Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode · 2 years ago

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

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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 ofits kind video program about health innovators, early adoptors and influencers and their storiesabout writing the roller coaster of healthcare innovation. I'm your host, Dr Roxy,founder of Legacy DNA marketing group, and it's time to raise our COIQ. On today's show, we're going to talk about why some healthcare innovations failto commercialize and went why some succeed. John Sharp is with us today.He's the senior manager for PCCHA, the personal connected Health Alliance of Hymns,and he's going to share why it's so difficult and so unique to commercialize andinnovation and healthcare compared to other industries. He's also going to reveal three vitaltactics that every health innovator needs to include in their commercialization plan. So,John, let's start off the conversation by you just telling us a little bitabout your background and what you do. Okay, thanks, glad to behere today. Well, as you said, currently I'm senior manager and I'm incharge of leadership for the personal connected health alliance and we're the part ofhymns that's focused on consumer facing health it whereas most of him's, if you'refamiliar with it, is more focused on providers and insurers and harm in otherareas. So really, really focused in on the APPS and devices that patientsand consumers use. My background is that I've always been interested in patient engagement. My first career, which lasted a good long time, was actually asa hospital social worker, but then I swish with the coming of all thingsInternet to health I and most recently, before I joined hymns about five yearsago, as at the Cleveland Clinic in research in formatics, I've interested inresearch as well as patient engagement and APPS and devices. Gotcha. Great,what a wonderful background. So I'm going to start off, you know,the conversation a little bit by talking about this stat that really is kind oflike the foundation for the reason why we even have this show. So Ninetyfive percent of innovations that are brought to the market failed to commercialize, andso I'd like you to share some insights on why do you think some failin some succeed? Well, I think there are a lot of reason andI think one aspect that may be beginning to change is that investors and foundersof startup companies don't as understand the complexity of the health care industry. Ithink investors are getting a little smarter and realistic about that, which is encouraging. So I think that percentage hopefully will go down as a result, butthere's still a lot of money available, a lot of people willing to invest, so that danger is still there. I think the IT might be extremeto say naivete of a lot of founders in this area and people involved indeveloping new absent devices is not understanding their market. There there's a lot ofpassion, as in any successful industry, with startups, where the founders arevery passionate about what they're trying to build,...

...and a lot of that comes outof an either personal experience with a diagnosis or life surrending condition or goingthrough the healthcare experience with a family member and as a result that they think, because of their technical background and business background, that they can fix thisand then after two years into it and they're running out of money, theydon't understand what happened, but they didn't understand the industry in the first place. And the other there a couple other various I'll mentioned briefly. One isprovider organizations are traditionally very cautious and conservative. So you come even a lot ofof them are allergic to the term disruption right, which is in totalcontrast to the startup world where, you know, break things fail fast andso on, and positions and other health care providers can are all about safetyand not being sued. So you have these contrasting industries. Now that's changed. And another thing that's changing because you have a lot of large healthcare organizationsthat even now higher physicians, based on entrepreneurship and have their own innovation centersand are funding startup companies and partnering with Start Companies. So that then enablesthem to give an education to those startups. That may seem left right ideas,but how does it fit into a specific need? I was talking toone startup originally in Chicago at the health box studio, which is a weeklong advising session for I think twenty startups at a time, and talk tothis one and nicely it was a also a female founder, which is stillsomewhat rare, becoming less rare, and she had a fantastic idea about remotemonitoring. The concern was, you know, is everybody already doing that? Thereare also reinvolved and had a good artificial intelligence background. Then I talkedto her maybe four months later in Cleveland, that a plug and play event,and she said that they had really shifted as they talked to provider organizationsand provider organizations were focusing in on a specific need they had and they couldsee how what they were developing, this startup, would fit that need.So the that's a successful example. I think we're a lot of startupscale isengaging provide organization or multiple provide organizations on a need at that organization has,rather than just saying this is the greatest thing in the world, you shouldbuy it, you should implement it at scale, which is unrealistic. Soand then the other thing is, I mean that's the story, about gettingyour foot in the door right least. Then maybe doing a pilot study.The other problem of courses death by pilot and which a lot of people talkabout, and part of the reason that...

