PatientPing, Platforms, and Health Care Transformation


It’s challenging, rewarding and fun to be an ongoing advisor to early-stage companies like PatientPing!

PatientPing is an incredibly promising company developing platforms for health care system collaboration and transformation. Late last year they received a Series B round of  $31.6 M, with investors to-date having included Andreesen Horowitz, Leerink Transformation Partners, Google Ventures, SV Capital, and Fidelity FPrime Capital.

I was recently interviewed by Marketing Manager Laura Bresnahan for a “Four Questions Series” blog post. The four questions addressed are:

  1. Do you expect investments in care coordination to increase or decrease over the next 10 years?

  2. What challenges are value-based care programs facing today?

  3. What are some of the biggest challenges or hurdles for healthcare providers?

  4. What technologies or companies have you seen making an impact across the healthcare landscape?

Read the post here.

A key takeaway: “…healthcare desperately needs to capitalize on the network effect, but this can’t happen until healthcare embraces platform companies to support this business model.”



Presentation Slides: Strategy & Business Models in Healthcare Blockchains


Here’s a copy of my slides from my keynote presentation at The Healthcare Blockchain Summit in Washington D.C. The presentation is titled:

Blockchains in Healthcare: Transforming Strategy & Business Models?

After reviewing some industry background and analysis of trends, consider 7 key implications:

  1. Beware of “yellow flag” blockchain tech terminology: “could”, “possible”, “promising”.
  2. Digital strategy is different than industrial era business strategy.
  3. IMO, the most likely scenario for blockchain tech in healthcare is slow, steady growth over the next decade. After critical mass is reached, network effects will kick in and growth rates will increase dramatically.
  4. There are many promising initial use cases. However, IMO initial use cases are more likely to focus on efficiency value propositions and are less likely to be disruptive.
  5. The blockchain world MUST understand “platform” economy structure, rules & strategy.
  6. Incumbents can use blockchain tech to their advantage.
  7. Anticipate cross-industry competition; companies from outside the industry — especially large tech co.s — will enter healthcare.

Comments, suggestions & pushback greatly appreciated.


Healthcare Blockchain Summit, DC, March 20-21


Bch1Blockchain technology is poised to transform healthcare services and business models. Learn from the leaders who are creating the blockchain future. Discover how to implement pilot projects and applications that improve quality, reduce the cost of healthcare services and clinical trials, promote interoperability, and enhance security.


Over 40 Speakers, Including:

Christian Catalini, PhD, Fred Kayne (1960) Career Development Professor of Entrepreneurship & Assistant Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management, MIT Sloan School of Management
Kyle Culver, Solution Architect, Humana
Jason Goldwater, Senior Director, National Quality Forum
Leonard Kish, Co-founder & COO,
Vince Kuraitis JD, MBA, Principal, Better Health Technologies, LLC
Simon Lin, MD, MBA, Chief Research Information Officer,
Nationwide Children’s Hospital & Professor of Pediatrics and Biomedical Informatics, Ohio State University
John Mattison, MD, Assistant Medical Director & Chief Medical Information Officer, Kaiser Permanente, SCAL
Jody Ranck, DrPH, CEO, Krysalis Labs & Executive Vice President of Strategy, Ram Group
David Schweikert [AZ-06], Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives
Register by February 21, 2017 to receive a $100 early bird discount

Diagnostic Accuracy Scores: Physicians 84%, Computer Algorithms 51%

stethoscope lying on keyboard of a laptop

A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine reported on the diagnostic accuracy of physicians vs. computer algorithms. The study compared the performance of one computer symptom checker app to the text based answers of 234 physicians, 90% of whom were general internists. You can read a summary here.

Twitter commentators had a lot to say about this study. There are many possible interpretations and inferences that can be reached. This post tries to capture some of the main themes:

  1. “Physicians Vastly Outperformed”
  2. Computer Algorithms are Gaining…
  3. …and Will Surpass MDs…but how soon?
  4. There’s a Lot of Room for Improvement
  5. The Devil is in the Details
  6. Better to Collaborate than Compete

Read the rest of the post on Medium.

Photo Credit: jfcherry Flickr via Compfight cc

Oscar’s Narrow Network Strategy: Will it Work?



Writing in Vox, Sarah Kliff describes VC-backed health plan Oscar’s latest twist on strategy:

Oscar’s hope is that it can take narrow networks to the next level; rather than simply cutting costs, Oscar wants to use a narrow network to improve patient experience by deeply integrating with the hospitals and doctors it works with.

Is this the right strategic approach for Oscar? It depends.

Healthcare’s Transformation into the “Pinnacle” Platform Industry

A “Platform Revolution” is sweeping America. Platforms like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Airbnb are turning existing industries inside-out and creating new landscapes never yet dreamed of.

