The second thing that caused. Yeah yeah, the second thing that allowed us to really be open to this change, was the fact that we all have people in our lives that are dealing with difficult medical situations and I happen to have a friend at the time that was going through a pretty dire situation and we looked at and tried to help that person with their understanding of what was happening. It was a very frustrating process. And we talked about how to share information with friends and family and how to have a higher education understanding of what was going the puss they were going through and we realized that this was a really great way to make their lives a little bit easier.

Super super interesting sherries and super glad that you landed in health care. How did you deal with the sharks. Did you eat them alive. Tell me you ate them alive. I haven't seen your episode.

You know what was interesting about that is we're very much engineering lead, you know kind of technical individuals and so we weren't reality TV people, so we went and did a very straight pitch and talk about the value proposition but I will pray that you know what you see on this show versus the areas we had a lot of interesting feedback that didn't necessarily get the final cut but sure the Sharks does. The publishing industry is one place you can go. But there are a lot of other industries that have even bigger. Put that type of interact or at the contents, we recommend that you can consider though because at the time things like ebooks you know though the cost of them were falling. And so there was a great advice particularly from Harvard that there is a great market for this, you need to go out and find the best tip. And that's when we got the call. So it all worked out the way it was supposed to.

That's so great. You know it sounds like you were still able to get some good guidance, Barbara help you out. And you left with maybe something even more valuable than money.

Exactly exactly that.

That's awesome. I'm a firm believer that things happen for you. Not to you. And so you like that.

Yes I do.

Yeah. You know whenever whenever you find yourself in a tough spot I always ask myself or I talk to my wife about this or my son, it's like, all right it's happening for us not to us. We're just maybe not seeing it right now and it's cool to hear your story Sherisse because this is a great example of that right. You know if they would've given you a million dollars on an idea that wasn't fitting well then heck, that would suck.

Yeah yeah.

You know instead they let you in the right direction.

And being part of the emerging technology, it's really important to get those subtle messages and to look for those sort of tweaks the path to find the place where you get the today's impact. So I absolutely believe you have, if you laser focus on the one end to go quickly in the direction you are headed but you also have to have the peripheral vision to understand where those opportunities might lie that are just you know kind of left the center. But they are the ones that you want to pursue. And that's exactly what's happened as we've gotten closer to and begin to do more work in the medical space in a number of different areas.

That's a great point Sherisse. Listeners take this note and apply it to whatever you're doing right whether you be in clinic practicing or whether you be at the executive level looking to move some levers to create change, you've got to take a look at all the different angles because it's oftentimes the angle that maybe you didn't anticipate. Check out the periphery and the results that you could get could be pretty amazing. Sherisse, Can you chat with us a little bit about how you guys have improved outcomes with your platform so far.

Yes, there are always fighting to make the switch. There are a number of institutions that began to reach out to us and we worked with them around we imagining their content to put it in a form that again engage in current imaginable. That I like to share as we did our own. We believe in focus group testing laughably then talking to individual directly. Last year last fall we actually called a hundred patient and provided them with some content wih a color flat document and as the Pagedip. Over 90% of them said they preferred Pagedip. And the reason was because it allowed them to access material on any screen exactly left them where they were. We were also able to ... telescope and more about what areas they might have questions for. And we were able to help the content provider know what was happening with this particular audience. So that data point alone we had one person has bit for paper and it was because they wanted to be able to enlarge it into the deal with it from a stability standpoint. So we took that feedback and actually turned our offer environment into an AVA compliant solution. And now we've taken that that last with all kind of barriers to wanting to use Pagedips away. Now people can look at these two screen readers and have an easier time to get the information that are what their individual constraints might be. So that was really fantastic. It is great experience and we got a real opportunity to work closely with the blinded organization in Boulder in Colorado and learn more about AVA compliant, reaching people where they are.

That's awesome. Yeah. And I just you know imagine yourself sitting. And let's just say the doctor's office you get taken care of and then you're off to your appointment. We all have so many appointments to go to but we leave that document in the car and it just so happens that your next appointment is late. Well guess what. If you had Pagedip you could pull it up on your phone and get ahead of the game. But if you had a PDF it would be sitting in your car. So kind of cool to think about the potential that this technology has Sherisse. In your mind, what does the future look like and what is the number one thing that you guys are going to alleviate with this.

Well, one of the things that's less intuitive is in this case not have a compliant content. Other people need to share material with others in their care work. And for example we did a project that helps parents critically ill children after surgery. And one of the biggest request was how do I send that information to the grandparents of the child or the other caregivers. So I do think that sometimes we get very focused on the patient and coalition relationship. But there is an entire other group of individuals that are a part of the well-being and outcomes for any given situation and so being able to provide everyone again with the most current and the best up-to-date information in a way that they can consume it, will really change the dynamics. And I think it will have further impact on outcomes and accessibility for information in ways that we can't really predict right now. But just one simple one is the ability to have the same data in front of everyone and it's absolutely the greatest and allow people to look at content whether it is printed or incorporating their video or other methods of learning or marketing. And I could say you know whenever holograms are available, we'll be the first to incorporate those as well. We enjoy being on the clean edge. We also recognize that text and being able to reread, scan and take notes to them. Text is still a very vital part of the way we communicate.

Very cool. And the one thing that I will say listeners is that the reason why the outcomes racket exists is to knock down silos right crush silos to make health care better. And so what I want to do right now is open up the invitation for you to if you're listening to this and you think of a new application or an application that somehow this could be useful to you again just go to pagedip.com. Check out what we've been talking about but also at the end of the podcast Sherisse is going to give you her information so that you can reach out if something about this podcast resonated with you and if you want to collaborate. You open to that Sherisse?

Absolutely, I welcome any and all suggestions and I will make a commitment. I really make, I will personally follow up with whoever I want to provide though but that's one of insight it is vital and I will take that seriously so I will.

Amazing.

Til midnight but I will personally follow-up..

I love it. Sherisse, thank you for that. Listeners, you heard the woman, she is going to follow up with you personally so if I heard that and I had a connection or just a dot to connect with what she's doing, I would totally take her up on that. So coming from a busy woman like her. So no doubt this is a pretty amazing platform Sherisse, and I know that you guys are making a big difference with this. In your thoughts, what would you say the number one way to improve outcomes is through value added marketing?

A worry a bit understanding what people are first leading them where they are. I think that's really number one and we have assumptions around even by demographics what people want to experience. They don't want experience oh my grandmother would never do that because we have found we really shattered some of those perceptions around who it is to be connected that we never thought that have phones for example smart phones and are comfortable with them is surprising in some ways and not surprising at all in others. So first of all, we need the people to be where they are making sure that they have access and with it the most convenient for them. And it is our responsibility as communicator to take responsibility for that. The other thing is really being able to have a way to have a feedback loop and iterate on content so we often help people reimagine material. The first thing I ask them is what you want to do, immediately following using content and you'd be surprised at how people look at us and say, I'd never thought of that. You're communicating, you're sharing that information for a reason and bringing that to the forefront it's not an afterthought. We can certainly have help with a call to action. We've got examples of how well we've been able to put to earn call to action. Intent has been placed on widgets that you might want to call on that in site. Ans we see it a direct correlation between giving people interactive content and having them take a step toward whatever that next step might be. Whatever the goal is. Is .. it is a little bit of psychology, a little bit of making sure that the navigational flow moves in a way that's natural for us humans to move with. But it's been a really fascinating process and we actually have data that shows it is a better experience.

Yeah, Sherisse, you know and the thing that comes to mind. Thanks for sharing that with your thoughts on the topic of you know making things accessible, refreshable, and getting feedback, this helping achieve your outcomes. I think one of the things that we have to realizes as healthcare leaders is that marketing needs to be measurable. I think the days of marketing is a black box are over. We just we just you know right Sherisse? I mean we just can't live with that belief.

Yeah it's much easier to do now. One of my original mentors many years ago said you get what you measure.

Amen.

And we weren't talking about content in that context, it's absolutely true. And we seen differences when we start to ask these questions and we'll get very clear about what we want people to do. You really can move the needle.

And you know I think about the juxtaposition of somebody is marketing information like for instance I don't know I just bought a safe. Right. And and I looked at the reviews and then when you look at reviews they got the thumbs up and thumbs down. Was this helpful? Why don't we have that in our marketing materials? Because if it wasn't helpful let's get it off the page. And with an asset like Pagedip you're able to get that type of feedback versus not. And so again the call to action to the health leader today with regard to this subject is make sure that you're measuring your marketing because if you're not then you're selling yourself, your patients your customers short won't you agree, Sherisse?

Yes and I get piggyback on that too. We've learned what I call the 6 best practices around what makes content engaging and memorable. There's a way that we move through content that is really important and in the digital world, there's definitely patterns around how people consume, remember, engage and enjoy something. And one thing that we've noticed is when you're a content creator, we've heard hundred we've created hundred of page that we read a lot of material. And what I really talk about we imagine because to a content creator's perspective it's impossible for you to have an understanding of what experience experience will be when they come to that material fresh, cold. We all have our own history. Acronyms and jargon. It's really impossible for your brain to separate what we know or what we live in day to day with someone who's never experienced. They've never seen that word before.

Yeah.

And we are out what they oppose. It's hard for people to admit when they don't understand someone so there's a natural gap between those that have the expertise they know and those are king to the content for the first time they may try to learn about a particular topic and we've figured out, you know what are the 6 best practice to make that gap smaller and smaller.

So folks if you want those six best practices, go to outcomesrocket.health/pagedip and you're going to find them there. Sherisse, I'm excited to share these things with the listeners. I'm excited to continue to see guys expand and the use cases. And I just really want to thank you for being with us today. Before we conclude I love if you could just share a closing thought with the listeners and then the best place where they can get a hold of you.

Absolutely. The best place to reach us is at pagedip.com and you can also direct info at pagedip.com, really easy ways to reach us. A simple closing thought, I love the fact that we are at this juncture so much different types of content and the more accessible content than ever before. I do think that in order to differentiate yourself from the wave of material that's out there, it is important to understand how people perceive it and they prefer to engage with it. So doing what's always been done with an outcome. I think this idea of narrative flow in a single destination for current material is a completely different paradigm shift in how work and things puling together material in the past but we've proven that I do without a doubt believe this is the way of the future and that this is the way that people are going to expect to have content. But for to them moving forward so we're really excited to be a part of that new paradigm shift. There's a long way to go but have made a great progress and we were again very much welcome new applications, suggestions, questions, highlight for making this new kind of tech the world by storm.

Outstanding Sherisse. Listeners take that personal invitation from this amazing woman and visit outcomesrocket.health/pagedip to get those 6 insights as well as the best place to contact Sherisse as well as the links to the things that we've talked about in a full transcript of what we describe described. So Sherisse again just want to say thank you on behalf of all of us and we're looking forward to staying in touch with you.

It was a pleasure.

Thanks for tuning in to the outcomes rocket podcast if you want the show notes, inspiration, transcripts and everything that we talked about on this episode. Just go to outcomesrocket.health. And again don't forget to check out the amazing healthcare Thinkathon where we can get together took form the blueprint for the future of healthcare. You can find more information on that and how to get involved in our theme which is "implementation is innovation". Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference that's outcomesrocket.health/conference. Be one of the 200 that will participate. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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Outcomes Rocket - Anne Weiler

Why Continuity of Care Became a Core Focus for This Leader and How She's Improving Outcomes with Anne Weiler, CEO and Co-founder at Wellpepper

Thanks for tuning in to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I want to personally invite you to our first inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's a conference that the Outcomes Rocket and the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Sciences has teamed up on. We're going to put together silo crushing practices just like we do here on the podcast except it's going to be live with inspiring keynotes and panelists. To set the tone, we're conducting a meeting where you can be part of drafting the blueprint for the future of healthcare. That's right. You could be a founding member of this group of talented industry and practitioner leaders. Join me and 200 other inspiring health leaders for the first Inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's an event that you're not going to want to miss. And since there's only 200 tickets available you're going to want to act soon. So how do you learn more? Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference. For more details on how to attend that's outcomesrocket.health/conference and you'll be able to get all the info that you need on this amazing health care thinkathon. That's outcomesrocket.health/conference.

Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with the day's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I really thank you for tuning in and I welcome you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you could rate and review today's podcast because we have an outstanding guest and an amazing contributor to healthcare. Her name is Anna Weiler. She's the CEO and co-founder at Wellpepper a clinically validated patient engagement platform. She's really focused on this space and has been for quite some time. She's also a health care blogger. Her site healthworkscollective.com is really a site that you all have to check out because she dives deep and wide into all the topics in healthcare that matter and it's very well organized. Just as her and her business are doing for other practitioners they're very well organized in helping them improve patient adherence and outcomes for patient care plans. So without further ado I just want to extend a warm welcome to Anne. Welcome to the podcast.

Hi. Thanks for having me, Saul.

It's a pleasure. And anything that I missed in your intro that maybe you want to highlight?

No, it think was a great intro. We will have our focus on interactive care plan for patients and we've taken the approach to say that if you help patients understand what they need to do and you break it down into actionable and engaging experiences they will actually do it. And so you know I think I'm not the one to claim that but the patient is definitely an underused reserve in the whole health care path and that's really our focus and then we help to scale that clinicians with technologies so starting to observe what's happening with patients and learning the care team that they need help as opposed to saying care team here is a bunch of people you have to manage and more work that you need to do and my backup background as you might tell is in technology. So I spent 10 years at Microsoft before founding this company and including three years running a business group in Microsoft Russia.

That's pretty interesting. So you start off with Microsoft went over to Russia and loop back around. So now you're in healthcare so tell us a little bit about that what was the spark that got you into the medical sector?

Well you know like a lot of people and I think a lot of people who came from technology into healthcare. It was a personal experience. My mom contracted a rare autoimmune disease and she spent six months in the hospital. The disease that caused temporary paralysis. And she is in the hospital. So she she had great care and she mostly recovered and she has some permanent nerve damage. But she mother covered. And that problem was she was discharged that she went from having round the clock care and physical therapy and occupational therapy and physician check and all week to a month before she could come back into the same facility for her outpatient. And so during that time we didn't know what to do. We had to hire some private care for her and we couldn't even explain to them what had happened which is basically that she was sent home with no instruction in over a month before she would come back in again. And that lack of continuity of care made me think you know we're in constant contact the rest of our lives with these mobile devices. Why is there this lack of continuity care and health care. And that's where it all started. And we were very fortunate my co-founder and I hear about someone who was at Microsoft. The two of us actually met at a startup in Canada that Microsoft acquired in 2001. But we were very fortunate very early to meet Dr. Terry Alliss, a Ph.D. researcher and professor at Boston University and she what we had prototypes basically and really felt like there was an opportunity to partner. So I was really sort of our first positive nod on the journey with finding a really great research partner who had been completed one randomized controlled trial and one other trial that was sort of quality controlled trial to show that the software works and that it has efficacy and that you can actually engage patients outside the clinic.

I think it's super great. And thanks for sharing that story. Super glad to hear that your mom's doing better and sort of the spark that got you into this. The road has meandered and you guys have been in it for five years which is a long time for a startup in healthcare.

Well someone said this is about startups in general that half the battle is not dying but I would say I would say in health care also half the diving that's definitely half the battle in that you know we met organizations very early on who thought that we were doing something quite interesting. And then when we were still around two years later then they're like oh you're still here. Great. Now I can work with you. So you know health care and there's a good reason why but they are fairly risk averse. So a number of factors had to come together together to the point that we're at now. And certainly when we first started there then we got questions around. What are you doing? Doesn't really seem like a thing and now we're getting: how are you different from all the other patient engagement experiences? So number of things have happened in that focus in the method put on outcomes and certainly patient reported outcome has been a real a real benefit for us. Certainly Bundall where you need to think about overall cost of care. And then we also see lot of interests where there's an access to care problem and whether that's a specialist who have a very long waiting list. And is there a way to get people on board and engage them before they come in or and certainly in organizations that have a large catchment area with rural I mean even even our researchers at Boston University think of Boston University as being very urban. But they work with specialized patient population who have Parkinson's disease and the people may be coming for three or four hours to come in to the few specialist from the clinic and if they don't have to come back. That makes a huge difference for them.

For sure. It sounds like you guys are definitely making an impact and without a doubt the hot topic here folks is patient engagement. What do you do when your patient leaves? What do you do when your loved one leaves? And how do you make sure that they get the care that they need that continuity? Ann and her team are definitely focused deep into this and can you give the listeners an example of how you guys have created results, improved outcomes or profitability?

Definitely. So I think I'll start with some of the research the research studies and the results that our research partners have found. But we also continually are analyzing the patient interactions and the patient experiences within the software to find results and outcomes as well. And that's both on the patient outcomes side and on the effort and cost side from the healthcare innovation. So on the studies we partnered with two different PIs. One with Dr. Terry Alice, she's the director of Boston University's Center for neuro-rehab and they completed a randomized controlled trial with an exercise intervention exercise strength and conditioning intervention. Over 12 months for people with Parkinson's disease. The usual care condition which was a control piece was that you would come in and you would have a couple in person visit and assessment and then you would go home and then they might see them again in 12 months or they might never see them again. And then the visual intervention was a personalized application that had personalized video of the patients in it and the ability to be monitored remotely by a clinician and message with that clinician over the 12 months. So the difference between basically the usual care condition and the group that had the mobile health intervention was a striking physical outcome. So the people with the usual care condition are 12 percent decline in their mobility over a year. And the people in the mobile health interventions found 11 percent improvement and that's 12 percent decline

It's huge.