...occurs is again the different cultures.So if a startup has enough funding, venture funding, Angel Funding, maybefor a year or two years if they're lucky. Provide organizations don't move thatfast. Yet some are be getting moved faster in this area, but bythe time they do a study, go through all the regulatory stuff through theInstitutional Review Board, and I know that space. I I was UN aninstitutional review ord at one time and it's a very be again a conservative theliberative group and the other provocourses. A lot of the research folks like onthe institutional re board that would understand digital health and how it can benefit patients. So they're they understand drugs and device medical devices. So they need aneducation to about don't create unrealistic barriers for these companies that may have something veryuseful and need to study it. So I think if you can get pastsome of those barriers with the right partner who has a need that you're goingto fulfill, even if you have to pivot. They may not pivot ahundred eighty, but pivots somewhat, then I think you can be successful,and that in getting into a provider organization. So that's really more APPs for providethat providers they implement with their patients. So it's more of a was thatbe to BTC. So what do you what do you recommend for healthand invaders who are in the trenches and you know, maybe have funding tolast them, you know, another year, another eighteen months, and that initself is really like a win right. So, you know, what doyou say to that coals of leaders that have about not, you know, twelve to eighteen months worth of funding left and that they're in the pilotphase? Any recommendations that you have? Yeah, getting from pilot to scale, even within one organization and with your own limited resources, is the realchallenge. Not even talking about the next stage, which would be either acquisitionor, you know, commercialized commercialization. I think I think the key wouldbe having a partner who would you know, a provider, organization that's willing tohelp them accelerate the process. So instead of continuing to knock on moredoors and getting doors slammed in your face, find if you already have somebody who'sgoing to pilot with you. I think Targal of them. You know, if this is successful, how are we going to scale it? Howwe going to make this successful as a partnership to get beyond forty patients?You know, if you have you know, and it may be it may bebeing able to speak the language of population health as well. So ifwe're doing a pilot study of diabetics, but you're then asks that position.You're working with. Well, how many...

...diabetics does your organization currently see anddo you think this too would benefit ten percent, twenty percent, fifty percentof them in the long run? And so and be of a population healthprogram or apped around that or risk sharing. So the next step would be houses. is going to be paid for, and there're couple routes there. Onewould be some value of these care bundle payments, like I think itwas an example of what's now called Virtual Rehab or digital rehab, and thereare a lot of organizations right now that are moving into the area of bundledpayment. For me and I replacement. Well, if a digital rehab programor Virtual Rehab Program where you actually interact with patient remotely, so there haveto come in for those Rehab appointments and they can do exercise as well athome, how much money could I say and what better outcomes could you getfor a population like that? So you have to begin to think about youknow, in the long run, is going to get paid for either outof a bundle of payment or value based program or in some cases there theredo cpt codes for reimbursement on her medicure for remote patient monitoring. So that'streatment, but it's a modern monitoring site. So you really have to become savvayon how is this going to be paid for, and that's how it'sgoing to scale. Yeah, we can had some compsations with health innovators about, you know, not just getting really excited about a pilot and, youknow, wessing any terms, but you know, negotiating that pilot agreement tomake sure that they have funding that, you know, if they achieve certainbenchmarks, they're you know, willing to actually purchase something on a much biggerscale going forward if they have a successful pilot. Yeah, yeah, Ionly heard of one company, I think is a Canary Health has a guarantee, outcomes guarantee, so they, you get the tool free as a priororganization if they don't meet their outcome targets for chronic illness. But I thinkthey're the only ones trying to do that. It's very risky, but it's takingon the risk really of the that's the provider would usually get stuck with. So that's a very innovative business model and we'll see if it works.But yeah, but the other. Well, this may get to our too fardown the road to what we'll talk about later, but I think onein if you look at successful company, says, you know, the thingtoo, as a startup, is who really has made it and is goingeither as been acquired or has gotten financial success just based on going from pilotto larger studies to scale. And if you look at those companies, they'rethe ones that have on their website a tab, and I don't think usuallywebsite tabs me very much. Not. They have a tab that says evidenceor outcomes. MMM, and then you look at that and you give youget to see. You can see their pilot studies. They can see studiesthat men go up too, hundred fifty...

