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Three Months in a Healthcare Accelerator

01936081830eb609b634e8b14a2a654e?s=47 Tom Black
May 17, 2012

Three Months in a Healthcare Accelerator

This is from a talk I gave at the Madison Health Tech Meetup on 5/17/12 about my experiences in the healthcare startup accelerator Blueprint Health and my top take aways from the mentors.


Tom Black

May 17, 2012


  1. Three Months in a Healthcare Accelerator Tom Black / @blacktm

    about.me/tomblack Madison Health Tech Meetup May 17, 2012 / Madison, WI
  2. The Blueprint Health loft in NYC.

  3. In January 2012, I joined Blueprint Health’s inaugural class as

    a “floating founder,” which is like a tech founder in residence. (TechStars calls them “HackStars”) Check them out: www.blueprinthealth.org
  4. As a coder (and part designer), I built lots of

    things for the teams during the program: web sites, apps, graphics, etc. I also learned a lot about healthcare from the many mentors that came in to talk with us.
  5. Here are some of the most memorable take aways during

    our discussions with leading healthcare innovators.
  6. “You’re solving meaningful problems. Don’t forget that.” Micah Rosenbloom CEO,

    Sample6 Technologies Founder & Partner, Founder Collective
  7. “Healthcare in the U.S. is unsustainable.” Jonathan Gordon Director of

    Strategy NY Presbyterian Hospital
  8. Reform = Access, Quality, Cost Enhance collaboration Invest in IT,

    access to data Standardize processes Jonathan Gordon, Director of Strategy, NY Presbyterian Hospital
  9. “Bring a solution, not a technology” Jason Gorevic CEO, Teladoc

    or service
  10. “The market isn’t waiting for reform.” Peter M. Hotz Group

    VP & President Take Care Health Systems Walgreens
  11. Worries About: Scaling EMRs Backend analytics Not enough PAs or

    NPs Clinicians needing technology support Peter M. Hotz, Group VP & President, Take Care Health Systems, Walgreens
  12. On Selling: Know the buying process Don’t force, must be

    a good fit Manage client expectations Don’t delay bad news Focus on the client’s goals Be face-to-face when you can Scale to the entire organization Peter M. Hotz, Group VP & President, Take Care Health Systems, Walgreens
  13. “Be disruptive on the service side. Shift risk to the

    patient and provider. Change the cost curve.” Aran Ron Partner, Bessemer Ventures
  14. “It’s never been a better time for... whatever this space

    is called.” Tom Rodgers Partner, ATV
  15. Tom Rodgers, Partner, ATV The golden age for HIT, many

    tailwinds Generational shifts in health professionals An industry invested in workarounds No continuity of care, broken hand-offs No shortage of entrepreneurs to fund “Not so much about the business model, but who will pay and why?” “Who loses, and do they have political capital? They can slow you down.”
  16. What’s hot? Delivery models (communication platforms/tools) Moving data Helping docs

    get paid, grow revenue Tom Rodgers, Partner, ATV
  17. “Healthcare defies logic.” Amir Kishon CEO, Wellness Layers

  18. “The holy grail: medication adherence.” Todd Pietri Partner, Milestone Ventures

  19. What’s hot? Clinical decision support Analytics Continuity of care, workflow

    Cost transparency Todd Pietri, Partner, Milestone Ventures
  20. “Outcomes depend on the journey.” “Be religious about automation.” John

    de Souza Founder, MedHelp
  21. “There are big egos in healthcare. Play on them.” Michelle

    Snyder Former SVP, Epocrates
  22. Michelle Snyder, Former SVP, Epocrates Build a network, then monetize

    Do one thing really well Trust is the #1 thing Simplicity is critical
  23. “Healthcare is where financial services was 10 years ago.” Andrew

    Dunn Humana Innovation Team
  24. “The goal: deliver the right care, at the right time,

    by the right person.” Ben Wade Director, Strategic Planning Montefiore
  25. Ben Wade, Director, Strategic Planning, Montefiore Looking for help from

    entrepreneurs: Coordinating care Patient access (e.g. ZocDoc) Service and satisfaction MD practice management Decision support analytics Also: “Healthcare is where financial services was in the 1980’s.”
  26. “If it’s valuable, charge for it.” Chaim Indig Founder, Phreesia

  27. Chaim Indig, Founder, Phreesia Make your product small and simple

    Master one area before moving to another (e.g. ZocDoc) Focus on the playbook “Your product will suck in the beginning. It just has to do the core thing.”
  28. “Small companies (like yours) will be solving our health problems.”

