Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode · 2 years ago

3 Vital Techniques Every Innovation Leader Needs to Include in Their Commercialization Plan w/John Sharp


Healthcare is a complex industry, and a lot of innovators and founders underestimate the process of bringing an innovation through the regulatory process to commercialization. How can you avoid “death by pilot”? What are the biggest potential failure points to be prepared for in the commercialization process? Why is it so important to include real patients in the development process, and what are the potential pitfalls you might deal with?


On this episode, we're joined by John Sharp, the senior manager of PCHA, the Personal Connected Health Alliance of HIMSS. We talk about why some healthcare innovations fail to commercialize while others succeed. John shares what’s unique about commercializing an innovation in healthcare versus other industries. And, he reveals three vital tactics that every health innovator needs to include in their commercialization plan.


3 Things You'll Learn

  • The difference between the healthcare industry and the innovation of startups
  • How to avoid "death by pilot"
  • Why you need healthcare organization partnership 


Healthcare innovators have a lot of passion for the problem they are trying to solve, but that passion won’t compensate for a lack of understanding the industry and how it actually functions. Healthcare and startups are industries with fundamental differences, and unless innovators are prepared for that, they are doomed to fail.

You have to make sure your funding is able last through the process of regulation and the education of healthcare professionals. Involve real patients in your development. You must understand the complexity of the healthcare system and know what your niche will be in that system.

Welcome to Coiq and first of its kindvideo program about health, innovators earlier doctors and influencers, andthey are stories about writing the roller coaster of health care andovation. I'm your host, Dr Roxey, founder of Legacy, DNA marketing groupand it's time to raise our COIQ on today's show we're going to talkabout why some health crnovations fail to commercialize and why some seceedJohn Sharp is with us today. He's the senior manager for Pceahja the personalconnected health alliance of Hems and he's going to share why it's sodifficult and so unique to commercialize an innovation andhealthcare compared to other industries. He's also going to reveal three vitaltactics that every health innovator needs to include in theircommercialization plan. So, John, let's start off the conversation by you justtelling us a little bit about your background and what you do. Okay,thanks glad to be here today. Well, as you said, currently, I'm seniormanager and I'm in charge of Oleadership for the personal connectedhealth alliance and we're the part of Hims, that's focused on consumer facing helpit, whereas most ofhyms, if you're familiar with it, it's more focused on providers and insurers and harmaan other areas, soreal, really podused in on the absent devicees that patientcs and consumers use my background. Is I've always beeninterested in patient engagement. My first career, which lasted a goodlong time, was actually as a hospital social worker, but then I swish, withthe coming of all things Internet to health it and, most recently before I joined Himsabout five years ago. It was at the Cleveland Clinic in researchingphramatic, so I've interest in research as well as patient engagement and absent, devisesGotcha great what a wonderfulful background so I'mgoing to start off.You know the conversation a little bit by talking about this stat. That really iskind of like the foundation, for the reason why we even have this showso ninety five percent of innovations that are brought to the market failedto commercialize, and so I'd like you to share some insights on. Why do youthink some fail in some succeed? Well, I think there are a lot of reasons. I think one aspect that may be beginning tochange is that investors and founders, O startup companies, don'taltouse, understand the complexity of the outtare industry. I think investors are getting a little,smarter and realistic about that which is encouraging. So I think thatpercentage hopefully will go down as a result, but there's still a lot ofmoney available a lot of people willing to Anvest, so that danger is still there. I think T it might be extreme to say naivete of a lot of founders in this area andpeople involved in developing no assen devices is not understanding theirmarket. There there's a lot of passion as in any successful industry withstartups, where the founders are very...