I now and that's what happens each year from the first year you're diagnosed with Parkinson's. So if you can stop that. You keep people self-sufficient you keep them. Sometimes in the work place you certainly keep them out of long term care facility. Now that study we then went and that we put them in additional of an additional research on a couple of things in there because that was not particular like it was. It was not looking at cost that was looking at efficacy. But then of course the next question became well how much did the clinician have to engage with the patient outside the clinic and what were some of those engagements and what was the cost of that really not hard cost because we got wasn't designed into the intervention up front but a couple of things. One was that in working with these people remotely the clinician was able to noticing either the patient message and said something about you know I didn't really like it or I find this one really does exercise that you want me to do really hard or they would also look at them as they were recording their outcomes themselves and seeing whether they were progressing and the clinician was actually able to change the program remotely so she could add in...

Nice.

Yeah she could make it harder, she could make it, sometimes she said she just took things off of their programmers. They really didn't like it because her goal was to keep them doing something. So I think I was really key. But then we wanted to also look at sort of the effort of messaging because when you talk to clinicians as soon as you open up the channels for messaging with patients that outside the clinic there's a fear that they're going to become overwhelmed with new work really because patients aren't messaging before we think some of that is actually replacement of messaging can be replaced in a phone call. And then also that messaging can tell you about things that and alert you to think before they would follow adverse about them. So that's why when we were constantly looking at evaluating the efficacy of our product as well as how people are using it. So we went back and we did some analysis on the messaging in this scenario. Again you know we combat the identified the data and did this analysis and applied machine learning to it. When we classified the messages that were sent back and forth during this year. We found that 70 percent of them did not require a response. And then we found that 3 percent of them are urgent. So what's interesting here is that the 70 percent who don't require response were things of patients journalling they were using this to talk about their experiences. And for the ones that were urgent things like you know I had a fall or you know I went to the Ed those other things that you want to reach out to the patient and find out more about. And the other interesting thing was that there was actually no correlation between messages sent by the provider and adherence which actually meant that thinking back to the 70 percent of messages don't need to respond that the fact that they're with someone on the other end that they knew they could get in touch with with this person and that the person was watching their progress whether or not to keep them adherent. It didn't really matter how much that provider reached out a message. So we had a couple. Most of the time the messages were equal. So the patient comes when the provider sends one but we had this one patient who is like them outliers somebody who's been 150 messages that someone and 600 messages and that provider did not match those messages. And those people stayed adherent.

Interesting, that's the basic feeling that somebody is on the other side ready to support you.

Yes. That was the key driver now because that study didn't specifically look at cause we actually entered into another study and the Boston University folks were part of that study but it was led by Dr. Jonathan Bean who's an M.D. and a professor at Harvard University. And that study was called a quasi experimental design. And what that meant was that they had done the study as an in person intervention already. So they did a one year study. They had an intervention and they the intervention was to prevent people who were at risk of falls from having a hip fracture so that they knew their intervention works. But it was also very people and in person intensive so people had to come in and again that was part of the conduct in Boston. People had to come in to do the intervention and so well it worked. It was hard for people they often had to find rides, there were a lot of a lot of snow.

Scalability becomes an issue right?

And scalability is an issue. So they did the same study the same intervention but then did it with a digital experience so it was very similar to the Parkinson's disease study which is why how we ended up in this and that one they have not published yet so I can't share the details but they did have better than expected. And clinically meaningful outcome though patient outcome patient had improvement during the course of the study. Now the other piece of that study is that there are researchers at Brandeis School of Public Health who are analyzing the cause. We're really excited to see that when it comes out because hip fracture is basically for seniors. You know that's the really the beginning of the end of their quality of life. Once you have a hip fracture your quality of life really declines and risk of increased mortality and also increasing expenses. So if you can keep people from having a hip fracture you know it's going to be good for everyone. So look at comparing the cost of doing the program and helping people at the clinic to the cost of the have fracture. I think we're probably going to see some pretty positive results especially since the cos it was designed as a digital intervention. So the costs should be pretty low.

Anne, super interesting and no doubt you know once you get that hip fracture it becomes the kiss of death oftentimes. So it's interesting that you guys are focusing there. Definitely a key area. And thanks for sharing that right. I mean you guys are diving deep into the clinical validation truly shows your commitment. Take us through a time when you had a setback or had made a mistake. What happened, what did you learn from that?

As a technology company. You know I think there's there's always time that you're constantly trying to improve the software constantly trying to improve the patient experience. I think it's not so much around setbacks, sense of making sure that you're continuing to learn as you go along and you're continuing to challeng your assumptions. So you know we have I think that software is both an art and a science especially when you get to be experienced because you think about things that you think intuitively. But I think it should be. But then you also need to continue to test them so very early on we were trying to think about what what is the optimal number of things that you should ask them and to do if you want them to be an adherent. And before we had enough data to to really test our assumption was about three things a day and we are clinicians and they had no idea. And the clinicians sending people home with a list of 20 things to do. And then when we did the thing we found that it was actually five to eight things. I paid half in your care plan is the right number to keep you adherent. So it wasn't so much a setback versus wow. Our assumptions were incorrect. And another place I think it's sometimes again with technology can become very enamored of the technology that you're building and you always have to remember to think about the end user and ask the end user. And so an example there. I'm not sure if you saw that last fall we won me Alexa Diabetes Challenge and..

Congratulations

Thank you. And a component of our solution there was a voice-powered scale and Gail scanner that looks for early signs of diabetic and when we first conceived of that you know we were just so excited because we thought wow this is really cool. You know advanced technology and then we were talking to one of the coaches in the program who's a behavioral health expert and she said what are you going to do to make sure people aren't afraid of having something to take pictures in their bathroom? And we we were just we all looked at each other and thought how did we not think of those? Those beautiful stories where people go go all the way to market with something and then they have a thought about that. But we got it before we really even tried our first prototype with patient but we were thinking what the value of this is so great that it's going to find these early is going to prevent amputations, of going to prevent hospitalization that we kind of forgot that maybe somebody didn't want them they taking pictures in their bathroom.

Yup, that's amazing right and a great story to share and for the folks listening if you're working on solutions don't get too enamored with them get the feedback from people. Put it in their hands. Put it on their feet.

And be willing to have people tell you that your baby is ugly.

Totally. I love it. What a great share and truly appreciate that. What would you say one of your proudest leadership experiences in health care now that you're in this business have been?

Well I probably to date would be our announcement that we need at HIMMS that we will have Mayo clinic care plans. So there are best practices for interactive care plans will be available on the Wellpepper platform.

Congratulations.

Yeah that when we started as you know we were as I said we were so fortunate to meet Boston University very early on but I don't know that we as non health care people would have said that our goal was we were going to have Mayo on our platform. So I think that's pretty big and it's something that we've been working on for a long time. So we always took the approach to say that health of them probably would want to you certainly best practices or their own interactive care plan. So we've built a platform is very flexible where you can create any type of care plan from the individual building block and so that this ability for healthsystem to license Mayo clinic care plan is something that's been in our roadmap for a long time that we needed to get to the right moment of having obviously know that the care plans from the leading research hospital in the country as well as health system really understanding what it means to engage patients outside of the clinic so that they will be ready to use the care plan. And you know what I think the great thing about this proudest moment is I'm positive they're going to be even more will be able to build on this and deliver even more innovation.

That's awesome and congratulations on that. And in our health care economy it's not only important for us to develop cool things that are going to help improve outcomes. It's also important to get impact and his partnership with the Mayo will be an incredible way for you guys to increase the impact that you make in healthcare and super exciting. We had Lee Aase. He's the director of social media at Mayo and he told a story about the Mayo brothers and the things that they did to improve their impact. They traveled the world and they brought people from all over the world to Mayo and talked about what they were doing or learn from what they were doing. And I think you guys are sort of following in that tradition getting into that place where you could just teach other people how this software can help them improve healthcare and it's super exciting. So really really congratulations.

Yeah you're absolutely right. It is about scaling this best practices and then it's also about learning from the patient interactions with healthcare plans and that's something that you know we couldn't do before. So we had in watching what people do and analyzing their results. It helps improve all of the care plans that help improve how people interact with patients outside the clinic. But we can also really improve care. So you know I talked a little bit about the outcomes that we've seen from research but we also have seen outcomes just in collecting this data that we've been able to identify patients who are at risk of readmission from their reported side effects from surgery which is not usually the thing that when you get your surgical instructions are really about symptoms and certainly the symptoms. Do you have shortness of breath or chest pain. That's the thing you want to look at first because you really should be calling 911 but what we found was that people who were having symptoms that were having side effects through surgery like not nausea or constipation actually had a three time greater risk of readmitting within 30 days. And that wasn't in ambulatory surgery scenario. Now you wouldn't know that unless you are actually collecting data with data from patients in real time. So that's the kind of stuff that that we really are excited about being able to do is finding those outcomes. We also had an interesting situation where one of our customers initially just report deployed patient reported outcomes surveys. So you know the ones that the and other insurers are starting to require to show efficacy of the program and for the first year they only had those surveys and then the second year they added a complete pre and post surgical care plan. And there was a 26 percentage point difference in the people who just were doing outcomes surveys to the ones who had the complete care plan. So again this is helping people outside the clinic will improve outcomes and patients want to do what they're supposed to do that today a lot of the ways they're receiving these materials make it really hard for them to follow the directions.

Anne, supercool no doubt that your mom would be proud. And you know that experience that you guys went through. Now you're going to help others not have to go through and that's super exciting. Anne, let's pretend you and I are building a medical leadership course on what it takes to be successful in medicine. It's the 101 of Anne Weiler. And so we're going to write out a syllabus here united together four questions, lightning round style followed by a book and a podcast that you recommend to the listeners.

Ok. OK.

What's the best way to improve health care outcomes?

Empowering the patient and understanding the patients goal. Often the patients goals are very different than the clinicians goal and I think the most important thing is knowing that you're actually meeting the patient goal. So we enable patients to set their own goals and track progress against those goals and that I think is both the biggest motivator but it's also the most important outcome.

That's a great call out. What would you say the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid is?

I think from my perspective as a technologist and I actually think for health systems as well. The biggest mistake is pilotitis. I think that we're at a point now there's clinical research that shows that these solutions work. We know that people want them, we know that they can save money and when you do too many pilot if you don't have the right metrics and you don't it really doesn't signal the right commitment. And so I think jumping in and really deploying something and continuing to improve and tweak it is probably a better approach than a number of small pilot. We're not entirely sure what happened.

Love that an avoid pilotitis people, get committed. How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

I think that our technology background really helps we're in that we're constantly looking at new ways to interact with patients. The work that we did with voice came out of that you know and voice is not widely deployed in healthcare yet but I think it has a huge benefit in that the experience is so natural in healthcare you're used to talking to someone you used to being interviewed by someone and so I think the technologies are going to be a really great way to improve. So I think with technology there's always something new and so staying on top of that and then evaluating the impact that it can have on your solution or your patients. That's really what we do. Voice and machine learning I think are the two things that we're really excited about going forward that we'll have a great impact.

Love that. What's one area of focus that should drive everything in a healthy company?

The patient.

Amen.

Yeah.

I love that. So true. And thanks for walking us through that. What book and what podcast would you recommend to the listeners as part of the syllabus?

I think everyone should read an American sickness by Elizabeth Rosenthal. It's tough to read because she breaks down everything that is not working in our health care system as well as how we got there. And so there are points when you're reading the first Top of the bank. I don't know if I can go on that very hard to read. But then on the second half of it she provides very actionable things that we can all do. But I also think it's really important just to understand how we got here because you want to undo where we are and you want to approve it. You have to understand the part about my hands down recommendation for healthcare books right now. I know that every year something new about that. That's great. I think that's one that everyone should read and it is now in paperback. And then I think on a podcast I really like a Healthy dose which is from Oxeon and Bessemer so to venture capital guys who are they interview people in the industry. And I really like how they are really teasing out like what are the macro trends like where are we going and also optimistically to. They've had Jonathan Bush on and he was really great. It was one of my favorite podcast because it was just after the thing that happened where they had that agitating shareholder and you know I think he had really taken some of that to heart and those like he could tell how much he cares about the mission that he's on but also like not satisfied with statusquo.

Love that, some great recommendations and listeners I know we recommend a lot of books here. All healthcare leaders have amazing ideas and has recommended another great one. What we do is I recommend that you go to outcomesrocket.health/audio and you'll get access to blinkist which is a software that helps you reduce the time that it takes to vet out books. I know that the one that Anne recommended is going to be amazing you'll probably buy it but check it out. Anne this has been super helpful. I know that the things that you're doing are truly going to make a difference at Wellpepper. Why don't you close off the session with some closing thoughts and then the best place where the listeners can get a hold of you?

Well I think closing thoughts. I think we're just really at the beginning of the journey and I think some of the insights that we're going to see from patient experiences and patient generated data out of the clinic are really going to drive improvements in care both in. I think the way that people are able to protect themselves but also clinical insight. So we're very excited about that and about the intra inpatient experience in patient generated data. And you can find us at wellpepper.com. And as you mentioned the beginning we have a blog. We try and talk about topical issues, conferences but we've been to, and if you wanted to get in touch directly you can use info@wellpepper.com and promote a follow up with you immediately.

Amazing. And this has been a ton of fun. I really just want to say thank you for sharing the amazing work that you guys are doing over there and listeners encourage you to check out the show notes and the transcript will provide links to Anne's blog as well as links to Wellpeper and all the amazing things that they're up to so and just want to say a final thank you and looking forward to staying in touch.

Thank you, so fun to talk to you today and I very much appreciate anyone who is so focused on outcomes.r

Thanks for tuning into the outcomes rocket podcast if you want the show notes, inspiration, transcripts and everything that we talked about on this episode. Just go to outcomesrocket.health. And again don't forget to check out the amazing Healthcare Thinkathon where we could get together took form the blueprint for the future of healthcare. You can find more information on that and how to get involved in our theme which is implementation is innovation. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference that's outcomesrocket.health/conference be one of the 200 that will participate. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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Recommended Book and Podcast:

An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back

Healthy Dose

Best Way to Contact Anne:

info@wellpepper.com

Mentioned Links:

https://www.healthworkscollective.com/

https://www.wellpepper.com/

Episode Sponsor:

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Outcomes Rocket - Amani Zayani

Diabetes Medication Adherence Made Simpler with Amin Zayani, CEO at MedAngel

Thanks for tuning in to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I want to personally invite you to our first inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's a conference that the Outcomes Rocket and the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Sciences has teamed up on. We're going to put together silo crushing practices just like we do here on the podcast except it's going to be live with inspiring keynotes and panelists. To set the tone, we're conducting a meeting where you can be part of drafting the blueprint for the future of healthcare. That's right. You could be a founding member of this group of talented industry and practitioner leaders. Join me and 200 other inspiring health leaders for the first Inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's an event that you're not going to want to miss. And since there's only 200 tickets available you're going to want to act soon. So how do you learn more? Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference. For more details on how to attend that's outcomesrocket.health/conference and you'll be able to get all the info that you need on this amazing health care thinkathon. That's outcomesrocket.health/conference.

Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast. Today I have an outstanding guest for you. His name is Amin Zayani. He's out of Berlin Germany. He's the CEO of MedAngel. I mean is a very interesting individual because he's a patient entrepreneur. He has lived with Type 1 diabetes since 2006. He's a solar energy engineer by training and a hardware expert by trade. After a frustrating accident in 2013 when his insulin was frozen in a domestic refrigerator he became discovered a massive flaw in the way that medications are stored and handled at home. And he decided to found MedAngel to solve that problem. Since then he's received the patient Entrepreneur Award by Novo Nordisk and life bulb in 2017. This award is given to patients that innovate technologies to make life exponentially better. He's currently leading a team of engineers, pharmacists and designers to revolutionize the interaction of patient medication and bring peace of mind to everybody. And so what I want to do is give him a warm welcome and open up the microphone to fill in any of the gaps of that introduction. Amin such a pleasure to have you on the podcast my friend.

Thank you, Saul. Thank you for having me. It's an honor to be on this podcast. I'm a huge fan. I think my bio does me more than justice, it's very flattering. Thank you so much. I wouldn't do anything except that I wouldn't be here without the outstanding work of my incredible team. And this is not a one man show. This is teamwork and they deserve all the credit. I'm just here behind the mic. It's a team of operational people business, finance, designers, engineers, pharmacists. Most importantly our investors, angel investors and institutional investors so they just get all the credit.

That's awesome now for sure, Amin. There's definitely no way we could do it without the help of an outstanding team and your team is top notch over there. What is it that makes you your patient. You live with type 1 diabetes. What was that one thing that that got you to say you know what I'm going to get involved?

It's pretty simple but before I really would like to highlight that I don't like the term patients or patients for people who go to the hospital with a sickness. When you live with type 1 diabetes or other chronic conditions you're a healthy individual who lives with a let's say a health condition or a metabolic disorder. So it's extremely important. I know it may sound a little bit too strict but I think it's important that in this space and in this scene as professionals we should push for this and advocates for this language is extremely important.

I think it's a good call out I mean it's a great callout.

