Recently, I had the pleasure of spending some time with Kiri-Maree Moore, CEO and founder of Decision Velocity Global. As an adviser and strategist, Moore works with organizations to help develop sustainable and scalable ecosystems that help them meet their strategic goals while adding value to humanity. One of the core values of Moore’s brand is creating “a humanity culture in your company,” an interesting and profound perspective that is often lost in the race for numbers and bottom lines.
Perception Versus Reality
Our conversation spanned many topics, drifting from the life of a nomad CEO (she and her husband, Taki Moore, travel the world with their six kids, blending work and family life for 10 months out of the year), to business challenges and roadblocks to scalability of technology. She also talked about misguided efforts and failed projects when teams run with their perception of needs versus the real needs of stakeholders.
The conversation had me reflecting on my experiences and observations about why several digital health innovations failed to realize optimal value. Here are some key questions to ask and plan for in your strategy:
- Did you misjudge the market need? To be an effective solution, the innovation must address the multifaceted needs of healthcare stakeholders. The needs assessment must include, but not be limited to, functional need(s) that current market solutions do not address; social, clinical, regulatory, and financial factors that impact the current market gap and various trends that can shift the degree of impact; and intercedence of stakeholders as it relates to the market need. How does that interdependency address the proposed innovation’s scalability and sustainability?
- Did you identify the need behind the need? I was reminded of my experience working with the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia to plan the launch of several women’s health tertiary centers in rural areas to provide access to health services. The centers boasted cutting-edge technologies from around the world. Yet, the team failed to realize and plan for the real need behind the need for women in rural areas. Barriers to transportation and cultural dependency on male relatives to travel are not solved by new brick-and-mortar centers. The true need for access could be solved with virtual care and telehealth in the privacy of these women’s homes, along with customized digital health devices that would seamlessly transfer health information to enable personalized care.
- Health care is unique. Have you planned for operational nuances? Each care setting and the customer experience in that setting has its own operational process nuances. Does the solution factor in those unique operational (process, data, technology, regulatory, etc.) needs?
- Did you factor in the barriers to scalability? Interoperability and the process of interacting with other vendors in the sandbox and within the health ecosystem becomes a critical factor in scalability of solutions across the continuum. Proactive measures to comply with regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), pay for performance (P4P), the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), and the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), etc., should be planned for ahead of launch.
- Did you incentivize usage? Ultimately, many innovative digital health solutions fail because people don’t pay for the service. It may be a great idea in concept, but in practice, it is challenging to motivate consumers to play an active role in their health and get them to pay to do it. Consider incentivizing usage within the organization and with consumers to enable a broad footprint.
- Are you leveraging interdisciplinary governance internally, as well as in partnership with the customer? Consider setting up and leveraging a multidisciplinary and multilevel data governance in partnership with customers to observe, learn from, and realize practical impact on the front lines with stakeholders. This also increases customer engagement and investment in product success, as well as integration into the operational environment.
- Do you have failed pilots to learn from? The greatest of ideas fail to put the operational reality on the front lines. Consider leveraging transparency, highlighting data, and learnings from early failures when turning a concept to scalable reality in your sales strategy. Nobody has the perfect solution. A grounded, pragmatic, and efficient approach to production and process maturity is the key to sustained success.
- How fast can you learn, pivot, and implement? Consider leveraging an agile methodology to incrementally integrate with operational workflows for maximum impact.
- Do your service values align with the healthcare organization’s values? The alignment of cultural and service values is a key component of sustainable partnerships. Identify the attributes of your ideal customer blend, and tailor your growth strategy to that.
- Are you positioning yourself as a trusted partner for product development and maturity? The age-old cliché that states, “The only constant is change,” could not be more true in current times in the healthcare industry. Stakeholders’ needs and the regulatory framework continue to evolve. Agility and adaptability to changing market needs is a key element to sustained success. Instead of fixed sales transactions, consider establishing a development partnership with key customers that allows you to stay abreast of industry changes and evolve your offerings to be relevant and successful.
Bridging the gap between innovation and operational scalability continues to be a key healthcare market need. We at Lumina Health Partners are adept at leveraging our extensive healthcare operations experience to provide advisory services to organizations on a journey to value-based care, as well as to technology vendors on best practices to realize tangible value from their investments.
Thank you for an insightful discussion, Kiri-Maree Moore. Good luck with your next adventure, and I look forward to when our paths cross again.
Shaillee Chopra is principal and CDIO for Lumina Health Partners.