What Do Blockchain, Star Wars, And A 1,200 Person Fitness Class Have In Common?
BY GRACE MOEN FOR HEALTH 2.0
They all happened at Health 2.0! Read on for a play-by-play from Day One of the show....
Indu and Matthew kicked off the 12th Annual Fall Conference in style. Against a sweeping jewel-toned stage and a standing-room-only crowd, they welcomed the audience to another year of honest conversation, thoughtful market evaluation, charm, and a ton of live technology demonstrations.
Each year Health 2.0 is a new event - both responding to and influencing the future of the market - and has come a long way since it hosted 150 people back at the inaugural 2006 show. Way back then we reported on an ecosystem founded firmly on care delivery systems, which served as the base for which services and technology were then built upon. Think of it as a pyramid.
Today though, after diligent tracking of an excitable market, Indu and Matthew proposed that the model has fully flipped - such that technology platforms are the now the unshakable groundwork that support services and care delivery are built upon. Real world examples of this include Amazon’s acquisition of PillPack and Apple’s foray into health records (we’re looking at you, Medisafe. Congrats!). “The folks who figure health care out are going to be the folks who integrate this all together. It’s what the next 10 years will look like” says Matthew, “but the big question is, who’s going to win?”
The Frontier for Consumer Tech: Digital Therapeutics and Beyond
We didn’t waste any time getting into consumer tech. Once a flashy novelty is now a major driver that inspires large scale decision making. Tech-enabled services and care delivery have never been more embraced by consumers than they are today. Walmart has noticed and through their new partnership with Kyra Bobinet’s EngagedIN behavior change app focused on nutrition, are leading a whole new population into healthier behaviors by meeting them where they already are: shopping at Walmart. As for the future of the product Kyra said “we nailed v1 on the science, so next is a deep dive on compassion design. We want to de-shame it.”
In other collaboration news, Gyre Renwick, VP at Lyft, made his debut on the Health 2.0 stage to discuss how new means of transportation, specifically with Medicare patients, is relieving the downstream economic and health care burden from patients missing their appointments. One in four people of lower income miss their medical appointments, resulting in a staggering $150 billion in lost costs. When patients can take Lyft, wait times are reduced from an hour (with traditional, 3rd party, van transport) to a mere 10 minutes.
And what’s consumer tech without a fitness product? Aaptiv, widely referred to as the Netflix-for-fitness, joined us. With a recent $22 million and the addition of audio-based workouts, Ethan Agarwal, CEO of Aaptiv, said that they’ve been most impressed by a customer group they never expected: the blind community. He then led all 1,200 of us in a quickie fitness class prompting us to breathe and stretch as one.
Back on the clinical side of things, Livongo made an appearance today after originally launching with us back in 2014. Amar Kendale, Chief Product Officer, showed off what they’ve built with their latest round of funding (which totals $150 million so far). They’ve added hypertension management and seen great outcomes. In other throwback news, Heal joined us too. This service brings a doctor into your home. But not via your computer screen or your iPhone, but into your actual living room and say hi to your dog. Since Nick Desai first demoed with us in 2016, Heal has grown from 200 house calls to 70,000 in just three years. The secret to their growth? They don’t charge more to patients or pay less to providers, they focused on a core solution: reducing what is actually expensive about care delivery: the inefficiencies associated with a brick and mortar business.
It wouldn’t be Health 2.0 without a robot or two. This year Dr. Albert Chi, Trauma Surgeon at Oregon Health and Sciences University introduced us to Johnny Matheny aka the most technologically advanced man in the world. Together they make up a team who is giving mobility back to those who've lost it, especially Wounded Warriors. In order to do this, Dr. Chi performs advanced surgeries to reroute existing nerve endings into residual muscle. Johnny often refers to Dr. Chi as his “surgical electrician.” With renewed range of motion, Johnny is using his robotic arm to cook, to play the piano (!), and to fist bump Indu on stage. “Johnny continues to push us and to push the envelope” says Dr. Chi. Ricardo Prada, Principal UX Researcher at Google chimed in too: “for this technology to grow, it requires people who are willing to be pioneers.”
