Focused on using software to improve health care by providing innovative technologies
: [00:00:01] 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
Saul Marquez: [00:00:19] Outcomes Rocket listeners welcome back once again to the outcomes rocket podcast where we chat with today’s most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders. I want to welcome you to go to outcomesrocket.com/reviews. That’s where you can leave a rating and review for today’s show or any show in particular if you like. Let us now give us some feedback. We’re always looking for ways to make the show more productive to help you improve outcomes and reduce inefficiency. Without further ado I want to introduce our outstanding guest and a good friend of mine. Vincent Keunen, he’s the founder and CEO at Andaman7. They’re focused on using software to improve health care by providing innovative technologies. That’s going to help really bring together the decision making support for the development of drugs as well as decision making support in the hospitals and so I want to introduce you guys to this wonderful man. He’s been founder of several different startups. He’s a serial entrepreneur very passionate healthcare. And so I want to open up the mic to you Vincent to fill in any of the gaps in that introduction that I may have missed. Welcome to the podcast.
Vincent Keunen: [00:01:28] Thank you. It’s so great to talk to you. Yes I’ve been I’m a on engineer and I’ve been in the health sector for 20 years. I’m here in Benjamin Europe. So we did quite a few large scale projects here in Belgium around medical records around the secure exchange of medical information. And yet following problems with health in the family I decided to focus more on this and the months of the project which is both a social goal for patients and that we still need the revenues. It’s been a big project and that’s going to be revenue from the to be so pharma companies from hospitals and other actors in the health sector are.
Saul Marquez: [00:02:13] Fantastic. And and so why did you decide to get into healthcare to begin with.
Vincent Keunen: [00:02:18] Well when I was 18 and I had to decide between engineer oral medicine I finally chose to be a software engineer and buy some kind of we are turned around the life of or was developed for the medical service so connecting the dots as well. Guy you know.
Saul Marquez: [00:02:37] Absolutely. And you know Vincent one of the cool things that I love about just talking to leaders like you is that it’s those philosophical beliefs that you have. And it’s a decision that hey you know what. You could choose one or the other or you could choose both. And you know a lot of times people just say you’ve got to pick one or the other. But the true leaders in health care say you know I don’t have to compromise. I choose both. And you chose both engineering and medicine and kudos to you for doing that.
Vincent Keunen: [00:03:05] Thank you very much.
Saul Marquez: [00:03:07] Absolutely. So tell us Vincent you’ve been through many ventures. You’ve done a lot for health care on the software side for medicine. What do you think every healthcare leader today should be thinking about and how’s Andaman7 addressing this.
Vincent Keunen: [00:03:21] Well I think everybody in the health care should just think about the patients right because that’s the only reason we’re doing all of what we’re doing to give a better health to everybody. And this by the way why the mission we chose Andaman7 so when the article 25 of the Human Rights Declaration which is that everybody has the right to good health and well-being for themselves and their family but I think that should be what everybody is doing it has scare me. On discovering new and drives being on and on caring for patients or being developing tools for doctors and patients which is what we’re doing so and then Andaman7 we decided to build this tool which is free for every patient and it allows it to collect all of the health data on their smartphones. Right. Because the smartphone is the platform on the future. And you can do everything with your smartphone today except your medical information is up there. So that’s the first go. We do we have to collect the data for the patients on the smartphone. And that is free and will always be free. But as the social part of the project but to be sustainable we want to have revenue and the revenues will come from hospitals doing homecare projects continuity of care but also pharma or research institutions that want to develop new drugs and that need to have to reach to the patients especially today with the cost of drugs going up with the cost of healthcare going up. So everybody needs to reduce the cost and the good way to do that is to prove real outcomes from the patients. More and more a lot going on before there is a need to get outcomes from the patients so you hear about terms like Real World Evidence patient reported outcomes. And that’s exactly where we focus. So Andaman wants to be the broker to the patients and we do this with a very strict respect on the private and security you know we been in Europe. So privacy is very important here. And there’s the big G.D.P. are coming up in May of the mixture giving back more power to the patients and to the citizens actually to know where is my data are being used for who is using it who is using it. So yes that’s very privacy minded to with elements of it. There is no medical data stored in the cloud. Everything in the smartphone and all the smartphones of the people you trust. That’s the core of the project out of it.
Saul Marquez: [00:05:51] Yeah and there’s you know there’s definitely a big need Vincent for just finding ways to use these devices and health care and had some recent conversations with a couple health systems and the thought here is that innovation in health care is really not only just innovation it’s actually implementation. And so how do the businesses of today and tomorrow like yours implement these smart technologies in a way that is useful and scalable. You know like the things that you’re doing are really interesting. Can you give us an example of how maybe early on you guys have created some outcomes improvement with what you’re doing.
