Full House For NYCEDC Innovate Health Tech NYC Demo Day

Last night we hosted a TOTALLY full house (we got pictures to prove it!) for the NYCEDC Innovate Health Tech NYC Demo Day at the WeWork Lounge in SoHo. The 10 best teams from the competition got the opportunity to pitch their technologies live to a panel of health tech luminaries, who evaluated their entries on “potential for success”.  The judges deliberated live on-site and helped select our 3 winning teams:

Sincere congratulations goes out to our winners and all the teams that participated last night.  We’re creating a revolutionary health tech industry here in NYC and the entrants in this competition are building it through their outstanding contributions.

Finally, I’d like to thank the NYCEDC for creating this great program and Janssen Healthcare Innovation for sponsoring the challenge. Last, but not least, thanks to our judges and our partners at ChallengePost, and Startup Health for making this day a huge success.

Onword and upword for NYC Health Tech!

Hospital Pricing Data? More Please!

Anyone operating in the health tech universe for the last few years knows that open health data has been and continues to be a major theme. Current White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park started talking (NO, YELLING!) about “data liberacion” back in 2010 when he was tapped to be CTO for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Since then, Park and his HHS successor, Bryan Sivak, have moved heaven and earth to liberate huge amounts of valuable health data.

Health 2.0 startups have swarmed all over the data, using it to build ever more useful applications and tools. Data that was once siloed and accessible to only a few is now available to millions through online services like iTriage, Vitals.com, and Castlight Health. With each passing day, innovators figure out new ways to use and combine data sets in ways that no one in the federal government could have ever imagined.

In the last few weeks, however, the feds have upped the “data liberacion” ante, releasing a number of new datasets that could have a totally disruptive impact on the established health marketplace. On May 8th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), released a dataset showing inpatient hospital charges to Medicare for 100 of the most common inpatient diagnosis codes. CMS followed up on its initial salvo on June 3rd, also releasing outpatient charge data for 30 of the most common ambulatory payment codes.

Why is this important? Prices charged to Medicare were formerly top-secret and closely guarded. Hospitals and health systems kept this information confidential because making it public could impact how they compete with other provider institutions and could also impact complex price negotiations with private third party insurers. The world has suddenly changed. Default price transparency is the new norm for providers working within the Medicare program (at least for the most common diagnoses), and we expect more transparency to come down the line from the feds and the states.

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Stupid Cancer Show – “Surviving Cancer: There’s An App For That?”

Thanks to my friend Matt Zachary, founder and CEO of Stupid Cancer, for the invite to the Stupid Cancer Show. Matt and his co-host/co-founder Kenny Kane interviewed me, Alex Fair of Medstartr/Health 2.0 NYC and Carly Parry of NCI, about the Crowds Care For Cancer Challenge.  We had a great discussion about how technology can help cancer survivors and how patients, providers and technologists can work together to build useful applications.  Interview begins at about 31:20.

Listen to internet radio with Stupid Cancer Show on BlogTalkRadio

Health Datapalooza IV Interview – June 4, 2013

In this quick interview with Health 2.0 Co-Founder, Matthew Holt, I talk about the Developer Challenge program, specific challenges launched/closed at the Health Datapalooza meeting, and innovation competitions more broadly. Thanks for the interview, Matthew!

Health Datapalooza 2013: “Challengeology” Panel

This year’s Health Datapalooza (the 4th annual) was bigger and better than ever, with over 2,000 registered attendees. Cristin Dorgelo of the White House OSTP led another great panel on “Challengeology” where we discussed prize competitions and lessons learned. Thanks to Cristin and the organizers of HDP IV for the invite!


  • Cristin Dorgelo, Assistant Director for Grand Challenges, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) – MODERATOR
  • Sara Holoubek, Founder & CEO, Luminary Labs
  • Jean-Luc Neptune, Senior Vice President, Health 2.0
  • Jonathan Gluck, Senior Executive & Corporate Counsel, Heritage Provider Network
  • Alex Fair, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, MedStartr
  • Max Sow, Director, Business Intelligence, Surescripts

How Health Care Should Work: Direct-Pay For Well-Priced, High Quality Services

Ah, the dangers of ethnic food!   Last week I got a splinter deep in my right thumb while eating delicious souvlaki served on a wooden skewer. Despite my best efforts to get the splinter out I was unable to do so and had to deal with increasing pain and swelling while I was in Mountain View for the Health 2.0 Health:Refactored conference.

Yesterday, I realized the pain was getting worse and that I likely had an infection in the thumb so I decided to do something about it. For the last few years I have had a high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP), which means I pay for all non-preventive services out of pocket until I hit my deductible of $2,850, at which point the “insurance” part of my plan kicks in to cover the costs.  Because I have a HDHP I am very interested in keeping my costs low, but I’m also concerned about getting good quality care and having a positive health experience.  As I searched for what to do I realized I had 3 options:

  1. Emergency Room
  2. Doctor’s Office
  3. Urgicare Center

As a physician trained in the great city of New York I knew that option #1 was a non-starter.  Going to St. Luke’s, Roosevelt or CPMC for a splinter would guarantee that I’d spend the whole day waiting as the overworked clinical staff dealt with patients with more severe and more pressing medical needs.  I also knew that the ER visit would almost certainly also unleash a maelstrom of medical bills after the visit, with none of the charges clearly representing the actual cost of care.  With regard to seeing my personal doctor (option #2) I realized that wasn’t an option either.  Although I very much like my personal physician and think he does an excellent job providing outpatient care, I know he doesn’t work most weekends and even if I got him on the phone he would have sent me to the local ER anyway.

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New York Academy of Sciences Conference: Health 2.0 – Digital Technology in Clinical Care

On March 22, 2013, the New York Academy of Sciences hosted the “Health 2.0: Digital Technology in Clinical Care” conference (sponsored by the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation). Participants convened at the Academy to discuss the technical, legal, and ethical implications of health care technology innovation. The audio below is from a conversation I moderated called “Promoting Translation and Expanded Use of Digital Technology”, featuring Dr. Jessica Ancker and Dr. Roberto Martinez.

Sensor Technologies: The Future of Health? @SXSW13

At this year’s SXSW we got the opportunity to organize a panel titled “Sensor Technologies: The Future of Health?” and enjoyed an excellent discussion with David Van Sickle of Asthmapolis, Lama Nachman of Intel, and Mark Winter of the XPRIZE Foundation.  Thanks to Hugh Forrest (@Hugh_W_Forrest) of SXSW for the opportunity – we hope to be back again next year.

Health 2.0 Spring Fling – Interview With Farzad Mostashari

At the Health 2.0 Spring Fling 2012 I had the opportunity to interview the ever-engaging Farzad Mostashari, our National Coordinator for Health IT. Farzad and I talked about a range of topics including his priorities at the ONC (Office of the National Coordinator), the Investing in Innovation (i2) Initiative, ongoing challenges, and what members of the audience can do to help drive innovation in the space.

Health 2.0 Spring Fling – Developer Challenge Innovation Showcase

The Health 2.0 Developer Challenge program has grown dramatically since its launch in June 2010. Since that time we’ve managed more than 50 challenges and code-a-thons, and we’ve engaged more than 5,000 innovators who are changing our health care system for the better. In this video, Indu Subaiya and I discuss the Developer Challenge program, including the announcement of crossing the million dollar prize distribution threshold! A great video to find out about what’s new in the world of innovation competitions.