...passionate about what they're trying to build and a lotof that comes out of an either personal experience with the diagnosis or lifes threnening condition or going through the healthcareexperience with a pamling member and, as a result, they think, because of their technical backgroundand business background, that Tey can fix this and and after two years into it and they'rerunning out of money. They don't understand what happened, but theydidn't understand the industry in the first place and the OTER theare coupleother barriers I mentione briefly one is provider, organizations aretraditionally very cautious and conservative, so you come even a lot of them areallergic to the term disruption as which is in total contrast to thestartup world work. You know, break things fail fast and soon, and positions and other ealtcare proviterscan are all about safety and not being sued. So you have these contrastingindustries that its changed an another thing. That's changing because you have a lot of large health coroganizationsthat even now higher physicians based onentreprenrship and have their own innovation centersand are funding startup companies and partner,Inlis Star Company, so that then enables them to give aneducation to those startups. That may seem like great ideas, but how does itfit into a specific need? I was talking to one startup originally in Chicago at the healthboxstudio, which is a week long advising session, for I think twenty startups ata time and talk to this one and nicely it was also a female founder, which is still somewhatrare, becoming less far, and she had a fantastic idea aboutremote monitoring. The concern was, you know: is everybody already doing thatthey were also very involved. Ind had a good, artificial intelligencebackground, then I talked to her. Maybe let's see four months later in Cleveland, that aplugin play event and she said that they had really shifted as they talke to provider,organizations and provideeorgizations were focusing in on a specific needthey had and they could see how what they were developing. This start up,woith fit that need so the that's a successful example. I thinkwhere a lot of startup Fale is engaging provideorgnization or motile parideorgizations on a NEEDA. That organization has rather than justsaying this is the greatest thing in the world. You should buy it. Youshould implement it and scale, which is unrealistic. So and the other thing is, I mean that'sthe story about getting your foot in the door ryleast and maybe do it apilot study, the other problem, persus death by pilot and which...

...a lot of people talk about, and art of the reason that occurs is againthe different cultures. So if I started as anouth funding e venture funding theangel trending and maybe for a year or two years, if they're lucky provide organizations, don't no thatast. Yet some are beginning with faster in this area, but by the time they do astudy go through all the regulatory stuff through the institutionalreviewboard, and I know that space I I was on an institutional iewgoard atone time and it's a very again conservative, deliberative groupand the other prober courses. A lot of the research folks like on theinstitutional, ruuborts Tha, would understand digital health and how it can vetadpatience so their. They understand drugs and devicemedical vices. So they need an education too about don't create unrealistic barriers forthese companies. That may have something very useful and need to studyit. So I think if you can get past some of those barriers with the rightpartner who has a need that you're going to fulfill, even if you have topay it may may not pick it a hundred and eighty but pivot somewhat. Then Ithink you can be successful in that in getting into a paride orgiization,so that's really more absport to provide that providers they implement with their patients. Soit's more of a was that bdbdt. So what do you? What do you recommendfor health and invaders who are in the aces- and you know, maybe have fundingto last them? You know another year, another eighteen months, and that in itself is really like a winright. So you know what do you say to that Otin taters that have about not.You know twelve to eighteen months worth of funding left and that they'rein the pilot phase, any any recommendations that you have yeah getting from pilot to scale evenwithin one organization and with your own limited resources isthe real challenge, not even talking about the next stage.Wouto whichould be either acquisition or you know, commercializedcommercialization. I think I think the key would be having a partner who would you know a providerorganization, that's willing to help them accelerate the process, soinsinted of continuing to knock on more doors andgetting doors slammed in your face, find if you already have somebody who'sto a pilot with you, I think tol wit them. You know if this is successful,how are we going to scale how we're going to make this successful as apartnership to get beyond forty patients? You know, if you have you know, and it may be, it may be being able to speak thelanguage of population health as well, so we're doing a pilot study ofdiabetics, but you're then ass that position you're workingwith... many diabetics does your organization currently see, and do you think this two would benefitten percent twenty percent, fifty percent of them in the long run and so and te of a population health programrapted around that or wristsharing. So the next step would behow hiss tis going to be paid for MM and there couple route there one wouldbe some value of base care. Buntlepayments like I think it was t e example of what's now called Virtual Rehab ordigital rehab, and there are a lot of organizationsright now that are moving into the area of bunble payments for me and, ifreplacement well, I digital rehad program or virtual reabprogram, where you actually interact with e Patien remotely, so they have tocome in for those reab appointments than they can do theexercise as well at home. How much money could that see and whatbetter outcomes could you get for population like that? So you have tobegin to think about. You know in the long run, thisis going to get paid foreither out of a bundle, payment or valuebase Peit or in some cases there'stheir new CPT codes for reimbursement on her medicare for remote, pationmonitoring. So that's ot treatment, but it's a modern monitoring site, so youreally have to become savvy on. How is this going to be paid for and that's how it's going to scale yeah? We Dhac some conens with health.Innovators about you know not just getting really excited about a pilot,and you know reasking any terms, but you knownegotiating that pilot agreement to make sure that they have funding that you know if they achieve certainbenchmarks. Theyre, you know willing to actually purchase something and a muchbigger scale than wing forward. If they have a successful pilot, yeah yea Knoo only heard o one company.I think it is a Canary Health that has a guarantee outcomes guarantee. So they you get toto a free as a PRORIorgization. If they don't meet their outcome targets for chronic illness, but I think they're, the only onestrying to do that, it's very risky but eliktaking on the risk reallythat, theprovider Wich usually get stuck with. So that's a bre innovated businessmodel and we'll see if it works, butbut the other well. This may get to our too far down the road to what we'lltalk about later, but I think one in if you look at successful company, so se oThi thing to as a startup is who really has made it and is going either? Is it been acquired or has gotten financial success just based ongoing from Ila to larger studies to scale? And if you look at thosecompanies they're the ones that have on their website hat tab- and I don'tthink usually wibsite hab mean very much not theyvea. Had that saysevidence or outcomes mmand, then you look at that and you can get to see.You can see the rile studies. They can...

