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Working with United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana and Walgreens

Posted on May 31, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today I had a unique experience attending the Life At 50+ event that AARP puts on. It turns out that life at 50+ revolves around healthcare and wellness in many ways. Plus, they put together the AARP Live Pitch event for healthcare companies to pitch their companies to a board of judges and then to the AARP members. The later was quite interesting to watch and who doesn’t love hearing from real customers.

After lunch, they also had a panel with executives from United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana and Walgreens to talk about what they look for when it comes to working with healthcare startup companies. There were some predictable things like “we focus on the team” and also some off the cuff remarks like the tweet embedded above about “stuff that actually works.”

One thing was clear that these companies were all in an evolution from their core business to something else. As one panel member said they were moving from a claims processing company to a wellness company. Another panel member said they didn’t see themselves as providing healthcare as much as enabling healthcare.

I was most interested to hear these executives talk about what they looked for in a company. The general consensus seemed to be that they wanted companies that understood their gaps and could fill their gaps. Although, when they were asked to talk about their gaps, the executives seemed to have a hard time describing their gaps. I think this is the core challenge. If they really knew their gaps, they’d be filling it themselves.

With that said, I did pull out a couple areas that seemed of great interest to the panel. Those two areas were medication compliance and getting patients to the right doctor. If you can help with either of those things, then your company would likely be of interest to these companies. Although, as the tweet at the top says, you better make sure it works before you think they’re going to work with you.

I also found it ironic that some on the panel wanted an end to end solution while another described them as looking for point solutions. At the end of the day, I don’t think they’d mind either solution if that solution provided value and had seen some traction. For example, one panelist talked about coordinated care, but they also said they wanted to see proof of the coordinated care in action and implemented in a hospital system.

I guess none of these things are too surprising. Find something where you have traction and provide value and you’ll have lots of opportunities.

Goggles Suggested for Stroke Monitoring

Posted on I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Now that we’ve talked about Google Glasses, I have found another interesting idea involving goggles. Anyone who is at risk for having a stroke, or knows someone that is, may want to listen up.

Did you know that many strokes go unnoticed? While yes, many times a stroke can be very severe, and even cause death, they aren’t always diagnosed as so. I’ve heard one too many times about someone who has been struggling from different health problems, specifically with their memory, only to find out they had suffered several mini strokes.

Not immediately diagnosing these strokes aren’t always the doctor’s fault – they can be difficult to diagnose. According to the Techpage article, between 50 and 70 thousand stroke victims are being diagnosed (and treated) for ear problems instead.

One of the ways to diagnose a stroke is through eye-movement tests. This can help to separate those who are experiencing ear problems or vertigo from those actually suffering a stroke. These tests can be better for identifying a stroke than doing an immediate MRI, however, they can be difficult to administer. That’s where the goggles suggested by a team at Johns Hopkins could prevent the misdiagnosis of nearly 10,000 strokes a year.

David Newman-Toker, professor of neurology at John Hopkins, has been heading up the group discussing these goggles. They would be “equipped with a high-speed webcam to record eye movements and an accelerometer to track movements.”

Although I don’t think these goggles have been created yet, it looks like it is definitely well on its way to production. Perhaps the creators of Google Glasses could work with Johns Hopkins, and create a superior product that could be used for this purpose – and maybe for other health related purposes. My paternal grandmother died from complications from a stroke, and my maternal grandmother suffered many mini-strokes that went undiagnosed for awhile, which have contributed to her dementia. Strokes are definitely serious, no matter how big or small they are, and these glasses could potentially save the lives (or the quality of life) of so many.)