Healthcare Investing and Innovation: Asking the right questions.
KLAS research hosted a digital health investment symposium in Park City, Utah. One of my main takeaways was the importance of asking the right questions to healthcare stakeholders. This includes asking investors what they are interested in.
This one-day work collaboration focused on round table discussions about the interests of investors and providers in digital health. Aligning investor interests with provider needs is one of the biggest needs of healthcare. We want good capital to get to good companies. While at the round table, one of the best comments I heard was that some of the design isn’t centered around the end user. If physicians are responsible for using a product it needs to align to their interests.
Unfortunately, too many people don’t ask the right questions. A technology company might not understand their value proposition in healthcare. I’ve seen companies criticize a lack of technology adoption in healthcare. These are companies that didn’t have a clear picture of what they offered. They also didn’t have a tested healthcare product Or they didn’t ask the specific potential user what they need.
Many of the successful investors at the summit had significant operating experience in the digital health world or operations world. They contributed–if you are a technology looking for a problem, you will struggle in healthcare. You aren’t meeting a need in the market. Some shiny tech solutions are created without real consideration for end users or need. There is no market need for what some people create. Ask yourself if you are user focused. Are you building something that physicians will add to their workflow? Did you consult physicians? What about patients?
One of the interesting parts of this summit was how many participants asked not to be quoted or mentioned as part of the effort. Many of the most important healthcare collaborative efforts happen in private meetings or surrounding larger healthcare events. The quality of conversation behind closed doors helps move healthcare progress forward. What role does journalism play in driving this healthcare conversation? This was my personal question from the event.
Discussing barriers to adoption and success needs a private platform. KLAS research has been convening these conversations in alignment with their research and mission of providing transparency about quality and I was impressed with the amount of interest in workflow and informatics. The stereotype of an investor with no experience in healthcare is not representative of the investors present at the KLAS event. There were years of operator, innovator, and code experience in digital health. A successful investor in digital health comes with the ability to contribute to design and network developed through years of successful companies.
Can we deliver the correct answers and create an environment of improved workflow and creating products that improve healthcare?
Here are the top 10 questions I took away from the KLAS Investor Summit
- What type of problems do you like to solve?
- How long have you been trying to solve the problems you are trying to solve?
- How has the nature of the problem you are trying to solve evolved?
- What are better questions to ask at this type of summit?
- What do you like to invest in?
- What companies do you currently invest in?
- How do you see creating change at the national level?
- What are the digital health initiatives that are important to people?
- What are the problems that aren’t being articulated in public discourse that digital health can speak to?
- What are you most excited about in digital health?
Remember the importance of asking what people need when approaching investors.