In this week’s spotlight video learn what drew Alan Berson to SP Consulting, his unique perspective on leadership skills and success, and how he enjoys spending his free time.
Read his bio here.
Donna Cryer, JD is the President and CEO of the Global Liver Institute – and also a special friend to SP Consulting. In addition to SP’s close ties with Donna, her husband, Dennis Cryer, MD, FAHA, is an SP Consulting Senior Partner and a critical member of the firm’s healthcare practice area. This week on SP Strategic Insights we are proud to share The Global Liver Institute’s inaugural blog, “Liver Matters.”
What comes to mind when you hear the word liver? Onions? Or a miraculous and essential organ that performs more than 500 functions? If a celebrity like David Bowie is reported to die from liver cancer, what would you think? Sex, drugs, and rock & roll? Or that actually, it’s the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths globally, and something that could happen to you, your neighbor, or anyone you know?
1. How did you connect with SP Consulting?
biotricity is a technology company committed to improving healthcare by developing solutions that aid chronic disease treatment and prevention. SP Consulting has been working closely with biotricity to assist the start-up as it prepares to launch its initial two heart monitoring solutions in 2016.
With dual headquarters in the Silicon Valley and in Toronto, biotricity recently debuted at the Start-Up Showcase at the HIMSS Connected Health mHealth Summit held in Washington, DC. biotricity President and CEO Waqaas Al-Siddiq was on-hand to engage with attendees and discuss challenges facing our healthcare infrastructure and biotricity’s vision to solve those challenges.
“There is a gaping hole in the healthcare IT marketplace where most solutions are not medically relevant,” said Al-Siddiq. “Technology needs to be utilized to create innovative solutions that drive individuals to self manage their chronic conditions and avoid, or at least reduce, the impact of such illnesses in the first place.”
biotricity’s goal is to evolve the healthcare industry to help physicians better monitor their patients and also empower individuals to manage their risk of cardiac issues and heart disease to live a better life, stay active and enjoy every day to the fullest.
I connected with SP through a former FleishmanHillard colleague who mentioned Steven Smith was doing something ‘interesting’ with a network of consultants. I talked with Steven and was thrilled to find an opportunity to work with a network of amazing talent focused on doing great work outside of a traditional agency model.
The technology industry was turned on its head by a handful of famously disruptive companies—the Microsofts, the Googles, and the Facebooks of the world. In contrast, much of the healthcare industry has resisted technological change – including some potentially life-saving advances.
Now, that resistance to change is declining as a growing number of disruptive healthcare companies are challenging the status quo, transforming the way we think, act and process the daily elements of our personal well-being. These pioneers are breaking the mold, recalibrating the marketplace and readjusting who dominates the industry and how the money flows.
When Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford in 2003 to start Theranos, a healthcare diagnostic company, few imagined she would revolutionize the laboratory testing market.
Today, Theranos’ breakthrough advancements have made it possible to quickly process the full range of laboratory tests from a few drops of blood — instead of numerous vials full — and at unprecedented low costs.
Some industry competitors are pushing back by publicly arguing that tests based on blood squeezed from a finger prick contain impurities that render results less reliable than those based on a vial of blood from a needless stick in the crook of the arm.
The FDA disagrees. In July, Theronas received its second FDA approval, freeing it to complete blood tests outside the lab, and more approvals are expected. This now opens the way for Theronas to expand and diversify its business model.
Another healthcare trail blazer is Jonathan Bush, CEO of athenahealth, a leading cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) company based in Boston. Known for his quick-wit and frankness, Bush is a catalyst in a growing movement to take patient data to the Internet — where every other major industry went a decade ago. This transformation to the cloud ensures EHRs can be easily and openly shared across the entire healthcare continuum — anywhere, anytime and on any device.
While most industries easily share big, complicated, digital files, the healthcare industry still depends on clipboards and fax machines. American taxpayers have funded the installation of electronic records systems in hospitals and doctors’ offices — to the tune of $30 billion since 2009. These systems are supposed to make healthcare better and more efficient, but many of these systems still have trouble communicating and sharing information.
Bush blames much of the health record disconnect on federal financing. “I called it the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ bill,” he recently told NPR. “It gave $30 billion to buy the very pre-internet systems that all of the doctors and hospitals had already looked at and rejected. Those systems got put on life support by this bill that paid them billions of dollars, and didn’t get you any coordination of information!”
Patients and policy-makers alike are now pushing back against business practices that obstruct the flow of health IT interoperability. Senate hearings are underway to root out information blocking. Patients are standing up, demanding access to their data. And the little guys, like Theronas and athenahealth, are proving that patient-centered, value-based case is the true compass for improving health outcomes and cutting runaway costs.
As more companies break through traditional barriers to promote change, new segments of market growth will continue to be triggered. That is especially meaningful to Baby Boomers like myself, who straddle the pre-and post-information age. This transformative time gives us more appreciation for how far we’ve come, and what’s possible.
Despite huge advances in the way we treat, diagnose and even cure disease, traditional companies still find ways — politically or otherwise — to obstruct progress. The idea that a company would block the path to more effective ways to provide healthcare is reprehensible.
The energy driving disruptive healthcare needs to be embraced, nurtured and promoted. Think twice the next time a blood test turns your arm black and blue because the technician missed the vein; think about companies like Theranos and athenahealth, disrupters that will shape our future in healthcare.