By Serafin (Fin) Samson, Baker Tilly
The MedCity News INVEST Twin Cities digital health conference brought together industry leaders, entrepreneurs and investors who are cultivating and shaping the digital health landscape. As a first-time attendee, I walked away with several key takeaways from the conference.
There is a great range of talented minds that are creating and commercializing digital health solutions to solve some of healthcare’s biggest issues, including needs to improve clinical outcomes, reduce cost of care, increase access to care and improve patient experience. For the entrepreneurs, the Pitch Perfect rounds provided investor insight on key fundamentals to consider when formulating their digital health business models, including:
- Fit within the clinical work flow and care system
- Integration with the provider health IT infrastructure to capture and share data
- Differentiation from competitive solutions and existing provider capabilities
- Payment mechanisms to support the revenue model
Representing the large industry side, Comcast Digital Health provided another example of a relatively new healthcare entrant that is leveraging and repurposing core assets to create new healthcare solutions. In this case, Comcast is leveraging its installed network to enable new care delivery models outside the traditional care setting and to provide people (aka patient consumers) with greater healthcare market transparency, allowing for more informed health decisions.
Given the broad reach that large industry players have within U.S. households and their own core competencies (e.g., production capabilities that can scale quickly to generate a large library of health content), entrepreneurs will need to consider industry partnerships earlier in their strategic planning process.
The importance of early strategic partnerships was also stressed during the Commercializing Novel Digital Health Tech panel discussion. Partnering with providers, for example, to pilot new digital health solutions can be of value to a start-up in demonstrating clinical utility, inserting novel solutions within the system of care and proving out payment models.
Additional important takeaways include:
- The need for EHRs to play a better role in influencing the progress of digital health innovation
- The need for more innovation to address the underserved Medicaid population
- Continued optimism around artificial/augmented Intelligence and the potential for AI to optimize the value of data
Similar to many industries, diversity is a topic that requires greater awareness, discussion and action within healthcare. This was also an emotional topic during the Achieving Diversity in Healthcare panel discussion. The viewpoints vary on the best path forward, but as the panel demonstrated, it starts with the ability to open up discussions around diversity. The panel noted that diversity is not just about gender and race, but also about diversity in thought.
It is cognitive diversity that brings together a great range of talented minds and will make our Twin Cities community better equipped to advance innovation in healthcare.
About Baker Tilly
Accounting and advisory firm Baker Tilly serves life sciences organizations ranging from start-ups to multi-billion dollar companies. Our specialists understand a company’s business, financial and operational needs in all phases of the life cycle – from launch through maturity – and help companies address each phase’s unique needs and requirements. Headquartered in Chicago, Baker Tilly is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 147 territories, with 33,600 professionals. The combined worldwide revenue of independent member firms is $3.4 billion.