...patients, five hundred patients and soon, and then you can see they're really doing it right because they havethe evidence showing this works on more and more patients every time they do astudy. Yeah, and they tweet their mode to you know, I say, as a scale. Sure, absolutely, learning every step of the way anditerating. HMM. So, so, you know, we had talked abouta number of different things or strategies and tactics that health innovators need toinclude in their commercialization plan. What's free tactics that you suggest that every healthinnovator has in their plan? I thought about this before and it's always hardto narrow it two three, but I'll try. Okay, but I thinkone is really understand the complexity of the health care system and what your nichewill be in that system. is obviously at a single solution, as itcould solve all the problems. So and part of that finding your niche issome using two for this one. I'm cheating. Is I'll give you fornot is not not duplicating every anything that's out there. Obviously, at thispoint in the market, don't even try to build an electronic medical record rightthat field to saturated. Yep, even tools for diabetics or diabetic prevention programs. That's been saturated by very some very successful company. So we're where yougoing to insert yourself and be successful. And obviously there's some areas that aregoing to be need multiple solutions. So anyway, that's one or one anda half. I think also a strong partnership with a physician or some providerand some cases of impe nurses, and I think nurses are under utilized resourcesin health care innovation, but have a strong partnership with a healthcare organization andnot just their innovation center, but have a physician champion, and part ofthat solves a previous problem that they understand that complete flexity of reimbursement, treatment, liability, chronic care management, and you need to educate yourself about allthose things and know enough, because they're all potential failure points if you don'tget it. And then a third one is, I would say, usability. And usability is interesting because I think it covers both the provider side andthe patient side. So, depending on the tool, a lot of thetools, whether it's something like remote monitoring or prevention program or even Digital Therapeuticsof Treatment Program you have, most of them will have some consumer or patientfacing element, and that has to be easy to understand, intuitive, andthat means also that you need to do testing with real patients and not justbuild what you think will work or in...

...some of that through iteration, granted, but and then, and I think one of the most valuable things thatis underrated or not even sometimes you've ignored, is a health dashboard concept. Soif you're doing, for instance, of remote my on a train fora specific condition and there are a lot of good tools for this. Anddiabetes again and some other areas. Can you see on your dashboard in simpleterms, just like you would with the Fitbit, where you stand today,m as a patient, and I think patients are getting used to this ideafrom activity monitors and it should translate relative easily to remote monitoring tools. Andthen, if for the physician, so that side the data needs to beintegrated and displayed, preferably imbedded into the electronic medical record but, if not, easily reached from there or part of a Tele Medicine Senator Center that's monitoringthis population. So I guess that's three. How exactly, how important is it, do you think, to for health innovators to involve patients, realpatients, in the product development process? I think it's a well, ifit's not the number one success factor, obviously you have that money, butmaybe it's number two. I think it's that important because I myself have beenthrough this e spirit, not innovating per se, but talking to a lotof companies, but I went to a conference of people with type one diabetesseveral years ago in California and Silicon Valley, and these are very tech savvy bythe pretty takes savvy group with type one, but I had no ideawhat they were going through, what it was like to live insulin dependent.And one of the most shocking aspects for me, and I thought I knewa lot about the patient experience. The most shocking thing for me is severalpeople said out right, I realize any night I go to bed I coulddie. Just you know. It's the most you know, I felt withcancer patient and a lot of others, but to know that because your bluecoats, your blood sure could bottom out at night and you wouldn't even wake upright. Yeah, and there hasn't been a good solution for that, technicallyor medically, is just shocking. Now they're there are solutions like the closedloop, what's called an artificial pancreas, which is really working for a lotof people now. But you know, those those are the kinds of thingsyou only learn to talk to patients about their day to day experience and howthis technology is going to fit into that. HMM. We have a framework,a cocreation framework, that we take health innovators through, kind of givingthem a clear path with that. We call it the five codes because it'snot just, you know, Co product development, but it's covalidation, Coideation, code testing different phases of the CO creation or product development process.How do you recommend that health innovators get patients involved in the process, andare there any pitfalls that they need to...

