Tag Archives: health innovation

Collaborative Innovation Within Health Systems: Wisdom From an EVP & Chief Digital Officer



At StartUp Health, we get the pleasure of talking with many, many founders of healthcare startups. It’s a perk of the job, because each founder, each new idea, inspires us and gives us hope that we’re on the cusp of some major breakthroughs.

Then reality sets in, and we’re reminded just how hard it is to go from an idea – even a brilliant one with validation – to commercialization and broad use. It’s one thing for a founder to find a single clinic to use their platform or device, but a common question is: How do you get your startup adopted at a large hospital, or better yet, a hospital system? Do you just call up the Chief Digital Officer, or Chief Innovation Officer, and they’ll get it sorted?

Not exactly, according to our guest today. For one thing, the role of hospital’s Chief Digital Officer has changed dramatically.

Sara Vaezy is Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Digital Officer for Providence, where she is responsible for system strategy and digital innovation for the integrated delivery network (IDN), which includes 52 hospitals and 1,085 clinics and serves over 5 million unique patients.

So, how can a startup work with a hospital system effectively? What do hospitals look for in a startup and what are some of the red flags for a project that’s going nowhere? And what are the greatest pain points for which hospitals are actively seeking solutions?

To answer these questions, we invited Vaezy onto a Masterclass, which are virtual sessions we hold in front of a live audience of founders from the StartUp Health community. We’ve cut the session down to share the highlights with you, and we’ve included some of the founder questions from the Q&A as well, since they are very practical and relevant.

Let’s dive in!


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Quantifying Mental Health: How Mobio Interactive Is Unleashing Precision Psychiatry at Scale



There’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in business: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” It’s a quote attributed to Peter Drucker, the famed management consultant.‌

If business leaders such as Peter Drucker are right, not being able to measure the effect of an action would make it impossible to know if we should be doing more or less of that action – or if we should be doing it at all.

But if the saying is true in management, it’s even more true in clinical medicine in most areas of healthcare. Despite this seeming to be self evident, you’ve got to measure it to manage it yet there are still swathes of care that are delivered by some version of trial and error.‌

Our guest this week is Bechara Saab, PhD, CEO, Chief Scientist & Co-founder of Mobio Interactive, a company that joined the StartUp Health community in 2022.‌

Dr. Saab started as an academic researcher. It’s safe to say he loves measuring, loves gathering hard data and proving that he has found causation not just correlation in his work. So when his research introduced him to the modern world of mental health diagnosis and mental healthcare, he was taken aback by what he saw as a lack of solid objective measurements.‌

How could you help someone with anxiety, for instance, if you couldn’t accurately measure their anxiety before and after a treatment?‌

That is the thorny challenge that Dr. Saab is tackling with Mobio Interactive.

As you’ll hear, he’ll explain just how his research led to a solution that provides those objective measurements. His company, based in Singapore, came up with an accessible tool that provides clinically-validated therapy within a platform that objectively quantifies how a patient’s mental health is affected by therapy in real time and without a wearable, thereby allowing personalization of mental health therapy at scale.

Enjoy!


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How GO-Pen’s “Insulin Pen for All” Is Making High-Quality T1D Care Globally Accessible



Our StartUp Health NOW guest this week is Ole Kjerkegaard Nielsen, PhD, CEO & Co-founder of GO-Pen, a company in our Type 1 Diabetes Moonshot community.

As you’ll hear, Nielsen and his team based in Denmark have built a new kind of insulin pen, one that is affordable and accessible to all while also adhering to the absolute highest standards of quality. This more accessible insulin pen could change millions of people’s lives.

We’ll also get a glimpse into the uniquely challenging startup journey of developing a physical medical device. Nielsen and his team have been winning awards and grants on a regular basis, but the road is still steep. Whether it’s negotiating with a manufacturer across the globe or getting FDA approval, bringing a medical device to market as a startup with limited funds is a challenge that could intimidate even the most market-tested CEOs. Nielsen pulls back the curtain and lets us see that challenge from the inside and shows us where GO-Pen is going next.

Enjoy!


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From the Archives: Dr. Robert Wilson on How Partnering with PreventScripts Enhanced His Medical Practice



Typically on this show we talk to the health tech founders – who we call Health Transformers – that are creating the tools and platforms that will modernize our health system. Or we talk to top investors on what they’re looking for in startups.

But, on this week’s StartUp Health NOW, we look back at one of our most-popular podcast episodes, which featured a different kind of guest: one that helps round out the picture of how healthcare innovation goes from idea to real-world implementation.

