Feb 12

Medical innovation: from research lab to sustainable clinical practice

Our May forum is an opportunity to meet leading innovators and hear about their work to take advances from research labs into clinical use and commercial success. Join us in downtown Seattle on May 6, 2014 from 5:30pm-8:00pm. This is the next step in our efforts to bring people together from different health sectors and to draw inspiration from each other’s work, whether in life sciences, Health IT, care delivery, healthcare finance, and other areas. These respected leaders will describe their projects, share their insights, and respond to audience questions:

Jo Masterson

Jo Masterson is a cofounder and Chief Operating Officer for 2Morrow, Inc, a Seattle based mobile software company who specializes in “mobilizing behavior change”. Jo will talk about her work with a clinical trial with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to commercialize the first Smartphone-delivered, smoking cessation app that is scientifically proven to help smokers quit. Recently 2Morrow was chosen for a $250,000 Washington Life Sciences Discovery Fund  grant to pilot a new program based on this research.

murry

Charles (Chuck) Murry, MD, PhD is Co-director of the University of Washington Institute for Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM), Professor of Pathology, and Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Biology.  His research in the growth of healthy heart tissue from stem cells promises a new option for millions of people suffering from heart failure. He is currently building a biotech spin-off company based on this exciting research.

 

Don Rule

Don Rule is the CEO of Translational Software which he founded in 2009 to accelerate the use of molecular diagnostics in clinical settings. Earlier roles for Don include a stint as CTO for Genelex, various program management roles at Microsoft, and Director of IT for a division of Dun & Bradstreet. Translational Software was bootstrapped in the SURF incubator in 2013 and has become a fast growing and profitable business. The company offers a SaaS platform that transforms genetic data into actionable guidance for physicians with detailed reports about the genetic implications of drugs personalized to each patient’s genetic profile.

 

lance stewart

• Lance Stewart, PhD, MBAis the Senior Director of Strategy for the Institute for Protein Design (IPD) at the University of Washington (UW).  The basic and translational research investigators of the IPD are global leaders in crowd-sourcing protein design through FoldIT and Rosetta-at-home; using computational protein design to create a whole new world of synthetic proteins to address challenges in medicine, energy, and technology. Lance co-founded Emerald Bio in 1998 as a UW spin-out company.  He is also a co-founder of the Northwest NeuroNeighborhood, a member of WINGS Washington medical technology angel investor network, and board member of Tetra Discovery Partners.

Tuesday May 6, 2014  5:30-8:00pm

Agenda

5:30 – 6:00 Networking, food, refreshments

6:00 – 6:15 Community announcements

6:15 – 7:30 Presentations, Panel, and Q&A

7:30 – 8:00 more networking

Register Now. The $10 registration fee covers the costs of the venue, food, and refreshments.  This a grass-roots, volunteer-run event.

Venue

The forum will be held in The Exchange Building at 821 Second Avenue, Seattle WA 98104 on the corner of 2nd Ave and Marion. Exchange Blg

Please note that the doors to the Exchange Building automatically lock at 6pm. After 6:00 please knock on the 2nd Avenue door or call us. The meeting room is the “Dice Cabana”, on the right as you enter the 2nd avenue lobby just past Tully’s coffee shop. If you are entering from 1st avenue before 6 take the elevator to the 4th floor and it will be across the lobby.

Parking, Public Transit

Paid evening parking  is available at the First & Spring deck on 1st Ave between Spring and Union (must pay by 5:30 but it is open til 10). There are also 2 parking decks at 1st and Columbia, with other parking options closer to Pioneer Square.

Public Transit is an easy way to get here. For bus routes enter “2nd and Marion” as your destination using http://tripplanner.kingcounty.gov/. It is a short walk to dozens of King Metro routes that frequent nearby bus stops on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd streets. The University  and Pioneer Square transit stations are just a few blocks away for convenient access to bus routes and lite rail. Frequent Eastside routes, such as the 550 from Mercer Island and Bellevue use the freeway’s bus lanes for quick access to downtown during rush hour.