Vincent Keunen: [00:06:30] Yeah just just as a patient or helping a patient like my son who was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago said I’ve spent a lot of time in the hospitals and it was always very difficult for me to answer the questions from the doctors or to correctly write down what they were telling to me telling me. So the use of Andaman and now it makes that very easy. So read them I received permission I wore it and that meant either for me or for my children. And all of that information is shared with the people I trust. So obviously for my children the to shared with my wife. So she has a complete copy of the medical record of children. And every time she goes to the doctor she can end up with information and I will receive a copy of that. So we both have a copy of the whole information. And there was also shared with our doctors. So our our family doctor and our specialist they all have a copy of the full information from for example my child’s has. So that’s that’s already a pretty big benefit having all of you and being able to share it. You’re right. It’s already to improve the outcome. Now there’s also cost the patients way depending on where you live right in the U.S. yes private insurance in Europe it’s more about the Social Security but the problems are the same. Because the cost of going up and there’s a big need to reduce costs and a few months ago whether I was in a doctor’s office because I be hired. I wanted to see that everything was OK. And the doctor told me you need to have a blood shots to be sure of your blood. And I said well I just had one month ago because my mom had leukemia and I am long been controlled every three months. She said yes. OK. Give it here. And I said yes it’s in my smartphone. And I showed my smartphone with the doctor. I went through with a lot. That’s when she’s perfect. I can already tell you that it’s good. You have no problem with your. And you don’t need to have another blood shot. So that’s good. Think for the instance of insurance first. And as a patient I was just having the results immediately without going to a blood test and then coming back to the doctor. Right. Which will take a few weeks at least there in 15 minutes side the results of all of their diagnostic. So that’s very concrete very easy and very very good both for me and for the Social Security.
Saul Marquez: [00:08:59] I think that’s really great. And you avoided an unnecessary test. You’re able to form the doctor and become very very involved in your care.
Vincent Keunen: [00:09:07] Yes exactly. Patient empowerment is I think one of the great need of today especially because more and more people talk about health consumers right versus patients and of course it’s it’s a bit annoying maybe for doctors just patients coming in into a well I read on Wikipedia and I read on Google about this. So of course there is there’s something wrong or not too very precise information on the Web. But for me it also shows that the patients really do care about a health of a lot more than before so that they want to know. So the search for the information you know about all that organic food focus for many people you know about that fitness focus that truly shows that patients want to take care of themselves well that they’re really becoming healthy consumers. This as if patients.
Saul Marquez: [00:09:58] Now that’s cool you know and Vinson one of the things that comes to mind too is you know some of the differences. There’s a lot of similarities but also a lot of differences between health care in the states and then in Europe and in the States. It seems like many times there’s not. You can’t get your medical records right won’t release it to you. And so it sounds like in Europe you’re actually able to get your medical records.
Vincent Keunen: [00:10:21] Well yes and no or you know there’s theory and practice that I’ll get. I know that in the in the U.S. there is the constraint that goes to the meaningful use especially meaningful use 3 which which really put the patient in the center and the care providers do have to give the data to the patients according to meaningful use. 3 In Europe we also have European legislation that says that the data is the property of the patient so that patients can get their data they can correct it. They can ask a doctor to delete it even if they don’t want to be related to that doctor anymore so that’s very in favor of the patient. It’s quite similar to the U.S. but this law in Europe has been there since 2002 to 15 years. But today in practice there are still a lot of resistance from some doctors or hospitals or other actors to give away the information because it takes time maybe because they don’t have maybe down some fears also there. Transparency is good for the patient but sometimes it will be frightening for other factors. So I don’t think there’s a big difference between the U.S. and Europe. They both have very clear legislations but in practice it’s difficult for both. Both areas I believe unfortunately.
Saul Marquez: [00:11:42] Yeah it is. And you know I’m I’ve spoken to people and you know I’ve seen different stories and posts about the difficulty and it’ll be interesting to see how a platform like yours. You know maybe through the creation of demand make some change in the way of action right because of the laws there but how can we get the actions to follow what the law is saying should be done.