Thanks. Thanks a lot. So to answer your question how would decide to get in the medical sector. Two reasons. The first is when you get an autoimmune disease like type 1 diabetes you don't have a choice. You have to become a health professional or expert of some sort. To manage it right, type 1 diabetes is a 24/7 condition that requires real time management. It's not an injection a week. It's really every bite you eat every effectivity just so you have to it's not like you have a choice. And the second trigger for me to make it a full time professional occupation is frustrating an accident. I had in summer 13. I woke up with my blood glucose was really high. I took a shot to bring it down and it didn't work. It took a couple of other shots, I took a new too pentrum to fridge nothing worked. I ended up in the emergency room and I was so frustrated at the end everything was fine. So they sent me back home with a fresh batch of insulation and luckily I didn't get any complications. But I was really really frustrated and really wanted to know what went wrong because if I don't know the cause of the problem it will happen again. And it was a Saturday and Saturday is a horrible day to have a medical emergency in Germany. Probably in most countries in the world. So it was a really frustrating situation and to make a long story short, I started troubleshooting and they traced the problem to my fridge my refrigerator, froze my insulin it's a fridge that freezes everything during the night was closed and there was no way to find it. And I thought it was ridiculous. I thought that's the year 2013. It's really funny because the night before we were watching a recording of NASA robot landing on Mars. So after that I thought it was ridiculous that I can see the landing of robots on the foreign planet in real time. But I don't know if my insulin is still effective or not in my refrigerator at home so I thought it was silly. It was ridiculous and also to make a long story short. This became my I decided to solve this problem because there was no solution on the market and this is how MedAngel was born and this is how I have to become an expert of some sort and medical design and technology.

Quite a story. I mean and I appreciate you sharing that. And you're right. You know we don't have to tolerate low standards. And I love that you stepped up. There was a solution and you decided to build one. So maybe for the for the sake of the listeners that don't know as much as you or I about your company since you already had a had a chance to educate me on it what does MedAngel do. What are you guys focused on?

Okay well thanks for asking this question that Asia is a very simple and elegant solution to a major problem. So what we do is we give medications or in the case of diabetes insulin the ability to communicate and react with people who use it is the most important of my relationship with my insulin is the most important relationship in my life. Without it I'm dead. But Mycenaean does not communicate with me so I'm the guy who does all the work here. It's a dysfunctional relationship somehow and with MedAngel we give the medication entirely. In my case a voice a way to interact. The solution is consists of two parts: a hardware component to smart sensor that is placed with the medication either on the go into the they carry with me every day or in the refrigerator. My stock is continuously monitors the temperature and communicates with an app on my phone. All the magic happens on the app. It's very well designed I think and what it does is with a single glance at it you know if you're good to use it or not. And that's basically what we do. We eliminate the uncertainty about the storage of transport the conditions of temperature sensitive medications and first we fix the relationship individual medication.

I think that's pretty cool. So this is a portable device that stays at the right temperature so you don't have to worry about it.

You're absolutely right. So it's basically a smart sensor that is very small and elegant and you placed the mitigations and it's communicates with your iPhone, with your smartphone in the background. And every time there's a problem you get an alarm. And every time anything reassurance you just check the app.

I think that's so cool. So no need to worry about the temperature of that because you have a way to track it. Folks if you haven't checked it out, it's pretty cool. It's for sale here in the U.S., it's for sale in Europe right now. Amin and his team are offering this to consumers. They're also working on an offering this more broadly to populations through payers and providers and even employers so excited to dive into this a little bit further with you, Amin. Thanks for sharing that with the listeners.

Sure, thanks for giving us the stage.

Hey, so obviously the hot topic is chronic diseases and managing medication but what would you say for the leaders listening to this podcast. What needs to be on their agenda today?

And I think what I'm going to mention is already on their agenda it's everyone's agenda and it's been for a couple of years. The billion dollar or the hundred billion dollar question is how to make it work or how to make it happen. And that's basically the fact that every single aspect of our lives is now digital or in a way digital. So the way entertainment think of how we listen to music or how we watch shows, how we shop, we do our finances or banking, how we travel, book accommodation,how we meet other people, how we stay in touch with our loved ones. It is all digital. Today it's made possible by these tiny supercomputers that are sitting in our pockets and they're permanently connected to the internet and are packed with sensors. And the only or the last field but the last industry that did not catch up is health. So in a way that's alarming. But on the other hand there is a huge opportunity I think for us as individuals and as a society it is extremely urgent to bridge this gap and to bring the health care and the health industry as a whole in the digital age.

Yeah I think I think that's really great. You know and as we as we take a look at these digital advances I mean let's face it you know in healthcare I've had several guests here talk about the real innovation in healthcare is actually implementation because we've got so many advances we just got to figure out how to put them to use.

Yeah. Yeah and the answer it's really funny, funny industry because where I come from another core and the right from consumer electronics or from I.T. startups. Right. So for me discovering this like behind the curtains as a non as someone who sees behind the curtain that just consumes health services was a massive surprise. The number of parties involved in the tiniest of health related actions is huge and the amount of politics around it is massive. Just think about prescribing simple medication. So the person who prescribes the medication is different than the person who dispenses it is different than the person who uses it consumes it is different than the person who produces and is different from the person who pays for it. Or the party that pays for it. So if you try to put down on a piece of paper on a white board. The simplest action in this space you end up with a very very complex landscape. And for someone like me who comes from a completely different corner of the economy was really impressive.

Yeah. Now it's it's a good call out, Amin. You know one of the things that I love about having leaders like you that come from different backgrounds is that you really cannot force the discussion about how much we need to simplify what we do in healthcare and so it's wonderful whenever we have leaders come in with outside experiences because you force healthcare leaders that are traditional to the space to think outside the box and so as we consider this. What would you say today some stories that you have that have helped your organization improve outcomes by thinking differently?

What is very simple. We think differently because that's how we think. We didn't think OK what's being done and let's try something else. We started from scratch. So what we did. We did not really invent anything. You just took ready the readily available technology and we did a lot of work researching all aspects of it. Medical Expert, clinical aspect, business aspect, design aspect. We did a lot of design work and the result of this is a very clean, disaffiliated user experience that fits in the essay everyday routine of people who use it and it solves a massive problem for them. So the thing is if you're trying to reinvent a lot of stuff the barriers to other options are high. So I think the key is to go for shortcuts for clever ways of ensuring adoption and that's by not changing people's word just to become part of it. So what we do is something that requires very very little action from our users and the same time introduces major amounts of anxiety, uncertainty and financial waste. I think it's key to approach problems from this angle. I can give you an example that's outside MedAngel as well and that's the way people think or some economies societies think about taking electronic health records to the digital age that say that the biggest problem is they think how can we do something that we used to do on paper with pen and paper to software? And the thing is if you think that you already lost you need to think what can software do for me how can I think that rethink the entire process why do I have to stick to something that was invented in the 40s and bring it to yourself to a new way to think to rethink things from scratch requires quiet really deep research. It requires challenge the status quo and thinking a lot of why not right. So that's how we operate. That's that's our philosophy. That's what I really want to do it not necessarily as the driving business philosophy but at least as an exercise for sure.

No I think that's a great call, Amin. and so as you've built this team and you guys have put forth the product into the market it obviously hasn't come without mistakes or setbacks. Can you share one of those setbacks with our listeners and what you learned from it.

Let's see. I think I can talk for three days. Does that mean we wake up or do we make mistakes right. That's what we do. They just have to be smart mistakes and not stupid mistake. So let me think if I had to pick up one I would call it a mistake. I would call it a misjudgment or something that needed calibration. I think that we underestimated the effort and the cost and the time it takes to go to market with an innovative product. So being a product driven founder like product and the solution we make and how it works and how people interact with it is at the center of my attention. I am obsessed with what I do but what I've realized is that if you want to bring that to the masses it's not even 5 percent of the work they having a ready product it's not even 5 percent of the work. There's so much work that needs to be done to go to market to achieve product market fit to work on make sure that people know about it, buy it, use it, don't stop using it. So I think we underestimated a lot the effort it takes to educate the market, to go to market, to develop the business launch. In retrospect I think it would have allocated three times four times as much to these activities more than product development itself but I think it's very normal if you launch something so innovative it takes a little bit of time it takes lot of patience and a lot of calibration to do it. You just need to look at the first two years of something like the iPod. So I underestimated that our team underestimated that but luckily we did a soft launch and we could recalibrate on time and raising that investment to to fix this whole time. So at the end of the day I don't think it was a big failure or a mistake it was just a reality check to recalibrate. So if I had to or if I give it advice to anyone who is listening and you're launching an innovative product in a market that's not exist right so don't underestimate that. Be ready for a lot of recalibration. It's going to take time, it's gonna probably take more money than you think.

And if you had to put a number on it would you say two times, more three times more?

Than my estimate. Yeah 3x at least.

3x There you have it, listeners you know and we've heard this before from other entrepreneurs on the podcast Amin so definitely a good reminder folks you always have to make sure you think about this. It's going to take longer it's going to cost more especially in health care so 3x is the rule of thumb here and plan for it. And obviously resilience. Right. Amin and his team were resilient. They recalibrated and they figured it out. So congrats on getting over that hump. I mean and now that you're over it it's onto the next challenge is right because of always going to be challenges.

Absolutely. Thanks for the compliment, Saul. You're absolutely right. Resilience is extremely important in the wake up every day. You think: do I keep doing this or do I stop? And it's a hard journey but the reward is really very fulfilling when you wake up one day and you read your e-mails and you have a user who writes back to you. Thank you so much. Thanks to your solution we could save like 500 or a thousand dollars worth of medications in our fridge right on time before it broke or during our holidays. It's FREE MONEY for a family. Oh yeah you read an e-mail from a mother who says Finally I understand why my kid's blood glucose is out of range all the time. That's very very fulfilling. And you think OK I'm going to continue doing this today and tomorrow and next month and next year. So yeah we're not doing this just for the money right. So health is really a hard space hard market but it's so fulfilling.

Totally agree. I mean totally agree. And what you're doing is super impactful. What would you say. One of the proudest medical leadership moments you've had to date.

Definitely definitely the life of Novo Nordisk a word that we won in November 2017. That's a major achievement it's recognition from the world's largest insulin manufacturer and it's the competition was furious. It was like really high high level startup's who is a player is when you win against such competition. That's a real recognition. And to see that the community that recognizes that this is a real need. That's what we do is important. That's priceless. And that also opens doors for a startup that's happening its way right. And so that was an amazing moment. It was an amazing achievement. And the second one there is a very recent developments I'm really proud to announce on the spot guests that we are coming to retain in the USA with CBS. So our product solution will be available in pharmacies in California.

Congratulations.

Thank you very much. Soon as a pilot before scaling up to the rest of the USA and it's really a major achievement because you have this idea in your head that your hassling away for three years and then you walk into the pharmacy and it's there. Right. So that's that's amazing.

Man it's awesome, man.

Our team is really proud of it.

That's so cool. Congratulations to you guys. And you know let's face it. I mean what we're dealing with here guys is is an opportunity for people to live more fulfilling lives without having to worry about their medications. If you know if you go to medangel.co, they've got a blog and I mean some pretty cool stories here folks. Like for instance when my insulin froze under the burning Greek sun summer holidays with diabetes seasun and insulin frozen stuck on an island that doesn't have your insulin right. These are very real stories. And what Amin and his team are doing are are helping people live more fulfilling lives by keeping this just so easy. So really awesome stuff here, Amin. What would you say a focus that your company is working on today that you're excited about?

I think they've reached good validation in the consumer space. We decided to go the B2C route early on because we realized that working with other businesses is slow. Say cyclers or extremely slow in health it's just because that's how it is right. So right regulation and politics and business is just a very slow moving industry so what we decided to take advantage of the fact that our product is also consumer product and we went B2C and we were successful in let's say establishing ourselves in this space. The next also mainly positioning for diabetes. So people with diabetes. I think the next challenge for us is to scale this up to other conditions so there is a number of chronic conditions that require using biologic injections TNF inhibitors and other biologics and these are extremely extremely costly medications. Just to give you an example, 18 out of the top 50 best selling meds in the world are temperature sensitive. Most of them are biologics. Maybe your listeners will recognize the best-selling drug of all times Humira by AbbVie. It's a blockbuster it's a miracle drug. Most users who are on it love it or taste their lives but it also generates 18 billion dollars in sales a year and that's free money. And if you cannot be sure at the moment of injection if you're banned or a syringe will be effective or not that's pretty bad. And we hear this a lot from older users who use humira and other biologics. And so our next step is basically to bring many into to other chronic conditions like from a crisis MS inflammatory bowel diseases crawling number of growth disorders and most importantly to work with providers, payers, employers to bring this innovation to their customers or to their members for example what is really key or extremely important in having a solid B2C strategy or a solid consumer base is that you prove that people see the value of this and that they are willing to pay for it. They're willing to bear the cost of this. And so it's really an advantage for payers when you go to them and not ask for full reimbursement but for Copé and the outcome or the financial gain out of co-paying with the users is huge for all parties. So this is this is are our focus for the next 18 months. I would say.

Super exciting. Love the business strategy and your approach and it's working so keep up the awesome work.

Thank you.

So I mean let's pretend you and I are building a medical leadership course on what it takes to be successful in medicine, it's the 101 or the ABC's. I mean of Amin Zayani. And so we're going to write out a syllabus here. I've got four options for you lightning round style, so quick answers on these and then we'll follow up with your all time favorite book. You ready?

Ok I'm ready.

All right what's the best way to improve health care outcomes?

It's very simple. It's to give people the power and the tools to manage their conditions and by that how you empower them. You basically reduce the time required by ACTs to provide care that reduce the costs for the users and the payers and most importantly people are willing to take this responsibility they have this responsibility. So if you want to improve healthcare outcomes give power and tools to the people and they will know how to use it, trust me.

Love it. What's the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

To keep traditional mindsets from 10-20-30 years ago and expect that things are going to change or be OK. So you've got to think outside the box.

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

It's very simple to be changed. If you are the constant change and you are a changed you can live with change.

So what's one area of focus that should drive everything in your company?

Reaching product market fit and because it summarizes all aspects of the business. It means that you reach the sweet spot of right business model, the right product, the right channels, the right user experience and the right culture and the team internally so product market fit. That should be the true metric.

Beautiful. What book would you recommend to the listeners, Amin?

Hands down The hard thing about hard things by Ben Horowitz.

Awesome, that has been recommended before. What do you like about it?

It's real. You know it's not like I read so many business books and management books and all sorts of things that give you advice and tell you how to work according to plan. But anyone who's been in the trenches including you, Saul that probably 90 percent of your listeners know that once you're in like you go out there to real worked with a plan. Two weeks later that becomes irrelevant. That tells you how to do it. There is no that says you have to deal with it. And this one is it does right. It's really it's true. There is no hot air in it. There is no trying to make the work look better. There is no theory, it's all practice. The guy that's been there has been burned. He's honest he's authentic. I love it. There is a chapter in it that's called the struggle. They read it probably more than 60 times. It's amazing a recommend it to everyone who listens.

What a great recommendation and thank you for that summary before we conclude, Amin, this has been so much fun. Really really appreciate your insights and sharing your stories and just the tidbits that you know that went into your struggles and also of your team's successes. It's been a really fun episode. Can you just share a closing thought with the listeners and then the best place that they could get in touch with you or follow you.

Sure. So the best place is very easy it's medangel.co we have a number of channels they can contact me and my team directly I read everything they see everything. Just if you want to contact me any channel will do. A closing thought is we're very committed. We have a very clear vision and we are very committed and we want to bring peace of mind and we want to take uncertainty away. We want to reduce the cost of care and we want a better life for people who live with chronic conditions and if you are a provider or an insurer or an employer or any kind of whatever your professional position is that if you think that anything I said resonates with you or if you think that it is we have common interests. Please reach out to me and to my team and I'm very much looking forward to interacting with you and to drive change in healthcare.

Amin, thanks so much. Listeners, take Amin up for this invitation if something that he said or that him and his team are doing resonate with your goals and what you guys are working to improve health outcomes for your patients and your populations. Please reach out to him. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/medangel and you're going to find all the show notes and links of the transcript and all the contact channels for Amin on that outcomesrocket.health/medangel. So I mean just want to say a big thanks my friend. Super thankful that you made time for us today and excited for the journey that you and your team have embarked on. Stay in touch.

It's my pleasure, Saul. Thank you so much for the invitation. And then we'll definitely stay in touch.

Thanks for tuning into the outcomes rocket podcast if you want the show notes, inspiration, transcripts and everything that we talked about on this episode. Just go to outcomesrocket.health. And again don't forget to check out the amazing Healthcare Thinkathon where we could get together took form the blueprint for the future of healthcare. You can find more information on that and how to get involved in our theme which is implementation is innovation. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference that's outcomesrocket.health/conference be one of the 200 that will participate. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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Recommended Book:

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Best Way to Contact Amin:

hello@medangel.co

@MedAngelCO

Mentioned Link:

https://medangel.co/

Episode Sponsor:

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Outcomes Rocket - Paul Budd

Why Healthcare Organizations Must Adopt Digital Marketing to Succeed in Today's Environment with Paul Budd, Managing Consultant - Life Sciences and Digital Health at Korn Ferry Futurestep

Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes, and business success with today's most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez

Welcome back once again to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders. I want to thank you for tuning in to the podcast today and I welcome you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews to rate and review today's podcast because we have an outstanding collaborator in healthcare. His name is Paul Budd. He's a managing consultant, Life Sciences and digital health for Europe at Korn Ferry. Korn Ferry is the pre-eminent global people and organizational advisory firm. They help leaders organizations and societies succeed by releasing the full power and potential of people. They have nearly 7000 colleagues and they deliver services through executive search, hay group, future step divisions and really across the spectrum what we're looking at here is, Paul is super passionate about healthcare and what it is that today's digital technologies can do to either help you take the next step or help you avoid disruption. So without further ado I want to welcome Paul. Welcome.