About Us

The Seattle Heath Innovation Forum is a grass-roots community comprised of people interested in health and biotech startups, healthcare institutions, research organizations, and other Seattle area companies who want to transform health and healthcare. Please  join the mailing list and RSVP at www.meetup.com/seattle-health-innovation-forum

Jul 24

Seattle Health Innovation Forum on Precision Medicine July 29th

In the July 29th Health Innovation Forum we’ll hear from leaders from two Seattle-based firms on the forefront of this revolutionary approach to health.  Precision Medicine is defined by the NIH as “ an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person. “ 

This is the summer networking event of the Seattle Health Innovators, an independent grass-roots community of people interested in transforming health and health care. RSVP here. There is a $10 registration fee to cover the catering of hors d’oeuvres and beverages.

Our speakers will describe their work, followed by an interactive dialog with the audience. We will talk about opportunities at the intersection of life sciences with educated and engaged citizens/patients.

Sean Bell, MBA, is the Chief Business Officer for Arivale, a startup founded by Lee Hood. As reported in Geekwire, Arivale describes itself as “a revolutionary new wellness company combining cutting-edge science, an intimate and unprecedented view of your body, and personalized coaching to help you achieve your unique wellness potential”.

Sean managed the day to day operations of the 100K Project of the Institute of Systems Biology until it became Arivale. It creates an “N-of-1” health data cloud based on an individual’s genomics, metabolomics, microbiome, and “quantified self” metrics. Prior to working with ISB Sean held a senior leadership role in Alere Wellbeing.

Michael Kellen, PhD., leads the technology development team for Sage Bionetworks, a non-profit biomedical research organization founded by Stephen Friend.  Sage Bionetworks is dedicated to developing data-driven methods to improve human health, and has a strong focus on building open systems and networks of individuals that can collaboratively solve complex scientific problems.  They have recently established a program to gather real-time medical information from citizen/patient communities through mobile devices, participating as a launch partner for Research Kit with Apple and other medical centers.

Michael completed a PhD at the UW in 2002 with a focus on computational biology and helped start local bioinformatics company Teranode before joining Sage Bionetworks. His work centers on how technological advances in technology areas such as smartphones and cloud computing can accelerate biomedical research.

Agenda

5:30-6:00 Networking, food and beverages

6:00-6:15 Community Announcements

6:15-7:00 Precision Medicine Speakers and Discussion

7:00-7:30 Networking, individual Q&A with speakers

 

The venue is at the Cambia Grove, 1800 9th Avenue, 2nd floor, Seattle, WA 98101.

To RSVP please click here: http://www.meetup.com/Seattle-Health-Innovation-Forum/events/223664522/

 

Jun 29

Where are the best cities for health startups to get financial capital?

 

 

Angela Hong

 

By Angela Hong, June 29, 2015

This post is part of a series that compares Seattle with other cites using these criteria for what it takes for an area to become a health innovation hub:

  • Cost of doing business / regulatory complexity
  • Talent availability
  • Financial capital
  • Health institutions one might work with
  • Regional culture / quality of life

Our last post compared the relative cost of doing business in Seattle. Seattle falls squarely in the middle compared to the other cities in our sample (Boston, Chicago, NYC, and SF). In this article, we’ll explore how Seattle fares in financial prowess.

In 2012, Seattle was ranked 9th in the top 10 best U.S. cities for business by ThinkAdvisor and also named the “29th most competitive city in the world.” In 2014, it jumped to 4th on Forbes‘ list of “best places to launch a startup.” While many factors make a city favorable to entrepreneurs looking to invest in new health products, financial capital is one of the most important. Its presence in Seattle is helping to make the city an up-and-coming hub for innovation, especially in the field of health.

Who’s Investing?

Compared to other large cities, Seattle is becoming more well-known for its ability to draw ingenuity through financial capital. Exhibit A below shows that the number of angel investors in the city rival those of other major metropolitan areas: such as New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston. While New York and San Francisco currently outnumber most cities in local angels—at 1221 and 2163, respectively—Boston’s 397 seems reachable for Seattle. The Emerald City, as shown in this Angel List report, has 277 individuals who provide start-up capital for businesses, and this number is even greater than that of Chicago, which currently stands at 271.

