Brigham and Women’s Hospital hosted an afternoon of discussion, lectures and networking at their Building for Transformative Medicine, highlighting the growing effect of digital technology in research and clinical care. Panels of industry leaders graced the symposium with their expertise and take on the wave of technology permeating the healthcare field, while startups in the industry showcased their brands in a hands-on digital health expo.
From “Behavioral Health” to “Digital Health in the Clinic” panels, Brigham and Women’s brought together a range of experts offering insight on the topic, with opportunity for audience engagement to follow each. The “Startup Panel” piqued our entrepreneurial interest, spotlighting Dr. Omar Badri of Medumo, Dr. Brad Diephuis of Herald Health and Dr. Peter Najjar of ListRunner – all members of the Brigham & Women’s community. Moderated by Payal Agrawal Divakaran of .406 Ventures, the panel discussed how their startups were able to break into the healthcare world and begin their paths to success.
Fortunately for these three, being a part of the Brigham and Women’s family has its perks. According to Dr. Diephuis, CEO and co-founder of Herald Health – a notification platform that allows healthcare providers to create, subscribe to and customize protocols – leveraging relationships is key. Knowing the clinical side and the people of Brigham helped him immensely, as he honed in on their expertise for integration of his platform. He highlighted the importance of reaching out to pre-existing contacts as a supplement to working in areas you know well. “That was able to accelerate our process going forward,” he said.
For Dr. Najjar of ListRunner – a collaboration platform for clinical teams – it’s about stepping back and recognizing your product’s worth, showing that your product does not disrupt normal everyday clinical processes already in place at a given hospital. “When you’re thinking about piloting, your first thought is that you want to run a large scale study,” he explained. “But that’s very difficult to do.” With ListRunner, the team conducted a very small-scale, under-the-radar study to start.
As for selling to hospitals, the group advised maintaining patience. “Some early challenges have to do with misalignments,” said Dr. Badri. “The process takes quite a bit of time.” He advised focusing on finding “an integral champion,” someone who believes in your mission and really wants to push your product forward.
And as for merely “staying alive” in the startup world, Dr. Badri recommended retaining as much value in your company as possible, spending the bare minimum and standing by your worth. Dr. Diephuis agreed, acknowledging startups and hospitals as working together to explore the value your product is creating, as opposed to being a one-ended effort. It’s about “recognizing that it’s a learning experience on both sides,” he wrapped up.
A very moving keynote address by BWH President Betsy Nabel suggested exciting times to come for the hospital, as they leverage and accelerate digital health and aim to accelerate IT around healthcare. To learn more about Brigham Innovation, visit them on twitter @BWHiHub and here – and check out even more advice for entrepreneurs looking to partner with hospitals.