Thank you, so great to be here.

It's a pleasure to have you. So Paul, what did I leave out in your intro that you want to fill in for the guest to know about you?

I mean yes pretty comprehensive so yeah I mean I live in the UK so currently work with Korn Ferry as you mentioned where the global people organizations and I've worked with in healthcare for about 20 years predominately within life sciences, medical devices in med tech but interesting enough in the last about five years, I've really started to be compassionate around how digital technology can now improve healthcare either by delivering better services through to patients or delivering better communication through the end user through to physicians. So it's great to speak to and I really love doing these things because I'm really interested to try and give some of my experience to your listeners about what is happening from a people organization. So what I mean by that is healthcare is a very traditional industry. Okay. And what we're seeing now with digital technology we're seeing the scope of innovation and not need are really sort of move. But what's important is that people need to move with that. Unless you've got an engaged an agile team behind it, it makes innovation very difficult in healthcare and that's what I hope I can talk about today.

Paul super, super insightful and for the leaders listening, it's key that we don't forget about our people that we make sure that all the things that we're doing in the organization to change strategy that are people are coming along with it. So what is it that got you into healthcare to begin with Paul? I mean it's been 20 years.

As and that's what it is, the reason is so you know I was I was recruiting in the technology space around 20 years ago. Passionate about health care in anyway from a personal perspective and what I realized about health care was the fact that I was able to work with leaders of organizations that were actually developing products and services to improve the quality of people's lives. OK. So when I worked in tech, it was great. You know my clients were producing some really cool stuff. Was it really actually helping someone. Sounds like a bit of a cliche but it's true you know, I passionately believe that the global health care organization. You should see it as that we need to think of better ways to improve the lives of people.

I love it and it's the fastest way to do a meaningful work is coming into health care. So people are obviously at the center of what you're thinking and what you guys are doing at Korn Ferry. What do you think. Let's drill down a little bit deeper. Paul what's a hot topic that should be on every medical leaders agenda today. And how are you guys addressing it?

It's a great question. So I guess there's a number of hot topics. The two things that I would say the hottest topics of the moment firstly is digital marketing. So how is a health care organization be that hospital, be the med tech company or be that a digital startup. How do we communicate with our patients who are customers by digital channels. And that's something that the healthcare organizations have been a little bit slow to policy. And I think what we're seeing now is the internet is jam packed with noise. You know how do you as an organizer as you get you your message out there to the right person whether that's a patient or without a physician in a clear and concise way. How do you enagage, is the key thing, how do you engage with your audience properly? That's one thing that is hot right now. The second thing that we're seeing which is really hot is as organizations in health care are starting to adopt new technologies, the culture is shifting massively from a very traditional quite risk averse culture into a culture of innovation and the very definition of innovation means that things need to evolve and innovate a pace and scale. And the pace and scale is the key thing we've not been brilliant within healthcare pace and scale because we were quite restricted with you know regulations and things like that. So the two things you know how do we communicate to our patients of physicians and our customers. And the other thing is how do we innovate at scale.

I think it's so on point Paul. And you're right. I mean it's so loud, it's noisy in the digital market. Can you share maybe one or two tips that the leaders could take away from this conversation and apply to their businesses or their organizations?

Absolutely. I guess the thing that I think is most important is actually crafting and defining a true strategy. So what we find in digital is a lot of people think of it as an afterthought because they just think you know we need to be digital we need to be seeing digits. Let's just go and do lots of things on social media and let's do blokes here and there it becomes white noise and actually becomes like distractive. And effectively you know tools away from the point to try to make in the first place. So the thing I'd say to leaders is you know start about what's the message you need to be let's think of a concise message. What channels that we are going to use that message to communicate through and who is the audience going to be at the end of the day. And actually start small but start really focused because otherwise you know the internet is a global platform unless you can actually compartmentalize it. That message is going to dissipate into the atmosphere. So that would be my most important tip to people think of a clear strategy and execute.

That's a great tip you know otherwise it's deluded. And you know the other side of this Paul is how do you measure success. Right. Because at the end of the day Facebook likes can't pay your bar tab.

Unfortunately but no, you're right. So you measure success I think in terms of outcomes. OK so health care is all about outcomes you know whether it's reimbursement for our products, whether it's effectively the improvement of a patient's health - it's all about outcomes. Success in the digital age needs to be about outcomes because you're right. You know you could up a million Facebook likes, so what, right?

Exactly.

What does that actually mean? So the key thing is how do you measure what that outcome is like and how do you then have a team of people internally to understand what that data means. Because again otherwise it's just information. So I think the key point about measuring outcomes and how do you measure successful outcomes is having the right sort of people that understand what that data can mean for an organization and how to turn that into a positive outcome.

Brilliant. I love that Paul and listeners, this first seven minutes of the podcast if it hasn't already been worth it for you then I think you need to rewind and relisten because this is major value that Paul is laying down here for us. Paul, give us an example of how you and the folks at your company are doing things differently to create results and improve outcomes.

So what we're doing actually is pretty transformational. The advantage that we have at Korn Ferry most people Korn Ferry for is an executive search firm and that is the backbone of the organization and we're very good at doing that but we're also now really much more of an overview of a people consulting firm. So one of the things that were very successful in doing were actually doing a number of global healthcare organizations at the moment is will go in and actually understand what is the roadmap look like in terms of your digital future. So have you got the right people in place? Do you have the right systems in place? What's the message needs to look like? And what we do is we spend a lot of time actually consulting with business leaders to really understand what the problem is right now, what's a potential solution? Once we put that framework together and it's become clear about what this how it's a transformation and that's the term we use at Korn Ferry. And a lot of these clients are going through a complete digital transformation. Once we've mapped that out in terms of what we need to look like and then the power of Korn Ferry comes in about really trying to identify best in class, executives and meet management organizational levels to really successfully drive that transformation.

That's beautiful. And that theme right there are portraits of having a theme at the center of what you guys do is transformation.

Absolutely.

That's powerful. And what are you guys doing? You know listeners, what are you guys doing? As far as what are your themes for the year? Is transformation in the works? Is it something that you're going to be driving or is it something that your competitors or market peers are going to be forcing you to drive? I say let's take a proactive step toward it and work with folks like Paul and the folks at Korn Ferry to make this happen.

What's really interesting Saul just on that point and this is some generally quite important to actually sort of relay back to the listeners. When we're talking about transformation particularly around new technologies within healthcare, the most important thing is, is really to one have buy in from the very top because a lot of companies actually look at digital as an afterthought. We think we need something digital let's create a small little team that do this thing called digital one. And hopefully that will be fine. That's the first mistake you need to have confirmation from the top and you need to have a motivation from the top to make that successful. The second point is you need to have a budget to make this happen. And I think that's really not see a lot of failures in companies actually that perhaps haven't taken them seriously enough and what they do is they create a little team and they get a small budget associated to it 12 months down the line. They don't really see any actions from see any results from it so they sort of you know he his way and they perhaps think about it again the following year. I think the key message needs to be this is happening guys. You can't walk away from a digital transformation is happening right across the healthcare enterprise. And in order to do it successfully you need to look big and think about it at scale and it's not an overnight switch and it's not going to happen just in a couple of months. You need to start the process now. I really look about five years with the transformational plan that would be my key message to the listeners.

Great advice. And you know on the topic of failure Paul can you share a moment with the listeners of a time when you are the organization or maybe one of your clients had a setback or a failure and what you guys learned from that moment?

Yeah I mean it's a really interesting point and I think when we're dealing with people wanting guarantees there are going to be failings. You know we not machines at the end of the day. We do have mistakes but what's important is we learn from our mistakes. You know I think one of the best examples where things have failed really been exactly as I mentioned earlier not really understanding what you're trying to do in the first place. So what people do is put in a china shop approach. Let's go digital let's try and hire some people that sort of get ourselves... likes. But then what happens is that quite quickly you don't get anything from that. That becomes a challenge say, we have under thousand Facebook like so what, you know I've got millions Twitter followers, so what? So what people have learned actually is trying to take a step back and making sure that you've actually got the right skill set in the business to start ways to analyze the data and actually make direct actions from that to make sure the outcomes are going to be positive and ultimately drive revenue. We're talking about a commercial business. The reason people are doing these sort of things which drive revenue. Yes we're talking about healthcare at hospitals and obviously in the U.K. you know we have the NHS. The outcomes are all about efficiency. So increasing efficiencies potentially reducing cost but ultimately the overarching point is improving patient care. There's no point in having the sort of great digital transformational pieces you don't really understand if the patients reproving or not because you defeat the objectives of it. So what we've learned and what we've worked with a lot of companies to try and help them understand is get the basics right and things who follow them from that you know a good analogy so if you're into you know if you're a racing car driver for example you want to be a racing car driver you've never done it before. You don't go out buy an indie car and drive from day one and expect to win the championship, right. You know you need to start off in karting and then it takes sort of five to six years to get to a certain stage of competency. We can do it properly. That's what people need to think about.

What a great analogy and I think that's so true. You know even you look back all the way to ancient times and in the ancient texts without a vision, people perish. And listeners let's take these words from Paul and bring them into our day to day. Let's have clarity in our approach and be clear, crystal clear on the outcomes and crystal clear on what success looks like when the campaign is done. If we're going to have success with it. Paul, you've given us some great tangible takeaways from this or really appreciate that.

No problem.

So what would you say one of your proudest business leadership moments that you've experienced to date.

What a fantastic question. You know I'd like to say there's been a few. You know I think one of the things that are most proud about few years ago I did a lot of work within the startup community in digital health here in the U.K. And I think that was extremely rewarding. You know it wasn't necessarily the most lucrative financially but from a personal reward perspective was great because what we're actually doing is helping in a very small start ups that had a burning passion to deliver products and services to improve the lives of people here in the UK and working with these people to understand what the talent robot needs to look like in order to be successful. I actually made a great deal to me personally and I got a lot of personal satisfaction for that. I've done some big things in a big turnaround projects with big life science companies and that's great but I guess you have to say personally it's when you see the real rewards of your life when you see a company that was you know a two person start up and you've worked with them over couple of years. You see them now so you know 50 person organization with great product innovation with active customers that are actually delivering real benefits. You see case studies from patients saying are used product techs and absolutely transform.

That's pretty awesome. Just you have your fingerprint on it.

Yeah exactly exactly that. You know you can go that's something that I hope to achieve. And it's something that's really going to people.

That so cool. And I agree. You know I think every one of us listening to this podcast you and I are here chatting today. I think we all have it within us that we want to help people. And it's something that we do even the smallest thing we find out that it's had that ripple effect it just that much more meaningful.

Correct. Absolutely. I mean a really interesting example. You know without mentioning company names of I did some work recently for an organization that specialize in vaccines. How do you use digital technology to create the message to encourage people that are props in countries where they're not aware of some of these diseases take massive action, and take massive action right now. The vaccination for themselves and for their family members is absolutely crucial, is lifesaving. And we need to work with these companies where that message where you know 15 - 20 years ago message couldn't have got to those parts of the world. But now with the beauty of things like smartphones and the Internet and technology that company through digital channels is able to reach individuals by taking a small action you know could save the lives of the children for example.

The global effects are also just amazing.

It's absolutely fascinating. You can talk all day about this and that's why I love what's happening in health care right now. And you know you know we're in a very fortunate situation where we were that sort of the tipping point now if you like that critical mass where it's been building for the last few years what we starting to see now is how technology is really starting to transform it. And I would personally come away to see what's going to happen in the next 10 years. I sometimes think you know for 10 years time what's happening in healthcare and how do I engage with my physician. What's the monitoring situation like you know it's like wearables times ten. Is just going to be so fascinating I'm quite jealous actually of the next few generations who are going to see some fantastic advances.

That's awesome Paul. I couldn't agree with you more I think we're in one of the most exciting times in healthcare. And I think at the end of the day we all stand on the shoulders of those behind us. We're building the future for them as the folks before us did for us.

Absolutely.

So Paul tell us about an exciting project that you're working on today.

Or some exciting projects where there's a number of exciting projects I think to be honest so I guess the areas that I like to specialize in as a mage for one is on the sort of the digital marketing piece or communication of storage batteries and customers. I think the other thing that we're seeing is really exciting now is the crossover between medical devices and pharma. So some exciting projects going on at the moment about drug delivery systems for example in how now we are using you know connected devices for example to actually not just measured dosage but actually to empower patients to take a lot more control of their own critical condition. Diabetes is a great example you know fit for probably 10 years plus now the diabetes field has probably been the leader in connectivity because diabetic patients who've been used to monitoring their own disease area. What we're seeing now is that transferring to a number of other different therapy areas and I think that's one of the exciting projects that we're working on with a number of organizations at the moment is how do you bring tech into the traditional big world of pharma that is quite slow moving that sort of quite regulated. How do you inject that culture of fast rapid innovation at scale? That's one of the things that are excited about are the number of projects I'm working on.

That's awesome man. Do you guys keep a blog over there at Korn Ferry?

We do. We get a couple of different things which is great. I mean a blog is something we have we're always there in quite a lot with social media as well. I can happily follow up with yourself to have some of that information across.

Yeah that's for sure listeners. I asked Paul because I definitely feel like you all would benefit from continuing to follow what they're doing over there and we'll go ahead and Paul and you share those links we'll put them in the show not so they have access to that thought leadership that you guys continue to provide.

We've got a number of different case studies as well and you know listeners are interested they can always sort of contact yourself contact me directly and I can share some of these case studies where you know we've really demonstrated this complete organization transformation.

Love it. So let's definitely do that at the end of the podcast here. Paul we'll have your share. Best way to contact you so they can do that.

Yep. Perfect.

So Paul getting to the end here. Let's pretend you and I are building a medical leadership course on what it takes to be successful in medicine. It's the 101 of Paul Budd. So we're going to write out a syllabus. I got four questions lightning round style followed by a book and a podcast that you recommend to the listeners. You ready.

OK. Good.

Alright, let's do it. What's the best way to improve health care outcomes?

The best way to improve healthcare outcomes is to get realistic data from patients quickly using technology.

What's the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

The biggest mistake is to evolve slowly.

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

You have to keep your finger on the pulse you have to know what the market is doing and you have to be prepared to move quickly and to be as agile as possible in today's world.

Finally what's one area of focus that should drive everything in a health organization?

Patients.

What book and what podcast would you recommend to the listeners, Paul?

Podcast Outcomes Rocket.

Oh thank you.

There are some great ones out there to be honest probably sort of too many to mention but the ones that I've listened to that you've done so to really insightful, really good. So this is the first when you listen to listen if you check out the podcast. In terms of a book, for me personally one of the best books I've read recently is Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. You know Tony Hsieh.

Oh he's the Zappos guy, right.

He is the Zappos guy, so he's the CEO of Zappos. But his whole philosophy really and why Zappos has been such a phenomenal success. It's all about people and culture in the organization. He had a very successful you know start up which was bought by Microsoft and it just didn't fit the culture. So he made it his life's ambition that whenever he starts up a new business the most important thing is people. And he's built Zappos into a billion dollar business based on having great people and a great culture. So what I do now in terms of working at Korn Ferry, we are a people organization. This is a mantra. I think people need to listen to them recommend any of your listeners and that leadership position. Check it out buy on an audiobook, get it done with download ,listen to it, is truly inspirational.

Folks take a lesson here from Paul pick up that book. It's definitely one that I'm going to pick up as well. All of the syllabus as well as the transcript of our interview can be found at outcomesrocket.health/kornferry. You'll be able to find all that there. Paul, this has been amazing. I really appreciate you taking the time to be with us if you can just share a closing thought with the listeners nd then the best place where they could reach you or follow you.

I can. Thank you very much for the opportunity. You know it's been great to talk to you and hopefully some of the things we've spoken about are going to be beneficial. I guess in terms of that sort of the closing gambit any of the listeners that are out there certainly within healthcare that are thinking about people transformation. Think about it properly, don't do it as an afterthought. You know people with the most important part of any organization whether that's a healthcare product or healthcare system or medical device or life science companies. So think about your people, think if you got the right sort of culture in your business, make a plan and execute on it.

Outstanding.

And then contact details is probably the best way so it's just paul.budd@kornferry.com

Outstanding. Listeners Paul shared his e-mail with you. So he definitely wants to collaborate. So something that Paul said resonates with you. Go ahead and reach out. I know he'd be very welcome to hearing from you. If you want to hear about some of those case studies that he also wants to share. Reach out to him. Very insightful stuff there. So, Paul just want to extend another big thank you to you and looking forward to staying in touch.

Fantastic Saul, thanks very much and appreciate your time.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration and so much more.

