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  • 1
    object(stdClass)#14541 (59) {
      ["id"]=>
      string(4) "6175"
      ["title"]=>
      string(60) "How a Pandemic Boosts Digital Health and Ignites a Book-Sale"
      ["alias"]=>
      string(60) "how-a-pandemic-boosts-digital-health-and-ignites-a-book-sale"
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    "For years we have been 'pregnant' of digital health, and now -during this impressive pandemic- it came to life, through a c-section."

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(5690) "

    Was my reply to a journalist when asked about this sudden uprise of 'e-health', where this all came from. Yes, there is an uprise indeed, and from what one could learn from the media a massive one. While many of us have to work from home, there is also this notion of the patient only going to the hospital in an acute situation. Might it be COVID-19, or a heart attack, really (possible) life-threatening events. For all those other momentarily non-acute conditions and interventions many of those were postponed. One can imagine professionals but also patients really wanted to stay connected with one and another, even though visiting the hospital or GP-practice or other healthcare-locations wasn't an option. So in dire need tools that were already existing, sparsely used by some and debated by many, it became some kind of a 'lifeline' with the outside world of patients waiting to be helped. In the absence of physical consultations the option of teleconsultations started to be explored by many health-systems (of not all) and professionals, often asked for by patients themselves.

    Also, with a steep learning curve, the ability to measure and monitor patients (vital) signs remotely combined with teleconsultations became the de facto standard in many places. Turns out that there are many more patients and professionals to see the benefit, now the need is high, to explore and use these tools.

    At a moment in time we're at, wherein some countries there is some kind of relief and seems the first peak of COVID-19 has been passed, one could easily think to go back to normal. The opposite is true, however. The postponed healthcare will take months if not a year to flatten that curve. Let's not forget that the healthcare systems were under fierce pressure before this COVID pandemic hit the world, maybe digital tools can help, support, relief and prevent worse for people living with a condition or in need of an intervention. Always as a tool, and not as a goal.

    In my work in healthcare innovation over the past 15-20 years, I've learned the hard way that change is though and under normal situations often can take a decade, if not longer, to get things up and running.

    Let's take the lessons learned during these intense and impressive times and keep what was good for patients and professionals in the use of digital tools to make healthcare a bit more aligned with how we do things in the rest of society. Videoconferencing, access to your own data, sharing data with your bank or government has already become part of our everyday society.

    On a daily basis, I'm currently been asked by governments, healthcare systems, and companies to help guide through the implementation, strategic-approach, and experience that I normally would share in a keynote or boardroom session on site. Something that is not really possible right now, other than with the use of technology like video conferencing (hence, haven't seen anything more than my home-office in the past 8 weeks or so;-) and it also shows us we should rethink the way we work and live.

    About many of the pathways, innovations, developments, and processes that I had the opportunity to be involved in in the past decades I've written a book: Augmented health(care) that has increased in significance over the past weeks, sending it to many that reached out.

    This book is about the digital transformation that healthcare is facing. It’s not a prediction, not a blueprint nor is it a manual. But it is giving some insights on what is happening to health(care) and how you might best prepare for the future that’s coming. It addresses all levels of healthcare like physicians, nurses, patients, family but also IT departments, administrators, and governments. As the world spins around at an ever-increasing ‘clock-speed’ regarding developments, this book already is outdated at the moment I’ll publish it. It is also a summary of the 175+ blogs I have written on his LinkedIn Influencer blog for the last three years with 835,000+ followers, which will also host updates on the things to come.

    I thought it made sense to make it more accessible for many more so I dropped the price, and put the book in all of its forms on sale. And when you buy the color version you'll get the e-book, right away, for free.

    If any questions about the book, keynotes, webinars, boardroom-sessions virtual, or in due time in real life again, reach out to me, happy to explore ;-)

    No alt text provided for this image
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    How a Pandemic Boosts Digital Health and Ignites a Book-Sale

    Lucien Engelen
  • 2
    object(stdClass)#14538 (59) {
      ["id"]=>
      string(4) "6157"
      ["title"]=>
      string(60) "Healthcare: What’s Your Hack to Achieving Balance at Work?"
      ["alias"]=>
      string(56) "healthcare-what-s-your-hack-to-achieving-balance-at-work"
      ["introtext"]=>
      string(139) "

    Nearly half a decade ago, I was a nephrology fellow simultaneously enrolled in graduate school while pregnant with my third child.

