Health Innovators
Health Innovators

Episode · 3 years ago

Digital Medicine, Messaging Strategies & Improving the Efficiency of Adoption w/Dr. Ashish Atreja


Health systems have inherent challenges when adopting technology because of how they are structured. How does this impact the ability to commercialize innovations? Why is collaboration such a key ingredient to finding success when selling innovations to hospital systems? What challenges are innovators facing and what can they do to solve them?

On this episode, I’m joined by Dr. Ashish Atreja, the Chief Innovation Officer of Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, co-founder of Rx.Health, and co-founder of Node.Health. He shares his experience with commercializing innovations within a health system and as an entrepreneur.


3 Things You'll Learn

  • How to find success selling to a hospital system
  • Why financial success or ROI is a must-have for effective messaging
  • How getting doctors to prescribe your mobile health app is critical for consumer adoption

To successfully commercialize your innovation, there are three key things every innovator needs to consider: how to create unique value, how technology can improve efficiency in the health system, and how to find partners who can extend the value nationally and globally. 


Never underestimate what partnering with the right people can do. There are many scalable innovations in the market, but they don’t go anywhere because they don’t find meaningful partnerships to collaborate with. The greatest thing about healthcare is, if you’re bent on creating efficiency, there are so many ways to do it. You just need to have the right people and messaging in your corner to achieve it.

Welcome to CIQ and first of its kind video program about health innovators, earlier doctors and influencers and their stories about 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. Welcome back to IQ listeners. On today's show we have with us Dr Ashisha Treya, and he is the chief innovation officer from Mount Sinai the founder of the sin I APP lab and the founder, you know what, he is founded so many different businesses and he's got his hands into so many different things. I'm just going to hand it over to him. Welcome to the show, Dr a Treia. Go for it. Tell us a little bit about your background and what you do. Thank you. Thank you, I would say. I would start by saying that my wife calls me twenty person doctor, because I we got that pactice twenty person of my time. Rest of the time I'm very lucky to spend an innovation so as a chef innovation opposet in medicine at Montsa and I I lead innovation, especially in digital health technologies, and I've been a position in chromaticist for the last twenty years. After my den see I got in Chromatics Training Board thirty five but last six years is completely focused not on chording formatics, ehr in dramatics, but actually building new technologies. We data scientists, with APP designers, with you, Xui, completely new field, what we call is digital medicine, and I think that has really that is even bigger potential to transform healthcare than what Ejos did, you know, for the last twenty years. So so our APPS are now in fifteen countries. We have done projects from cancer care to heartcare to Gi care. And three years ago, I think bulk of power focus, which is right now, is we call it a fut journey. We moved from innovation alone to transformation. And how do we put all the different innovation that's happening, all the different startups, all the different ferent APPS, but making it much more coheasy than much more structured, so a health system can unify that and allowed to be transformed. You know, I work with a lot of health innovators who are, you know, having different amounts of success with penetrating the market. And so Kudos to you for having your technology and fifteen different countries. So you know what's the secret? Is it? Is it the brand name of Mount Sinai behind you? Is it? Is it something else? Is it that technology? Help US understand how you've been so successful? Yeah, I think our journey is continuing. I wouldn't call it it's super successful. It just, you know, we just enjoy every single day and build technologies. I think everyone says that, but I think the reality is technology is a part of it and and it's not just one person's a team, right, which enables that and it becomes robist over a period of time. But also I think it's a collaboration, because I haven't gone to sixteen different countries. Because of collaborations, the partners are able to take things further. So I think left learning about what technology can do, building new things which have not been there before, creating a unique value and then driving down and finding partners which can extend that value and disseminate the value and transform that value is kind of the core strategy part which I'm involved in. Without that you can't scale things. Of course technology has to be scalable, but but they many technologies which are scalable which don't get scaled because we don't find meaningful partnerships, collaborations to make these HMM, absolutely, collaboration is definitely key. Or do you find that these partnership alliances are coming to you or you going out and seeking the best ones...