This places Seattle in the running with major healthcare innovation hubs. And if the city’s number of investors begins to increase, a rise in healthcare-specific investors at the current rate would put Seattle level with well-established cities in terms of financial capital available for healthcare-related businesses.

Angel compare

Exhibit A: Angel Investor Comparison

Follow the Money

According to this Angel List data, eighty million dollars were invested by Seattle’s angels investing in health startups.This is lower than the other cities in our survey. The highest amount is spent in San Francisco at $1.04 billion and the second lowest is Chicago at $150 million.

Seattle: Financial Capital Overview

While Seattle has many fine qualities which make it an ideal business start-up city, it may not be thought of as a top health innovation hub in the way New York City, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago are currently perceived. However, with rising numbers of angel investors interested in funding health-related businesses and the amount of financial capital for healthcare innovations already in motion, the city and its resources should be considered by those looking to make a difference in the medical field via creating new products, ideas, and business.

 

About the author

Angela Hong is a co-founder and CEO of Healthy Beeps She moved to Seattle from Boston in 2014 and is leading the Health Startup Location Attractiveness project.

Jun 17

Where are the best cities for Health Startups?

Deciding where to locate a health startup company often comes down to one question: where are you? Yes, there’s no place like home, but is this the best way to geographically locate your fledgling enterprise? With the odds of founding a successful health startup already stacked against you, why not pick a place where your chances are a little better than they might otherwise be?

As described in our January 2015 and March 2015 posts, the Health Innovators are conducting a quick, unscientific, but structured comparison of 5 cities: Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City, and Boston along several variables:

  1. Cost of doing business / regulatory complexity
  2. Talent availability
  3. Financial capital
  4. Health institutions one might work with
  5. Regional culture / quality of life

Please participate in this study by taking our Health Innovation Location Attractiveness survey.

Today’s post focuses on the cost of doing business in each of these comparison cities. Future articles will explore the other 4 criteria.

After reviewing state and local government websites for the costs of setting up new companies, we found minor differences in the fee schedules for business licenses and formation of business entities. We found that the complexity of the corporate registration process and business licensing did vary significantly, with Seattle as the easiest, and New York City and San Francisco as the most baffling. California’s $800/year tax on LLC’s is certainly a disincentive, and New York’s antiquated requirement to publish professional LLC formation announcements in 2 newspapers can cost upwards to $2,000.

Office space is another area where we found some differences in our benchmark cities. Using the monthly rate for a private office in a co-working space as a proxy for office space generally we found that an office in Seattle was $100 to $200/month less costly than the comparison cities. A private office at We-Work in Seattle is $500/month, and is $700/month in New York City and San Francisco.

cowork cost

That, of course, raises a more personal question- how much income does one need to live in these cities? As a proxy for cost of living we used the CNN Money Cost of Living Calculator.

cost of living

For the ease of comparison, let’s assume we pay a software engineer $100,000 in Seattle. For an equivalent lifestyle in Chicago, that would only require $92,000. In Boston, $108,000, San Francisco it takes $131,000, and in New York City it would require $175,000 for the same lifestyle that $100,000 affords in Seattle.

Finally, we looked at the KPMG 2014 Competitive Alternatives Study index for comparing the overall cost of doing business. All 5 of our benchmark cities are in the top 10 most expensive cities in which to do business.

codb

According to this analysis, Seattle (101.4) is right in the middle, roughly tied with Boston (101.1), and significantly more than Chicago (99.1). Not surprisingly, New York City (103.6) and San Francisco (104.2) are nearly tied for the most expensive places to do business not only of these 5 comparison cities, but of all 31 US cities over 2 million in population. For comparison, the least expensive city for doing business in this KPMG report was Atlanta (94.7). Perhaps in future comparisons we could include Atlanta, Washington/Baltimore, and San Diego as contenders.

So who wins? It’s not just about the cost of doing business or the hassles of setting up a company. The other factors- human talent, financial resources, startup culture/quality of life, and health institutions with whom startups can collaborate and pilot their innovations will all be reviewed in upcoming posts. Stay tuned! Let us know what you think in the Health Innovation Startup Location Survey!