Your Health, Your Health Care: the Social Impacts of Shifting Policy
One of Matthew’s favorite session over the years is anything and everything Care Delivery. Today he packed the stage with folks who represent the full spectrum of it, from (affectionately referred to as) the “dinosaur on stage,” to nimble, young disruptors, as well as policy leadership.
Overall the discussion focused on geographical and financial barriers that block care and how a collective effort of technology, policy, and people - who have a lot of heart and conviction - are going to break them down. As Lisa Simpson, CEO at Academy Health put it, “we need the status quo to become more painful.” Parsley Health is one such model we can look to. They are already alleviating this pain for patients in NY, LA, and SF through a model of providing increased facetime with your doctor, advanced testing, and a holistic approach. “I don’t care how good your primary care experience is, nobody wants to go see their primary care doctor.” said Marcus Osborne, VP of Health and Wellness Transformation at Walmart and a mainstay on our mainstage over the years.
Brian Yarnell, President at Bluestream Health, has a few ideas on that. Bluestream is a network of always-on experts that connects patients to medical experts, and is white labeled for use by folks like MedStar and others he can’t disclose. “It’s not a terribly exciting demo and that’s the point,” he says, “you don't want to spend time brokering these connections during a mission critical scenario.” As for how these technologies get folded into a hospital system, “it’s not simple and it’s not immediate,” said Stephen Lockhart, CMO Sutter Health, on how Sutter is scaling access to technology (like Augmedix) for use with it’s 3.5 million patients. Their approach isn’t to push anyone or any one system, but rather present technologies that encourage adoption and pull them in.
As Tim Berry, CEO of VillageMD, reminded us, “the experience of the patient is not just what happens in the clinic.” Enter Medically Home. Matthew is known to volunteer himself for a little conference theater time and again, and so he played the role of an old man with an outrageous mustache in the Medically Home demo (not pictured, so lucky you if you were there IRL). The suite of Medically Home-approved products get hardwired into your home, paired with both telemedicine doctors and doctors who make house calls, and even social support like meal delivery. We could call it a hospital in the home, but it really goes way beyond that and it’s working. Medically Home is just one-third to one-half the cost of traditional hospitalization.
Always a hoot of a session, Launch! hosts 10 fresh from-the-cutting-room companies, who are sometimes even putting the final flourishes on their product demo backstage (much to the excitment of our producers). Every year is a grab-bag of tech, each uniquely addressing a c(l)og in the care continuum. This year we saw a handful of administration tools that eased workflow processes for a new wave of Health 2.0 professionals such as tele-doctors (Beam), health coaches (YourCoach), ER staff (Hand Off Pro), hospital finance officers (Tag.bio), and caregivers (Tomeah Health). On the patient-facing side, we saw an app to help manage MS (BeCareLink), personalized health scoring tools (WIKAYA), and peer support groups (Supportiv). Award for most clairvoyant demo on stage goes to HealthyCapital which, according to a plethora of data points about lifestyle, can predict how long you’ll live.
In the end though our Launch! 2018 winner was the young guy whose product hits market hot buttons like bitcoin and genomics, paired with an emphasis on addressing modern anxieties related to privacy, control, and data access. Nebula Genomics is a marketplace and data repository for genomic data where users can be compensated for their genomic data donation. It features a Cryptographic Wallet where nobody will be able to access your data without your permission, not even Nebula Genomics. Come back next year to see Kamal Obbad back onstage and follow their growth!
Around the World Reception
A first at Health 2.0, we celebrated our global community of Chapters in an Around the World reception. Serving tacos and sushi, hummus and charcuterie, appearances were made by some of our most active chapter leaders - Malta, Tokyo, Birmingham, Cairo, and Melbourne!
We hope you loved Day One of the Fall Conference as much as we did! It is a joy to bring you this event every year and we hope you’ll stay in touch.