...ce studies that then Goo to hundredfifty patients, five hundred patients and so on, and then you could see theywere really doing it right because they have the evidence showing that thisworks on more and more patients every time they do a study yeah and they treet their model to youknow as a as a scale, so er absolutely learningevery step of the way N Itorati. So so you know, we had talked about anumber of different things: more strategies and tactics that healthinnovators need to include in their commercialization plan. What's threetactics that you suggest that every health innovator has in their plan uti thought about this before and it'salways hard to narrow it to three but I'll? Try and but I think one is really understand the complexity of the house care system and what your nice will be in that system,as obviously a a single solution as it could as solve all the problems so and part of that, finding your dishes some using two for this one, I'm cheating I'll, give you fo is not not duplicating ever anything. That'sout there. Obviously, at this point in the market, don't even try to build. Idon't like trying to medical record right that feel esaturated Yep, eventools for diabetics or diabetic prevention programs. That's been saturated by very some verysuccessful company, so were where you going to insert yourself and besuccessful and obviously there's some areas that are going to be need, multiple solutions. So anyway, that's one or wanted to have so I think, also a strong partnership with a physician or some provider and somecass of my p nurses and I think nurses are under utilized resources in health.crenovation have a strong partnership with a healthcorrognization and not just their innervation center, but have a Positianchampion and art of that solves a previous problem that they understand the complexity, freeimmersement treatment, liability, chronic care management. Then you needto educate yourself about all those things and know ennough, becausethey're all potential failure points, you don't get it and then a third one is, I would say,useability and useability is interesting because I think it coversboth the provider side and the patient side so, depending on the tool. A lot of thetools, whether it's something like promote, modeltring or a prevention program, or even DigitalTherapeutics, a treatment program you have most of them- will have some consumeror patient facing element, and that has to be easy to understand,andtutive, and that means Yo. Also. They you need to do testing with realpatience and not just build ethink work...

...or in some of that through iterationcranted, but and then- and I think one of the most valuablethings that is underrated or not sometimes I' ignored is a healthbashbord concept. So, if you're doing princes of remote monitoring for aspecific condition- and there are a lot of good tools for this and diabetesagain and some other areas, can you see on your dashboard in simple terms? Justlike you would with a pit bit where you stand today M as a patient, and I thinkpatients are getting used to this idea from activity monitors and it should translate rotive easily to remote monitoring toops and then I forthe physician set upside. The data needs to be integrated and displayedprefarably imbedded into the electronic mmedical record. But ifnot easily reached from their or part of a Tele Medicine Senator Center, that'smonitoring this population. So I guess that's three owexactly important is it? Do you thinkto for health inevators to involve patient real patients in the productdevelopment process? I think it's a well if it's not thenumber one success factor obviously Hav that money, but maybe it's number two.I think it's sad incortan because I myself have been through thisEXPERIENC, not innovatid per se, but talking to a lot of companies, but Iwent to a conference people with hypone diabetes several years ago in California, anSilkon valley- and these are very tex savvy by thepreetext avy group with type one, but I had no idea what they were goingthrough, what it was like to live insolindependent an one of the most Shockin xpects forme, and I thought I knew a lot about the patient experience. The mostshocking thing for me is several people said outright. I realized any night I go to bed, Icould die just themost. You know I dealt with cancerPatien and a lot of others, but I know that because your boocoast, yourblood sugar, could bottom out at night and you wouldn't even wake up right,yeah and there hasn't been a good solution for that technically ormedically is just shocking. Now there there are solutions like the close loop, whatt's called N artificial pancreus,which is really working for a lot of people now, but you know those thoseare the kind of things you only learn. You Talk to patients about their day today experience and how this technology is going to fit into that Hmmwe have a framework cocreationframework that we take health innovators through kind ofgiving them a clear path with that we call it the five cos, because it's notjust you, know, Co product development, but it'scovalidation, coidiation cotesting different phases of the cocreation orthe product development process. How do you recommend that health innovadorsget patients involved in the process...