 

FullSizeRender

Ed Butler

CEO, Videris Health LLC

May 06

Population Health Management Innovation Forum

The June 2, 2015 Seattle Health Innovation Meetup will focus on Population Health Management Innovation and will be held at the Cambia Grove in downtown Seattle from 5:30-8:00.

So what is Population Health Management (PHM), and how is innovation driving improvements in its practice?

PHM can be defined as managing the health outcomes of a group of individuals, where medical care is only one of many factors that affect those outcomes. Other factors include public health interventions, aspects of the social environment (income, education, employment, social support, and culture) and of the physical environment (urban design, clean air and water), genetics, and individual behavior.

At the provider level, the Care Continuum Alliance has proposed defining PHM as having three core components:

  1. Central care delivery and leadership roles of the primary care physician
  2. Critical importance of patient activation, involvement and personal responsibility
  3. Patient focus and capacity expansion of care coordination provided through wellness, disease and chronic care management programs.

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2) outlines PHM principles and best practices as:

  • Planning for population health
  • Data collection, storage, and management
  • Population monitoring and stratification
  • Patient engagement
  • Team-based interventions
  • Outcomes measurement

Agenda:

5:30 – 6:00                Networking, food, refreshments

6:00 – 6:15                Community announcements

6:15 – 6:30                Key Note: PHM and Innovation

Speaker: Wellesley Chapman, MD, Group Health Medical Director, Innovation & Development

 6:15 – 7:30                Moderated Panel discussion and audience Q&A

Panelists:

  • Wellesley Chapman, MD, Group Health Medical Director, Innovation & Development
  • Angela Marith, Group Health Director, Population Health Management
  • Martin Levine, MD, Iora Primary Care Medical Director
  • Shawn West, MD, Premera Medical Director of Provider Engagement

Topic: How is PHM being performed and what innovations, current or prospective, are needed to improve its practice?

7:30 – 8:00          Networking

 

Event Registration

We hope you can attend and we encourage you to bring your colleagues. There is a $10 registration fee to cover our costs for food and beverages (refundable up to 1 day before the event). Please RSVP at this link if you can attend, so that we can place the catering order. We look forward to seeing you at the Cambia Grove!

Population Health Management Innovation Forum Planning Team:

  • Kathryn Brown
  • Scott Kennedy
  • Chelsea Steinborn
  • Randy Wise

 

 

Apr 08

Regulatory monsters like to eat new biotech companies

The April Seattle Health Innovation Forum features networking at the University of Washington’s CoMotion Incubator with recent UW biotech spin-off companies and members of the Seattle health innovation community.

Regulatory monsters like to eat new biotech companies

Thursday, Apr 16, 2015, 5:30 PM

CoMotion Incubator, Fluke Hall,Suite 300
4000 Mason Road Seattle, WA

59 Health Innovators Attending

Health startups increasingly combine digital health, wearable/implantable biotech devices, and pharmaceutical-relevant data. Having a regulatory strategy is no longer just a “nice-to-have” for people working to transform healthcare. Join University of Washington CoMotion (formerly known as the Center for Commercialization, or C4C) and UW Profession…

Check out this Meetup →

This is a great opportunity for Seattle-based health startups and others interested in health innovation to meet and connect with startups and other resources at the UW. We’re all trying to break down the silos, so please join us.

Panelists will include executives from 3 companies that recently spun out of UW’s CoMotion Incubator: Deurion, Stasys Medical, and M3 Biotechnology. It will also include regulatory experts who will provide insight and context for companies starting down that pathway.

The agenda will feature networking prior to and after the panel discussion.  There is no charge for this event but an RSVP is required at this link so that we know who to expect and can order refreshments.

 

Mar 12

Where are the hottest health innovation cities?

Angela Hong briefs the Seattle Telehealth Forum on the Location Attractiveness Survey, March 5 2015.

Angela_update

We, Angela Hong and Ed Butler, are co-founders of separate early-stage digital health startups and as a project of the Seattle Health Innovation meetup group, we are conducting a “location attractiveness” study to help determine where our new companies will be based. Yes, we love Seattle, but we want to be objective about it.