…but healthcare hasn’t been affected much…yet. Below, I’ll briefly explain:

  1. Why healthcare has been slow to adopt platforms
  2. What’s changing
  3. Why in the long-run healthcare promises to become the pinnacle platform industry.

Read the rest of this story on Tincture…

If I Describe Your Company as the “Uber of Healthcare”, Don’t Take It as a Compliment. 7 Reasons Why.

I am constantly surprised by the number of companies that intentionally describe themselves as the “Uber of Healthcare”. If you hear me describing your company that way, I don’t mean it as a compliment. What I do mean is some combination of:

  1. Your ethics and values are dubious
  2. Your swashbuckling disregard for regulatory boundaries is backfiring
  3. You underestimated the competition
  4. Your network effects are overstated
  5. Your platform governance model is Medieval
  6. Your business model is unproven
  7. Your valuation is inflated

Let’s take a more detailed look at each of these seven criticisms. Drawing on my background of 30 years in healthcare, I’ve included examples specifically directed at companies describing themselves as the “Uber for Healthcare”.  However, I hope you’ll find the analysis applicable to a much wider range of companies that have described themselves as “Uber for X”.

MIT Platform Strategy Summit, Boston, July 10


Healthcare has been a laggard in adopting platforms…

…but that’s rapidly changing. In fact, I’ll suggest that healthcare will become the PINNACLE platform industry.


  • Many value propositions are very strong — literally “life-or-death”.
  • Acute and episodic care has focused on relatively discrete, time-limited events; the emerging model of chronic care and population health requires ongoing collaboration among care providers and patients.
  • Many of the value propositions of digital health are dependent upon development of interoperable platforms. For example, non-interoperable platforms would NOT work for:
    • The patient who shows up unconscious in an emergency room away from home
    • Patients with chronic conditions who are treated by multiple providers, multiple lab and imaging centers, and over a long period of time
    • Referrals to specialists using non-standardized, proprietary health IT
  • The healthcare data explosion. Think “omics”.

Healthcare has much to learn from platform development in other industries…and you can take a deep dive into platform strategies at the upcoming MIT Platform  Strategy Summit, July 10 in Boston.

I’ll be chairing a panel on “Healthcare’s Digital Revolution: Emerging Platform Leaders”. The distinguished panelists are:

Michael Salerno – EVP Cohealo
Julie Yoo – Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Kyruus
Mark Dudman – Senior VP, NaviNet
Michael Jackson – GM, Intel Corporation

Other speakers at the event include:

Paul Daugherty – CTO, Accenture
Geoff Parker – Director, Tulane Energy Institute / MIT
Chet Kapoor – CEO, Apigee
Sangeet Choudary – Founder, Platform Labs
Luis von Ahn – Founder, DuoLingo & MacArthur Fellow
Malcolm Frank – CSO, Cognizant
Jerry Wolfe – CEO, Vivanda
Chris Dellarocas – Chair Digital Learning Initiative / BU
Eddie Hartman – Founder, LegalZoom
Youngcho Chi, EVP Corporate Strategy, Samsung Electronics
Marshall Van Alstyne – Professor, Boston University / MIT
JP Rangaswami – CDO, Deutsche Bank

Hope to see you there!


ONC Report on Health Information Blocking: A Solid Double, But NOT a Home Run

A Stand Up Double

By Vince Kuraitis JD, MBA and David C. Kibbe MD, MBA

Last Friday ONC (the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT) released a long-awaited Report On Health Information Blocking. The ONC blog capsulizes the report:

Health information blocking occurs when persons or entities knowingly and unreasonably interfere with the exchange or use of electronic health information. Our report examines the known extent of information blocking, provides criteria for identifying and distinguishing it from other barriers to interoperability, and describes steps the federal government and the private sector can take to deter this conduct.

We were struck with two major reactions to the ONC Info Blocking Report:

  • It’s a solid double: it does a credible job of recognizing that the major problems of interoperability and blocking are not technical or due to a lack of standards, but rather due to business practices and business models. The report also proposes a baseline of potential solutions.
  • It’s not a home run: the report misses the opportunity to describe a comprehensive approach to combat information blocking.

In turn, we offer seven recommendations to strengthen the report:

  1. Place Greater Weight on Patient Safety and Public Policy Concerns
  2. Lower the Burden of Proof For Information Blocking
  3. Put Criminal Penalties On the Table
  4. Broaden the Scope of Tactics for Addressing Information Blocking
  5. Emphasize Federal Purchasing Power — Not Regulatory Power — to Address Information Blocking
  6. Place Less Weight on the Interests of EHR vendors
  7. Name Names, Shine the Light

Where’s the Evidence that Hoarding Data is a Good Business Strategy?

Dear Hospital CIO/CEO,

So you think that hoarding patient data is a good business strategy? …that it discourages patients from going to another hospital?


So why is the marketing department buying billboards encouraging patients to switch for convenience? to save a few minutes?