Robert Wilson, MD, is a family physician who runs CovenantCare Family Practice, a multi-site medical practice in Tennessee. Dr. Wilson popped up on our radar because he was an early partner for PreventScripts, a startup that’s part of the StartUp Health community. PreventScripts, led by Brandi Harless and Natalie Davis, MD, has created a platform that helps family doctors like Dr. Wilson identify patients who would benefit from chronic care management. Think about a patient who is pre-diabetic and all signs point towards a long battle with Type 2 diabetes. While Dr. Wilson might be too overextended to identify and coach this patient before the disease sets in, PreventScripts can identify the risk and put the patient on a clinically-proven program. Patients with chronic diseases, or the risk of disease, get heightened care between visits, and Dr. Wilson gets added reimbursement.

We wanted to talk to Dr. Wilson to understand why he was interested in partnering with a health startup, as this is one of the key hurdles for any health innovator. How do you find the right clinical partner, a place to prove out your brilliant idea in the real world, and then iterate based on user feedback?

In the conversation – our most-downloaded episode in the past year – we’ll get into the real-world challenges that Dr. Wilson faces, his motivation for evolving his practice, and how PreventScripts has helped him fill gaps in patient care.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


 

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Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
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Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


How Avanlee Care Is Teaming Up with Retailers to Address the Caregiver Crisis



Our podcast guest this week is Avanlee Christine, CEO and Co-founder of Avanlee Care, a company that joined StartUp Health in 2022. A few years ago Avanlee found herself helping to coordinate care for her grandmother. Everyone in the family wanted to help, but she lived far away, and there just wasn’t a good way to check in on her health and be the kind of support that Avanlee and her family wanted to be.

As many entrepreneurs do, Avanlee said to herself: There must be a better way. So She raised some funds (that’s a story in itself), built a team, and set out to design a platform that eases the burden on unpaid caregivers. And she did all while having her first child.

Listen in as she explains the details of the Avanlee Care product as it stands today and about how she’s finding eager partners in some of the country’s largest retailers and employers. Turns out easing the caregiver burden isn’t just a moral good, it’s also good for a company’s bottom line.


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Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
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Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.

 


Two Top Health Investors Share Their 2023 Tips for Founders



Whether they like it or not – and they probably don’t – every health tech founder needs to think about money. How much they need, and how to get it. For many founders, raising outside funds becomes a whole new full time job that they have to take on. This year, funding in the sector has dipped sharply, making that job even harder and more stressful.

On our podcast this week, we hear from the other side of the table. We sat down with the heads of two major health tech investment firms and got their advice for health innovation entrepreneurs in 2023.

First up is Lee Shapiro, managing partner at 7wireVentures and long-time collaborator with StartUp Health. Shapiro is a luminary in digital health investing so we asked him for his macro view of the industry and got a few practical tips for founders raising funds today.

Then we hear from Shawn Ellis, managing partner at Distributed Ventures, a $100M fund that invests in Seed and Series A deals and has a strong health tech focus. In our chat Ellis broke down where his firm has found success recently and exactly what he looks for in a pitch.


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Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
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Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
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How Health Tech Startups Can Launch with Government Contracts



So you’re healthcare founder who has designed and built, by the sweat of your brow, a new platform or product that can help people live longer, healthier lives. Now, you just need to get it into people’s hands so they can use it, give feedback, help you iterate, and ultimately scale. As every founder knows, building the product is just a first step. Getting to market is a whole other challenge.

There are lots of different approaches for go-to-market strategy – with StartUp Health’s community of nearly 500 companies we’ve seen them all. One we wanted to highlight today is the idea of pursuing partnerships with the government or military. Given the enormous number of people that fall within the care of the military and federal agencies and the funding that gets allocated for their health, this is a tempting strategy. But it’s not for the faint of heart or those short on runway.

In this week’s podcast episode we’ll talk to two people who are making this marriage of startups and government contracts work – from two different angles.

First we’ll hear from Shireen Abdullah, CEO & Founder of Yumlish (which joined StartUp Health in 2019), about how she’s working with the US Air Force to help keep recruits healthy and service ready. Turns out, poor nutrition could actually become a national security threat.

Second, we’ll hear from the other side of the table. Suzy Shirley heads up community engagement at the VA’s Pathfinder program. Pathfinder was established just recently with the express purpose of making it easier for startups to access the Veterans Health Administration, which, if you’re not familiar, is massive. The VHA is the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States, providing care at more than 1200 facilities, covering over nine million enrolled veterans. Many healthcare startups would love to work with this patient population, but traditionally the administrative barriers have been high. Suzy Shirley explains how her team is changing the paradigm. She provides some practical tips for how runway-limited startups can make meaningful headway with such a huge government institution and start piloting high-impact products.

Enjoy the episode, which was recorded at the ViVE 2023 conference in Nashville.


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Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
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Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


How These Entrepreneurs Are Empowering Community-Based Healthcare



Some startups provide tools directly consumers and patients while others tackle issues in the hospital, at the other end of the care journey.