This is an exciting time to be in this field. The decision as to where to locate our early stage operations is not easy. We would like to take a systematic look at the most attractive metropolitan areas in the US for establishing and growing a new digital health startup. We have just begun this process and will provide updates via this blog on our progress. Where do you think the hottest health innovation cities are?  We intend to find out.

With digital health investments reaching $4.1 billion in 2014, there is no question that the healthcare sector is ripe with opportunity. Unlike the glacial pace of change in health reimbursement and big-iron electronic health record systems, the 2014 spike in digital health investment is new and it is rapid. The top six categories, representing 44% of 2014 digital health investment are analytics/big data, healthcare consumer engagement, digital medical devices, telemedicine, personalized medicine, and population health management.

This study is being conducted from the standpoint of early stage digital health startup entrepreneurs. While we have worked within large healthcare organizations, consulting firms, and health IT vendors, we’ve learned to appreciate the difference between what is relevant for a big company and a startup. One of the first tasks we set for ourselves was to identify the criteria to use for assessing whether a city would be a good place to start a digital health venture.

AngelaChelseaEdcropped

      Angela Hong, Chelsea Steinborn, Ed Butler at the Seattle Health Innovation Forum on Telehealth

The criteria we have decided to use to objectively assess different metro areas for suitability are as follows: regulatory environment, talent, financial capital, institutions and the regional culture.

Regulatory Environment: In order for entrepreneurs to want to incorporate or even set up shop in a particular location, the ease of forming the business is important. How hard and expensive is it to form a company? Are there any state or local laws that make it easier or harder to build a digital health product? Is this a location where we have to spend more of our precious startup funds on lawyers?

Talent: Startups cannot compete head to head with large companies on salaries, benefits, and, arguably, job security. It takes a certain mindset to offset the risks and low salaries of startups with the opportunities to work on something truly meaningful, and to have a chance of a windfall when the successful exit event occurs. It takes a certain population density to create a critical mass of  skilled designers, engineers, health professionals, behavioral and life science researchers, marketing, sales professionals who are ready for this kind of a ride. Diversity is also crucially important in building cohesive and productive teams.

Financial Capital: Like most other types of startups, having access to financial capital whether it’s via venture capital or the angel community is extremely important. Unlike other industries, healthcare administration is inherently a harder industry to understand due to complex regulation and legacy institutions. The accessibility of investors whose investment strategies include the health industry is a rare resource and could make a difference in startup location attractiveness. It’s not just the money- we need savvy investors with whom we can gain market insights and key connections. Being 30 minutes away from a face to face meeting reduces friction and accelerates progress and accountability.

Institutions: Most healthcare startups need to form development partnerships and early adopter agreements with   large health organizations for testing or piloting their product. Such institutions may include hospitals, payer organizations, pharmaceuticals, and life science research institutions. This is a big opportunity but also can be a pain point for many startups because of the predilections of too many institutional decision-makers to work only with “safe” name-brand corporate suppliers.

Regional Culture: Perhaps one of the more important criteria is a startup-friendly culture. Being in a location where startups thrive and can support each other can be a powerful advantage. How open and friendly is the startup culture in the metro area?  Is it cut-throat competitive? How likely is it that other companies will poach your team? Typically startup entrepreneurs need help or advice when building their company and what better way to get help or advice if your neighbor sitting next to you at the coffee shop can provide that guidance. Quality of life for our teams is critical to being able to recruit the best people. Despite the hype around startups, it is not all about late night sprints and cold pizza. Living in a beautiful area with diverse cultural resources (museums, concerts, parks) and the ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to build relationships all contribute to building a sustainable team and an amazing company.

We are interested in what you think.  What do you consider important when determining what city you want to live in?  What do you think are the top health innovation cities in the US?

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 24

Meet the people behind your telehealth screen

Telehealth is a rapidly growing market opportunity that can improve the patient experience, lower costs, and improve quality of care on a global scale. The Seattle Health Innovation meetup, March 5, 2015 from 5:30pm-7:30pm, will feature a panel of experts on Telehealth implementation, including smartphone apps for patients with chronic diseases and video technology for primary care visits with medical providers. Hear from these innovators on how they work with care delivery systems to introduce new care models enabled by technology. Find out about the analytics they use to measure success and what they have found to be key issues.