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Recommended Book and Podcast:

Delivering Happiness

Outcomes Rocket podcast

Best Way to Contact Paul:

paul.budd@kornferry.com 

Link/s:

https://www.kornferry.com/futurestep/futurestep

Episode Sponsor:

Outcomes Rocket - Fard Johnmar

Why Adopting Digital Health Technology Will Be Pivotal to Healthcare Success in 2018 with Fard Johnmar, Founder at Enspektos LLC

Thanks for tuning in to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I want to personally invite you to our first inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's a conference that the Outcomes Rocket and the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Sciences has teamed up on. We're going to put together silo crushing practices just like we do here on the podcast except it's going to be live with inspiring keynotes and panelists. To set the tone, we're conducting a meeting where you can be part of drafting the blueprint for the future of healthcare. That's right. You could be a founding member of this group of talented industry and practitioner leaders. Join me and 200 other inspiring health leaders for the first Inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's an event that you're not going to want to miss. And since there's only 200 tickets available you're going to want to act soon. So how do you learn more? Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference. For more details on how to attend that's outcomesrocket.health/conference and you'll be able to get all the info that you need on this amazing health care thinkathon. That's outcomesrocket.health/conference.

Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with the day's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I welcome you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you could rate and review today's podcast because we have an amazing guest. His name is Fard Johnmar. He's a digital health innovation supercharger and futurist from New York City area. He is definitely careful about how tech innovation and progress influence healthcare. He's a speaker on various topics on this and he's also been a founder of a company called Enspektos LLC where they are consulting companies specialize in strategy research and training. And the one I want to do is open up the microphone to our outstanding guests and have him fill in any of the gaps of that intro Fard, welcome to the podcast.

Thank you for having me. It's a great pleasure to be participating and I appreciate the invitation.

Absolutely. You're moving and shaking in digital health my friend. What is it that got you into the medical sector to begin with.

Sure so I've been in the health and medical field for nearly 20 years. It's kind of hard to believe that's the case but yes. Nearly 20 years and I have always had an interest in health and medicine. Ever since a young age my family actually expected me to enter the medical profession as a physician. But I ultimately decided that I was really much more interested in working on issues outside of the clinic and turned my attention to really trying to help folks understand how to first of all communicate effectively about medical technology and then ultimately that led to an interest in the combination of health and medicine and technologies such as virtual reality mobile etc. and that interest started in the Leets actually early 2000s or so. And it's certainly continued sense.

That's super interesting. Your folks wanted you to sort of go the practitioner route but you went a little different route and you've found great success here. Fard. What would you say a hot topic you take a look at all of health, right. I mean you're kind of have a broad view on this. What would you say a hot topic that should be on every medical leaders agenda today. What is that?

The way I like to kind of think about where health in medicine is globally is that obviously over the last few years there's been an intensive focus on the digitization of health both here in the United States and also around the world. And the reason for that is that there are so many issues related to a worsening health outcomes for people around the world and increasing aging population. Medical expenses and healthcare expenses that continue to skyrocket. And so what people have decided is that there's something about the use of digital technologies that can potentially help solve some of these issues. And so for obviously the folks listening into this podcast understand that digital technologies are certainly important. The key thing that should be on everyone's mind is not so much whether or not digital technologies will go away in health care or they'll die as some people have discussed but more about what are the most effective ways to implement these technologies to solve those pressing issues that I mentioned earlier. And so I think everyone whether they're an individual physician or working at the highest levels of provider organizations that certainly on their minds I know this from my conversations with them. But it should be something that everybody's focused on how do we implement in a way that's going to help us to solve these problems and a very efficient and cost effective way.

So when we're talking about these new and innovative technologies some are rock and roll and some are fallen by the wayside. Would you say the key to implementing these technologies in an impactful way and how are you guys doing some things like that to improve outcomes?

Sure so you know one of the things that I've really been focused on in the context of what I call this age of implementation is how organizations are actually working their way up. Something else that I call the Innovation Integration curve right. So we have a lot of innovations that are being developed by maturing organizations around the world and the challenge that health organizations face is how do they take these innovations and actually integrate it into their operations so that they can improve health outcomes save money etc.. And so the way to kind of think about this Innovation Integration curve is kind of in three stages that are very easy to communicate. The first stage is just becoming aware of these technologies and allowing the organization to become educated about the best ways forward the ways that they could potentially impact health. The second is once people have made a determination that these technologies could actually be helpful after stage one the kind of enter into stage two which is what I call engagement and capacity boosting. So basically that means launching pilot projects and really developing the internal capabilities to utilize these technologies to the best of their ability. And then after Stage 2 after the organization has a good sense of how to use these technologies in some limited ways they can then think about how do they actually scale these technologies and make them have the ability to use them proficiently across numerous therapeutic categories use cases et cetera. And so as you think through this Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 it's both a communication strategy in terms of talking within the organization about where you are on the innovation integration process and then also engaging in specific types of activities related to each stage that will help you kind of systematically engage with these tools. And so the way that I talk about technology may be a bit different from maybe what some of you listening are used to. Usually there's an emphasis on maybe some specific technology trends such as artificial intelligence or the Internet or voice with applications such as Alexa. My focus in terms of the work that I do with organizations around the world is really helping them to systematically move through these stages so that they can understand where innovation can happen within the organization. The best way is to implement that and then finally be successful.

I think that these are some really great call outs fard and you know listeners when you move forward with something new something different. It's important that you consider these distinctions that Fard has highlighted here for us today and why not partner with somebody that's been there done that helped you get through it. And so that's what Fard focuses on. It's better to really work with somebody to help you get there rather than just go blindly and so maybe you can share something with us. Part of a mistake or setback bet you've experienced that you can now share learning from with the listeners.

I've had a lot of setbacks in my career and one of the things that I've noticed in the work that I've done especially being focused on the near future is that sometimes it takes especially in healthcare some time for people to catch up with where I'm going. And that's one of the reasons that I've developed some of these methodologies you know are ways of talking about innovation is through the experience that I have that I've had actually developing digital innovations and also trying to have organizations very complex organizations integrate these innovations into their operations. And so one example is a platform that I developed back in 2007 2008 time frame focusing on capturing large amounts of data about how patients were using digital technologies in this case who was mailing the web but also mobile and we were gathering tons and tons of data about their digital activities in order to kind of do some very loose correlations between exposure to digital content and behaviors health care behaviors. So for example if people were constantly seeing messages about a specific medication whether or not that actually changed their mind about adhering to that medication etc. and so taking that technology at that time to have some very large health care organizations. It was very difficult for them to understand how they would integrate this type of technology into their operations. So what I would say is that the experience of integrating innovation into complex organizations comes in part from that difficulty that I had with an application at that time that I think was a little bit too early for the market now. And today you know we have massive projects such as school baseline and we have research kit and other tools that are routinely capturing this kind of data and then making it operationalizing it for health organizations. But at the time this particular innovation it was just too early for a technology like this and so timing and understanding some of the barriers that that innovation faces has been very helpful in terms of taking the learnings from that experience and applying it to some of the newer projects that I've worked on.

That's a great call out fard and you know it could be a great idea. But if the timing is just not right if the capacity is right you said the mid stage is capacity building. It's not bare it's not going to happen.

Absolutely. And so I think that that's something that a lot of people who are kind of outside or innovating or trying to push innovations through you know it's not this word disruptive innovation. Right people talking about disruptive innovation all the time. And you know I certainly think that that's helpful in some respects to talk about disruption but at the end of the day the question is how are these technologies going to actually disrupt if they don't have the ability to really be interweaved within the clinical workflow or the life stage of the patient or how organizations operate from a policy perspective for example. And so innovations can only be disruptive if they have the ability to up in some of the fundamental drivers of a system. And I think that what we're seeing with how organizations like Amazon. Organizations like Google are looking at the health care system what they're saying is well we can't just try to inject our technologies into these existing systems. We have to maybe start to transform some of the fundamentals of the marketplace utilizing some of our expertise from other domains so that we can shift the landscape toward where we'd like to go as opposed to where it is now. So I think it's really thinking systematically about the process of innovation integration and the systems that actually surround it innovation so that one can truly be a transformative force in a way that's productive rather than counterproductive for these health organizations.

Yeah Fard, that's such a great call out and you know why focus on being disruptive. I feel like so many people would just want to be disruptive. Forget about being disruptive. Why don't you add some value and figure out why and do it in a new way.

Yeah I mean I think that the word disruptive is I think useful in some contexts but again kind of going back to the stage as it were this age of implementation. I've been talking about right where we are right now is where does the rubber meets the road with these technologies. Does the promise of these technologies actually match the reality of where we need to go from you know everything from improving adherence to decreasing the prevalence of diabetes. And so when you see the technologies that are successful you see that they're really focusing in on looking at a problem in a new way and solving that problem. And when people see success that's when they're willing to go and say OK yeah we do need to change the way that we're doing things but you can't say to people change for change change is say you have to have some level of evidence and some level of understanding about the best ways to engage so that people can both understand what you're trying to do trust that it's going to do what you say it's going to do and then finally get a get ROI from actually utilizing these innovations.

Very well said Fard. It's obvious that you spend a lot of time thinking through these things and helping your clients get through the process. So really appreciate you sharing these these words of wisdom.

Yeah thank you I appreciate it.

So I was curious right so you gave us that point of failure. I feel like we learn a lot from that but I think it's also good to celebrate our successes. Can you share with the listeners one of your most proud medical leadership experiences to date.

Yes so you know one of the things that I've been really working on over the last couple of years is one aspect of kind of the three things that I work on on a daily basis and you referenced it earlier in the conversation. But I'll just repeat them. One of them is helping people understand we're the global digital health landscape is going, in a very concrete and practical way. The second strategy and we were talking a lot about innovation strategy and the third is kind of research about what makes innovation go in the first area which is helping people understand we're the digital health landscape is going in a very practical way. One of the projects that I decided to work on in 2015 was basically launching and starting to collect a large amount of data about how digital health was actually evolving globally and I started to collect this data. I remember in the very beginning of January 2015 because I had an intuition that this information surrounding us on social media on the web etc. would be useful but there really wasn't anyone collecting this information in a systematic way. And so what I ultimately what this ultimately evolved into after a lot of conversations with healthcare executives was not just collecting the information but actually utilizing technology such as natural language processing and machine learning and some other tools to actually provide context so that people could investigate this database and answer very specific questions such as What are the major technologies pay organizations in the U.S. are focusing on over the last 14 months and what are the specific disease states that they're most concerned about in terms of using these digital innovations to solve problems. Right. That's not something that you can easily get from a google search. Right.

Right.

And so one of the things I'm most proud of is kind of taking this and evolving this dataset. Until now it's the the world's largest classified and organized data set. More than 4.5 million data points and growing that now I am starting use with those startup organizations. Com you know large complex organizations around the world to help them to answer questions very very quickly about where markets are going and in a way that provides them with insight and context about which these technologies are actually going so they can answer these questions very very quickly. So that's a really vital part of the innovation process right. Having the ability to quickly understand from a contextual perspective where is the market going. And then secondly where do we live or should be living in this innovation landscape. So what I've realized over the years is that people are starting to become frustrated with having to try to plow through all of the information that's coming at them and what they're really looking to do is just reduce and become more efficient in terms of trying to find the very specific insights that they're looking for. So you know I'm very very proud of the fact that I kind of took the lead back in January 2015 and started to collect this data and now I guess it's been now three years or so later. People are starting to recognize the value of having insights like this and that's something that I'm very proud of.

That's pretty cool and thanks for sharing that. And you know just going the extra mile I mean you took an idea and you said you don't want nobody's doing this and Google is not spinning it out but I get smart. And so now you can query the data using voice as well as search.

Well it's a search based application. So basically you could just type in keywords like paper digital health you'll get information about what like what diseases payors are focusing on right now or have been over the last 14 months which innovations tend to be really key areas of focus for payers. And you can look at the data the United States versus Canada for example if you're interested in that. So it's not a voice...

That's pretty cool.

Application but it is a search based application that helps people to answer those questions really really quickly and it kind of slice and dice the data in ways that weren't weren't possible before. And so the key thing kind of talking about pride of ownership or having doing this is that the thing you know I talked to I spoke before about sometimes being a little bit ahead of where your people are.

Yes.

And so when I started this project people were kind of like just getting up to speed on digital health they really felt that they could have an handle on what was happening in the market because it was much smaller than right now. You know things are happening in China and Indonesia and Iceland and Finland you know things are way way around the world in big ways and it's just impossible for anyone to use e-mail newsletters or Google or those types of things to keep up with it. So I'm sensing that there is more and more value from having this kind of longitudinal database so people can see how things have evolved and pinpoint and quickly understand what issues are important to them as they try once again to implement these these innovations.

That's pretty cool and fard if the listeners want to find out more about this database and how do they find out where did they go.

So back in 2014 I launched a project called the Digital Health MAVEN project and some of you who are listening may have actually heard my intermittent podcast The Digital Health maven podcast but basically that project is designed to provide executives from around the world with the tools and resources that they can use both premium resources as well as a lot of free resources to help them to innovate more successfully using digital technologies and so he'd like to learn more about this digital health innovation staging framework that I discussed earlier or this idea around the age of implementation or learn about this intelligence platform. DG Health and former you can go to www.digitalhealthmaven.com or search on Google for digital health maven project and you'll find all the information that you'd like about the research that I've done and also more about these innovation frameworks.

That's awesome. Thanks for sharing that listeners digital health maven. Dot com will also provide a link to that on the show notes for this episode just go to outcomesrocket.health/fard F AR D and you'll be able to find it there. Fard let's pretend you and I are building a medical leadership course on what it takes to be successful in medicine the 101 of my man Fard and so I like to write just the syllabus here with you for questions lightning round style followed by a book and a podcast that you recommend to the listeners. You ready.

Sure.

What's the best way to improve health outcomes?

Best way to improve health outcomes is to take patient centricity from being a buzzword to actually living it. And so what that means is is really collecting information personalizing the interventions to account for people's cultural background language etc. and that engaging deeply sometimes in a one on one basis with patients to health and take the steps that they need every day to improve health outcomes reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks etc.. It's very labor you know even though we have a lot of these digital technologies what they allow us to do is to scale our operations but it still requires a human touch and some level of personal life support for people to really make the changes that they need to make in order to improve outcomes across a whole range of areas.

What's the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

I think one of the biggest mistakes is being in your silo your own silo and thinking that you know everything. And so one of the things that I that I encourage people to do is to cultivate curiosity and what that means is to really understand. Try to break outside of your bubble your day to day and cultivate the curiosity that you can use to look at problems in a new way and be flexible about the best ways to achieve the goals you're looking to achieve.

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

I think the key thing to remaining relevant as an organization is to really try to give people within the organization ongoing learning opportunities. Right. There's a lot of organizations that do invest in their employees do invest in their ongoing learning but not enough organizations really prioritize that. And so in order to stay relevant you really have to know what's going on and you have to not just at the highest levels of the organization but also managers who are responsible for implementing really do need to have the ability to be exposed to new ideas to continuously learn about what's happening across the landscape and then have the ability to apply what they learn in interesting ways either in mission critical projects or more experimental initiatives. This idea of creating innovations silos where you kind of got the innovation center out somewhere and then they're the ones doing innovation is great to kind of start to get things moving outside of kind of the bureaucracy of the organization but ultimately you're going to have to bring that activity into the organization and provide people up and down the organizational hierarchy with the ability to be exposed to these innovations to understand how they work and also implement them in new ways. That's really the only way that organizations can stay relevant despite the fact that things are changing and they are changing even faster than they have in the past. I mean just the pace of change is just accelerating. So I think that doing that is vitally important.

What a great call up Fard and listeners think about that process again that fard talked about at the beginning right. You really. Innovation has different stages. And you can't just silo it. You've got to empower the entire organization that is at the frontline. These managers these directors to make it happen. Love that. What's an area of focus that should drive everything in a health organization?

I think the thing I mean there's a lot of things that health organizations are concerned about re profitability maximizing clinical workflows those types of things. I think one of the things that tends to get lost is the fact that as large largest organizations are there are still populated by individuals by people and I think the focus of trying to make sure that your workforce or your colleagues are respected they have a work environment that they feel like they can contribute to. Those are some of the things that I think are sometimes under recognized in organizations. And so I think if we push toward that that level of focus on the people within the organization and supporting them I think that will make it organizations much more successful.

Love it. What's the book in a podcast that you recommended to listeners Fard?

Yes so a book that I recommend to listeners is a book read a few years ago called Steal Like An Artist. I really like this book because it focuses on cultivating the idea that great work always is built on the shoulders of others. And so what artists do is that they take and remix the work that that other people are doing in order to achieve their specific goal. So that's a book that I certainly recommend that people kind of take a listen to one of the podcasts that I really enjoy. That's actually not related to health care but I listen to quite often I listen to it for a long time as a podcast called On Being by Krista Tippett.

On Being?

On Being, right by Krista Tippett.

I like the title what's it about?

Yeah. Basically it's a podcast that just interviews people about their perceptions of the world how they grew up with pretty cool what makes them tick and a lot of the people that are interviewed on the podcast are very prominent people. So they're talking about things like how their faith for example shaped their thinking why they do what they do what makes them tick. So that's a podcast that I really like I'm sure some listeners know about that podcast and it's one that I recommend.