Our two guests today, Dr. Scott Kaiser from Determined Health and Nick Lockett from Pear Suite, occupy a sort of middle ground. They empower communities and community-based organizations to provide better care for vulnerable people.

It doesn’t take much to see the need for more empowered communities in healthcare. Every day we see more headlines about an epidemic of loneliness and the role of social connection in health outcomes. That data is in, and it’s not good. We know from our own experience that there are health concerns you might share with a friend before turning to a doctor.

Nowhere is the need for community-based health intervention more clear than with seniors. According to our guests today, that process starts with empowering authentic, actionable communication. So they’ve built unique tools and platforms designed make that process scaleable, replicable, and easy.

Our first guest today is Scott Kaiser, MD, CEO & Co-founder of Determined Health, a company that joined StartUp Health in 2022. Dr. Kaiser, a trained geriatrician, along with this team, was recently recognized by CHIME and ScaleHealth as a finalist in their patent engagement challenge. After receiving the award in the “digital front door” category, he likened his company to being the Walmart greeter for the healthcare system.

Our next guest is Nick Lockett, CTO & Co-founder at Pear Suite. As you’ll hear, Pear Suite – also a StartUp Health company since 2022 – gives organizations the tools necessary to track community-driven care and identify social determinants of health. Their data-driven approach upgrades a life-saving process that has often been relegated to pen and paper.

Enjoy the episode, which was recorded at the ViVE 2023 conference in Nashville.


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.

 


Health Innovation Implementation: Dr. Robert Wilson on How Partnering with PreventScripts Enhanced His Medical Practice



Typically on this show we talk to the health tech founders – who we call Health Transformers – that are creating the tools and platforms that will modernize our health system. This week we have a different kind of guest who will help round out the picture of how healthcare innovation goes from idea to real-world implementation.

Our guest is Robert Wilson, MD, a family physician who runs CovenantCare Family Practice, a multi-site medical practice in Tennessee. Dr. Wilson popped up on our radar because he was an early partner for PreventScripts, a startup that’s part of the StartUp Health portfolio. PreventScripts, led by Brandi Harless and Natalie Davis, MD, has created a platform that helps family doctors like Dr. Wilson identify patients who would benefit from chronic care management. Think about a patient who is pre-diabetic and all signs point towards a long battle with Type 2 diabetes. While Dr. Wilson might be too overextended to identify and coach this patient before the disease sets in, PreventScripts can identify the risk and put the patient on a clinically-proven program. Patients with chronic diseases, or the risk of disease, get heightened care between visits, and Dr. Wilson gets added reimbursement.

We wanted to talk to Dr. Wilson to understand why he was interested in partnering with a health startup, as this is one of the key hurdles for any health innovator. How do you find the right clinical partner, a place to prove out your brilliant idea in the real world, and then iterate based on user feedback?

In the conversation, we’ll get into the real-world challenges that Dr. Wilson faces, his motivation for evolving his practice, and how PreventScripts has helped him fill gaps in patient care.


Learn more and connect with the team at PreventScripts.

Entrepreneurs: How to get investment from StartUp Health startuphealth.com

Investors: How to invest in StartUp Health Moonshots healthmoonshots.com
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.
Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.

The Future of Virtual Health, with Amwell’s Dr. Roy Schoenberg & Murray Brozinsky



We’ve talked extensively on this podcast about how COVID ushered in a period of rapid adoption of telemedicine. According to McKinsey, we went from around 11% of people using telehealth to around 46% during the pandemic.

Few companies in the world were better poised to capitalize on this moment than Amwell. What’s so interesting about Amwell is that they weren’t created to meet this moment. They have been patiently and persistently ringing the telemedicine bell since 2006. Back then, seeing your doctor over your computer seemed like a pipe dream, or worse, some dystopian future.

Now, well, things look a bit different. Building the infrastructure to deliver healthcare virtually is an idea whose time has come. And Amwell’s persistence has made them a world leader in the market.

Now, Amwell is expanding the definition of virtual care. Last year they acquired StartUp Health portfolio company Conversa Health, which uses chatbot functionality to automate care in between visits to improve efficiency and outcomes.

This episode of the podcast is pulled from a Fireside Chat where we sat down with Roy Schoenberg, MD, CEO and Co-founder of Amwell, and Murray Brozinsky, CEO of Conversa Health. The chat, which was moderated by Steven Krein, CEO and Co-founder of StartUp Health, pulls back the curtain on how these two companies came together, the lessons learned from the process, and what it all means for the future of virtual care. Roy and Murray are a wealth of wisdom and experience when it comes to digital health, so it was a powerful conversation. Hope you enjoy.


Entrepreneurs: How to get investment from StartUp Health startuphealth.com

Investors: How to invest in StartUp Health Moonshots healthmoonshots.com
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.