“…One of the things I discovered, and I think of healthcare, during the pandemic, was that there is a speed. We can move. Um, if we get aligned to a common vision, a common set of goals and put all of our resources behind it, healthcare really can make transformative changes in the blink of an eye and still prove safety, prove efficacy.” — Frank Jaskulke, VP Intelligence at Medical Alley Association
Fast Forward HTEC Group: Frank Jaskulke, VP Intelligence at Medical Alley
We’re moving on with our Fast Forward series of podcasts, and this time we bring you fresh insights from the world of digital medicine, more specifically, Frank Jaskulke, VP Intelligence at Medical Alley Association. Medical Alley Association is the organization that supports and advances Minnesota’s healthcare industry and its connectivity around the world — a destination where brilliant minds and smart investors combine to fuel innovations that change the world.
Our CMO Niko Slavnic had a pleasure to chat with him on the current trends changing the landscape in medicine, the impact of pandemic on medicine in general, and Medical Alley mission and vision.
Listen to the podcast to hear more about:
- Speed of change caused by the pandemic
- The biggest changes on the healthcare market
- Various healthcare niches where telemedicine has had an impact
- Personalization and convenience as major points of differentiation on healthcare
- What makes Medical Alley Association stand out from the rest on the market
The pandemic has accelerated changes across industries and medicine is one of them. Frank explains that this speed of change in healthcare has forced many companies to change their business models which consequently allowed them to move faster.
“But one of the things I discovered, and I think of healthcare, during the pandemic was that there is a speed. We can move. Um, if we get aligned to a common vision, a common set of goals and put all of our resources behind it, healthcare really can make transformative changes in the blink of an eye and still prove safety, prove efficacy. We talked to lots and lots of companies who, because they were forced to rethink the way they have done things for a long time, found efficiency opportunities or new ways of approaching an old problem that allowed them to move faster. Um, and then what they’ve told us is they don’t want to go back, that those improvements, they should’ve done them a long time ago, but their mindset changed…And it’s such a powerful thing when we’re motivated to solve a problem, given the constraints we have, we tend to figure out a way to solve the problem.”
Frank continues to explain that the biggest change caused by the pandemic has been a mindset shift which ultimately had an impact on the market itself.
“Yeah, I think the single biggest change, at least I should say in the U S healthcare market or medical market context has been another mindset shift as a result of the pandemic. So things like telemedicine, remote monitoring, and virtual care — they’ve existed for decades…But the mindset was, if I need to see a doctor, I go to the clinic or I go to the hospital…When all of a sudden we couldn’t do that again, we faced a new set of constraints. We had defined new solutions. I think we’ve realized that a lot of the fears we had around remote care or telemedicine, um, were unfounded or were manageable…Now, I think there’s going to be a ton of opportunity to take even existing, old commodity products and innovate because the site of care will change and create really significant value…”
When asked about whether technology has had an impact on other niches of medicine, Frank pointed out that there are many niches where we’ve seen a lot of activity outside of the expected telemedicine and pandemic side.
“Very many…We’re seeing a lot more activity in women’s health. A recognition that there’s been an underinvestment in the unique health care issues of women, especially like maternal health, prenatal health. I think of Merani and companies like that. Um, we’re seeing a lot of activity in regenerative medicine. This is another one of those areas where science has been at work for decades to figure out how the body heals itself and how we might augment that. Then we often think about eating healthy, exercising, keeping the body strong, but there are underlying scientific principles that are now increasingly understood…”
Frank explains that personalization and convenience, which sometimes are like two sides of the same coin, are a major, major point of differentiation in healthcare.
“That has always been there, but been there in a more limited way. So healthcare, at least in the US context, is kind of unique — the patient is receiving the care, but often they’re not the customer. So the companies that are developing the products and services in healthcare, they’re developing them for a customer who’s not the end user. Right. It’s developing for the doctor or for the health system or for the payer. This change to more and more health here being consumed at home or remotely, or having control of my healthcare because I have devices that can give me feedback on what’s going on is changing who the end customer is. And so I think there is a significant opportunity in healthcare to create convenient, personalized products and services…So, the differentiation point, the purple cow, I think, is figuring out how to give the end consumer that thing they want while still fitting into the existing health care stream. Because, while that’s going to change, that’ll take time…So the purple cow in there is like making the product I would want to use to remove sickness and that fits within this existing healthcare system enough to actually work as a commercially viable product.”
In the ever-increasing market and fierce competition, companies need to find their purple cow, the differentiation point that would help them rise above mediocre solutions and offer something that will really make a difference. We asked Frank what makes the Medical Alley Association stand out from the crowd.
“You know, there are two big points of difference we take really to heart. One is all of healthcare. So it’s a device, it’s a drug, it’s hospitals, it’s insurers, it’s suppliers. It’s that entire healthcare ecosystem as equals because by having that cross sector interaction, new ideas come up. That wouldn’t happen If it was only hospitals or only devices or only pharma, innovation. So that’s one. And then the second is this long-term vision…if we want to make real sustainable change, we will commit to doing 10 year projects and see it through because we know, at the other end of it, the potential outcome is so transformative. And I see lots of associations that are more reactive — when an issue comes up, they do something about it. We spend a lot of time trying to think about what’s the world we want to live in.”
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