Quotes from Day 1 of the HLTH Conference
Karen DeSalvo MD - Chief Health Officer Google
responding to the question, Do you feel any pressure at Google to build this (Google Health) into a business.
"No we don't"
"Our raison d'être is better health and quality of life around the world."
"This company understands that we have a lot to do to improve medical care, but health is a lot more than that."
Hemant Taneja - General Catalyst
"We talk about disrupting industry with tech, but people don't want their care disrupted."
Talking about the impact of the pandemic on planning.
"Everything we thought we were going to do over 10 years will happen in the next 4 years."
Alan Lotvin, M.D. - President, CVS Caremark
Responding to the question about Amazon entering the PBM space.
"One underestimates Amazon to ones own peril."
Paraphrasing the rest.
PBMs are being pushed into transparency by their clients. We are going to make money, but we are going to show you how and why. Amazon will make progress because they take a long view, but will they break into the big leagues? Hard barrier to break. Scale matters. Scale takes time.
Stay tuned for more as the week progresses.
today in health it Sunday at the health conference. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week in health. A channel dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. VMware has been committed to our mission to providing relevant content to health it professionals. Since the start, they recently completed an executive study with MIT. On the top healthcare trends, shaping it, resilience, covering how the pandemic drove unique transformation in healthcare. This is just one of many resources they have for healthcare professionals for this and several other great content pieces. Check out vmware.com/go/healthcare. All right, here's what I've decided to do this week. I'm going to do a daily diary from the conference. Talk about what I heard, who I ran into. What's going on. I'm also recording a few short interviews, five to 10 minutes, which I will air on the show later this week and early next week. And Hey, if you're at the conference, just, I am me through Twitter or LinkedIn, I would love to chat with you. Today I got here around three o'clock in the afternoon. The safety procedures are the first thing that you experienced at the conference. Health teamed up with clear that the company that does the airport fast pass kind of thing, and impact health to provide the tech user experience process and the testing. And I will say I was fairly impressed. They processed some 2000 people on Sunday and the line was about 20 minutes long and the test took about 20. And I understand that that's 40 minutes, but think about it a hundred percent vaccinated and a hundred percent tested. It's hard to not feel safe in that environment. It makes me feel like wearing a mask might be a little bit of overkill, but those are the rules in the state of Massachusetts, regardless of if you've created a safe space or not. So that is what's going on. So we have a hundred percent vaccinated, a hundred percent tested, and everyone is wearing. The first thing to note is that this conference is a digital health innovation conference. Most of you, my listeners are not here. Investors are here. Life sciences is here. Pharma is here. And any health tech company that is looking for investors in the next five years is in the building. Don't get me wrong. Healthcare companies will be represented, but mostly by those who are making the deals on behalf of their health. Th the conference we'll have roughly 6,000 people according to their marketing. I don't know if that is going to be a combination of digital and onsite, but as I said earlier, about 2000 people were tested here on Sunday. So the conference feels like it's filling up pretty well. I sat in on a couple of the main stage discussions and it's important to note that they are not presentations. They are discussions. Everyone had a partner to bounce the questions off of after the opening remarks. So following the opening montage of statistics, which was a very interesting video worth taking a look at, if you can get your hands on it and an opening, let's say one minute light show in anticipation of the start, Jonathan Weiner, the founder and CEO of health got up there and. Uh, I acknowledged the contributions of healthcare as a community and thanked them. He then ran through a couple of stats. 5 million people have died from COVID around the world. And one in five have died from COVID in the U S and those are startling numbers to be sure he challenged leaders. He gave a couple of things. I'm not going to give you his whole speech here, but he said, leaders will need to become more comfortable talking about. And it was due to some of the statistics that he talked about that this really has impacted the minority communities much more so than the, fluent and white communities. He said, there's also this, this mistrust of healthcare that needs to be overcome. And he would like to see us focus on the root cause. And finally, he finished up by talking about defeating, missing information. He said one in five, Vaccine is a carrier for a microchip. I don't know about that stat that I would love to see where that comes from. I I've yet to talk to anyone now. That's not true. I've talked to one person who believes that this is a bill gates kind of microchip kind of thing, but, and I've talked to an awful lot of people. So I can, I find that hard to believe. I feel feels like the kind of thing that is an urban level. But his point of defeating misinformation is, well-made The first two to take the stage where Dr. Allen Levin, who is an EVP president for CVS Caremark and Chrissy Farr formerly with NBC now with OMERS ventures. And they had a discussion really around medications, cost of medications after they got through some preliminary conversations from. And she asked him, what can be done about the cost of that medication? And he talks about the things that they do at CVS for their employees. And he said, we use a formulary that is a very highly generic. He talks about the first thing you have to do is drive generics. And he gave some use cases where generics generally, when they become generics, the use of those drugs. Precipitously and they should, there's still a very effective drugs in the treatment of these diseases. So he says, drive generics, number one, number two is drive competition. And he talks about the fact that when drugs get