Vincent Keunen: [00:12:06] Yeah I agree. And I also believe that the pressure from patients will help. Hopefully it will have. And what I want to say also is that there are different kinds of doctors right. Some doctors are afraid of change and to be afraid of losing some kind of power. So there’s some paternalism for some doctors but there’s also a large number of doctors which are on the opposite side which are very open to the patient and really focus on the patients health and they know that the patient needs that they have empathy. And then when when they see them themselves as if I was the patient if I were a patient I would have made my day. I would want my days are there the stand. And there’s also clinical studies today and research that proves that there is much much better outcomes to treatments when the patients are empowered when they know about their condition when they have all the details when they have their data. So it’s now becoming even something that’s necessary for doctors to do that if they want to cure their patients better than before. And I’m not even talking about personalized medicine because you know that for example up to that for a medication to be considered successful is to be effective. More than 30 percent of the patients right the placebo left when they were said to be better than a placebo. But nobody knows that if this medication which is only good for 25 percent which is too low maybe just 25 percent it’s effective for 95 percent of people with that specific profile genetic profile or others. So I think we’re missing a lot of treatments today because we don’t go personalized enough. So that’s the second big trend. First one I was mentioning earlier it has consumers. And the second one is specialized meeting and for that to be more personalized. Of course you need to have the genetic profile of the patients that you accept to a lot more information about the patient. So contacting the patient and exchanging data with a patient and collaborating with the patient will be more and more important. I love that in the past. So yeah I think that the patient role is getting more and more important especially for personalized needs to be effective.
Saul Marquez: [00:14:20] I think it’s a great call out and your app would definitely help the patient be more proactive and put their data and own their data and be a part of the decision making and a part of the information flow. I think that’s really cool. So Vincent tell us you’ve got obviously and I’m on seven is your current project and you’re you’re all in on that. You’ve had other projects in the past as well. Can you think back and all the way up to now an example of maybe a setback. You had a failure and what you learned from that.
Vincent Keunen: [00:14:51] Yes of course. One very clear to me was when I was doing that project about exchanging information medical information between people and doctors that was 15 years ago right. There was barely the beginning of internet or anything interesting here. And the obvious thing when you have several hospitals that are OK to this and then you have family doctors that use various types of software the obvious thing to do when you’re a software engineer is they agree on a standard right for strangling the information. How do we call the information and then we discussed for about two years what the letter will be with us more this I want this one no this is an American and if not to the Europeans you know we don’t use this one and it’s been just terribly discussion until the day we decided as a company. OK let’s have that discussion. You use whatever format you want as long as it’s morning. And so we chose it between five and 10 core standards and. Then suddenly that project went home because of the post that uses the stand that they wanted and then suddenly doctors or so and then suddenly everything was the information was flowing with the way the cost to that because of the company we had to do the change of format ourselves. And we did that for the most popular form formats. But yes this is a good example where in theory it is very obvious that you should choose one the one single standard. But in practice it’s unfortunately better if you just use some kind of a chaotic situation in the situation that is so that just one example that there’s the others do not.
Saul Marquez: [00:16:32] That’s great. Thanks for sharing that and CNN listeners you always have to keep your mind open. Oftentimes in fact I think most of the time the things that you try first are not going to work. You’re going to have to keep an open mind and leave idealism to the side and get practical and what Vincent and his team did was they got practical and even though meant more work. It meant adoption and in order for your project to succeed you need it to be adopted. And so Vincent that’s amazing lesson that you learned them and now I really appreciate you sharing that with them. So Vincent you’ve obviously had that and then maybe you could tell us a little bit more about an exciting focus or project that you’re working on.
Vincent Keunen: [00:17:13] Well yes well the protests are the most exciting one is the global Andaman7 project because when when my I was lucky to sell my previous company and got people like that. I was wondering where will be by my next project. And then I decided to do this and then project. And I wanted it to be big or nothing. So it’s really ambitious. Right. And the goal is to really build a platform to give access to patients to as actors so be them. Hospitals doctors on the cure side but also also nurses of course. And then on the research side pharma companies or institutions all of those actors need more and more access to patients today because there is no unique standard. We were talking a bit earlier but because those smartphones are becoming ubiquitous so there’s quite a number of deep changes in the landscape meaning that now there is a way I believe to have every patient strongly empowered with a smartphone or they’re accessible to them and then we can then provide services on top of that Vandeman is not like it may it may seem from the outside. The simple app it’s actually a combination of a map of course for both smartphone Andrroid and Apple but also tablets. But more importantly maybe what we call hip and hip for us is the health intermediation platform. It’s a way to exchange data either between them and to then users or through API open API which we publish on our Web site to have an exchange of data between patients and the hospitals. Pharma company will see our role in clinical research immunizations or any kind of actor in the ad sector with a specific focus or yell with one very important thing for us is that the patient is in control the patient has access to their data and they’re deciding what to do with it. And I think they’re going to be treated well because the regulations both in Europe and in the U.S. always put constraints on everybody that is using data from somebody else. Right. So if you’re a hospital or a doctor and there is or Hamma or research institutes you as constraints because you’re using the data from patients. But as a patient you have access to all of your data and you can do whatever you want. And then it will be a good idea. But if you want you can put your hands together on the page. Nobody can prevent you from inside. They may not the best idea you have it right. So what that means is that the regulation is impeding most of the actors but when the patient is even the opposite the regulation is has been the patient has been deficient get access to their data and being in control of their data. But that’s what we decided to do is to go through the patients. It’s more difficult of course to convince millions of patients than to go to a few hundred hospitals. It’s more difficult but it I think is the right way to do and it’s the way that most people will be comfortable with because they decide to share the data and not all of the data that can decide what they share and they want to know why this year. And there’s been studies. Right. With patients that were the one to show you if it’s for specific research for kind of medication that would be useful. Yes of course I went to thing 85 percent of patients do that for me or so that’s very clear. I’m very I insist a lot on my privacy and I’m not I’m not read that anybody with you and me or my medical data but if somebody is even a pharma company is it me. Would you share your desire for a new pill that we’re working on that it’s like cure leukemia which is the leukemi. I have. Of course I would be. I would agree to share. Right. Same for my son. Wait. As coma bone cancer but some company. We would like to have you want to feed the research on a new medication for that kind of condition that we shouldn’t be. Right. Right. Right. You know why you share. I think patients who are ready to share and do good actually.