Light food and beverages will be served to facilitate networking before and after the panel. This is a grassroots effort and there is a $10 registration fee. To register, please click here.

This meetup will be held at the Cambia Grove at 1800 9th Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 on the 2nd Floor.  Please arrive before 6:00pm because the doors lock. After 6:00pm you can only get in by walking down into the underground parking deck and take the elevator to the 2nd floor.

It is in the same building as Regence Blue Cross on the corner of 9th Ave and Howell Street.  For more information about this new hub for health innovation in Seattle see the Geekwire article from last October: “New ‘Cambia Grove’ health-care innovation center in Seattle will link tech startups with big players”.

The Seattle Heath Innovation Meetup is comprised of individuals interested transforming health and healthcare. It was started in 2013 by leaders from Seattle-based health startups and welcomes individuals from healthcare delivery systems, payers, research organizations, universities, investors, and the community at large.

The program will include brief presentations and a panel discussion with these health leaders:

Fareeha Siddiqui, MD, MPH is the Director of Research and Innovation, Global to Local, an innovative non-profit formed by Swedish Health Services, the Washington Global Health Alliance, HealthPoint, and Public Health Seattle & King County to serve residents in the SeaTac/Tukwilla area.  This area has more than 70 ethno-linguistic groups and twice as many people living below the federal poverty level and far higher mortality rates than the rest of King County. It offers a unique opportunity to work with populations relevant to Seattle’s global reach.

FareehaSiddiqui

Dr. Siddiqui directs the Global to Local Mobile Health Project, which focuses on the development of cost-effective remote monitoring, sustainable health promotion interventions, and improvement of healthcare delivery.  She will update us on a mobile health pilot to help people with diabetes.  She was one of 6 doctors to win Seattle Magazine’s Top Doctors: Community Service Award in 2013.

Julie Maas, MBA  is the Director of Client Integration at CarenaMD. 

Carena is a new and growing Seattle-based company that provides telemedicine solutions including a Virtual Clinic staffed with employed 24/7 “Virtualists” and an operations team that can get a system live in 90 days or less. Carena has implemented its Virtual Clinic Offering with several leading healthcare delivery systems, including UW Medicine and Franciscan Health.

JulieMaas

Julie’s team implements the technical and operational aspects of these solutions. She works directly with healthcare delivery systems to include the Virtual Clinic.  Her career spans 10+ years of life sciences and non-profit experience in a wide range of projects and roles, including development of telemedicine initiatives while at the UW Center for Commercialization.

 

ChristiMcCarren

Christi McCarren, RN, MBA is the Multicare Vice President of Retail Health and Service Lines. Multicare is a not-for-profit integrated health system with more than 10,000 employees and a comprehensive network o services throughout Pierce, South King, and Kitsap Counties.

Poore

 

Steve Poore, MD is the Medical Director of the Multicare Women’s Service Line.

Christi and Dr. Poore will be speaking to us about MultiCare’s OB CareConnect program–where OB care alternates between virtual visits with a MultiCare nurse practitioner (ARNP) and scheduled visits with the patient’s MultiCare obstetrician at his or her office. The program conducted over 400 visits in 2014, including a patient in Mozambique.

 Chelsea Steinborn, a current graduate student at the University of Washington, is facilitating the panel discussion.  Chelsea has worked as Senior Product Engineer at Medtronic, a $27 billion medical technology and services company.

ChelseaSteinborn

Chelsea will complete her Masters in Health Administration at UW in May 2015. She has focused on telehealth and innovative care delivery throughout the program and during her current internship at Virginia Mason. Chelsea will get the conversation started with the panelists and then facilitate audience questions and answers.

The meetup starts at 5:30 with networking and refreshments. After community announcements will be the panel discussion and at the end will be an opportunity to talk with other meetup participants.

To register, please click here.

Posted by Ed Butler, digital health entrepreneur and co-founder of the Seattle Health Innovation Meetup.

