Innovating in Healthcare: Morris Panner

Morris Panner, CEO of DICOM Grid, shares his insights on innovating in healthcare.

Full Transcript

I’m probably an unusual entrepreneur because I came through government and ended up in entrepreneurship. My first career was as a federal prosecutor, doing organized crime prosecution. I actually lived in Bogota Colombia, had an armored car, had people threaten me—all that kind of exciting stuff. But I had two great passions in life. One was public service and trying to make the world safe and orderly in a way, and people following the rules. The other was sort of the opposite—a very disruptive passion to change the world through entrepreneurship and to be able to create new things.

Hi my name is Morris Panner, and I’m the CEO of DICOM Grid.

DICOM Grid is a cloud-based way to share, exchange and view medical images, one of the critical big data challenges of our day.

So for the last fifteen years I’ve been in cloud-based software, I was one of the early pioneers in SAAS. I ended up selling my first company to Netsuite which is one of the big public SAAS companies and spent some time there. And then got into healthcare and interestingly I think healthcare is really an area where you need a lot of both disruption and some order—playing by the rules.

You wanna bring disruption so people can be cared for but you need to do that in a framework where you’re respecting privacy, where you’re worrying about how people are going to be treated, and about how

people can have access to information so that they have it but others don’t. So it’s been a very exciting time to bring the cloud to healthcare.

Today’s healthcare environment is probably more dynamic than it has been for some time. Obamacare and everything else that happened around that—meaningful use—has really changed the dynamics for hospitals. When I say changed I really should say unsettled because nobody knows exactly how they are going to land in this new environment.

So one of the things I think we have been successful at is being a partner in innovation. We’ve gone to these institutions not from a position of, “Hey, you have this wreck, we’re gonna do this,” but more, “You’re gonna be in an innovative environment and we can help you get there,” and partnering from that perspective rather than partnering as just filling in their requirement—as something they have to have.

For today’s entrepreneur the best advice I can give is be aggressive in trying to reach into leadership of these institutions because these people have a mandate. They know they need to bring new ideas and what’s been most surprising to me is the further up you are in the organization, the more open they are to change and the more change is part of their agenda—and they will hear you out and then you need to navigate from there.