Brokering Healthcare Innovation: Challenges and Successes S14 Ep34

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If you’ve had an emergency that landed you in the ER, you know the drill.  The initial ER experience is a waiting room and a pile of paperwork. You’re not only dealing with the physical crisis.  You’re filling out forms, finding an ID, and making a payment. Our guest today is working to change that experience and improve many others.  Kym McNicholas interviews Nico Arcino.  Nico is Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente.  He shares the challenges and successes of brokering healthcare innovation.

healthcare innovation

The Challenges

Brokering innovation in a large healthcare company has its challenges.  One key issue in healthcare innovation is privacy and security. Many innovations fail because they cannot ensure privacy and security of data.  Companies developing healthcare innovation must be attuned to this.  

Another challenge is the patient’s ability to use the innovation.  Take, for instance, remote patient monitoring. Don’t assume the end user has what’s needed to support the innovation (i.e. internet, tech savvy).  That’s why design is critical in healthcare innovation. It’s not enough to offer a great technology to solve a problem.  Innovators must consider the workflow and all those that interface with it.

Finding the Right Partner

Solving complex issues takes engaging with a number of people.  But, Nico is selective in developing partnerships. To assess a potential partner, he asks the hard questions.   

For example:

  • Are you in our line of sight?  
    • Is your product to the point?  
    • Does your product have definitive value for us?
    • Will it make healthcare better for our members?
  • Have you done the design thinking?
    • Have you considered workflow?
    • Have you factored in regulation requirements?
  • Can you scale for a large sized company?
    • Can your company survive the long wait between proposal and adoption?
    • Can your company withstand pressure to customize on demand?
  • Is there value alignment?
    • Do your company’s values align with our values?

Healthcare Innovation Making a Difference

Kaiser’s cardiac rehab program was paper and phone based.  Kaiser partnered with a company to develop a better program.  The partners digitized the program, making access easier. The program can be tailored to the patient.  The care is more targeted.  The measure of success is lives saved.  The completion rate went for 50% to 85%.  

What’s to Come

What are the technologies on the horizon that Nico and his team are researching?  Focus areas are digital health, AI and machine learning, IOT and blockchain.  He sees potential for reducing costs and loss through technologies that address chain of custody.  This could have impact on labs, pharmacies, and compliance.

For more on what Nico is doing in healthcare innovation, follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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