...be aware of? Well, Ithink the way to do it is to find, where considered, patient expertsand organizations like we go. Hell Hadrian experts. A lot of these peoplewith advanced degrees who are also maybe another field but are savvy and a techwise if they understand both their illness and there what technology is really in healththe so and there are plenty of people out there. You could also partnerwith specific organizations, like we in have just partnered with the United Spinal Association, which I had never heard of before, but okay, it's people with spinalcourt in injuries who are wheelchair bound, very savvy pose in terms of governmentpolicy and getting the tools they need to live good lives. So Ithink that's one. The pitfall is using patients that are to focus or areangry because they've had bad healthcare experiences, which is not helpful. But Ithink the ones who have and then there's some that are to tech savvy andthen don't appreciate what people who are either health or it or both, illiterateand how they would use a specific technology. So I think you need to lookat what population you're focusing on and what kinds of patience you need.Sure, so you've written a lot about, you know, the dilemma that weface when it comes to the language that we use. Tell me alittle bit in our audience, a little bit about this phenomenon and what aresome of the things that we that health innovators need to be mindful of whenit comes to their messaging strategy and how they communicate with stakeholders? Depends onthe stakehold where we just grob yeah, patients and providers. Yeah, well, with providers again, I think goes back to understanding what it's both whatis like to be a provider. There was an article, I think thestand for, where doctor was suggesting if you want to innovate providing innovation forme, you should shadow me for a day see what it's really like,and that might involve more than twelve hours, by the way. So understanding thatand now understanding that they don't want the additional burdens. They want thingsthat simplify their work, that make it or effective. So I think thaton the provider side it's really understanding them, but also understanding that terminology like populationhealth and bundled the payments, so you understand the financial side as wellas the clinical side. It's a real challenge but it's worth every minute oflearning that. On the patient side, I think gets. I think youcould begin with focus groups perhaps, but you have to ask the right questionsand sometimes it's not so much questions is I think again it would go backto tell me about your day. What's a day like with this disease andwhat challenges do you face every day with this disease and what are your biggestheadaches? And do you use do you...

...have a smartphone to use it allthe time? Are you used to using APPS? What are the best appsyou have on your phone? What actually have on a phone? What doyou use all the time? And then you begin to see, okay,this particular group still use flip phones, so I'm in trouble. Smartmone right, they smartphones or they they use tablets. A lot of pretty good elderly Ithink he's tablets and the thing they use the most is skype so theycan talk to the grand children. So I so you know. All right, what do you so those interfaces are good. Well, maybe you'd begood candidate for, tell, a medicine, if that's the case or whatever.So I think it's really sitting in but throughout the product life cycle hemay have an advisor group initially, but I think would be helpful just tohave a kind of a, if you can afford it, a patient expertas a console throughout the life cycle process is actually at the table. Soyou're making a product decision or upgrade decision and they say, wait a minute, that's not going to work right, and then you I think that's partof avoiding the failures, having the advice right up front, whether it's ausability issue or something else. Well, in kind of what you're indicating isis that that's better to know throughout the journey instead of once the product isdeveloped 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 fardown the road in the development. Yeah, definitely. So you knowif you can build the right the first time. Yeah, right, we'reabout that. Yeah, definitely, less iteration maybe. So, do youknow? Do we have any concerns right now? You know there's a lotof conversation in the industry about, you know, peeple, provider centric,patient centric or patients? Patients? Are they people and you know the languagethat we're using around that speak to them a little bit that it's still avery tough one. I'm shifting my self from just talking about patients. Obviouslythe term patient engagement has been around for a long time. It's beginning toshift away from that. I think part of the reason is, and Idon't remember the exact statistic, but I've heard over and over again that evensomebody with a chronic disease, HMM, that's to be your illness, isgoing to interact with the provider maybe ten or twelve times a year, maybehave one hospitalization, maybe not even that, right, compared to all the otherhours. They're really on their own with her illness and don't always havethe right tools to manage that or the right knowledge. So calling you canbe a patient if you're in the hospital, but you're still a person. SoI don't use person enough. In Europe there's a they often use theterm citizen, but that's more a European centric socialized medicine concept, maybe moreso, but I like it, but it just doesn't make sense here inthe US. So I've been using I've been using consumer, patient, consumerfirst, and a lot of people don't like consumer because it means does thatmean everything is commercial right and commercialized?...

So I don't have a good answerto it. I think the ideal thing would be person, the and youknow I do use that to like person with diabetes, person with COPD,rather than, you know, a diabetic or you know other terms which seemedto pigeonhole people. I think so. I think people with our person witha specific condition, and we've had a whole twitter stream now on this termthat I was engaged with this week on the term problem list. Even so, why, for me, as a patient, do I have problems?I really have conditions or symptoms? Not, I'm not a problem, and that'sa obviously a physician oriented terminology that doesn't translate well or feels insulting potentially. So you know, I think we do need to be careful and youknow, the patients board may use different terminology than the physicians Ash Board,and that's okay. We're still talking about the same condition or problems or diagnosis. I think those are great observations and insights that our audience will find valuable. So we have, you know, handful of people that have joined ourlive show today, innovaders that are in the trenches right now. What arewhat some of the advice that you have for them? You want three morepoints or five? I don't know. Such a gap, most of it, I mean most of the being by way of summary. I'll try tothink of something that I haven't talked about so far. Well, I thinkthe by way of summary, health care is complex and not easily disruptive andpart of it is understanding the financial transition or paying means of payment, transitionwe're going through from fee for service and you know, I think the worstcase scenario that fee for service has forced us into and trying to treat chronicdisease is, for incess, you're newly diagnosed with asthma, or here's aprescription for an inhaler, here's some patient education. Material goes in paper.Could luck and I'll see you in a month and you know, call meif you have a problem or go to the emergency room. Those are notgood alternatives for helping me manage my disease. You know, that's just a recipefor disaster as far as I'm concerned, and I think what we're shifting toand digital health is more continuous monitoring of a condition so you know howyou're doing and treatment. Well, personalized treatment is also the term precision medicine, which is a little more heavy into genomics, which I don't want toget into, but personalized treatment. So if you see princetance, if youhave a digital he's going back to as me of a digital inhaler that givesyou feedback on how often you're using your regular inhaler versus your rescue inhaler,and you understand and that tells you, you know, the pollution levels whenyou were using your rescue hell or three...

...times in a row in an hour, and you know, maybe I should avoid that or, you know,think twice about that kind of an environment. And just so you learn, thesolution teaches you as a patient how to manage your illness, helps youwith it on a dated that day basis. Is True in a lot of coachingAPPs as well and then helps you understand how to adjust your medical treatment. And in some cases that might be actually the physician or a nurse ortell medicine center calling saying, you know, we're seeing these monitoring numbers and theymay not say it, but our algorithm tells us that you could endup in the emergency room the next two days if we don't change your medication. So that, again it's personalized. Based on continuous monitoring, we cancustomize your treatment and that's a big difference than ending up in the emergency roomand a doctor never saw you before says well, we're going to increase yourmedicine, we're going to add another medication and good luck, and then you'reback in the emergency room within a week because you're not getting good continuity ofcare or continuous monitoring. So I think in the future my vision is thatcontinuous monitoring, if it's done right and has the right staff thing and hasthe right user interface that really teaches patient about their illness and the treatment,I have a lot better outcomes and that should be the goal for any bodyand starting up in this space. How do I get to that point?There a lot of ingredients. Let's make sure recover all the bases, andyou know, which doesn't mean you burn through all your cash and six monthsnecessarily, but you do in smart ways to and you get the right advicefrom the right people and your physician champion and maybe nurse champion and figure thisout and patient champion. Yeah, absolutely, it's great insights that you've shared withus, with us today. Thank you so much. And so howcan our audience get Ahold of you? What's the best way for them toconnect with you? The easiest way is twitter, but and it's just atJohn Sharp. So it was an early a doctor and seven. So Igot my my name. Great. I'm also on Linkedin, also just asJohn Sharp, and my email is jay sharp at him's Dot Org. Andthe hymns conferences. Just a couple of weeks they out its story. Februaryeleven in Orlando, in your neighborhood, yea, and at the Orange CountyConvention Center, and we're expecting forty five thousands or closest friends and a mile, a mile of exhibit space. So we're good shoes. So we're reallyexcited. So connect with John there and I will be there as well,so feel free to reach out and stay connected. And until next time,let's raise our COIQ. What's the difference between launching and commercializing a healthcare inavation? Many people will launch a new product, few will commercialize it.To learn the difference between latch and commercialization...

...and to watch past episodes of theshow, head to our video show page at Dr Roxycom. Thanks so muchfor watching and listening to the show. You can subscribe to the latest episodeson your favorite podcast APP like apple podcasts and spotify, or subscribe to thevideo episodes on our youtube channel. No matter the platform, just search coiqwith Dr Roxy. Until next time, let's raise our COIQ.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (111)