    Michael Monson SVP of Performance & Innovation The Visiting Nurse Association of NY
  29. Michael Monson, SVP, The Visiting Nurse Association of NY What’s

    hot? Informatics Behavioral science (getting people to do stuff) Workflow management Referral relationships Low-tech devices (consumers, seniors) Alternative care models
  30. At the Early Progress Dinner with the mentors: “Healthcare is

    where financial services was in the 1980’s.” Yea...we know. “I thought I was the only one saying that!” Nope, you’re not.
  31. “Healthcare is where financial services was in the 1980’s.” What

    the hell does this mean anyways? Lots of unstructured data Fragmented systems Nothing talks to anything else Lots of potential Oh, thanks!
  32. “Adherence and compliance.” Puneet Sapra Director, Biz Dev & Innovation

  33. Puneet Sapra, Director, Biz Dev & Innovation, Pfizer On average,

    only 30% – 40% of patients adhere to prescription regiments HUGE revenue opportunity moving from just 20% – 30% to a 40% adherence Why such a low rate? Cost, safety, feelings about the drug Much more than just forgetting
  34. Puneet Sapra, Director, Biz Dev & Innovation, Pfizer What's hot?

    Heath IT Analytics Efficiency Adherence Compliance Behavior
  35. “Get it live quick. Test and see if it’s viable.”

    Ben Wolin CEO & Co-Founder Everyday Health
  36. Ben Wolin, CEO & Co-Founder, Everyday Health Determine if there’s

    a market You can always optimize later, but you have to know first (easier on the consumer side) Distribution is always hard
  37. “This is the future of the economy.” Alan Blaustein Founder,

  38. “Solve the problem at the smallest possible scale.” Oliver Kharraz,

    M.D. Founder & COO, ZocDoc
  39. Oliver Kharraz, M.D., Founder & COO, ZocDoc If it’s measurable,

    measure it Team flatness = strength Prototype at the lowest possible level “If you’re writing code, you will throw it out.” Don’t build things people don’t want
  40. “We focus on networks of engaged users.” Andy Weissman Partner,

    Union Square Ventures
  41. Andy Weissman, Partner, Union Square Ventures No explicit verticals, but

    we can work within them Healthcare is the next vertical (Started with media, then education, now healthcare) Read anything from Yochai Benkler
  42. “Right patient, right setting, right information.” Rachel Winokur Head of

    Strategic Diversification Aetna
  43. Rachel Winokur, Head of Strategic Diversification, Aetna Fastest growing business

    for Aetna? Accountable care solutions (Tools and analytics to manage it) “Analytics are only as good as the data.”
  44. “Pharma is the early adopter.” Isaac Ciechanover, M.D. Partner, Kleiner

    Perkins Caufield & Byers
  45. Isaac Ciechanover, M.D., Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Three

    big areas: 1. Telemedicine (e.g. Teladoc) 2. Engagement (adherence) 3. Analytics
  46. Isaac Ciechanover, M.D., Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Oh,

    and... “KPCB has more IPOs than any VC fund.”
  47. ...and we’ve been on stage at an Apple keynote.

  48. So there.

  49. “Don’t be afraid of good junior people. They will fight

    for you.” David Tisch Managing Director, TechStars NYC Investor via BoxGroup
  50. David Tisch, Managing Director, TechStars NYC; BoxGroup Time is always

    on the investor’s side Get good at logistics: email, meetings, scheduling “Don’t star fuck. It’s common in NYC.”
  51. “Show me the product. I want to touch it.” Ben

    Chodor CEO, Happtique
  52. Ben Chodor, CEO, Happtique “Free doesn’t work in healthcare.” Charging

    is the way you make them use it
  53. Phew! That’s a lot of mentors. Now to just make

    it through demo day, raise a seed round, acquire customers, hire developers, build
  54. Suggestion: If you want to learn how to innovate in

    health care, read this! (click book to view on Amazon)
  55. source: ideo.com/about Another view of innovation...

  56. Thanks! Tom Black / @blacktm about.me/tomblack