Population health is a group effort

From the mHealthNews archive
By Bernie Monegain
11:59 pm

Why go it alone with population health, when partnerships can be more powerful?

That was one of the more intriguing discussions Monday at the mHealth Summit. And the session in question, "Partnerships for the Future of Population Health," highlighted three successful examples.

The moderator, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn of THINK-Health, began the session with advice of her own – an African proverb: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

And the panelists chose far over fast. It turns out that teamwork has its own special power.

Gavin Teo is an investor manager in Comcast Ventures' San Francisco office. Prior to joining Comcast, he worked in product management at Zynga, and now invests in consumer technology companies focused on the connected home and digital healthcare.

Why healthcare? First, Comcast is self-funded and self-insured, with a quarter of a million covered lives, Gavin noted. Comcast Internet and media services 8 million homes, and it provides 50 million people across the world with media content.

Comcast also invests in video game developer Accolade. 

Lona Vincent works for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, where she serves as senior associate director of research partnerships at the foundation. The foundation partners with Intel, which was represented on the panel by Matt Quinn, formerly with the FCC and now a managing director.

Vincent's advice regarding partnerships? "Find a partner that will put the patient first," she said. "We're analyzing what the people want. How do we get people to move on with their lives?

Also teaming up for the mHealth panel were Sarah Myers of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital's ImproveCareNow program and Dana Ball, executive director and co-founder of TID Exchange, a platform offering care coordination for people with Type 1 diabetes.

Myers described the population she works with in Cincinnati through a network of 71 clinical care networks, pediatric GI clinics and hospitals, treating patients with GI conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, colitis and Chrohn's disease.

"We really want to co-produce," she said. "We need partners to work with us."

All panelists supported the concept of forging partnerships to get more done.

"Find a paying customer as soon as possible," Ball said. "Understand what everyone wants to get out of the partnership."

Vincent said it was a "no brainer" to work with Intel. They have the engineering expertise. They can do big data analytics.

"And as a technology company," Quinn added, "we view this as both something that is exciting in its content and effort, but also … this is really speaking about a new paradigm of measuring people's use, but also measuring their life. Going from the paradigm of every now and again when you happen to go to the doctor's office, or you happen to take a measurement and put it in a personal health record or something like that."

"The opportunity in partnering with somebody who has such a deep and rich understanding of Parkinson's disease, but also a position of trust and contact with population of folks with this condition, is that it really allows us to test out what we think is going to be a new paradigm of care," he added.

Dana Ball spoke of the need to connect with other innovators. It's important to attend conferences and keep up to date withwhat is happening in the industry and collaborate with other people.

"You can't stay in your garage," he said. "That's a really important lesson. I think the takeaway is you have to get outside of your garage. Collaborate with other people that have started. Collaborate with other people that have proven track records."