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(5258) "

    When I wasn’t on service, I’d go to bed at 8:30pm, wake up 11pm, do homework until 3am, and wake up at 6am for clinic or class. Yet I was still able to remodel my home, go out to eat with friends, and enjoy 4 weeks of vacation a year. I did not believe it when my attending told me that life would only get busier. She was right.

    Nowadays as a leader at a Fortune 500 health care company, my hospital call schedule is infrequent and my sleep is rarely interrupted by my “pager” (I put that in quotations because we don’t use pagers anymore); however, I often borrow from my sleep bank to work on a project or finish a presentation. Increasing levels of responsibility and accountability accompanied by business travel and the need to work across time zones in a global environment places significant challenges to my inner chi. If I am not careful, I find myself tipping the scale, placing myself at risk for becoming task-oriented, short-fused, and inefficient.

    Below are a few personal hacks I’ve found useful to holistically maintain my true self to remain refreshed and centered at work.

    1. Become an Essentialist/Minimalist

    When you practice essentialism or minimalism, you learn to prioritize and to clear your schedule so that you can focus on activities that are most meaningful and have the highest value. For me, this means clearing the clutter from my home, my calendar, and my thoughts, which helps define how I choose to spend my time and energy. The best (and most entertaining) books I’ve read which helped my practice include Essentialism, The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown; Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight, a humorous rendition applicable to dealing with your personal life. Yes, I’ve pretty much Marie Kondo-ed everything in my life that does not “spark joy” so I can be my best self at work and at home.

    2. Limit Your Personal Sacrifices

    Sometimes it is necessary to make a personal sacrifice to meet a deadline, address an urgent issue, or meet a business-critical need. However, we must be mindful of the physical and mental effects of working through meals, nights, weekends, and vacations. Keep high protein snacks with you such as jerky, dried fruits, and nuts to tide you over until you can have a decent meal. If you work late into many evenings or through entire weekends, request unofficial time off during the business week to recuperate. Schedule single PTO days every couple of months to catch up on sleep, groom, or veg out, and be sure to make it a tech-free day. Do not return from vacation on a Friday to save vacation days. You may be greeted with an urgent issue requiring you to work through the weekend which will leave you feeling even more exhausted than pre-vacation. I also recommend taking the entire week off or leaving later during the work week, returning to work after the weekend.

    3. Invest in Yourself

    Invest time in yourself by taking the time to learn from other people’s successes and failures. The best way to do this is by reading. They are so many great books out there which will hone the way you think and how you communicate. I personally go to the city library every Sunday and browse through the displays recommended by the librarians.

    Invest energy in yourself by doing things that rejuvenate your soul. This will vary individually, but make sure it has a physical component to get you moving. For me, I personally love SoulCycle or U-Jam Fitness. In a class with anonymity, I can focus on music, the energy of the room, and how I feel.

    Invest money in yourself by prioritizing or outsourcing activities. $80 can go long way. Every so often, I hire a babysitter to play with my children so that I can work on a project. Sometimes it is related to work, and sometimes it’s not. You need uninterrupted time free from every day distractions or parental obligations to think creatively and strategize your next steps. These moments should occur when you are alert and energized rather than waiting until everyone else is asleep. Even though it may sound ridiculous, I have also hired help to organize my shed, clean my refrigerator, and organize my children’s closets. Outsourcing these necessary but low-value activities enable you to redirect your time and energy to activities that are more enjoyable and impactful.

    Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes external circumstances spiral out of control such as a personal or family illness, personnel change, etc. No matter how much you plan or prepare yourself, losing one's balance happens. That’s okay. This is when resilience comes into play. Take a moment, rest, rely on your inner circle, recover, and come back with the ability to balance an even heavier and larger load with everything you’ve learned.

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    Healthcare: What’s Your Hack to Achieving Balance at Work?

    Ha Tran, MD
  • 3
    object(stdClass)#14540 (59) {
      ["id"]=>
      string(4) "6139"
      ["title"]=>
      string(29) "Welcome to the Hybrid Economy"
      ["alias"]=>
      string(29) "welcome-to-the-hybrid-economy"
      ["introtext"]=>
      string(118) "

    First came the agricultural economy and the industrial economy and then the service and the consumer economy.

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(6210) "

    Then, there was the sharing economy. Next came the experience economy and the ecosystem economy. Now, as a result of COVID, we have the hybrid economy in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution.

    The hybrid economy is characterized by organizations, industries and consumers/prosumers that combine digital and physical elements to their business models and buying habits.

    We have already seen how sick-care, tourism, education, consulting, financial services, fundraising, retail, airlines and hospitality are adjusting. Before COVID, all companies were digital. Most just didn't know it. More are now getting the picture because they have to to survive.

    Now, whether you are a startup, scale-up, grown-up or nonprofit, your value proposition and the parts of your business model canvas will require more hybrid elements i.e when can things be done remotely and when can things be done face to face.

    Welcome to the hybrid economy

    Many companies, some in sick-care, have embraced a digital marketing strategy. Few have gone much further than that.

    McKinsey has suggested this action plan.

    1. From ‘sleeping at the office’ to effective remote working.

    2. From lines and silos to networks and teamwork.

    3. From just-in-time to just-in-time and just-in-case supply chains.

    4. From managing for the short term to capitalism for the long term.

    5. From making trade-offs to embedding sustainability.

    6. From online commerce to a contact-free economy.

    7. From simply returning to returning and reimagining.

    Here are some things to incorporate into your digital strategy:

    1. An eCare strategy that is aligned with your other face to face (F2F) services

    2. Sub-segmenting your patient population by those that highly value convenience over F2F care and favor one social media plaform over another.

    3. An eCare infrastructure that integrates, coordinates and consolidates episodes of care to reduce hand off errors.

    4. A business model for eCare that is VAST. 

    5. Systems that comply with laws and regulations regarding privacy and security. Do we need to change HIPAA to advance care coordination?

    6. User interfaces that don't interfere with workflow and are easy to use and accessible on mobile devices.

    7. Specific to a given patient population.

    8. Gets the biggest bang for the buck. Remember, 5% of Medicare beneficiaries spend 50% of the budget.

    9. Interfaces with data translated into information to increase the effectiveness of analytical techniques designed to lower cost and minimize inappropriate resource utilization.

    10. Meets clearly defined clinical and business objectives like cutting costs or increasing revenues and market share.

    Most importantly, make sure your workforce has the right hybrid skills to do their jobs. For example, don't forget the people part of AI.

    Prepare for the hybrid economy by hiring people with hybrid skills capable of creating products and services that conform to the new environment and does the job your customers want you to do...safely and conveniently.

    Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of The Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Facebook.

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    Welcome to the Hybrid Economy

    Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA
  • 4
    object(stdClass)#14608 (59) {
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      ["title"]=>
      string(49) "Innovation Readiness is Not Improvement Readiness"
      ["alias"]=>
      string(49) "innovation-readiness-is-not-improvement-readiness"
      ["introtext"]=>
      string(89) "

    Most of what you have read lately is about how COVID has accelerated innovation.

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(8400) "

    What might have taken 5 years to get to patients is now taking months, like telemedicine, supply chain speed and drug discovery and development.

    However, there is a difference between an idea, an invention, an improvement and an innovation. Sometimes what is really happening is not new at all, but simply an example of speedier dissemination and implementation across the chasm, frequently out of necessity.

    Standards-based reform is a series of improvement efforts with a focus on doing things better. Online learning and new learning models are examples of disruptive innovation–doing things differently to dramatically improve outcomes. Doug Lemov’s book, Teach Like a Champion, is about improvement. Clay Christensen’s book, Disrupting Class, is about innovation.

    Physician leaders occupy the next level and are expected to provide vision, direction and inspiration and drive the change process. Some see their role as incremental tweakers, leading to the painful and difficult process of changing the existing model. Others see their role as making the model obsolete. They typically try to follow John Kotter's 8 step change paradigm: unfreeze by creating a sense of urgency, changing behavior, and then refreezing the new behaviors to engraft them on to the culture and make them sustainable.

    Physician entrepreneurs take it one step further, taking advantage of an opportunity with scarce, uncontrolled resources with the goal of creating user-defined value through the deployment of biomedical and clinical innovation. Often times, their outcomes will be in conflict with physician managers who are there to protect, not disrupt, the status quo, or leaders who don't have the same vision.

    Some physician entrepreneurs are innovators, occupying a space in the upper right hand corner of the novelty-value matrix

    Innovation Readiness is Not Improvement Readiness

    Where you sit on the matrix is dependent on how much time you're spending on the now (lower left), the next (right lower) or the new (upper right quadrant). The upper left quadrant is the place in hell reserved for shiny new objects that create little or no user-defined value at significant multiples when compared to the competition or the status quo.

    For example, understood as a virtual army in the war against COVID-19, AI has vast stockpiles of potential weaponry with which to wage many a battle. That’s the good news.

    The not-so-good news is that potential, so far at least, is all the technology has to show for all the chest-beating of its enthusiasts. AI’s success or lack thereof in taking on COVID-19 is all a matter of data. Privacy regulations and balkanized data silos will stop you even before the antiquated, error-filled health databases do. That happens in Washington and state capitals, not in the data lab.

    Improvement readiness assessment and innovation readiness assessment, therefore, are not the same. While there are similarities, there are significant differences that determine the outcomes of a change initiative. Most of them have to do with how pervasive is the process of how those with an entrepreneurial mindset collide with an organization that has a culture of innovation, not just improvement.

    Here is what physician entrepreneurs should know about innovation and why it is a heavier lift than improvement.

    1. You need to lead innovators, not manage innovation.

    2. Innovative universities and organizations are not necessarily entrepreneurial.

    3. Patients and other stakeholders are your main source of opportunity to create innovation.

    4. Big Device should change their R/D models.

    5. You need an Innovation Management System to create impact.

    6. You need to clarify your innovation expectations and encourage innovators to go beyond them or dial them back. Sometimes tinkering is the first step towards something bigger.

    7. Have you validated your business model assumptions?

    8. Rules create ecosystems. Ecosystems drive innovative business models. Think, TV, the Internet, electric cars.

    9. Stop blowing innovation smoke and raise your innovation bar.

    10. Create user defined value through the deployment of innovation, not just companies.

    Post COVID you should not be asking yourself when we will return to normal. That ship has sailed. You should be shooting to make the old normal obsolete, not disseminating bad products, services and models to more people inequitably and calling it innovation.

    Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD and Facebook.

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    Innovation Readiness is Not Improvement Readiness

    Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA
  • 5
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      ["title"]=>
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      ["alias"]=>
      string(14) "ode-to-mothers"
      ["introtext"]=>
      string(113) "

    Day in and day out, I interact with mothers.

    " ["fulltext"]=> string(3312) "

    Sometimes I help women become mothers, sometimes I help women not become mothers. Sometimes I witness the heartache of losing a mother or losing the ability to be a mother. Sometimes I share in the joy of their child’s achievements or laugh at their crazy stories. And sometimes I see women become  mothers to children they did not birth.

    To each one of you I say:

    You are brave.

    You are brave to hold more sacred than your life the life growing inside of you.

    You are brave to willingly walk through the valley of pain to reach the land of motherhood.

    You are brave to open yourself and give every bit of your heart to another.

    You are brave to roar as a lioness to protect your cub.

    You are strong.

    You are strong to hold together your broken heart for others to lean on.

    You are strong to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders so others don’t have to.

    You are strong in your tears, you are strong in your laugh.

    You are strong in letting go.

    You are courageous.

    You are courageous in saying no.

    You are courageous in saying yes.

    You are courageous when you hear the cry in the night.

    You are courageous even when you are scared.

    And although you don’t hear it often enough

    You are loved.

    You are appreciated.

    You are a heroine.

    You are my heroine.

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    Ode to Mothers

    Andrea Eisenberg, MD

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