Ed-at-meetup.png

To join this meetup group and get future event notices, click here: http://www.meetup.com/Seattle-Health-Innovation-Forum/

Jan 21

Seattle as a Health Innovation Hub: Why Not Us?

Seattle12a

In terms of healthcare innovation hubs, cities such as San Francisco, Boston, Chicago or NYC typically come to mind but rarely does Seattle break into the top 5 names in the list. Why not? Seattle (and Portland) has access to world-class academic institutions, top tier human capital talent and major powerhouses in the technology industry. The 2014 Rock Health Funding Report shows surprising news that Portland-based Cambia Health was becoming a major player in digital health investment. Having access to financial capital definitely helps to fuel the healthcare startup community.

As part of Health Innovator’s 2015 initiative, we plan to analyze and understand how certain cities became healthcare innovation hubs and determine how to help Seattle become a health innovation center as well. Our goal is not to imitate what other cities have done but to understand how they got there and also figure out what Seattle’s unique formula for becoming a healthcare innovation hub.

Therefore, in our next few series of blog articles, we plan to benchmark other cities’ resources and determine what contributed to their healthcare innovation hub status and then map out the current Seattle resources. After our series of analyses, we will recommend a concrete strategy and action plan of how to help Seattle become a healthcare innovation hub.

We need all members of the Seattle health community to join us to put Seattle on the map as a healthcare innovation hub. Our belief is that this is not a solo task but instead we should rally everyone in the community (e.g. students in life sciences, government sponsors, big corporations and healthcare entrepreneurs). Please join us and make 2015 the year that we push healthcare to the forefront of Seattle’s attention.

 

Angela Hong

Angela Hong is a healthcare entrepreneur and a Boston transplant to Seattle. She recently joined the Health Innovators Meetup and is excited to help Seattle become a healthcare innovation hub.

Nov 21

Progress and Unintended Consequences

The November Seattle Health Innovation meetup featured “Code Black”, a full length documentary on a busy emergency department at Los Angeles General Hospital, followed by a discussion. It wasIMG_6017  attended by about 55 people from around the Seattle and Eastside areas. It was sponsored by WebMD. Dave Chase, former CEO of Avado and now a Senior VP at WebMD welcomed the audience.

IMG_6016

The documentary, as well as some of the discussion touched on something that we do not talk about very often- the unexpected and sometimes negative consequences of changes intended to be positive.

Spoiler alert, I’m going to talk about some elements of the story line of the movie. I doubt if that will matter if you do get a chance to see it because the documentary’s intensity stems not from the story line but from the subject matter itself.

The film begins in 2008 in the old hospital, built in the 1920’s as a modernistic cathedral of medicine and the only safety-net hospital in the region, and was completed in the new hospital in 2012. “C-Block” was the old emergency department where the intense life-saving activities were all done in a relatively open area, separated only by small curtains, with minimal privacy for patients. “Code Black” is a condition in the ED when the facility is desperately overwhelmed by patient volume, a situation that occurs too often. The sparkling new facility was updated to provide more room and more privacy for patients, as well as eliminate the need for waivers from some regulations.

In the documentary we follow a cohort of Emergency Medicine residents from their first year in the old hospital to their 4th year in the new facility. Accompanying their move to the new facility was the loss of various waivers from HIPAA and other regulations, so that in the new facility the staff had to contend with what they experienced as burdensome, “soul-crushing” paperwork. The film highlighted the sense of loss from the old system to the new, more private yet more isolated and bureaucratic. We learn some of the personal stories of these residents and come to admire their strong qualities and we empathize with their frustration. The story line evolves around their growing resolve to recreate the best features of C-Block within the new facility. The residents want to bring the most serious cases from the waiting room into the treatment area. The resistance comes from the nursing supervisor, concerned that this would dilute the ratio of nurses to patients,thus increasing liability to nurses from potential errors made under impossible conditions. Undeterred, our heroes (the resident physicians) are able to achieve this reorganization of the beds and waiting area and feel that they once again are able to monitor what’s happening visually.

