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HIStalk Practice Interviews Doug Given, MD CEO, Health2047

March 10, 2016 News No Comments

Doug Given, MD is CEO of Health2047 in San Francisco.


Tell me about yourself and the company.
I’m an internist and infectious diseases doctor with a PhD in virology, a serial entrepreneur, and a venture capitalist. During my career, I’ve developed deep expertise in biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, specialty medical products, and healthcare innovation. I’ve participated in the development of over 15 top-selling drugs, biologics, diagnostics, imaging agents, and medical devices. Additionally, philanthropy and mentoring are a very important part of my life. I actively advise and sponsor entrepreneurial programs and innovation funds at leading institutions like the University of Chicago, Wharton, Johns Hopkins, USC, the University of Texas, and Houston Methodist Research Institute. I also assist leading universities on the public health front, and serve as an advisor to the Harvard School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Health2047, whose founding partner is the AMA, is an entirely new business model in the healthcare industry — an integrated innovation company —that will work with both established players and early-stage growth companies. It combines strategy, engineering, design, and venture disciplines to create new and important linkages between the physician community and the AMA’s content/regulatory experts with leading companies, emerging companies, and individual entrepreneurs. Bottom line: Health2047 is in business to develop, optimize, and harvest disruptive ideas that enhance — at the system level — the practice of US healthcare.

The AMA’s financial commitment to Health2047 represents a major step in expanding its innovation ecosystem and building a bridge between Silicon Valley and the medical community. I accepted the CEO role at Health2047 because I believe we have a unique business model that will yield both market impact and financial return by infusing the physician perspective into major innovation cycles.

What does Health2047 hope to accomplish in 2016?
Our first step was to establish a Silicon Valley-based innovation studio that takes a “systems engineering” approach to important healthcare issues, providing strategic design and rapid prototyping solutions to corporate development partners, entrepreneurs, and physicians. That studio is up and running now. Over the balance of the year, we intend to work with both the AMA and a growing list of innovation partners to execute along our three business tracks:

  1. Helping established corporations tune their products and services to better participate in the healthcare economy.
  2. Working with emerging growth firms to develop the tools and processes they need to effectively enter/compete in the healthcare market.
  3. Developing new products and services in the “white spaces” that meet recognized needs in the areas of chronic care, value-based healthcare and payments; connected health solutions; medical education; and collaboration models for physicians, providers, payers and patients.

What specific physician pain points is it looking to address through its partnerships with healthcare technology companies?
With the shifts from acute illness to chronic illness, and from in-patient care to outpatient and ambulatory care into the home, there are clear system-level issues we must tackle if we are to alleviate physician pain points. Health2047 applies "systems engineering"  thinking around these shifts and infuses the physician perspective in all major innovation cycles. Why? Because we have seen all too clearly that simply dropping discrete products into the healthcare system doesn’t alleviate physician pain points. At best, you get fragments of benefit; at worst, you exacerbate physician pain points. We think that is unacceptable. 

One specific healthcare problem is the mismatch between the mobile world that patients and individuals live in and the tethering of doctors and providers in the physical world. We need to ensure that physicians and providers don’t "miss out" on mobile; this will require expert attention to the user experience, enhancements to security and privacy, and integration into the upstream and downstream workflows that characterize an effective practice.

A second issue is the lack of physician voice and involvement in creating and disseminating system-level healthcare solutions. We need a functional network of physicians who are highly accessible and deeply involved in the innovation process, submitting ideas, testing prototypes, and becoming the launch channel for solutions that will create better healthcare outcomes.

A third example is the lack of semantic interoperability in healthcare data streams. Currently, less than 25 percent of the data currently being aggregated in EHRs is useful in assessing and addressing health outcomes with the goal to improve value in the healthcare system. That’s because diagnostic codes don’t talk to procedural codes, don’t talk to functional outcome codes, don’t talk to patient attribute data represented largely in free text. We need truly connected health solutions so the data we collect can become actionable information.

What companies is Health2047 currently working with, and on what projects?
We will be announcing innovation partners in the coming months, so stay tuned. What I can tell you now is that Health2047 already has projects underway in four core areas:

  1. Improving chronic disease management.
  2. Driving new value-based healthcare models and measures.
  3. Enhancing workflow for care providers.
  4. Better connecting individuals and physicians across life and health.

Our initial efforts on semantic interoperability and connectivity across the care continuum, for example, enable new point-of-care touch points and the ability to influence outcomes in chronic care.

Will the technologies and services that come out of Health2047 be branded as such?
Successful healthcare solution prototypes and product designs — the vast majority of which will be branded outside of Health2047 — will be monetized in the form of revenue, equity, debt, royalties, and other commercial rights owned by Health2047 Inc. partners. Specifically, these include licenses to co-development partners,  royalties from AMA when product teams take Health2047’s studio solutions to market, equity from participation in institutional investment syndicates, and funds received from social impact investors.

Is Health2047 looking to work with additional companies in the near future? Which ones are on your radar?
As we gain momentum, we expect to see a blend of ideas that come from existing companies (both larger strategic partners and venture-backed companies) as well as individual entrepreneurs, including physician innovators. The partner ecosystem we are curating will include representative leaders from each asset class in the healthcare industry, as well as major technology companies offering solutions that can aggregate and scale the fragmented healthcare economy. We’ll bring together complementary skill sets in service of a shared mission. Health2047 will partner with product companies, physicians and providers, and leaders in enterprise and consumer technology, mobile, security, fintech, AI, and wireless technologies.

From a more high-level perspective, what types of healthcare technologies will have the biggest impact on physician productivity? Patient outcomes?
For physician productivity – mobile technologies, interoperability technologies, workflow technologies, and technologies that improve the user experience for physicians. For patient outcomes – connected health  technologies, remote monitoring technologies, mobile technologies, and behavior modification technologies.

How is Health2047 allocating its funding from AMA? How will your business model evolve?
We are using the funds to build out seasoned multi-disciplinary teams and execute on agreed-upon project milestones. We expect our working partnerships to result in a variety of new and interesting opportunities for healthcare innovation, though it is premature to say exactly how our business model will evolve.


JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan

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