Saul Marquez: [00:21:29] Now I think that’s really great. You know and what comes to mind is the you know like the 23 and me when you get the test they got the 23 and we and it’s that sharing platform. Yeah I think that’s when you know that it’s going for a good cause. I think the majority like you said would say yes. Exactly. Now that’s really interesting. So Vincent let’s pretend you and I are building a medical leadership course on what it takes to be successful today. It’s the one on the ABC of Vincent. And so we’re going to write out a syllabus. There’s four questions. It’s going to be lightning round style say you know give me some quick responses to these and then we’re going to finish with your all time favorite book for the listeners. You ready.
Vincent Keunen: [00:22:12] Well time to rethink how we think about it and should ask me anything to prepare.
Saul Marquez: [00:22:18] And maybe maybe it will be just an applicable book for the syllabus that we’re creating here.
Saul Marquez: [00:22:24] Ok. So what is the best way to improve health care outcomes.
Vincent Keunen: [00:22:29] Patients. There.
Saul Marquez: [00:22:31] What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid.
Vincent Keunen: [00:22:34] Only focus on the financial aspects has aspects has to come first and then the financial aspect.
Saul Marquez: [00:22:40] How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change.
Vincent Keunen: [00:22:44] Well change also you need to improve. You need to innovate you need to look at what others do and then keep on working to build new things.
Saul Marquez: [00:22:52] What is one area of focus that should drive everything in the organization.
Vincent Keunen: [00:22:57] If were talking about the health sector I think it’s important that the patients wellness and patients health.
Saul Marquez: [00:23:03] Awesome. And finally Vincent What would you say the book that you add to the syllabus for the listeners.
Vincent Keunen: [00:23:09] Well the book you would mention is maybe the bit unusual it’s not a bit of a battle of the choices or how to succeed or saw. I read a book about the heart from the Heart Institute about Project Viren and the proposal by that. Because it’s a book that tells you the science between stress and pain and new ways to fight stress like meditation if you want. Are you worried about mindfulness. So the cardiac coherence and the heart laugh Institute has published that book that I think is the theory. It has been useful for me to control my stress during my period because I’m sitting here not a piece of cake usually right. And so yeah it wasn’t very practical and at the same time it was very focused on well-being. And there was some science behind it. So I like the combination of these three.
Saul Marquez: [00:24:08] And what’s the name of the book, Vincent.
Vincent Keunen: [00:24:09] So I think in English heart intelligence by the Heartmath Institute.
Saul Marquez: [00:24:15] Okay Heart Intelligence. No, it sounds great. we’ll do is we’ll dive into it get the actual book in link and so listeners don’t worry about writing it down. Just go to outcomes rocket dot com slash Vincent and you’re going to be able to find all of the show notes as well as the syllabus that we created for you right now and the book that was just recommended. Vincent, time flies when you’re having fun. We’re here to the end. And so I wanted to just ask that you share one closing thought with the listeners and then the best place where they could get hold of you.
Vincent Keunen: [00:24:49] Okay well thank you for the interview so to contact me go to Andaman7 website or you can send me an email on email@example.com feel free to contact me. And yes my closing would be just Article 25 of the Human Rights Declaration. Everyone has a right to good health andwell-beingg for themselves and their family.
Saul Marquez: [00:25:13] That’s outstanding. Vince and I know that you guys are going to do a phenomenal job with this platform and I’m just looking forward to staying in touch with you.
Vincent Keunen: [00:25:21] Thank you, Saul, thank you for your time and thank you for interviewing me. Thank you.
: [00:25:29] Thanks for listening to the outcomes Rockett podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration and so much more.
Heart Intelligence: Connecting with the Intuitive Guidance of the Heart
The Best Way To Contact Vincent: