Health 2.0 Seattle: Building For Healthcare and Transformational Marketing


Recap: Health 2.0 Seattle is hosted by digital product studio Substantial. Its mission is to establish Seattle as a leader in healthcare innovation by facilitating dialogue among professionals from the local technology, life sciences, and global health industries.

March: How to Build Solutions In Healthcare

In March, Health 2.0 Seattle invited Howard Mahran, CEO & Founder of Deep Domain; Anand Gaddum, Director of Health & Life Sciences at iLink Systems; and Sailesh Chutani of Mobisante to speak about what it means to build successful innovations for healthcare.

Key Insights

Howard Mahran talked about the importance of building around a “pain point.” He found there to be huge need around reporting for hospitals and clinics, comparing EMRs to gigantic landfills where information was dumped but could only painfully be extracted and effectively used. His company was built to respond to this pain.

Anand of iLink System described how access and quality and cost were always going to be problematic in healthcare, and though solutions would not be found, there should be ways for improving the current model.

Mobisante’s Sailesh Chutani’s approach was different in that he looked at the healthcare industry from an investment perspective. He found two areas of opportunities for technology to be useful: expanding access and lowering cost.

Other insights for entrepreneurs included:

  • Start with the big vision and expect that vision to become more modest as product release becomes nearer
  • Educating your consumer will slow the sell cycle, but it is critical to success
  • Be patient and ask lots of questions. Always be a student of healthcare.

April: Transformational Marketing For Healthcare

In April Grad Conn, Central Marketing Organization Lead at Microsoft, presented on how transformational marketing might be applied to the healthcare industry. His unique experience in launching Health Vault positioned him as an excellent speaker to the complexities of implementing a “connected health” product. He spoke candidly about the successes and failures, and provided insights for any product launch into the healthcare market.

Key Insights:

Drawing on Clay Christiansen’s theory of disruptive innovation, Grad illustrated Microsoft’s establishment of a new market, and its eventual loss of domination of that market because of its excessive responsiveness to customers immediate needs, rather than to their future or eminent needs.

For the build of Health Vault, Grad led teams into customers’ homes to understand what kind of tool people wanted to manage their family’s healthcare. The feedback was the same: people wanted all the information together and they wanted it portable and they wanted the information provided to them from their healthcare providers.

Though Health Vault was successful, as shown especially in its applications throughout the world, and at New York Presbyterian Hospital, the marketing did not remain true to customer demands: highlighting an emotional connection to all info in one, portable place. As such, sales and proliferation of the product faltered.

Also discussed was the complexity in selling novel products to uneducated customers, and how appropriately researching the ROI to integrate into marketing messages is critical to consumers who might not be as forward thinking as others.

May: Leveraging Synthesis to Deliver Insight

On Tuesday, May 20th  Substantial, will host a workshop on Leveraging Synthesis to Deliver Insight. Ryan Harasyn, VP of Design and Zachary Smith, Director of Technology & Innovation at Substantial will be leading a hands-on workshop designed to help attendees use the art of synthesis to intentionally and repeatedly gain insights that lead to new ideas and ultimately innovation.


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Susan E. Williams (@estherswilliams) explores experiments at the intersection of health care and technology, particularly around how mobile apps, games and sensory apparatus change the way we pay attention, understand, and make decisions about our bodies, emotions, and behavior. Susan received her BA in cultural anthropology from Columbia University and her MA in East Asian Culture, with an emphasis on Japan, from New York University. She is on the board of Health 2.0 Seattle, and works (and believes) in social media communications for health care and science.


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