An App Could Be Just What the Doctor Ordered

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BOSTON — Harry Glorikian is focusing on the impact of technology on medicine and hoping to encourage closer ties between the two, thus resulting in better health care at a lower price point.

Glorikian is making his argument for this increased use of technology in medical care in his latest book, MoneyBall Medicine: Thriving in the New Data-Driven Healthcare Market.

The hardcover edition of the book was published in November and its initial runs sold out promptly on Amazon. Now, an electronic edition has been released as well.

The book, co-written by science writer Malorye Allison Branca, has found plenty of attention in the medical world.

For Moneyball, Glorikian interviewed dozens of healthcare providers, top healthcare executives, and entrepreneurs from organizations including many at Lahey Clinic, Collaborative Trajectory Analysis Project (cTAP) and Flatiron Health.

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As he writes in the introduction, “A revolution is transforming the $10 trillion healthcare landscape, promising greater transparency, improved efficiency, and new ways of delivering care. This new landscape presents tremendous opportunity for those who are ready to embrace the data-driven reality. Having the right data and knowing how to use it will be the key to success in the healthcare market in the future. We are already starting to see the impacts in drug development, precision medicine, and how patients with rare diseases are diagnosed and treated. Startups are launched every week to fill an unmet need and address the current problems in the healthcare system. Digital devices and artificial intelligence are helping doctors do their jobs faster and with more accuracy.”

“Data is really able to change medicine,” Glorikian said in a recent interview, “and not just in one area.”

It can lead to “staffing hospitals more efficiently.”

One area he researched was doctor burnout. He said analyzing when patients typically come in can help staffing, as statistics show that there are specific times when a crush of patients come.

Next, once the patient is at the hospital, “What is the optimal way to treat a patient?”

One of the hospitals he cites as an example for optimizing health care is Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania. “They use data to measure different things to lead to a healthier patient. If one optimizes the process with data, you should have healthier and happier patient” while reducing costs. As an example they offer a money-back guarantee on surgeries they perform.

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As a result, “They [patients] are healthier so they don’t come back.”

According to Glorikian, the hospital did it by standardizing. They strengthened their odds by overriding their surgeons’ individual operating styles with proven best-care guidelines that everyone, every time, has to follow. Even when a surgeon wants to something different – they have to justify their reason for doing so, selected from a previously agreed-upon list of acceptable justifications.

Another chapter takes on the treatment of cancerous tumors. “There is technology that allows us to investigate the genetic sequence” of the tumor, he said. That way, it won’t be a one-size-fits-all solution but a specific type of treatment that works best depending on a person’s genetic makeup.

“It is being developed really fast, faster than most people appreciate,” Glorikian said.

Digital health is another area where the technology is driving healthcare innovation and starting to affect patient lives.

“The FDA [Food and Drug Administration] approved a watchband for EKG, for example he said. “AliveCor’s KardiaBand, a device that detects dangerous heart rhythms, has become the first Apple Watch accessory cleared for medical use by the FDA. It can capture an EKG reading in 30 seconds, then detect problems like atrial fibrillation, a type of heart arrhythmia. In addition, the company launched a new version of the band in the US with a feature called SmartRhythm. That uses Apple’s built-in heart rate sensor and AI algorithms to warn if the heart rate is elevated.

The new technology could not have been envisioned even as recently as two or three years ago. “Not only how you can monitor a patient but change the business model used by healthcare,” Glorikian said.

“The biggest driver is if we move to value-based payment system, which would make change happen faster,” he explained. Currently, he explains, hospitals and medical care providers charge fees for services rendered. “Right now, the fee for service system gets paid for doing things right or wrong, whether the patient gets better or not” he said. Instead, he suggests incentivizing better care: paying doctors and hospitals for the treatments and procedures that lead to the best patient outcomes at the best possible price.

“It takes only a few to skew the system. If I say I only pay you for work that comes above a level or for patients that are healthier,” then the system will change.

He cited the car market as an example of an industry that reacted to improvements at a better cost, in which Japanese cars took over the world market by delivering a higher quality and dependable car for the value.

Thus, with better patient care, the cost of insurance could also be lowered.

“We are trying to change a system that has been done this way for a long time. We are going to see what works and what doesn’t,” he said.

As he says, the system cannot change itself quickly, organically. Who or what can instigate that change?

“Until the value-based system is based on performance and outcome, I’m afraid most of that has to be driven by government,” he said.

He stressed, “Insurance is the underlying problem,” since “there is a lack of measurement for outcome. People pick on drugs for being super expensive. Those might be worth paying for, if they cure a rare disease or substantially lengthen a cancer patient’s remission.”

As he explains, much of the technology “allowing for higher-quality capability is not a major area. It is already in place.”

Recently, he said, the FDA approved a new cancer test that is going to change the way oncology treats cancer.

“There are limitations in the system,” he said. “But in the next decade or two, if we continue to go forward, there will have to be a value-based system.”

Again, with an eye on the bottom line which can also provide the best possible medical outcome, Glorikian questioned doctors using three or four medical devices for one procedure. “What if we just had one?” He suggested a study could be done to find out which device is the best for treating a certain condition.

“Quite a few [in the field] say this is the way to go,” he noted. There might be disagreements and the need further study to satisfy the concerns of those who might worry that patients might get shortchanged.

One new development, Glorikian said, is the launch of a medical school by Kaiser Permanente, the insurance giant, which is scheduled to open in 2019.

The Kaiser system works because they both provide care and offer health insurance plans. Glorikian says that that model allows them to analyze health data from millions of patients and members in their health plan to strategize where health resources should be allocated, and which patients are at high risk for a disease and could benefit from an intervention.. “They heather you are, the happier they are because they make money,” he said. It’s a win-win situation where both patients’ health and wellness and the health system’s bottom line are improved.

They will lead medicine in a new direction and train doctors in a new way.”

Harry Glorikian is an influential global business expert with more than three decades of experience building successful ventures in North America, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. He is a sought-after speaker, frequently quoted in the media, and regularly asked to assess, influence, and be part of innovative concepts and trends. He holds four US patents in telecommunications, and has others pending.

He currently serves as General Partner at New Ventures Funds. Before joining New Ventures Funds, he served as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence to GE Ventures – New Business Creation Group. He currently serves on the board of GeneNews Ltd. (a molecular diagnostic company). He also serves on the advisory board of Evidation Health (a digital health startup launched with support from GE Ventures), and several other companies. He is also a co-founder and an advisory board member of DrawBridge Health (a revolutionary diagnostics startup launched with support from GE Ventures).

Previously he co-founded and held the position of managing director and head of consulting services for Scientia Advisors, a company that became the go-to provider of strategic advice and implementation services for next-generation healthcare and life science innovators and Global 25 market leaders.

Glorikian holds an MBA from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University.

He has written numerous articles for industry publications, appeared on “CBS Evening News” and been quoted regularly by Dow Jones, the Boston Globe, BioWorld Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Independent, Science Magazine and many other media outlets.

His previous book was Commercializing Novel IVD’s; A Comprehensive Manual for Success.

To purchase a copy of the book on Amazon, visit https://www.amazon.com/MoneyBall-Medicine-Thriving-Data-Driven-Healthcare-ebook/dp/B077MKRN1X

 

 

 

 

 

 

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