TiE Silicon Valley 2021 CIO forum discuss gaps in healthcare

Ritu Jha-

Healthcare is all set to get a shot in the arm with startups that can now look forward to more beneficial interaction with their biggest potential customers.

This and other issues like improving the productivity of medical workers, minimizing the time spent on paperwork, lowering premiums and making patient’s navigation simple were some of the core issues discussed during the TiE Silicon Valley annual virtual 2021 CIO Healthcare Forum held last month. It was hosted by the TiE Silicon Valley former President Venktesh Shukla, who also is a former chair, TiE Global, and founder & managing partner at Monta Vista Capital.

The Forum facilitated a dialogue between the most innovative startups that have achieved significant initial success such as $2-10M ARR and showcased their work to CIOs of US healthcare systems, the biggest buyers in the healthcare space. The startup companies participated:  Elemeno Health, Subtle Medical, BrainCheck, Constellation4, SymphonyCare, and Health Note.

Shukla told indica, “The objective of the CIO Healthcare Forum is to provide a platform for the interaction of high-potential startups with their biggest potential customers in the health care space. It is a unique opportunity for the startups to hear directly from the top most decision-makers in these large hospital chains. Otherwise, startups struggle to get access to even one of these decision-makers but through this Forum, they get to be face to face with five of them at the same time.”

Shukla also moderated the panel that comprised notable names in the US healthcare CIO world like Marty Paslick – HCA Healthcare,   Samantha Martinez – AdvantageCare Physicians (ACPNY),  Craig Richardville – SCL Health, Hackensack Meridian Health’s CIO and Digital Engagement Officer Kash Patel and Texas Health Resources’ Chief Digital Officer San Banerjee.

“It is a unique opportunity for the startups to hear directly from the top-most decision-makers in these large hospital chains, which otherwise struggle to get access to these decision-makers. Through this Forum, they will get the opportunity to interact directly with five of them at the same time,” Shukla told indica.

This year the participation was restricted to six companies to optimize their time with the CIOs. At least two presenting companies were not based in California, he informed.

“The forum is tailored to the needs of startups that seek access to and feedback from the largest hospital chains,” Shukla said and added that they intended to organize other CIO Forums focusing on other verticals.

When asked to point out the gaps in the industry of healthcare and whether the CIOs were looking for, any particular popular software, Shukla said, “Anything that provides better security solutions or prolongs the useful life of the investments made in medical equipment are perennial favorites.”

“This year the biggest issues raised were improving the productivity of medical workers – minimizing their time spent on paperwork, bridging the silos in which different kinds of data reside, so they get a better picture of the patient situation in real time,” he informed.

Marty Paslick of HCA Healthcare said that while there were numerous gaps, opportunities too were plenty. “A different working model is the need of the hour to avoid wasting money in the health system between the providers and payers,” he added.

“Our grasp on data has to improve vastly, the key is to learn how to use it in real-time,” Paslick said “The other gap is that we are not as mobile a workforce as we should be. The main challenge is how we converge different capabilities into mobile platforms to put technology in the hands of our caregivers in the best way possible.”

He pointed out that though the current digital patient journey was good, a lot of effort was needed to upgrade it to the level of other experiences the consumers enjoyed.

“We look forward to breaking the payer-provider business model and the challenges in our system such as processing the claims later, saving the data, etc,” Patel said sharing his views.

Regarding the matter of the patient experience, Patel avered that an Amazon ‘Doctor Ask’ experience needed to be created to have seamless access to healthcare.

Richardville while sharing his thoughts said, “Given that the longevity of some of our most expensive investments that are in healthcare equipment is average if we can extend that life at lower premiums, we can give the provider what they need.”

Samantha echoed the sentiments of Patel and Richardville said, “While we can provide some patients the opportunity to get the lowest cost on medicines and best provider support on certain apps, users with no access to these apps are losing out on these advantages; we have to meet the patient where they are. So having some kind of standardization whether or not the patient has access to all apps… will really help us. During the pandemic, one of the things that came out was that information is key, we cannot block the patient’s information just because she/he is not equipped with certain apps.”

Banerjee voiced his concern that though many people were coming up with point solutions, what they really needed was to learn how to interoperate all of them together. That, he said, was the real struggle.

“You have to create an environment where everything can operate well, and with each additional point solution, the more complicated the operating model becomes. To operate in the existing ecosystem is the main challenge,” Banerjee stressed.

Citing the example of something as simple as patient navigation which still posed a tough challenge, he said. “If anybody is willing to work on this core challenge, I am interested since we have not been able to solve this basic problem for a long time.”