Sean Cassidy is an experienced health IT leader with a passion for incubating and growing enterprise software businesses as an operator, strategic advisor, and board member. For more than 20 years, Sean has tackled complex challenges across the healthcare continuum. When Mayo Clinic asked Sean to partner with them to start a company focused on helping AI fulfill its promise to revolutionize care delivery, saying “yes” was one of the easiest decisions he ever made.
Prior to founding Lucem Health, Sean led Corepoint Health’s management team through a merger with Rhapody Health as the CEO. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of TrueLearn, a healthcare focused ed tech company based in the Charlotte, NC, area.
Give us Lucem Health’s elevator pitch.
Clinical AI will transform healthcare over the next 20 years. It will help clinicians diagnose diseases earlier, manage chronic conditions more effectively, and improve personalized care delivery. However, algorithms are not solutions and math is not better care. For AL/ML models to be effective, they must be integrated into clinical workflows, operationalized at scale, and crucially, must be trusted and adopted by clinical users.
Lucem Health helps clinical AI innovation see the light of day. Our platform solves the whole problem of deploying, adopting, and continuously improving clinical AI solutions so those solutions enable world class care, everywhere. We make it possible for data science, digital health, and clinical visionaries to bring real transformation to the point of care.
What is one thing the Medical Alley community might be unaware of about Lucem Health that you think would be good to know?
We recently announced our Innovation Collaborative, a partner program designed to help accelerate delivery of clinical AI based innovation to the front lines of healthcare. More than 20 model development and digital health companies have already joined the Collaborative, and more are joining each month. If any Medical Alley members are interested in learning more about the program, please contact us.
How have the last few years changed Lucem Health for the long term?
Well, we just started the company in March of 2021, but, since then, we have built an incredible team with many decades of technology innovation and digital health experience. When you are a startup, success is never guaranteed, but we truly believe that every team member who joins the company makes a material impact on our ability to be successful in the long term.
And certainly, the past few years have revealed that we cannot deliver world class care to everyone by using yesterday’s paradigms and technology. We need innovation – and we need to engage deeply with clinicians to learn how to deploy new tools effectively.
What are the big milestones to come in the next few years for Lucem Health?
Because we are very early in our journey, our goals for the business are probably not surprising. In the coming months, we will bring our first production customers onto the Lucem Health Platform. This means one important provider will run 5,000 patient CTs each month through a sophisticated, cloud-based AI solution that predicts lung cancer without the need for expensive and risky biopsies. Today, a provider can only run a fraction of that volume.
Another example: we will deploy several early disease detection solutions – so that patients with undiagnosed conditions get care before their conditions become expensive or life threatening. We have a bold vision for our platform, and we will be working hard over the coming years to fulfill that vision.
What does leadership look like to you?
Our leadership philosophy is simple: our role as leaders is to move obstacles out of the way so our team members can do interesting, impactful work that brings them a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. In other words, we are here to support and help our teams. It’s never the other way around.
What is the best advice you have received in your career? What is the worst?
Hmmm… best advice… my friend Roger Harris who, sadly, passed away in early 2020, drilled into me how important it is to approach professional relationships with empathy and humility. He would often remind me that each of us comes to a conversation, a debate, an argument with a set of biases, opinions, prior experiences, etc., that are unique and often hard wired. It’s important, he would tell me, to value understanding over convincing and compassion over judgment.
Worst advice…that all that matters in a sale is winning the deal at all costs. I’ve worked for several leaders for whom that was their mantra. Fortunately, I learned over time that, if either party to a transaction doesn’t genuinely feel good about not just the deal but also the process of getting to the deal, then the odds of being able to maintain a productive, long term business relationship are low.
What have been the most rewarding moments in your career?
I’ve been fortunate to have hired and worked with some incredible people over the years. And many of them have achieved a great deal of professional success. I take no credit for that success, but it’s rewarding to see it happen.
What is one personal goal for the upcoming year?
I’ve been working on this one for a while and need to keep working on it: to be as present as possible when interacting with other people, whether that’s with my colleagues, my family, my friends, or even strangers on the street. I want to be more present and less distracted.
How do you relax / decompress?
Spending time with family and friends is (usually) relaxing, but when I really need to blow off steam, I go for a hard, long run or bike ride. It’s pure suffering in the moment, but it feels great afterward!
What do you enjoy most about the Medical Alley community?
I haven’t had a chance to connect with other Medical Alley members so far, but I’m looking forward to future conversations and, hopefully, face to face interactions. We are excited about the networking and collaboration opportunities that Medical Alley supports and facilitates.