...and are there any pitfalls that theyneed to be aware of? Well, I think the way to do it is tofind, where considered, patient experts andorganizations like Wego, hell, havation experts a lot of these people withadvanced degrees, who are also maybe another field, but are savvyenough techwise if they understand both their illness ind their. What technology is really in help se so, and there are plenty o people outthere. You could also partner with specific orianzations, like we in have just partnered with the United Spinal Association, which I hadnever heard of before, but okay, it's people with spinal court injuries who,Ar wheelchair bound, very savvy, buin terms of government policy and gettingTosday to live good lives. So I think that's one. The pitrall is using patients that are to focus forare angry, because tey've had bad healthcare experiences, which it notElcol, but I think the ones who have and then there's some that are to text habvy and then don't appreciatewith people who are either health or it or both illiterate and how they woulduse a specific technology. So I think you need to look at what populationyou're focusing on and what kinds of patients you need sure so, Youyou've written a lot about.You know the dilemma that we face when it comes to the language that we use tell me a little bit in our audience alittle bit about this phenomenon and what are some of the things that wethat health innovators need to be mindful of when it comes to theirmessaging strategy and how they communicate with stakeholders depends on what Stak holdius o SaPatience and providers yeah. Well with providers again, I think it goes backto understanding what it's H, both what its like to be a provider.There was an article I think, at a stanfor where a doctor was suggestingif he want to innovate, poan innovation. For me, you should shadow me for a day,see what it's really like and that might involve more than twelvehours by the way, so understanding that and thatunderstanding that they don't want the additional burdens they want things tosimplify their work that make it more effective. So I think that on theprovider sin, it's really understanding them, but also an understanding hatterminology like population health and fundl the payments. So youunderstand the financial side as well as the conical side. It's a realchallenge, but it's worth every minute of learning that on the patient side, Ithink it's. I think you could begin with focusgroups, perhaps te a as the right questions and sometimes not so much questions is,I think again. It would go back to tell me about your day what' a day like withthis disease and what challenges do you face every day with this disease andwhat are your biggest headaches and... you use? Do you have a smart pom? Doyou use it all the time oryou seizing APPS? What are the best staps? You haveon your phone. What Act You havn upon what to Yo use all the time and thenyou begin to see ohokay. This partiular group still use clip Fone, so I'm introuble right. They atoory they use tabhlets nalot of pretty good elderly. I think he's tatlets and the thing they use themost is skipe, so they can talk to the Grand Children Soa. So you know allright. What are you so? Those interfaces are good. Well, maybe begood candidate, Pertella medicine I ecases or whatever. So I think it'sreally sitting in, but throughout the product lifestycle he may have a appriser group initially,but I think Itud be helpful. Just have a kind of a if you can afford a patient expert as aConsolan throughout the life. Sycrel process is actually at the table, soyou're making a product decision or an upcre decision, and they say wait aminute that not going to work right and then you, I think, that's part ofavoiding the failures having the advice or I upron, whetherit's a useability issue or something else well in kind of what you'reindicating is that that's better to know throughout the journey? Instead ofonce the product is developed and it's out into the marketplace, it can be very expensive and almostlife threatening to the company to find out. You know when you're so far downthe road in the development yeah. Definitely so the you know pigubill the right, the first time yeah an word ot that Yeh definitely LeIteration. Maybe so do you know do we have any concerns right now? You knowthere's a lot of conversation in the industry about you know: Peope provider,centric, patient centric or patients patients or they people- and you knowthe language that we're using around that speak to them. Ot a little bit tit's, still a very tough one, I'mshifting myself from just talking about patiente.Obviously the termpatient engagement has been around for a long time, it's beginning to shift away from that.I think part of the reason is Andi. Don't remember the exactstatistic Piopero over and over again that even somebody with a chronic disease, the severe illness is going to interact with the provider. Maybe ten or twelvetimes a year, maybe have one hospitalization, maybe not even batright compared to all the other hours, they're really on their own with their illness and don't always have the right toolsto manage that or the right knowledge. So calling you can be a patient if you're in thehospital but you're still a person, so I don't use person enough in neurthere's they all use the term citizen, but that's more a European Century socialized medicine concept- maybe moreso, but I like it, but it just doest make sense here in the US. So I've been us. I've e been using consumer patientconsumer first and a lot of people don't like consumer because... means does that mean everything iscommercial right and commercialized. So I don't have a good answer to it. I think the ideal thing would be personthe, and you know I do use that to like person with Diabes curcherson with COPD,rather than you know a diabetic or you know other terms which seem to Pigon Alepeople. I think so. I think people wit are a person with tespecific condition and we've had a whole twitter stream. Now on this termthat I was engaged with this week on the term problem wis. Even so, why? For me as a patient, do I have problems?I really have conditions or symtems? No, I'm not a problem and that's aobviously physician oriented terminology at Dos, a Translat well orI feels insulting potentially so you know, I think we do need to be careful,and you know the patient, Ashport Thay use different terminology than thephysician, Tas port and that's okay, we're still talking about the same conditions or problems. Oor diagnosise, I think theseis are great observationsand insights that our audience will find valuable. So we have you know a handful of people that havejoined our live show today in afaters that are in the trenches right now.What are what's some of the advice that you havefor them? You want three more points or five. I don't knowoverd most of it. I meanmost Ould, be by way of summary I'll. Try to think of something that haven't talked about so far. I think the by way of summary Health,careis, complex and not easily, disruptive and part of it is understanding thefinancial transition, O payin means of payment transition, we're going throughfrom see for service, and you know, I thinkthe worst case Scenaro, that feper service has forced us into and tryingto treat chronic disease is princess. Your newly diagnosed with ASMA AR years a prescription for an inhaler.Here's some patient education, materials and paper. Good Luckand I'll, see you in a month, and you know call me if you have aproblem or go to the emergency room. Those are not good alternatives forhelping me manage my disease. You know that's just a ricipe for disaster as far as I'mconcerned, and I think what we're shifting to indigital health is more continuous monitoring of acondition. So you know how you're doing and treatment well. Personalized treatment is also aterm precision medicine, which is a little more heavy into genomics, whichI don't want to get into, but personalized treatment. So if you see Princess, if you have adigital es, going back to Asme of a digital inhalor, that gives youfeedback on how often you're, using your regular anhailer versus your rescue inhaler. and You understand- and that tells you youknow- the pollution levels when you...

