What opportunities lie ahead in consumer-focused medical diagnostic technology?

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Kerry Bowden MedTech, MarTech, Analytics...

After a career with Valence Health until their sale to Evolent Health, Kevin Weinstein now leads Analyte, a leading provider of patient diagnostic solutions.

Kerry Bowden, Adaptive Tech's Global Tech Recruitment Director sat down with Kevin and found out what lies ahead in the consumer-focused medical diagnostic technology.

KB: You are a very tenured MedTech professional, when have you seen the industry change the most drastically?

KW: Healthcare in the US has had a couple of very major changes every couple of decades. The first major change resulted from WWII’s wage freeze was the rise of employer-sponsored healthcare.  This essentially set the structure for our system until today.  Next was the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s, creating two programs that today cover 130 million Americans, making the federal government the nation’s largest purchaser of healthcare. In the 1980s, there was the switch in how hospitals were paid, moving away from cost-plus reimbursement. Finally, HMOs if the 1990s created new incentives for various stakeholders.  Finally, the rise of the internet together with the rapid increase of biotech, device, and pharmaceutical treatment options, have exponentially increased the amount of information health professionals need to manage. For medical technology providers, each of these major trends impact and shape technology development. 

KB: What changes do you see in future?

KW: Today, I would say the challenge is focused on how to use all the digitally available information.  Turning disparate data into actionable, impactful information is really the next challenge for the MedTech industry.  One major component of this is to simply connect the data sets and work flows through interoperability across the various technologies and care settings. Another way data will be turned into results is through what people call Machine Learning or artificial intelligence.  Regardless of the buzzword, this is all about harnessing the power of computer processors to sift through massive amounts of data to develop insights that are statistically relevant.  Finally, I see a big change about WHO can use information.  It won’t just be the traditional doctor.  Consumers themselves will begin to leverage their health data in new ways.

KB: How are you focusing on that at Analyte?

KW: We are driven by the wave of consumers wanting increased control of their own health, a trend sometimes referred to as “Do It Yourself Health.” By combining an e-commerce platform, together with a telehealth medical approach, we are empowering consumers to access information, initially lab diagnostics, that traditionally were siloed within a physician workflow.  In this way, more people have more access to more information, which we believe leads to better health decisions.

KB: Why did you make the career move from Valence Health to Analyte Health?

KW: Valence Health was sold to Evolent Health (NYSE: EVH) in a fantastic transaction for both parties, and most importantly both companies’ clients.  After helping with transition and integration, I was actively looking for a new small company to help.  I’ve spent my entire business career helping small companies grow.. I specifically wanted to find a company that was more directly involved with helping consumers secure more control over their health. The average time for a primary care physician to provide diagnostic information and feedback from the first time a consumer is interested is 24 days, largely driven by time need to book an actual appointment. The problem is even more pronounced if a specialist is required, where it can often take six weeks to gain vsisibility into easily performed diagnostics.  With Analyte Health, we can often reduce these cycle times to just a few days, still providing clinically accurate information.  This was exactly the type of care enablement solution I was looking to help grow.

KB: Who are Analyte Health’s competitors and how do you see your technology as a pioneering leader in the space?

KW: The biggest competitor is that people continue to work with their existing provider and workflow. Even though more people are doing so, many people aren’t accustomed to driving their own healthcare processes and requesting data. This is more than a simple business challenge, it’s actually public health problem. If people have barriers to receiving health information, they can’t act on that information.  So whether it’s an individual health metric like cholesterol or an infectious disease like hepatitis C, it’s important to give consumers knowledge.  Our technology platform plays a key role because it makes it possible for consumers to act differently and be more proactive. I’m happy to say we’re doing something right, because we have a patient satisfaction score of 98% and an net promoter score in the mid 70s.

KB: What is the most exciting thing about Analyte?

KW: To me the most exciting thing is that we have just begun to scratch the surface of care-enablement for consumers.  In the near future, we’ll continue to expand our diagnostic offerings, making same day lab and at-home testing available across a wide variety of conditions and tests., We are also focused on partnering with other stakeholders who have a similar interest in empowering health conscious consumers.  In the longer run, we’ll look to add other aspects of care, beyond diagnostics, to our platform.  We really see our purpose as increasing access to care and information for consumers, which is the first step to helping people live healthier lives.