...that are fit for what you're looking for? That's a great quesion. I think when we started off it was mostly we looking out to say what's out there, because we want to learn from the wider landscape and see what is missing. Has the stems need to do as well. Right within the MONTSANA, within our APP lab, we don't build anything that's been built before. We try to build new things, you know. So we want to have a very good external landscape. You in that. As we have grown, and I think we have also started seeing people or technologies actually are startups, reaching out to us directly and and they are saying, Hey, you're doing this, you have a platform approach at mount sign and multiple other health systems which you can describe apps and you can connect all those apps together. What do you think of this APP we are building in this space and this is pretty novel. So I think so that is actually very exciting part where it creates an efficiency which was not there. Before efficient to go out and find the right things, but it's more efficient if people come to you. So I think we were lucky to have that kind of a model evolving in that Creda. So Do you have more success penetrating your innovations within the Mount Sinai hospital system that you work in, or do you have more success commercialize in it outside of the system? That's both. Both are in here. Both have their own inherent challenges. That is absolutely true, right, and you know it's very easy to say, Hey, you're within a health system and you're building technology. is you're probably every person in that health system patient is using your technology. But you know, nothing is smart than truth, all right. So I think what happens is health systems have more challenges adopting technology which are inherent to how they're structured, and that is irrespective of technologies within that health system or coming from outside. Those structural challenges remain. And I gave a very simple example and I'm a gastro introlity so I talk about Shite all the time, so if you allow me, I can talk about examples from that. So we so the platform we built to cola solid accuty UNIFILE. This technology got spinned off into a commercial entity, college utx health, which is amounts and as we now and are extort health had built more things on top of the platform and they built how they can stitch different technologies together. Called out extitch. And then one small facility in Arizona reaches out to them to say, Hey, we have such a big problem with colonoscopy patients, because we have one in Pocolon oscopy patients who are poor bowl trap and we give them a paper and one in four people forget the paper. Where they're kept and money, but it on. Ex Health worked with them to create an engine, completely like a bought engine, for pretty proceded pery coscopy. That became super head. When they measure they were able to reduce the aboorded procedures by half. Ninety two percent patients wanted to red you know, use it for next procedures. That American Gastron told the Association. Our National Association actually now partnered with our excelled to make it nationally available. Well, as the best practice now Mount Sanna is now coming up and saying this is a cool thing, we need to do that. And now we're bringing it to mounts on it. So sometimes I think you bring it externally and you know, and I also as a spinoffenity, they can go much more faster than we can go internally. Right, but they are able to find use cases and the sometimes we learn from them and bring back those use guess. Sure, just an example how it can come, how the fusion of innovation can spread not only inside out but outside end. So so there are so many health innovators that are out there right now in the trenches with just incredible innovations that solve, you know, challenges that are like our most pressing issues. In their overall I hear that they're really struggling to kind of get in...

...front of the key decision makers and to be able to even have a chance to pitch their their innovation. And even when they do get in, you know the inherent challenges and barriers to the to the structure. Do you have any recommendations for audience, some best practices, some strategies for having success with being able to sell to a hospital system? Yeah, you know, there's a there's a famous saying out there if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, you know, go together. So I think I've seen many startups who struggle with getting key ecosystem, you know, kind of partners, and the key thinkers for decision maker are just solo scientists. They may not have a position in the team, they may not have any care person, so they are completely heavy outside Lance. But I think my my main recommendations to them is get some you know, thought leaders, get some patients, also, nations, get physicians, get researchers, as advisors, as consultants, as whatever you can create a role for medical role. That way you have a knowledge, because it's not about they can't get into a decision maker. It's very careful to know who the decision maker is. Yes, right, and then someone who partners with them, who is part of the health system, can say hey, what's your building? Is actually more for cality and this is in patient quality. So chief medical officer will be the right person. You don't need to go to CEIO for that. Yeo, for sure, you don't need to go to her for that and never will CFO for that. Right. So right. And then this thing that you are building is actually for population have you need to find who is managing the population health in this place right. So I think so. If you get into the front of the right person, then it's much more likely things will either be yes or now. But the decision making really faster. But a lot of the time the challenge is we touch someone at the Perry free and that person takes its own sweet time. Then introduced to some other person and you kind of have this game that's getting played and and not because of anyone is instanc here, it's just that it's incredibly complex to navigate show. If you have a person who's navigated about before, it just makes it much more easier. Yeah, it's interesting. So you know, when you think about selling, there's all of these different types of decision makers, right, the gatekeeper, the decisionmaker, the influencer, and I I recommend that clients find their Trojan horse, and so this is someone that's in the organization that has no influence. They're not the gatekeeper, they're definitely not the decisionmaker, but they are the ones that know everything that's going on. Right they are the ones that can pick up the phone and call you and tell you your competitor just walked in. You need to get back in here. So I think everybody needs to ever Trojan horse to. You know, that's a great idea. You know, I've never thought of that, but I can see that can potentially work. You need you need people who vouch for you, advocate for you, who believe in you. You know, whether it's Trojan Hoarse or not, they may just do it in a good spitted because they really trust you. And the back right. Yeah, and if they can time to do that, because many time decision maker don't even have time to do find a trust. But but I think that someone who trust and believe in you is super important. So what? What innovations? And maybe it's the Rx health, but what innovation is have you successfully commercialized outside of Mount Sinai. So my journey started in Cleveland Clinic. So we're my first thing which I which was actually most of what I do, is actually based on problem centric approach. What is the problem that's happening,...

...rather than solution centric what we can do? Yeah, so I got a page from higher up in Cleveland Clinic, but I never received that page. This is two thousand and five, two thousand and six, because I was a hundred miles, two hundred miles away from them. So then I realized that pagers are, you know, not at all food proof, like the batteries go die and you lose the page and messages. So we created the first web based paging system at Cleveland Clinic. We will archive all the page and message you can automatically forward to someone else if you're going outside. That became so super successful it's still actually used across them telling health system by the name of my paging. Yeah, it's just phenomenal. That's high. So is nice. When I went there for grand runs and I saw that being used. So this is like way back technology, but this is one of the first ones and that got license out to American messaging, the second biggest page of company in the US. So I had some experience before I came to Sanai. And it's SANA. I think when when we build this platform to prescribe APPs connected with Mr we started getting so much request from other health systems and other payers as well, and within Sana we couldn't support other health systems. We don't have team big enough to actually go and support and do integration in all those sure. So so it was very natural our mounts and annovation partners out a transfer team health create a spinoff college artext dot help. So we licensed this platform to prescribe APPs and digital care pathways at that time, this is around two years ago. Yeah, we also licensed out technology for remote monitoring, so for so patients can keep track how they are doing, and that was plugged on top of the platform as well. Since an autos helt has built so much things on top of it. They built a stitch engine where they can connect digital rules together and they were whole clinical team which is making clinical rules around every perioperative care, around radiology, and they have partnership with American College of Cudeology to play the caudio vascular tool kit and with a g for Gi tool kit and when the key things they are finding is this so much need for information before and after procedures, and those are very expensive procedures. So, for example, radiology alone there's a ten percent no short rate for average redeology procedure, chronoscopy, one in for patients, you know, sometimes a poor ball wrap. So if we provide them information at the right time, doesn't have to be downloaded at it could be about here, you know, a voice kind of thing, voice rules, but if you get them through the journey with the need based journey, you can suddenly make the whole healthcare much more efficient. HMM, and it can lead to image it Roy within the same three months period. So I think bought of our learning has been we are able to find not just weird routinely you can create them with Ouroy, for a hospital which everyone can complex disease and pop health. Sure actually things which are so mundane people don't even think you can paid value. But but then you look at hundred use cases you can create it's just health care is such an interesting field where if you just are bent upon creating efficiency, you will find thousand ways to create efficiency and and even see if I would never have thought of that. That is so so we talked a lot about messaging with clients and you know on the show, and you know, ever really kind of has a different perspective. You know, some folks are like you've got to have the Roy Story. So some other folks are like, you know, there's a there's a real problem and it's a little bit more of the altruistic, you know, goals of like patient care, and then you've got efficiencies and your experience is it. You know what's what's really important for the messaging strategy. Is it all of those? Is it one in particular? Yeah, so I think the reality is... systems are really stuffed of finances. Hmm, the margin has really degrees. Yeah, if you walk in and share your patient experience of suce clinical journey without tangible financial success story, it's tough to find someone who will just bet on that. Yeah, people want that, but they wouldn't be able to create resource for that. Well, Li really cannot go very far. So a lot of so we do is we bucked into clinical success and financial success in some pieces, operational success. And for us it's not either. Are Yeps where we can hit all the three bubbles up on the top of the bad hmm. Yeah, that makes sense. So you and I've already talked a little bit and the past about this notion of, you know, clinical evidence that the health innovators, you know, have to have in order to have any chance of commercialization, and I know you think you've done quite a bit of work in this space. So just kind of talk about what what that journey was like for you and in creating, you know, resources to kind of help innovators develop the evidence that they need right so I think one of the things it's time intensive, right, something you start up down as as a love yeah, but I think healthcare startups are and need to be different than you know, ntect or other startups. Right. We are touching human lives and they put can be potential unintended Joan see influences either by omission or by commission, right. So, so they needs to be additional later level of trust. So it's worthwhile to go through additional year or two to create the evidence. So, for example, the technology we spend off, the remote monitoring platform called health promise. It was and I had sponsored trial two years random as control trial. We showed the value in that and then it got spinned off. The same with the black form. We were able to show we were able to increase activation of the patients from six percent. If you just teleport and do download an APP, just in conversation like you and I, but if I'm a position I prescribe you and a that lands on your phone. We were able to increase activation to ninety two percent. The system usability of ninety four percent. Right. So that is huge. I mean that is just really huge because, you know, I forget what the last count is but it's, like you somewhere around fifty a hundredzero healthcare APPs on the market. In most of them are like crickets and COB webs. Right, there's nothing going on in there. And that doesn't mean that it wasn't a viable at all. So not only do you have to sell the innovation, but then once it's sold, you've kind of got to have the strategy for adoption. So so, yeah, it's just speak to that a little bit more. I think that's huge. Yeah, so we here to kind of a road block three years ago because a lot of the stuff we were doing war building apps, and that was fairly successful research setting and they were successful because the research coordinator was able to walk the patient, you know, kind of handhold the patient. But but if you really want a scalable transformation, you cannot have a research coordinator or any choice right. Trying that's not time efficient, right. So. So. So then we did a time emotionalysis and we saw patients, if we recommend them an APP in the routine conversation, like you and I, patients will forget the name, they will miss type the name. Even if they get the right name, they are more than three Fiftyzero APPS. So they forget the activation code in which is the right APP. So so so we knew they were actual customer friction factors for them to get onto that APP. And here we were building all these assets and APPS and APPS and but no one is using them because there was no platform to deliver it to the right patients. So that led to our one or two years after, just completely building a platform to deliver APPs to patients. Initially we started out deliving one hundred and two one like patient comes to us in a clinic, we prescribe an APP, they get on boarded. We found ninety two person engagement rate with very high usability. When we spend off to our extrat help. They built a platform for...

...bulk prescribing where they can prescribe two thousands of patients at once, and they did that for Yale New Heaven. But they were able to prescribe twenty fivezero people my chart APP and got, you know, ten to fifteen percent patients converted into my chart. When that led to what eight people would have taken a year to do, what able to do in two days using this stability. Now, using API and five is engine, we can actually out of prescribe APPs where if the patient new code of asthma gets dropped and is asthma APP, it automatically gets dropped described the patient without a human touch. So I think a lot of the journey has been making it so easy to reduce any burden on the physicians because, yes, I've already created upward. Our goal is a digital medicine, to create it in such a way that it is it is in a way invisible. The magic happens behind the scene. The patients get engaged, the patients come at the appointment, but physicians don't even have to click and anything and they get the benefit. I think we as a as a provider community, as a care community, deserves a technology which actually works for us. Then it's sure. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So you know how has farmer responded to this idea of prescribing APPs? So it has been actually a very we have a lot of collaborations with farm are now it's only hats on apple, but artics health also. They made announcement that they have a partnership now with five years with rows around IBD to create a national network of tenzero patients would be on the APP and they Dada will come back right when acting the IBD sectors and their Roche wants to take it to Europe and many of the countries as well. So I think Farma is looking for solutions to menially engage the patients. They're not very different than health systems. Even payers want to meaningfully engage with the patient. Sure, right, they all come with a slightly different perspective, but if you have a platform approach, it's the same thing which farmer wants to do, a certain set of things which help systems wants to do. Right, so you find common grounds and then and farmer can sometimes fund those endeavors which helps systems may not have bandwid to fun. Yep, absolutely. So. How does so is? You know, is it open source or open innovation, where, if you know, somebody has an app they you know for a patient, you know, how do they get access to the Rx platform so that way there for APP can be prescribed? Yeah, so I think it's a curation platform between our expert health. So first, anyone who's an appender, can you actually just say, Ay, we building this and there's a very simple online process on boarding process which it just have to show. Is it evidence based or not. Okay, right, and so so there's a curation process of many apps get blocked if they are not of high quality, they do not have the right clinical content or they do not have the right API for interfaces. Right, but if they're the right technology is whether it's a APP, whether it'll share decision making video, whether it's a wailable device or, you know, Internet of things, any of those things. As Swat is, it's validated and it's a it's a valued driven thing. It's an open API, which arects. He has hand that will open it so it can be prescribed. Okay, so it becomes a market place in that regard. Yeah, so you touched on, you know, this innovation that you were developing in two thousand and five, and now it's two thousand and nineteen. So you've kind of been at this for a while and if you think about, you know, where the industry was in two thousand and five and then where we are today. Man, we you know, I a lot of people you know there's still a lot of change that needs to take place, but in some regards we've come a long way. So what are the challenges that you think that health innovators are still facing today or that are facing... two thousand and nineteen. A lot of challenges, I think still. I think the biggest asset has been technology. Right. So what our programming team used to take nine months to build an APP, now we can build that biding a week. Right. It's just been amazing from a data science perspective. All the algorithms had to be written yourself when new room networks and now those are all packaged stuff and you can can just run those models. Right. So that efficiency has has been created. I think efficiency has not been created in adoption. It has systems, UH Huh. Right. So those process challenges, those people challenge, is actually remain on. In fact, they maybe worse now because there's so much technology now that we may be creating barriers of adoption, because which horse to bet on becomes a problem for the show systems as well, I think. Also, I think because technology has become I would say a little bit of commodity, it is easier to build things but it is tougher to distinguish and crease something novel. Hmm Right. So so people say hey, this is great, this is as cleating, but not many normal things come which are value even as well. So I think part of still the challenge to create novel things, not just what is the platforms which are built on top of that, but truly unique solutions and truly which can became changers, even if it's a narrowed, vertical Yep, absolutely. So what is you think is the biggest driver of success? What it is, you know, if you had one lesson that you've learned in this whole process, kind of speaking directly to our audience who are in the trenches right now, you know what? What are some lessons, or at least one thing that you would recommend to them? I think it's believing in yourself and your team and having resilience. It does come to core human principles. Right, the barriers would always be there. They've been there. Anything that man gun has done right, any scientist does anything for research. As for clinicians, right, for it's the same for innovators as well. But but truly, if you believe you want to create value, you right and then you believe the path is the right like you're on the right track. HMM. Just having resilience allows you to take all those barriers, all those challenges in a in a very neutral manner, because everything is positive. If you're in the right direction, the barriers will just change the speed of a faster to them. Hmmm. But the direction you decide right, and if the direction is right, then you're going to reach there where you want to do. And I did think that that's you know. So it's I think I've learned a lot. It's you know, as a physician, we do things we nearly always have success right. So I see patients, they get better. If they don't get better, we always know why they didn't get better. Right. In a startup or innovation is not like that. Right things are never done before, so we don't even know you on the right back or not. So, so you can't just based on external, external things always you're right or wrong, if you have to have internal parameter as well, and your team, you know, which which becomes your multiplier factor in that Adam. Hmm, yeah, absolutely. Well, this is, then, a very valuable conversation. I think you so much for the wisdom that you've shared with our audience. I know that they have learned a lot from you today. And so, as we wrap up here, what is the best way for people to get a hold of you if they have some questions for you and they want to just kind of follow what you're doing. You way sure. I think twitter is easy. At a TRACTA, ATR EJ is a very easy way to get hold of me. They can also get hold of me through APP lab. They up contact, so you just go do APP lovedot NYC. They'll be able to get a contact from...

...and get hold of me. Or laiden. I'm the one being a bow tie. They can find me and just connect with me. I love the branding of the bow tie. Brilliant. All right. Well, thank you so much, one of us. Thank you so much of pleasure. What's the difference between launching and commercializing a healthcare in avation? Many people will watch a new product, few will commercialize it. To learn the difference between watch and commercialization and to watch past episodes of the show, head to our video show page at Dr Roxycom. Thanks so much for watching and listening to the show. You can subscribe to the latest episodes on your favorite podcast APP like apple podcasts and spotify, or subscribe to the video episodes on our youtube channel. No matter the platform, just search coiq with Dr Roxy. Until next time, LET'S RAISE OUR COIQ.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (121)