...were using your rescue an he threetimes in a row in an hour, and you know, maybe I should have poine that or youknow think twice about that kind of an environment. And justso you learn the solution. Teaches you as a patient. Howto manage your illness, helps you with it on adated at day basis is Truin alot of coaching APPs as well, and then how you understand how to adjust your medical treatment and in somecases that might be actually the physician or a nurseOrtell Medicine Center. Callingand saying you know we're seeing thesemonitoring numbers and they may not say it, butour algorithm tells us that you could end up in the Merstur in the next twodays. Bewee, don't change your medication so that again it'spersonalized based on continuous monitoring. We can cussomize yourtreatment and that's a big difference than endingup in the emergency room and a doctor never saw you before says well. We'reGOINGNA increase your madicine, we're going to add another medication and good luck and thenyou're back in the emergene troom within a week, because you're notgetting good Cotnuti care or continuous monitoring. So I think in the future. My vision is that continuous monitoring,if it's done right and as the right staffing and has the right user interface, thatreally teaches a patient about their illness and the treatment that W I havea lot better outcomes, and that should be the goal for any body in starting upin this space. How do I get to that point? There are a lot of ingredientsas make sure recover all the bases- and you know which doesn't mean youburn through all your cash in six months essarly, but you do in smartways to and you get the right advice or the right people in your physicianchampion and maybe nurse champion and Toyor thisout and patient champion yeah. Absolutely it's great insightsthat you've shared with SS with us today. Thank you so much, and so howcan our audience get a hold of you? What's the best way for them to connectwith you, the easiest way is twitter, but- andit's just at John Sharp, so it was an early adoptor and two thousand and seven I so I got my myname Great. I'm also linked in also just as John Sharp and my email is j Mork at Hym's Dotorg and the hens conference Isin just acouple of weeks, yeah, it's Starti February elevenh inOrlando and your neighborood yeah, and at the Orange County Convention Centerand Ereexpecting Forty Fivesands or closest friends, Andina Mile, a mile ofthe givit space, so wer good shoes sound and were really excited soconnect with John there and I'll, be there as well so feel free to reach outand stay connected and until next time let's raise our COIQ. What's the difference between watchingand commercializing a health care Novation, many people will watch a newproduct. Few will commercialize it... learn the difference between watchand commercialization and to watch past episodes of the show head to our videoshowpage at Dr Roxycom. Thanks so much for watching and listening to the showyou can subscribe to the latest episodes on your favorite podcast APPlike apple podcast and spotify, or subscribe to the video episodes on ourYoutube Channel, no matter the platform just search Coyq Wich, Dr Roxin. Untilnext time. LET'S RAISE OUR COIQ.

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