Health Innovation Summit: Dev Day Recap

Day 1 (Developer Day) of Health Innovation Summit started with a bang, and continued with high energy and enthusiasm through sundown. Startup CTOs, hospital CIOs, and developer geniuses from the far reaches of the health ecosystem came together to build, learn, and share. Below is a brief recap of the sessions, and for those of you who couldn’t join us, videos will be released on a rolling basis, beginning next week.

Mitch Kapor kicked things off with an inspiring keynote that left us with a few key questions to consider:

  • What is the impact of your startup? Who is this going to benefit?
  • Will this increase or decrease disparities in healthcare?
  • Will people have the resources to use the product?
  • What is the impact of the company across health populations?

He challenged us to “not allow the business model to be someone else’s problem” and encouraged everyone, regardless of background, to embrace the medical learning curve.

Following Mitch was the impressive Open mHealth duo Deborah Estrin and Ida Sim.  Bringing their academic backgrounds in computer science and medicine (respectively), they shared the different data, participant and research driven feedback loops that have the potential to overcome key challenges like sensemaking and personal evidence architecture.

We then moved into a hard core and practical development talk, when Maria Ly and Gabe Vanrenen of Skimble (and part of Rock Health’s first class) discussed using Git, leveraging the open source community, client integrations and launching products to the consumer to build their currently #1 in the Android store mobile app.

Our first panel of the day featured Julia Hu of Lark, Amy Sheng of Cellscope, Brian Krescarek of Green Goose and Zach Malchano of Rock Health.  The panelists swapped hardware war stories, talking about everything from physical production, the consumer healthcare market and how to keep things mindful, simple and monitored. Speaking of the physical product, they also stressed that user education cannot all be conveyed on packaging, that social media and other user engagement tactics are needed for reinforcement. And according to our experts, it’s a great time to be in hardware development, as it’s less expensive and turnaround times in China are quicker than ever. To get out the door even more quickly, take something that is off the shelf and modify it. And although piracy is still a problem, while people can copy your brand or product, they cannot copy the way in which you interact with customers, so the key is to stay connected and keep innovating.

After a filling foodtruck lunch, we listened to Jeff Hammerbacher of Cloudera talk Hadoop and big data. He shared his philosophy of data storage, which included the following nuggets:

  • Store all your data in one place.
  • Store first, structure later.
  • Enable everyone (developers, analysts, business users) to party on the data
  • Platform- Substrate, Storage, Compute.

Following our crash course in Hadoop for health was health data interoperability and data standardization, featuring Lynn Barr (CIO of Tahoe Forest Health System), Nasrin Dayani (Executive Director AT&T Mobility Product), Kyna Fong (Cofounder of ElationEMR), Amanda Goltz (Pacific Business Group on Health) and Maninder Kahlon (CIO of UCSF). Below are a few of our favorite excerpts:
Q: How is data being used to improve healthcare, and what are the challenges we are facing to bring data together to improve patient health?
A: Lynn: Start with a market you can understand. Small enough to get started, affordable enough to attack. Use an existing EMR.
A: Maninder: Work with physicians to manage all aspects of patient care. Single place to see the longitude of the patient health. Data is only as valuable as what and how the people who collect the data use it. It is not enough to just make data available. You have to understand the context in which people are making decisions. What is the data that is actually driving the decision making? The old process was to collect, make it accurate and figure out how to make it useful. We need to now flip that to figure out what data is actually useful, THEN collect it.

Amanda also explained the employer’s perspective, relating that Starbucks spends more on health benefits then they do on coffee beans. Does this make them a health company or a coffee company?

Our final panel of the day featured CTOs from some of the most exciting companies in digital health, including Mitsu Hadeishi of Curious, Nick Ganju of ZocDoc, Matt Douglass of Practice Fusion and Sastry Nanduri of HealthTap.  These tech juggernauts answered our burning platform and interface questions. Matt shared that their market is 60-65% physicians in private practices, and that they now have over 30 million patients on their free platform. HealthTap is all about understanding your health using mobile and web technology that connects users with the best information and care. And Nick presented general challenges and how to solve them by knowing your product and getting face to face with at least 10 users each week so you can truly understand the ways in which people interact with your product.

Our final session was an in depth data and security workshop, led by Mozilla’s Michael Coates. He walked the attendees through exploring current threats to web applications, and the general how-to’s of coding securely, based upon his extensive experience.

Day one ended with a hackathon to explore the new AT&T mHealth platform that streamlines, accelerates and lowers development, deployment and app management costs.  It’s not over yet. Build something on this platform in the next week, and you may be selected to demo at HIMSS, aka the biggest healthcare IT conference on the planet. Which also just happens to be in Vegas. (We’ll be there!) Visit to learn more and register here:

Up next tomorrow: we’re all design, all day.