about seven or eight options or competitors, that they see the price drop very rapidly, very significantly. So he obviously is a person who believes in the free market. He goes on to talk about reference price. And, the fact that you could set the reference pricing based on category or base it on the U S versus international. But he said the challenge is that he believes we're on the edge of a major advancement in the cost of development of new drugs. And if we go after setting, the reference pricing, we may set it above what the market actually sets the price at. I have no idea if that's actually true, but it is an interesting. Uh, against reference pricing and I'll have to look into that a little bit further. He was asked about the threat of a player like Amazon, and he opened with the phrase, which I think there's a lot of wisdom in one underestimates Amazon at its own peril. And that's good to hear from him. He talks about the fact though that PBMs are pretty well established. I mean, there's only a handful of them. Well, there's a handful of the major. And they have scale. And he talks about the fact that scale matters and scale takes time. He talks about the fact that people are comfortable with the PBMs that they require visibility. PBMs have been pushed into visibility by their clients. So the clients know that they're making money, but they know exactly how much in how and why they're making the money. So he said, there's a big barrier for them to. But they have a long time horizon. They have a fair amount of money and they have a lot of ingenuity. And so clearly they are someone to keep an eye on the next two that came onto the stage where Ken Frazier with Merck and Heymont Tonasia with general catalyst. They had a very interesting back and forth. They talked a fair amount about how health equities, and then they turned the conversation to. innovation in what they're doing in that space. In 2019, this was Heymont Tonasia talking. He sent in 2019, they went to their partnership and they said, over the next decade, we want to make a difference in the healthcare space. And they said, we want to think intentionally about a set of companies that can be built to address the challenges. And he said everything that we thought we were going to do over 10 years, well, probably happen over the next four years. And that is due to the COVID accelerate. That they have experienced. He went on to say a couple of interesting things. He said, we talked about disrupting industry with tech, but people don't want their care disrupted. People want to trust their care provider. So that's an interesting snippet right there in and of itself. He talked about this idea of building health. And this concept of intentionally partnering to build out companies that make health care, proactive that reduce the health burden on GDP and make care accessible and affordable to all. So that's the framework they're looking at to really build out these companies and to build out these partnerships really. So he drove home the. That it's not one company that is going to be doing this, but it's going to be companies in concert that are going to be doing this. And he left us with this. How do we do this transformation without causing disruption? We were building companies that can drive out jobs, but we are missing an elderly care workforce and a mental health workforce. And what he sees is and movement of people around healthcare. Address those areas that are underserved today with areas that can be replaced with potentially technology process and some other things in the future. The last session that I sat through was Dr. Karen DeSalvo chief health officer for Google health and Lydia Ramsey freelancer with business insider. She's the healthcare editor. And I love the fact that lydia just asked the question, why the reorg what's going on at Google. And I love the answer because it gives us a little more insight into what is going on at Google and how they think at Google. So here's some of the things that Karen DeSalvo had to say, this company understands that we have a lot to do to improve medical care, but health is a lot more than that. So health not healthcare. And she says the reason for being is to develop better health and quality of life around the world, the strategy, all assets of the company, how can we impact millions around the world in an equitable way, high quality information to navigate their health journey and to personalize it. And she talks about the scale of Google and we all know there's 600 billion in pre. Of our health information since the start of the pandemic care studio and AI for healthcare and awareness and context for public health information. When asked, do you feel pressured to build this into a business? She said, no, we don't. That phrase in and of itself is really interesting to me. And I don't doubt that that is true. And I think Google will figure out how to monetize it later, but they're really about the information business gathering information, organizing that information, and they will figure it out. But that is the world that they live in and they want to be preeminent in that space. And so for now they're comfortable just saying, Hey, figure out how we can build better health in an equitable way around the world. And that's how they're thinking. I have a lot more questions, I'll let you piece those things together to. Think about what the world of Google really looks like, but perhaps in the future, we can sit down with Dr. DeSalvo and have a deeper conversation on it, because I don't know about you, but I have more questions about where Google wants to go with this. And what kind of partnerships are they looking for? How are they going to partner with healthcare delivery organizations? What are they doing around the care experience and care gaps and those kinds of things? I don't expect them to do that. But I'm wondering what the conversations look like behind the four walls. Those are my thoughts. You're gonna wanna check back as the week continues, I'll drop more of my daily diaries and the interviews will start later on this week. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week, health.com or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, you get the picture. We are. We want to thank our sales sponsors, who are invested in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. VMware Hill-Rom Starbridge advisors, McAfee, and a networks. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.