That's a great recommendation. Steal Like An Artist and On being you know quote that I've heard kind of in tune with that Fard as listeners. You're a human being. You're not a human doing and so focused more on being you'll be be more fulfilled.

Absolutely absolutely. I totally agree with that.

Fard appreciate that. Before we conclude you know I love if you could just share a closing thought and then the best place where the listeners could get in touch with you.

Yes so you know my biggest closing thoughts since I tend to focus a lot on digital innovation and you know I describe myself as a digital health futurist focused on the short term future. I think the closing thought is stay curious, stay focused, and really try to understand how these technologies can be implemented to solve real problems that people are facing everyday. I think if you do those things you can be more successful from an innovation process and then separate the hype from the reality and start to makes it make a difference when it comes to implementing these technologies in the day to day work.

Awesome that's really powerful and where would you say the listeners could get a hold of you or follow you.

Sure. So people can go to wwww.digitalhealthmaven.com they can as I mentioned get access to a lot of different resources they'd like to get in touch. They can visit my personal website www.fardjohnmar.com. You can learn a lot more about me. You can contact me through the contact form there. I'm always happy to talk with people about their work that they're doing and I look forward to hearing from some of your listeners hopefully soon.

Hey thanks a lot. We really appreciate just spending time with us listeners. Don't worry about writing any of that down. All of the resources that fard shared our conversation, the book, everything can be found and outcomesrocket.health/fard truly appreciative of your insights and looking forward to staying in touch with you.

Thank you so much for this great opportunity. This is a fantastic conversation. And best of luck with continuing with the podcast it's definitely a great show.

Thanks for tuning into the outcomes rocket podcast if you want the show notes, inspiration, transcripts and everything that we talked about on this episode. Just go to outcomesrocket.health. And again don't forget to check out the amazing Healthcare Thinkathon where we could get together took form the blueprint for the future of healthcare. You can find more information on that and how to get involved in our theme which is implementation is innovation. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference that's outcomesrocket.health/conference be one of the 200 that will participate. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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Recommended Book and Podcast:

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

On Being podcast

Best Way to Contact Fard:

www.fardjohnmar.com 

Mentioned Link:

http://www.digitalhealthmaven.com

Episode Sponsor:

 

Outcomes Rocket - Brian McEathron

How To Create a Culture of Innovation and Drive Patient-Centric Solutions in a Health Care Environment with Brian McEathron, Vice President and General Manager of General Imaging Ultrasound at GE Healthcare

Thanks for tuning in to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I want to personally invite you to our first inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's a conference that the Outcomes Rocket and the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Sciences has teamed up on. We're going to put together silo crushing practices just like we do here on the podcast except it's going to be live with inspiring keynotes and panelists. To set the tone, we're conducting a meeting where you can be part of drafting the blueprint for the future of healthcare. That's right. You could be a founding member of this group of talented industry and practitioner leaders. Join me and 200 other inspiring health leaders for the first Inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's an event that you're not going to want to miss. And since there's only 200 tickets available you're going to want to act soon. So how do you learn more? Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference. For more details on how to attend that's outcomesrocket.health/conference and you'll be able to get all the info that you need on this amazing health care thinkathon. That's outcomesrocket.health/conference.

Welcome back once again to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I welcome you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you can rate and review today's outstanding guest because he is an amazing contributor to health care. His name is Brian McEathron. He's the Vice President and General Manager at GE Ultrasound a division that's part of GE health care. With over 20 years in healthcare, Brian has navigated through the various health care economies and policy cycles and come up with success in improving patient outcomes, new product innovation and excellent business results - something that's hard to do over the span of time. And so because of that and because of all the things that he's done and the person that he is I wanted to give him a warm welcome on the podcast. Brian, welcome.

Hey thanks so much, Saul. It's a privilege to be here.

It is a pleasure to have you on, Brian. And so I always like to kick off the podcast with asking - Why health care? Why did you decide to get in?

I was always kind of an engineer at heart. And obviously with schools in engineering as I was graduating there were all these opportunities in the defense industry at that point of time. I had a lot of opportunities to join the defense industry and then this opportunity came up to go into GE Healthcare and I tell you what I was just doing cartwheels. There was something in my soul that said this is what you need to do and be part of a purpose for your life. And I was just skipping down the road and I thought this is it. And I felt that way ever since.

Wow that's amazing. I mean truly lucky to feel that way from the beginning.

Yeah, absolutely. You know I think health care gets into soul and when you see the impact it has on people's lives not just here and with your family. But people all over the world, in different countries, in different spaces and how you can make a difference together with a big team - it's really something that's impactful.

I totally agree, Brian. And you know what you guys have done there, the legacy and the team there, the leadership team in your business unit. You guys are definitely known for your innovation your growth, improving outcomes. Out of all the things that you guys cover, what would you say is one hot topic that needs to be on every medical leaders agenda today and how are you guys addressing it?

Yeah you know being part of GE you naturally become a fan of Thomas Edison when you read the things that Thomas Edison did. One of the things that he always said was find out what the world needs and then go ahead and try to invent it. So, I think about what does the world need now in terms of healthcare. And I think simply put its access to high quality, safe and affordable healthcare. And this is what the world of ultrasound that I'm involved with is all about because it's high quality affordable, accessible. You can take it to every country and it's basically a superpower that allows clinicians to look inside the body anytime, anywhere a patient is. And now due to technology advances it's basically shrunken down to the size of an iPhone and you can carry it just about anywhere in the world and provide healthcare to people that never had it before. The other thing I think about is the second quote from Thomas Edison that he said over 100 years ago and He said the doctor the future will give no medicine but will instruct his patients in the care of the human frame in their diet and the cause in prevention of disease. So he's talking about the real advance in health care next will be wellness in an individual before they need a doctor. Now, 100 years later we're seeing that become more and more into the mainstream as personalized healthcare devices and the internet of things allow us to monitor ourselves, understand where we need to go and how to improve ourselves before we ever need a doctor. Those are the kinds of things that I think are really interesting in the world today: access and personalized healthcare.

Brian, I think you hit some really great hot topics. And one of the things, a common denominator listeners all great leaders understand and know that they stand on the shoulders of those before them and just like Brian walked us through some of these inspirational things that Mr. Edison said he was way ahead of his time. We too need to stop and think. We're not here by ourselves, right. We're here because of what those before us did. And this is just a great share that you gave us here Brian. So, thank you for that reminder. Can you give the listeners an example of how your organization has created results, improved outcomes by thinking and doing things differently?

Absolutely. My most favorite recent topic is in the world of breast cancer and for the last 40 years there's really only been two ways to detect breast cancer for the most part. One of them is self-breast exam and the other has traditionally been to go with under a mammography machine, which is an X-ray based technology. And both these techniques really have challenges in the world that we can greatly improve on. And so we've been spearheading a development to use ultrasound to detect breast cancer and do that screening worldwide. And now we have the potential of delivering very high quality, safe, and affordable breast cancer screening to women not just in the most developed countries but for women in every country around the world. This has really been something that we've been driving recently. And when I look back over the trajectory of how this is developed there's really been a couple of obstacles to doing this. The first was to try to build a better mousetrap and in our case it was changing this paradigm that you had to use X-ray technologies instead of ultrasound. And so it really took about 15 years of trying different ultrasound techniques starting failing, pivoting, but ultimately sticking to the mission over a 15 year period of time to develop something that could be used which is really hard in the world looking for three to five year paybacks.

Yes.

Sometimes you just can't get that. You have to persevere longer. And that was very important to me in terms of understanding how long you have to persist in this space. The second thing I learned was once you have a better mousetrap you're only a third of the way there. I think this is where a lot of startup companies get stuck. They believe that inventing something better will change the world. But that's where the mission begins. Because the second issue is how to convince the world that this is a better mousetrap. So doing massive clinical trials to prove the clinical evidence that is needed, proving to the regulatory agencies in every country doing mass marketing to educate the physicians that are involved whether in this case radiologists, breast surgeons, OBGYN, internal medicine people, primary care people, along with all the different societies that have to be convinced of something like this. It's a massive undertaking that people don't take into account when they do start-up companies and don't have that infrastructure to do something like that. The third most difficult thing is expanding your reach into the world - setting up logistics, service, training,, marketing getting regulatory approvals in every country. This is a type of thing that you really have to carry through to make sure that that mousetrap can really impact the world. So it's not just about building the thing in the first place. It's extending it into the world educating people developing evidence that's the other two thirds of the work that I've learned really makes a difference in these successful endeavors versus the ones that don't succeed.

Brian super insightful and I feel like it's very impressive that a division like yours is not a large company like GE has the innovative staying power with like you said you know three to five year payback expectations. You guys held strong for 15 years. What is it that drives that? I mean that's pretty impressive that you guys have that type of innovation culture. What is it that accounts for that?

Yeah you know I think at the bottom of it is I have a firm belief that what you can do will ultimately make a difference. You know there's enough fundamental evidence that you can change things knowing that you're going to have to go through all these obstacles but at the end of that run you can significantly change the world and improve lives in the truly important moments of people's lives and ultimately that will win out. I think it's hard it's hard in a bigger organization like GE. and any others too. A lot of people have a lot of good ideas and you have to balance short term versus long term pay outs. And I think at the end of the day it takes people with a lot of passion and purpose to run the gauntlet of internal organization to make sure that that can happen over a long period of time.

That's a great share. How about you know your success has been very awesome. I saw you guys had about a year ago the pocket ultrasound increasing that access to ultrasound across the globe. Take us through some of the stumbling areas. Talk to us about a setback that you've had and what you learned from that.

Oh boy that's a tough one it's always tough to admit where you've failed but maybe we phrase it as where I've learned a good lesson. How about that?

Let's do it. Tell us about a good lesson.

Yeah I'll take you back to the breast cancer situation. In terms of the early understanding that this can make a huge difference actually happened about 20 years ago. We knew in the late 90s that ultrasound could do a significantly better job than some of the technologies out there in detecting breast cancer. And we would start a project and start running with it but ultimately we ended up scrapping a lot of the early missions and the reason for that is because even though the fundamental idea was good, the underlining trajectory of where the technology was evolving too. We were too early in that curve. So understanding where the ideas and the technologies to support that idea are going to intersect in time and how far ahead of that you want to start development is ultimately a lesson learned that if you start too early and the underlying technology available in the world today won't be available for another 10 or 15 years you can waste a lot of time and go down a lot of blind alleys. So you know that was to me a fundamental understanding of mapping out to trajectory of the technology curves and making sure that you hit them at the right point in time.

Brian - such a great point and a lot of folks trying to innovate within big companies and also entrepreneurs can oftentimes be blindsided by the love of their idea. What advice would you give them within the context of the timing thing that you just shared? What advice would you give them?

Well first of all I never want to suppress that love or passion people have for that idea because at the heart of that I think that's what drives innovation. I think the underlying understanding though is a lot of times those people that are so passionate about an idea become blindsided about the practicality of the technology or the market creation, the evidence creation, the reaching into the world, and all those aspects of it. So even though you know that initial kind of love of your idea and a passion to make a difference at some point in time you have to either put people around you or put different mechanisms to realize that idea because a great idea that ultimately goes nowhere really hasn't made an impact in the world. So that core seed of loving your idea is great. But at some point in time you have to take that forward and really understand that the idea is maybe a third of the mission and really the other two thirds of the mission is really making it have a difference in the world and all the things that it takes to enable that.

Awesome I love that. Make sure you get your impact out there folks because your idea's not everything. It is the seed like Brian said but it definitely has to be accompanied by the structures and the people to help you get there. Brian - what would you say one of your proudest medical leadership moments to date that you've experienced?

Right now I've got the privilege... since we've got a massive installed base of ultrasound systems we effectively care for about 1 million patients each and every day somewhere in every country around the world and I think about it in terms of say even 1 percent of those cases directly had a critical impact in the diagnostic decision or guided a lifesaving procedure that is 10,000 lives each and every day that we've made a huge huge difference in each and every day and that's somebody's spouse, their brother, their child, their grandparent. That to me is a really really big deal and that's why we do what we do and you know frankly it's a privilege to be part of something that can impact that many lives.

It's a great reason to get up every day isn't it.

Absolutely. Yeah. It keeps driving you forward and wanting you to become better because once you start seeing the impact of what you can do and then understand the potential of what still needs to be done... It just wants you to do better for the world.

Yeah. Brian I think it's really cool that you took the time to think through the number of patients impacted and for the leaders listening to this podcast let's learn from Brian here and think through our business. How many people are we touching and how can we communicate that to our teams? Because we can very easily get caught up with dollars and cents of what we do. Let's not forget the patients at the middle of this and learn from what Brian did - you know - a really cool way to communicate this to your team is the numbers. Show them the number of people that you're impacting. Brian - tell us a little bit about an exciting project or focus that you're working on today.

Oh we just launched a new baby. We call our new product development babies. We're in the process of giving birth to a brand new super high-end ultrasound machine. It's called the LOGIQ E10. We just launched it in the United States and Europe over the past couple of weeks.

Congratulations.

Yes thanks, thanks. This was a 4 year gestation period. It takes a long time you know with hundreds of people in different places like Milwaukee, Tokyo, Phoenix and even in Norway. Something that uses kind of pivotal new technologies in this space and it simply makes ultrasound look amazing, easy to use. And now it's designed to interface to more of what I call the internet of things so they can leverage things like deep learning and artificial intelligence to continually make the machine better over time. For us it's really going to be a game changer and it's the birth of something that we think is going to further transform the world and really help save a lot of lives over the next decade.

That is super exciting. And again congratulations to you and your entire team. For anybody that's curious Brian, is there a link that you could share with us now or maybe later we can include in the show notes for them to check out this amazing innovation out?

Just google LOGIQ E10 and it will pop up. Here's the key. It's not l-o-g-i-c. It's LOGIQ.

Oh I like that.

Very tricky so don't make that mistake. LOGIQ

I like that though. That's really slick. LOGIQ is going to incorporate some of the machine learning some of the artificial intelligence to make those predictions help patients live even longer more healthy lives. I think that's so exciting so folks check that out. Plug it into your Google or just check out the shownotes, and we'll be able to have that link in there as well. Brian this has been a lot of fun getting close to the end here so typically I like to do a little lightning round syllabus. But let's take it a different direction. Why don't you hit it off with a book that you recommend to the listeners? And then we could walk through some of the lightning round questions.

Sounds good. I'm going to name two books - I enjoy on a personal level and then another one at a business level. On a personal level I really enjoy reading about true life stories or events where leaders have taken people through just incredible experiences and persevered through it. One of the ones is a book by about Ernest Shackleton he is the first guide to take the ship in Durant to the South Pole in 1914 and the experience of how he had to lead his team through just incredible amazing experiences. And any day I think I'm having a hard day at work - I just have to think about what these people have gone through and it kind of makes everything much easier allows me to move ahead with a smile on my face. So that's one book that I really enjoy. The second one on the business level is a book that hasn't been written yet and I hope it is someday and that's written by somebody that both you and I know he is the CEO of Medtronic. His name is Omar Ishrak I had the privilege of working with Omar for about 12 years here at GE before he went over to Medtronic and here's what the syllabus book would be.

I love it. Let's hear it.

Chapter 1. Segment the market by application by the problem they are selling by geography by price point. Really understand and pick a customer niche. Now Chapter 2 takes that niche and says we're going to develop a wing doing business aimed at delighting this niche with real solutions. And this wing to wing business is going to include salespeople, applications people, R&D people, marketing people, manufacturing. You're going to build a business whose purpose and mission is to delight those customers and then Chapter 3 of the book goes into choosing a leader for this business who's passionate, purposeful, persistent and inspirational and someone who can instill the mission or purpose of this endeavor into both his team as well as clinical leaders in every country and around the world that they operate in this space. Chapter 4 is.

Let's give it a go. I want to hear it.

All right. Chapter 4 is about how you take the team and connect them with the key opinion leaders in this space to view you not just as a peer in the industry but a trusted friend who's got you on speed dial where you've got that connection with them or they're inviting you over to your house - to sleep overs - whatever it is that you're that connected into the key opinion leaders around the world in this space. Chapter 5 is make sure that when you come out with things - that you innovate in smaller chunks more frequently than anyone else in the market. So don't do 5, 10 year moonshots do 1 and 2 year or faster incremental improvements to your product or offering because the impact and the confidence that does to your team and your industry is really amazing. Chapter 6 is making sure that you understand that profitability is a sexy thing that you do every day and not an afterthought. So, developing long term strategies like taking 10 percent of the cost of your product out every year or 15 percent proving the quality of your product every year that happens year over year, every year becomes a culture and a way of doing business and ultimately what people find is that's the oxygen which grows your business. Finally, Chapter 7 is how to create an environment where the best of the best want to play that they want to be part of this team. And sometimes the best of the best are the 'A' players from the Ivy League school but also the people that have the passion and purpose in their soul that are willing to roll up their sleeves work together in big teams and really make a difference in the world and overcome tough situations. And if there was an appendix to this book it would be about how to acquire companies and not ruin them, and which is something that happens in the industry. And it's really a special art. So that's the book that's going to be written and it's going to be my new favorite when it comes out.

