A lot has changed for small startups in the healthcare industry over the past decade, including the rebound from the Great Recession and the introduction of the Affordable Care Act. That's part of what a group of healthcare professionals discussed Oct. 17, at a Medical Alley small business leadership forum.
The event, titled "Small Business Leadership Forum: The Game Has Changed – Startup Business Model Today," caught the eye of more than 50 professionals who RSVP'd to the event. It was the most RSVPs Medical Alley has received for one of its forums. And MedNet was one of the event's sponsors.
The forum provided an excellent opportunity for us to participate in the conversation and be present within the healthcare community. Here's what we took away from the conversation.
Moving Healthcare Into Homes
Advancements in technology continue to refine the healthcare industry as companies look for ways to provide more efficient, cost-effective care. And there's a huge push toward providing remote care. One example of this type of innovation came from one of the guest speakers.
Lisa Lavin, co-founder and CEO of Anser Innovation, talked about how her company began with a home monitoring system for pet care. Using your phone, you can see your pet, talk to them, play music for them, even give them a treat. Then, Lisa thought, "Why can't we do this for humans?" So, she took the same technology used for her pet monitoring system and associated it with medication, especially for seniors. Now, Anser Innovation is working on a product that allows a family member to provide visual confirmation that their loved one is taking the right pill at the right time. Technology like this could limit clinic visits, improve health outcomes and reduce cost.
This idea of moving healthcare into homes helps drive home another point the industry is striving for, to empower its patients to take their care into their own hands. "The shortage of primary care is an epidemic in the U.S.," says Brian Sweeney, strategic account director at MedNet Solutions. Home health care technology relieves that epidemic, putting the power in the patient's hands. For example, patients can take home a biometric device that will record health information like body temperature or glucose levels without having to go to the clinic.
At MedNet, we provide electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePRO), an EDC feature that allows patients to insert data directly into the EDC from home without needing a clinic visit. While it doesn't work for all trial patients, it is helping retain patients through the life of a study because it is less burdensome to participate. But this is only the first of many steps to put control in the hands of our trial patients. We're researching, discussing, and planning ways to leverage mHealth tools to make it easier for patients to participate in clinical trials to ensure maximum study success.
The Role of Medical Alley
The Medical Alley Association is a long-standing collection of Minnesota's leaders in healthcare technology and innovation. MedNet is a member of the organization for years, and this year, we sponsored all three of Medical Alley's Small Business Forums.
The previous forums were titled, "Right People, Right Seat" and "Scrappy Innovation," and all were geared towards common issues and concerns of startups in healthcare and medical technology.
We were honored to sponsor these three forums and look forward to future involvement with the Medical Alley community.