The film exposes the brutal realities of the injuries and illnesses afflicting the poor and uninsured in a metropolitan area. It highlights unintended consequences of progress- such as the design of the new facility that disconnects the medical team from the patients. It also hits the cumbersome regulatory compliance and defensive clinical documentation workloads of clinicians. The modest victory achieved by these residents in making ED patient flow changes stood in stark contrast to the empty, but desperately needed, wing of the ED closed to maintain the statutory patient-nursing ratio.

After the film Nathan White, MD, of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UW School of Medicine, and Linda Riggione,RN provided commentary and responded to audience questions. Dr White said that the film accurately captured many of the issues facing emergency medicine. Ms Riggione represented a nursing perspective and noted that the film could have shown more of the roles of nursing and the allied health professions. One question from the audience was about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Emergency Departments. Dr. White said that while some had predicted that ED utilization would decrease as a result of greater access to primary care, that this has not occurred. He said that ED utilization has in fact increased because people now have health insurance. He pointed out that ED’s are open 24×7, you don’t have to have an appointment, and are often more convenient for some populations than going to the doctor’s office. ED utilization is going up.

In response to a question abut where the opportunities for innovation are in emergency medicine, Dr. White mentioned a UW startup company making a microfluidic device that will detect blood clots. Dave Chase also responded with the observation that many of the innovations needed are upstream from the ED, and pointed to Iora Health as a company that is innovating with a new patient-centered model that through preventive health can avoid some patients from having to go to Emergency Departments.

In the networking portion of the meetup I had a chance to speak with two nurses from a major ED in the Puget Sound area and asked for their response to the documentary. One of them responded with a very nuanced answer. She chose her words carefully. She said that for those things that it covered it was true. I sensed that there was a deeper answer and asked where the holes were in the documentary’s coverage. “There is a lot more that goes on in an ED than what the residents do”, she said. When I asked about the portrayal of the nursing staff as barriers they both weighed in. I sensed that there was a bit of sadness in their measured remarks about the missing other unsung heroic roles in the ED.

This was the 8th Seattle Health Innovators meetup. We’ve been holding community-building events since June 2013. To join the distribution list for the next Seattle Health Innovation Forum sign up here.

 

 

Oct 28

Emergency Department documentary “Code Black” Nov 12th

We will feature “Code Black”, an award-winning documentary about America’s busiest Emergency Department in our November 12, 2014 Seattle Health Innovation Meetup from 5:00-7:30. (see trailer at http://codeblackmovie.com). This event is being sponsored by WebMD and is held in the same building where their Seattle development team is located.

#4 - Jamie Eng, M.D. with patient in CODE BLACK, a Long Shot release 2014

According to the film’s promotional materials, “the documentary follows a team of young doctors-in-training as they wrestle openly with both their ideals and with the realities of saving lives in a complex and overburdened system.” Their training ground is Los Angeles County Hospital’s legendary trauma bay “C-booth”. “CODE BLACK offers a tense, doctor’s-eye view, right into the heart of the healthcare debate – bringing us face to face with America’s only 24/7 safety net.”  After watching the 80 minute movie we’ll have a chance to talk about it.

#3 - Danny Cheng, M.D., Dave Pomeranz, M.D.,  Ryan McGarry, M.D., Billy Mallon, M.D. at bedside in CODE BLACK, a Long Shot Factory release 2014

CODE BLACK was the Best Documentary winner at Los Angeles Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival. It also was the Audience Award Winner at both Denver Starz Film Festival and Aspen FilmFest.

This is a free event but space is very limited and an RSVP is required for admission. Please RSVP  at http://www.meetup.com/seattle-health-innovation-forum to reserve your seat. I expect that we’ll reach maximum capacity well before the event, and we might not have room for walk-ins. Please RSVP to get on the attendee list before coming to this one.

Please note that this event is being held at the 705 Union Station Building at 705 5th Ave S Seattle 98104. This will be the first time the Seattle Health Innovator meetup is held at this venue. It is in the International District. The office complex is just south of the historic Union Station and is located upstairs from the International District/China Town stop in the bus tunnel.

I look forward to seeing you there.

 

Ed Butler

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