Amazing. Brian first of all I just want to tell you that was awesome. By far the best syllabus that we've put out to date and a shout out to Mr. Omar Ishrak. If that book comes out we're all ready to buy it. And so Brian really appreciate the outline there. I don't think there's need for a lightning round because listeners all you have to do is go back and follow this outline - this outline is such an insightful outline that all of us can learn from. And when the book does come out hey maybe you guys will co-author it Brian. Who knows. I think we all want to know and we'd be happy to have you on when it does come out.

Awesome. I can't wait.

I love it. Brian this has been so much fun and what a great way to send this off with this outline of this book. Before we conclude I would love if you could just share a closing thought with the listeners and then the best place where they could get in touch with you.

Very good. Yeah - you know - to me working in health care is really a special privilege. What I found is you get to work with really amazing inspirational purposeful people and in a sense there are people all over the planet. We get to solve issues that affect the entire world. And we can truly make a difference in people's lives in moments that matter for them. But, it's not an easy space. If it were, anybody could do it. But it takes someone that really has a lot of passion, purpose, perseverance, who continually want to learn and grow and develop in this world. You know my guess is the kind of people that are listening to these podcasts actually are those type of people so my hats are off to all of you - keep going. Get better. The world needs people like you to be successful and really make a difference so appreciate everybody's time today. If you want to get a hold of me, you can reach out to me on LinkedIn. It's Brian McEathron. I work at GE Healthcare in the ultrasound division. And it's been a privilege for me to join you guys today.

Brian it's been a blast and we really all thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to spend time with us to share these nuggets and listeners to get all of the transcript, links that we've shared all the things that Brian shared with us today. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/brianmc and you'll be able to find all that there. So Brian again we thank you and salute you my friend.

Very good. Hey thanks so much, Saul. Have a great day.

Thanks for tuning into the outcomes rocket podcast if you want the show notes, inspiration, transcripts and everything that we talked about on this episode. Just go to outcomesrocket.health. And again don't forget to check out the amazing Healthcare Thinkathon where we could get together took form the blueprint for the future of healthcare. You can find more information on that and how to get involved in our theme which is implementation is innovation. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference that's outcomesrocket.health/conference be one of the 200 that will participate. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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Recommended Book:

South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917 

Best Way to Contact Brian:

Linkedin - Brian McEathron

Mentioned Links:

http://www3.gehealthcare.com/en/products/categories/ultrasound/logiq

http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com/see-snap-send-how-digital-communication-is-advancing-health-care-ecr18/

Episode Sponsor:

Why Research Driven Design is The Best Method for Connecting People to Your Products with Stuart Karten, President at Karten Design

Thanks for tuning in to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I want to personally invite you to our first inaugural Healthcare Thinkathon. It's a conference that the Outcomes Rocket and the IU Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Sciences has teamed up on. We're going to put together silo crushing practices just like we do here on the podcast except it's going to be live with inspiring keynotes and panelists to set the tone we're conducting a meeting where you can be part of drafting the blueprint for the future of healthcare. That's right. You could be a founding member of this group of talented industry and practitioner leaders. Join me and 200 other inspiring health leaders for the first inaugural. Healthcare Thinkathon. It's an event that you're not going to want to miss. And since there's only 200 tickets available you're gonna want to act soon. So how do you learn more. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference. For more details on how to attend that's outcomesrocket.health/conference and you'll be able to get all the info that you need on this amazing health care thinkathon that's outcomesrocket.health/conference.

Welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring health leaders. I really thank you for tuning in once again and I invite you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you could rate and review today's podcast because we have an amazing contributor to the design of health and outcomes. His name is Stuart Karten. He is the president of Karten design. It's an award winning Los Angeles based design and innovation consultancy Karten design. Stuart is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has worked for gold medical products Mattel and Baxter medical products until founding Karten design. He's a founding member of the University of Southern California Center for Body Computing and is a member of the Stanford Medicine x Council of Healthcare designers. Stewart serves on the adhoc data and analytics committee for Presbyterian Health Care Services where he's pinpointing solutions that both create impact and resonate with end users. In addition he's providing design centric perspective and expertise as a member of the board for rising healthcare startups. I walk and rest EQ. Stewart is also a board member at Board of Regents for the DA Vinci design high school. He's obviously got a foot print in design within health and I thought it'd be great to have him on the podcast or just want to give you a warm welcome my friend.

Saul, nice to meet you. Glad to be here.

So anything that I missed there that you want to chime in on.

The only thing that's not on there is the work that I've been doing with seniors TechStars which is an accelerator that lives under the roof of the seniors hospital here in L.A. and I've been a mentor to them for the last three cohorts and that's a really fun interesting experience.

Well you're certainly have your web spun out wide. STEWART So I'm curious what is it that just got you into health to begin with.

Well it goes back 30 plus years ago when I graduated from Rissi. I came pretty much straight to L.A. and one of the first jobs I had was where I worked in the Barbie group and then I was recruited away to a position over at Baxter medical and that's when so the affinity for doing healthcare and medical products to all. And then in 1984 when I started the firm foundation the work that I did was in the health care space.

So you definitely have had your broad range of time in the business and you've seen a lot. What do you think is a hot topic that needs to be an every medical leaders agenda, Stuart, and what are you guys doing at Karten to address it.

Well I think sort of broadly speaking the thing that I think everybody should be paying attention to is the consumerization of health care. And I think it's happening everything from the digital experiences that are being created to digital health tools all the way down to how experiences are being created around products and the clinical setting. And so you know our work even though we don't at the moment we're doing probably 90 something percent in the health Medtech space. Prior to that we did a lot of work in the consumer electronics space and a lot of the learnings that we developed during those kinds of products where people actually have choice and make a decision based on an emotional connection to create experiences and products that stand out in order to connect with people on that level. All that learning were put to good use in the healthcare space to try to create the experiences and products that people actually want and they will actually choose over other experiences.

That's really interesting. Stuart and now are you thinking about products by way of clinician users and physician users or are you thinking more like consumer products.

I'm talking across the entire range. To me the Digital Health Rural is really mostly focused on the consumer side of things right. And that's when people think of the consumerization of healthcare and you really need to you know open up an app like heal or whatever to you know instantly access health care or a knee relative to a medical or health care situation. But what we find as we do in-depth research in the clinical settings that people show up at those experiences bring with them what they learn from operating devices in the consumer space and the role that surrounds them that is outside their profession. And they have high expectations for what that experience should be like based on what their experience outside of the cleaning settings. So having that relevance and that similar experience is what we're seeing people need or want.

For sure there's definitely continuity in that frame and maybe you could share with the listeners steward how you guys have improved outcomes through some of the design that you've done.

Yeah. Our work starts can start just really is actually helping clients figure out whether they should focus their efforts and then do the hard work in understanding the entire ecosystem. We call it voice of the ecosystem in the world and have a ruling one user it's going to be whole bunch of people that are involved in the overall experience and you know what we're trying to do is basically create products people are engaged with and ultimately we try to provide experience to get to the highest level of engagement which is evangelism centralizing around our products experiences. That's what an extraordinary experience is. But now healthcare space sometimes it doesn't get all the way up to that level. But at least it's meaningful and pleasurable. At least that's what we're trying to do and that it's going to do with clinical work as well as your patients in their own healthcare and our outcomes.

That's super interesting and listeners something to think about right. Because as we begin to address these different initiatives that we have with our patients or with our communities as we continue to try to dive deeper into into managing health of communities having a product or our solution like Stuart's talking about the interfaces easily and pleasurably with the end user is really going to make a difference by way of adoption. Did you guys think of any any way that you've improved adoption store by design.

Yeah there's a number of products that we work on. There was an app that we were it was a project that we did in conjunction with the U.S. he set up a body computing where an awesome site. It a very simple set. If we were to release the data that we've collected from people's CDs are kind of created for winners. Yes people do benefit with that. And what we did is we created an app that really was based around the mantra of living longer and staying out of the hospital and because those ICDs are little supercomputers in your chest there's just an amazing amount of data. An amazing amount of kind of algorithms that you develop that are used to connect with people. And yet we do not used to operate messages where you start out by presenting some very simple information and you actually know what they do. If they ask who wants what is the app itself and then you get ready for a three hour those like because it's all people up at night or how many times you can ask questions that are sort of magical like you know this. As an example I slowly got up three times last night. Your medication. So will you respond right. Yes. And I'm having trouble. I would like to track. The offering them that and he saw that. Had a lot of great feedback and now it's not scientific.

I mean that's super interesting and what a great way to dive into some major data collection to help outcomes in a very insightful way. You haven't always had success to or maybe you've had a setback at some point. And we learn more from our setbacks as leaders then the good times can you share with the listeners a time when you had a setback and what you learn from it.

Sure. So we've been designing hearing aids for 10 plus years for our client Starkie. And one of the things that we discovered very early on in the research we did with people who were hearing aids is that they are personally enticed by it and a lot of that stigma came from how they actually control the hearing aids. So they were tribal tensions and also and in raising volume or lower interchange settings. So just by the sheer fact that they are leaving behind their ear it appeared that that was drawing attention to themselves so this is now going back to when I was first introduced and then was the passive switch element of the iPhone meaning it's actions Y. And just through great control through that and we had this idea to actually put that on the hearing aid. So no more natural way to turn the volume up and down. With passengers switch. And our biggest concern initially was people in their 60s 80s or 90s really understand that kind of gestural controls. And so we went about the business of building up prototypes we use sound in addition to the. Actual swiping and gesturing. And we thought we had done a lot of homework and you know Starkie thought this was a great new innovation and we brought it to market only to find out that there was really no uptake on it. No interest. And it was a huge learning curve. People had to go through to try to understand what it meant to control Irrunytju gestures. Now I'd like to think it was just something that's maybe ahead of its time because we obviously have a generation of people who are grown up on gestural control.

That's interesting so definitely a good learning lesson. Sounds like you haven't tossed it but you shelved that for a potential future use case.

Yeah it was a bit of a wakeup call for us when you know it just didn't have the market uptake. We thought it would.

What would you do differently if you had to go back to that moment.

You know that's kind of hard. I'm not sure. I think we probably would have done a lot more testing more quantitative testing and just qualitative testing.

Just grown the number of users that you got feedback from.

Exactly.

Now a great feedback. You know oftentimes we could be convinced by five or ten people and we need more.

Yeah exactly and I think it's to some degree I think we all fell prey to what I see with other clients sometimes coming in the as we were little enamored with technology. You wanted it so badly versus you know it was. Do you think

That's a great call out a great story and a great lesson. Stuart Really thank you for sharing that. What would you say one of your proudest medical leadership experiences that you've experienced today.

I think going back to Starkie back in 2003 one of the first products designed for them was called the zone. And it won a national design award which I took it to the White House to the state. So Michelle Obama and I have my photo taken with her and be honored at the White House. That is definitely a career highlight.

That is awesome. Congratulations. Did you have fun over there.

We had a lot of fun. It was pretty amazing. You know there was a lot of buildup and like wow this is going to be like and then it was pretty casual and then you know I had maybe 30 seconds to chit chat with her and she was amusing. And it was pretty cool

That's awesome and congratulations to you and your team on that accolade. Thank you. So tell us a little bit about an exciting project or focus. I know you have many but out of all the ones that you have going on right now what would you want to highlight here for the listeners.

Well there's really two the one that we're really deep involved in is neuromodulation your listeners understand what that is but it's in simple terms it's putting implants in people's bodies hooking them up to various nerves and then using it to that different dishes. And what's been exciting is you know typically my office is fairly small we're all under 30 people and we can't really take on competing science because we can't have the ability to firewall things. In this case because we've become experts in the clinical experience and the patient experience around neuromodulation we've been working with multiple companies. They're all going after different conditions so Axon X is a company we've been working with going after Iraq ladder. We've been working with a company called until it gets to be chronic migraine and we've been working with other companies on spinal cord solutions. So as a result we really deep in understanding what a person goes through when they get an implant and then it means that the task of getting it power charging it as well as having the ability to control it and applying that across different conditions and becoming somewhat experts in all of those different conditions as well. And then the other area that I'm really excited about is we're reviewing a major plumbing company that has a huge presence in the bathroom. They make Sing's vanity's mirrors all the accoutrements of the bathroom. And helping them start moving towards really embracing the bathroom as the health of the future bathroom is really going to be whether they take the distance or not. I believe that there will be players and companies and partners who will embrace the fact that that is where our that's where we do well and that there's huge opportunity across people's entire lifespan. So think about it you can use technology to help and connectedness to help with potty training you can help teenagers with acne can help people in their 20s with sexual health. And then of course as you know that's kind of where the vaccine changes currently we might be grammar reales or a. Higher toilet or a shower having it be able to affect so many of the life stages and bring new value to it I'm super excited about that as.

A very fascinating thought Stuart. And of course I would expect that from you always taking it from fresh angles and listeners think about it. You know you've got Alexa and Google sound in your living room. What can be happening in the bathroom. And sure enough the folks at Karten designer are working on it. Stuart you always throw some interesting things for us to think about. What would you say is for you within the next five to ten years. The ideal spot where you see Stuart Karten contributing and how well you know I think I've watched over the course of my career and the career of the firm that more and more people are understanding the value that design can bring into the process and I see that happening at a higher level I think we live in that nexus of understanding technology understanding the ecosystem of the medical world but it's really coming down to people and understanding that level going beyond just cognitive capabilities and physical capabilities and understanding them from a developmental standpoint as well as most importantly from an emotional standpoint because that's ultimately how you're going to connect with people and get Gage whatever it is you're really you're trying to help them whether they turn out.

So yeah for sure not exciting and we're definitely excited to keep tracking the progress that you and your firm are making. So let's dive into this. Let's pretend you and I are building a medical leadership course on what it takes to be successful on health today. It's no 101 with Stuart Karten on health outcomes and I'd love to just write the syllabus with you. I've got four questions lightning round style followed by a book that you recommend to our listeners. You ready.

All right. Let's go.

Awesome. What's the best way to improve health outcomes.

I think just sort of touched on it just a second ago which is to really focus on the targeted users and really understand the ecosystem who are all the people that are in there touching it or touch points along the way and making sure we can bring convert data to information for them when they want it.

What's the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid.

I saw the touch earlier as well. I see a lot of people just falling in love with their technology and just be so blinded by the fact that they think they have something new and different which may be the case. That doesn't mean that people aren't going to use.

Stuart. How do you do a gut check for that right. It is something that I think many of us fall victim to. What's a good gut check that you recommend to the listeners on how to avoid.

Well the process we use is fall fell forward fast. So what want to do is before you invest a lot of time and energy create what we call low fidelity prototypes such as drawing storyboards foamcore models anything that can communicate what the solution is that you're bringing and get it out in front of users and get their feedback and learn from it and don't be afraid to iterate few times to make sure that you've got something that is resonating pople

Love it. You got used 3D printers.

Yes we do.

That's kind of a quick way to do it right.

We sometimes yes that is a quick way to do it sometimes we really don't know fidelity we'll use foamcore and UPC and tubing just to let people have something they can all in and build on their own cocreator. So we try not to impose our own predispositions towards technology.

That's so great you know and that's a good message for all of us listeners. The more simple you can keep it the better especially at the beginning. Stuart thank you for that. How do you stay relevant despite constant change.

Well I think what we do is we live in the future that is really what people come to us for. And I think it's always looking back and understanding the trajectory of where things are coming and also using that as a way to eyewear The future isn't sort of flip flopping back and forth to make sure you're on that correct pathway to understand what that change has been and what a change to be positive future forward.

What's one area of focus that should drive everything in an organization focused on health.

It's a little broad that I would say really focusing on creativity and making sure that people have the power to be creative to develop a new and different. And they also have the right to fail. I think that's really critical in terms of making sure that you building an organization that could have longevity is making sure that either organizational culture or group within the organization has been deemed a right to fail and that they're willing to do that and that as a result they won't lose their jobs.

Love it. What book would you recommend to the listener Stuart.

My favorite book is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Just a great book around you know how people have ingrained patterns and habits and ceremonies and Karten design. Here we believe that if you're going to get something new do something new or different in line with their existing chances. He's captured that very nicely.

What a great message. Listeners don't worry about writing any of this down on the syllabus or podcast. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/karten and that's Stewart's last name as well as the name of his company Karten design. You could see all the showboats as well as links to the things that we've discussed the book his company all of the projects that he's been working on and talking to us about. STEWART This has been a ton of fun. I'd love if you could just share your closing thought with the listeners and the best place where they can get in touch with you.

Yeah I think I kind of hit on most the things I believe in and that we practice here current design. The best way to reach us is either to me directly is stuart@kartendesign.com or our Web page kartendesign.com. Outstanding. Listen Stuart it's been fun. I've enjoyed our time and I know listeners will take back some good words of wisdom. You know how to keep it short and sweet and to the point. So we really appreciate your time my friend.

Thanks Saul.

Thanks for tuning into the outcomes rocket podcast if you want the show notes, inspiration, transcripts and everything that we talked about on this episode. Just go to outcomesrocket.health. And again don't forget to check out the amazing Healthcare Thinkathon where we could get together took form the blueprint for the future of healthcare. You can find more information on that and how to get involved in our theme which is implementation is innovation. Just go to outcomesrocket.health/conference that's outcomesrocket.health/conference be one of the 200 that will participate. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Automatically convert audio to text with Sonix

 


Recommended Book:

The Power of Habit

Best Way to Contact Stuart:

stuart@kartendesign.com

Mentioned Link:

http://kartendesign.com/

Episode Sponsor:

Outcomes Rocket Podcast
Outcomes Rocket - Uwe Diegel

Now You Can Travel Care-Free with Diabetes, Thanks to This Manufacturer of Happiness with Uwe Diegel, CEO at LifeInA

Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes and business success with today's most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez

Welcome back once again the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with today's most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders. I invite you to go to outcomesrocket.health/reviews where you could rate and review our guest because he is an unbelievable and amazing contributor in healthcare. His name is Uwe Diegel. He's the official manufacturer of happiness attrite happiness working on secret diabetes project. Keynote speaker the CEO of LifeInA and a venture capitalist located in Paris France. This gentleman is doing a lot to improve what the way that smartphone applications are used in health and beyond. And so when I want to do is open up the microphone to this wonderful man and have him round out the introduction of a welcome to the podcast.

Thank you very much. I'm so happy to see you. It's a wonderful introduction. I didn't expect so much from you but it's great. And it's quite strange because I've been calling myself people who've been calling me the unofficial manufacturer of happiness because for the last 50 years I've been making medical devices designing medical well mostly actually sickness devices. I was having a hypertension diabetes multiple sclerosis. Then a few years back we had the bright idea of connecting either of us to a smartphone and suddenly we became cool because suddenly we were no longer sending sickness we were sending help. And that was an amazing shift in the business because suddenly we realized that health was 100 percent of the people where sickness only touches sick people that put an entire new spin on the business and it really is working with Apple has also pushed me to really sell the concept as much of the product what I call the wow factor that people get a product. The thing I'm so happy to have the product.

What kind of phone do you have if I may ask you.

I've got an iPhone.

What a big surprise for the iPhone as well.

Yeah pretty much.

I mean under this system anything I buy the new iPhone as it comes out not because I have to have it but because I want it. And if you want something because you have the wow factor it becomes much more attractive and if you sell medical devices that I end for sick people the only people who buy them are sick people will buy it because they have to buy it. If he said if for healthy people buy because they want to buy it and it puts an entire new shift on how you're going to sell the products.

That's a very interesting take on it Uwe and one that that our digital health friends perhaps are digesting and have been working on and you're sort of have a really unique perspective where you came from the devices world and then took a shift and focused mainly on digital. So can you give us an example of what you believe a hot topic that should be on medical leaders agendas today.

Absolutely. I think that there's a slight misconception today in terms of connection. You know everybody now is telling the digital world and connection as if it was the new nirvana for business. I've never really considered the connection to be an invention. I was making devices connection arrived added the connection to make my devices better as an extra service and to open up a new field. But today especially in the world the VC is very very important because everybody is in fact now everybody is scared of hardware. Everybody is scared of investing in companies making devices for the wrong reasons because everybody wants to invest in the next Facebook or the next Google what with what they really should be looking for is investing in the next Apple because there's a certain intrinsic value to having material that beautifully built and then using that material as a platform for digital services. I think the big message with this Passant is that there's nothing shameful about making material money is becoming more and more difficult. Well for one particular reason is that sorry I didn't mean to sound offensive now because I've been making medically graded devices for the last fifty years that are all based on clinical culture and clinical validations and in many ways the shift the barrier to entry has become too low. What I mean is that today any moron was a good idea and fix that. And Kickstarter Indiegogo. Sorry I didn't mean any offense designed to.

Speak your mind brother.

Said said every two days you have a new metric probably that comes out that promises incredible things. But in reality it is kind of gadget of the industry because we know that 80 percent of these products are not going to be real products and they are just gadgets which means that we're basically drowning the real technology in perception of technology and this is kind of gadget of the industry in the eyes of the doctor the doctor doesn't actually think of Connected Health. He thinks of connected gadgets. His unconscious when you talk about connected health to a doctor he is thinking of that electric force that's going to give you an electric shock if you eat too fast. That's validated by the investigation Institute of Barcelona. And you know bring that all these wonderful things that are basically just gadgets that I've made a lot of products in my life that were all based on true need. I mean on diseases that were trying to find a solution for that. In fact the best businesses are driven by personal needs best business ideas. And at the moment the CEO of a new company called LifeInA. And I promise you that this isn't absolutely accidental company. It is purely an accident because.

Tell us a little bit more about it. What is the focus there what are you guys up to.

What happened is I was I was running a massive big international company called I helped with making connected healthcare devices and then a couple of years ago I had a visit from my brother in New Zealand who came to visit me in Paris and he doesn't speak a word of French. And contrary to what you might believe not all innkeeper's speak English in France. And my brother is a type 1 insulin diabetic and he went to the south of France to visit some shutters because he was a tourist. And when he arrived in this hotel there was no fridges in his room to police the incident. I don't know if you know that basically people with diabetes had to travel because the Internet has to be kept in the fridge at all and they're basically prisoners of the medication yeah but my brother is a habitual traveller so no biggie just went down to reception and he asked the person behind the counter to put incident in the fridge in the kitchen. Except that when he came down at 11 o'clock at night to get his Internet somebody stuck it in the freezer and now which made it impossible to use. And the incident is not like I'll take a little bit more tomorrow. If you don't have it you die. Yes it's a black and white situation but luckily we were in France and in France there's always some kind of fantastic medical system. So they called the police and they opened the night pharmacy. Twenty minutes later you had some fresh insulin and the problem was resolved. We came back to Paris and he told me about the more on it. He was really angry he was frozen in the instant and there were more on.

I'm sure, I'm sure.

Virtually just for fun while we were drinking a bottle of wine and having dinner we drew on a piece of paper. The idea of a little portable fridge the size of a motorola those original little phones yeah Labrecque and on paper it worked. So it literally just for fun I made a prototype but really with all the crap I had lying in my office I stole the best fruit from us and you get it okay to make the credit that it was just a handmade product that I made just for him to use. And it worked quite well. The battery lasted for five six hours and for me it wasn't a commercial product that was just purely a utilitarian thing that I made. We passed it off to the weekend know and I had less stuff to worry about. I was running a huge big multimillion dollar company.

That's right.

But every time my brother I saw my brother he would tell me that everybody would who are over this incredible little fridge.

Because he was using it right. He was using a little fridge.

Brilliant and he found it very useful. And then I started doing some research and I found that this incredible terrible thing is that basically five percent of the population is using medication that has to be kept in the fridge at all costs about multiple sclerosis arthritis cancer vaccines diabetes and these people are basically prisoners of their medication. But the biggest hidden side effect of this is that everybody's ashamed of the chronic diseases. I mean a chronic disease is basically a disease that you will have for the rest of your life.

Now there is no cure for chronic disease. So by definition if you have a chronic disease you are defined by your lifestyle. Anything that makes you have quote unquote normal life becomes essential for somebody who suffers from multiple sclerosis. And the result of this is that people who suffer from multiple sclerosis that do not take the medication to work you know want to take your medication and put in extra sandwiches in the fridge in the kitchen. Right. Everybody knew that you think there's no respect for privacy. So the result is that they leave the medication at home which means that they take the dosage late which means that they suffer from what is called the yoyo effect in health management because every day they're taking medication at different times and non adherence or non-compliance to medication schedules. It costs a whopping 350 billion dollars in the US a pot of money. It's 10 per cent of the healthcare budget that is just pissed away on an non-compliance.

It's about something else.

France which is obviously a much smaller country and non-compliance is the holy grail for any Medicare system health insurance system anybody who who's charged to actually involved in institutional healthcare. On the one hand we have the problem of people not being able to travel with the medication. The other one was that they actually couldn't manage their medication on time.

So we got together and we now say I have to be the glory shut down last night that I made this little fridge that you can carry. And inside this is what I called a big model you can put enough medication inside for one month with the medication. So that's a big model. That's the big model life in a box. Then OPCO of course have a really developed life in a tube which is a single pen literally a fridge that you can put in the pocket of your jacket. And that's for when you go out at night. The idea being that not only people not travel with the medication take it to work with them you can of course lock it at a distance with a smartphone or with a remote control and keep it private. But it's also connected to an app and it sounds stupid to connect the fridge. I mean it works.

You just want to know if it's cold or if it's not as cold. Right.

Yes of course but that's so basic I mean.

You get something more advanced for me.

Of course. Yes. I love my job.

I can tell my friend I can tell

Now honestly I wake up in the morning and I can't wait to get to work because now every day we're discovering new things. And you said but not the use of the connection. Yes the connection will of course monitor in real time the temperature the medication and the duration of the battery which today incidentally is up to 36 hours of battery life but it will also send you reminders. I saw last time you took your medication was at 3:00. Is it not time for you to take your medication because especially now you've got it with you in your pocket now carriage. So to actually improve that here your treatment to make people use the medication better. And this has really been a huge thing for us. Now I'm actually on and I'm thinking of doing illegal stuff was application which is accurate. The number that I've had the idea I basically have to do it even if I know and. What I want to do is I want to actually link up the app Geagea localization system on the fridge so that when they imagine your mother that's using let's say Adrenaline for and I can never say that with anaphylaxis shako you know when somebody's or cooking it is not yet and I'm. And the problem is when you have that shock that energy shock you never have your medication with you. It's always in the fridge. We've all seen Pulp Fiction we know how it's used. So imagine if you could just say well look there's a guy who's going to get medicine. It's just about 50 meters away and we go ask him for the medication which is of course completely illegal because you're not allowed to share prescription medication. But even if it's illegal and you can save the life of a child. Right. You know one way or another. So there's all kinds of really fiction. And as I said you know I wake up in the morning and I can't wait to get to work. Now I'm about to embark on the manufacturing program of this life and a box and literally at the beginning of the year I redesigned the power because of Donald Trump. Not as much. KING No because now in the US had just went to Vegas last. Yes. Oh yes and I got searched twice on the way in. And on the way out because I had suitcases filled with electronic samples and you know when you arrive at the airport we you hear that ominous stepping of the rubber gloves for way out of body cavity. So arrive there. Because since Donald Trump has become president there's this obsession with the terrorism and at the beginning of the year I heard that you were going to in the U.S. they might actually eventually ban let props on airplanes because of the lithium batteries on them.

I haven't heard of that one but that's interesting. I wouldn't surprise me if it came up in the discussions though.

The city were discussing at the beginning of the year. It was a hot topic and I figured at the end when I did my first design for life in a box the batteries were integrated inside the product. So when I heard about this I actually took the batteries out and made them as a clip on battery pack. They can actually carry the battery separate which is a lot easier for customers. And at the same time I redesigned the entire product that it's basically assembled like a Lego syst kleptocracies. Can you just assemble the pieces and then having the entire thing assembled by handicapped people in France which is totally cool. And.

I love it. Now that.

It cost three or four dollars more to do it that way. But we give jobs to people who need it a lot more than you and me. And we do it because we can. People don't really mind. I mean if you know why you're spending a little bit more money you know that you don't get it. And there will be some people who will say it's just for marketing. And so what we're still giving jobs to people we need it more than you and me. And that's right for put all the dots on all the i's to make this absolutely beautiful. If a company with beautiful packaging and beautiful ethos and social responsibility. I'm very very proud of what we're doing in life and.

You know what that's so cool. And I appreciate you sharing that process. You know we recently had a couple of gas actually one Dana Lewis who is the head of the APS movement. Right. The open apx the artificial pancreas and just the stories that she shared as a diabetic and the difficulty you know like your brother the things that your brother went through this type of solution is just such a wonderful solution and you've been so thoughtful from the why you're manufacturing all the way through the how your manufacturing and whose manufacturing at that you definitely know how to dot the I's. Your attention to detail is just always awesome.

Well the thing is I think that the best products are sold when they're designed by people who need them. For people who need them people who really understand the problem not just people who are thinking oh here's a problem and how can I make money from this problem. But really making products. Of course I need to make money. That's not a question I need to run successful companies. I need to make big companies not because I need them and not because I want to buy a new car but I need the money to continue doing our Indy and continue developing. You have better solutions and the patients understand this. In fact at the moment we have this huge big brouhaha worldwide about data safety and sharing data and everybody's shaking the ghost of that safety. But in reality the only people are concerned about data safety are people who are not concern myself. I have never once met a patient that was not prepared to share his data. If he knew why he was showing his data that we can't have had this problem in the digital health industry where we ask you if I asked you this and are you scared that I'm going to take your data and set it to the insurance company to make you pay more money. Basically you're going to say yes.

Ofcourse.

If I ask you. Would you accept to share your anonymous blood pressure data with the Heart Foundation to logical research. Of course they use force but it's a question of we ask questions that ask for a negative answer reality. I know you know that if you ask a person what if they can use a doctor to make a better world to make. It's not they're not necessarily looking for financial reward or monetary or if you can just give them a better relationship a better understanding. Everybody's happy to share their data and I believe that once everything is connected is going to make. We're going to be able to tell the difference with what is important data and not important. That's why today I'm still struggling with this first question this ethical question of whether I can use the GPA as data to allow people to see who else is on medication. At the moment I'll have to ask people to share the information willingly but I'm pretty convinced that you ask anybody who's got medication and there's a sick child. And I'm pretty sure that we have the medication to this child. I know I would.

Yes. No absolutely would to. Yeah definitely have the moral and the rule based systems that you have to work with and figure out in the process. But yeah I think you're right. The way you phrase the question will definitely determine the answer that you get. And it's negatively phrased you're going to get a negative answer.

Absolutely.

Uwe, you're doing so many good things. I wish we had more time to go through more of the things that you're up to. But what I would like to do is maybe open up discussion before we head into your closing comments and what else you're working on potentially a secret diabetes project that you may want to share.

Everybody knows an industry that has been working for quite a long time on finding a solution for noninvasive diabetes. But a lot of work because I've worked for three really really big companies in the past and I resign from my post as CEO last year to be able to focus on the real reason. And the thing that I do not suffer from the butterflied circumflex I'm not here to dig wells in Africa and. But at the same time I want to turn around in five years and say Look what I did you know do something that's important. And I felt that in my last post I was becoming more of a plastic salesman and we were selling devices rather than selling solutions. So last year basically I did my fifth year crisis. So lost I resigned from my position I climbed the Kilimanjaro board Harley-Davidson T shirts and left thinking hey I'm 100 percent doing just pure fundamental research. Not technically I know how to do it but I'm also developed the technology to be able to make the technology that will need be there in ten years ago you talked about noninvasive diabetes. I don't know if you know what I mean by non-invasive diabetes but you today have to measure diabetes need to prick the thing you going to break your fingers you take a drop of blood. And if you have I do that three to eight times a day for people with diabetes is not very pleasant.

It's old. Yeah.

But I'm trying to find a way to do it completely non-invasive means that there will be no nude prick or blood whatsoever. So we are there. But even if I know how to do it I'm so glad at least another year year and a half of regulatory work just said she'd get it. But it's a fascinating project. I'm also developing other technologies now. Now that I have for life and I've developed this wonderful technology that allows me to produce cold ad nauseum with the energy consumption Thanom looking at different declinations of how I can use this technology. And the next project after that of course the evolution product is going to be part of our whole life and our hearts which is going to be for organ transport. You know every year the U.S. they've got between 1200 2300 people. It's horrible what I'm going to tell you. But a crowd through three people who die every year in the U.S. because when they get an organ when the organ arrives the organ is because it's been badly badly transformed that's for me crazy. I mean it's not just the physical the money costs just that.

That's crazy. I didn't know that number was so high.

The social cost for somebody who was going to have a kidney transplant and who doesn't have a kidney because the kidney is rotten with our Foy's was put in direct contact with us. So there's I'm doing OK. I've got a couple of other small part of the two main products that I have now noninvasive diabetes which for me a social challenge as much as anything else because that is surely become the epidemic of the century. You know that today is about 150 million people with diabetes over 400 million in 50 years. That's crazy.

That is crazy.

It is the biggest expense for any medical aid worldwide.

Wow. Well there's no doubt of that you're doing some pretty amazing things. You're having a ton of fun why you do them. I'm inspired whenever we talk and so I just really want to thank you for taking the time to being with us today. If you can just leave the listeners with a closing thought and then the best place where they can get in touch with you or follow you.

The most important thing is always come back to the things that you have to wake up in the morning and look forward to going to it. 99 percent of the people asked me they hate their job. Their car, their apartment, their wife, their dog or whatever it is and that is where nobody is going to die. None of you we're not we're not going to die of hunger. The system doesn't allow us to. So if you don't like your job go do something else. But what you need is the passion not just the intelligence you need the elimination that things that you just want to do something that for me is the biggest driver for innovation and to contact me I'm actually quite easy to find. I think I'm the only Uwe Diegel in the whole world. It's quite arcane.

One of a kind.

You can find me at uwediegel@mac.com or you can find me quite easy on LinkedIn.

Fantastic. Now listeners for all the show notes and links for the things that we discussed like Uwe's company LifeInA or all the other things that we discussed here go to outcomesrocket.health/uwe that's u w e and you'll be able to find his link to his LinkedIn file as well as the contacts that he mentioned here so Uwe, I really want to just thank you for taking the time to be with us. Really had fun day.

You have to come and visit me in Paris. It's an amazing place and I was home and I have a fine collection of red wine for you to taste.

I am there tomorrow my friend.

Have a wonderful evening.

You do too sir.

Bye bye.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.health for the show notes, resources, inspiration and so much more.

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Best Way to Contact Uwe:

uwediegel@mac.com

https://www.lifeina.com/

Uwe Diegel

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