I don’t know about you, but when I think “IBM,” I don’t typically think “healthcare.”
Paul Brody: Thanks for inviting us, Joe. We’re happy to talk about medical devices. It’s a big opportunity area for the electronics industry. Urgent Need + New Space = Big Opportunity.
Joe Hage: I like what you’ve written on your website: To date, health device makers have primarily targeted consumers who are either fitness focused or chronically ill. But between these two extremes sits a large, fragmented and often overlooked population who seek better information to effectively manage their health.
At the risk of embarrassing myself, I don’t tend to think of IBM for “healthcare.” What is your value proposition?
Heather Fraser: And also helping our clients connect across life sciences, healthcare and consumer electronics.
Consumer-facing medical devices were around in the 80s when I was in retail pharmacy. Today devices are instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent. By “intelligent” we mean the advent of analytics to interpret the data from the devices.
Paul Brody: Agreed. Collecting data and driving change means Big IT, Big Data, Big Mobility Challenge for medical devices.
We’re focused on helping our clients make their products smarter.
Joe Hage: Smarter how?
Paul Brody: There are massive mobility, analytics, and security challenges to make all this work. For a number of companies we help them connect patients and doctors online.
Their device sends status data securely online and so they don’t have to go to the hospital for a check-up. The result: secure updates at lower costs and less hassle for the user. All done securely online.
Paul Brody: Well, yes, lots of companies want to get into this space. But security, integration are actually really tough. Collaboration between companies is also important (and difficult) to make healthcare “holistic.” Not easy to do.
Heather Fraser: I’ll add, IBM conducted a study last year across life sciences, healthcare, and electronics with on 1300 respondents. 77% were concerned about privacy and security of their health data.
Joe Hage: So can I say, “IBM’s point of difference is data security?” Is that the main selling point?
Joe Hage: Thank you. Let me switch gears. It sounds as though you’re betting on telemedicine.
Heather Fraser: Yes, that’s one of the areas we’re looking at. In the IBM study, 60% of respondents saw benefits of sharing health data in real-time to review with their doctor later.
The Building blocks for telemedicine have arrived: Mobile devices, home based device, web based resource & EHR/PHR. Now we now need to integrate them all.
Steven Pierce, IBM: Huge benefits for capacity constrained hospitals in Asia + dramatically improves patient quality of life. Med device manufacturers provide sensor data, IBM integrates with provider and supports provider with clinical analytics tools.
Paul Brody: Future devices will be more consumer friendly. bit.ly/HQj1t9.
Joe Hage: … and that’s where you come in, yes?
Heather Fraser: Yes. Consumer friendly: They need simple, intuitive, feature rich devices and online tools designed for their specific needs.
Paul Brody: Lots of these future devices will be bought by consumers, so you need to have both a technology & consumer view. Most cost effective medical care will come from approaching both “patient” centric and consumer-focused.
Joe Hage: Who is in your competitive set?
Paul Brody: Very fragmented, competitive market. But we see big name management consulting firms in the mix.
Joe Hage: And I understand you are more likely to partner with Allscripts, NextGen, GE, eClinicalWorks, and Epic than compete with them.
Paul Brody: Correct.
Joe Hage: Can we conclude, “Contact IBM to strategize how to approach the consumer #MedDevice market” because that’s the direction things are heading. Is that fair?
Paul Brody: Yes, I think so.
Heather Fraser: Yes, IBM looks at partnering across healthcare payer, providers, device makers, home-care givers and IT companies, etc.
Joe Hage: So, outside the consumer space: Is there any reason a maker of ultrasound devices, for example, to contact @IBMHealthcare?
Paul Brody: Every device in the hospital is producing data. When we can integrate & apply analytics, we can drive insight. The big challenge is to turn the insight into action that makes a difference for people’s health.
Let me try to give you an example. This is conceptual, not a live example.
Let’s say you have Celiac disease – that means you must have a gluten free diet.
Then an “information seeker” gets what s/he needs without too much effort.
Same view in more than 140 characters here: bit.ly/IqkbO2.
One more cool example: Aneurysm detection we do with Mayo clinic.
Joe Hage: You’ve broadened my thinking about IBM today. You’re welcome to come back any time!
Paul Brody: Thank You! Great chat today.
Heather Fraser: Many thanks for inviting us!