Coffee with Veronika Litinski: Patient data will improve clinical decisions

 At MaRS, we are privileged to be surrounded with brilliant mentors who guide us as we work to create a better patient experience. This week, we had the chance to sit down with Veronika Litinski, who is both an entrepreneur and investor. Through her experiences as CEO of Konona Health, COO of Cogniciti and senior advisor to various companies in the health technology space at MaRS, Veronika shares her views on what she believes is in the near future for health technology.

 1. What inspired you to get involved in health IT?

To get involved in healthcare technology is the opportunity of a generation. I have come to realize that there is a sense of urgency in healthcare that didn’t exist before and this urgency has been translated into healthcare reform around the world that all focus on improving access to care and delivering outcomes. They shift away from the focus on the process of healthcare, and more onto collaborative care that produces better health outcomes.I believe it’s the opportunity of a generation because the computing technology is already here. The mobile and data technologies can address communication issues that always existed in healthcare. Instead of high piles of paperwork and charts, healthcare providers can use the patient data inputted through mobile applications to make better clinical decisions in relation to patient care. The big opportunity I see is in data visualization and the ability of these tools to allow for population-based management.2. Where in the patient pathway do you think health technology should be incorporated?The biggest value long term is putting tools in the hands of patients and giving a stream of data to healthcare providers. The providers can then use that data to make better decisions and allocate their resources appropriately.As a patient, I am an expert on my condition. I have the insider perspective of my disease. Health tech devices empower me to let my provider know what is going on. It gives providers objective numbers so there is some ability to compare results, do analytics and make better decisions. Once you have outcomes data, you can identify more efficient clinical procedures.

3. What do you think is the number 1 mistake that healthcare entrepreneurs are making? How should we do it differently?

It’s very important early on to work with real patient data and understand payment models. So many entrepreneurs don’t look into where in the hospital’s finances and budget categories they can expect to find revenue. As an investor, I want to be crystal clear about metrics. How do you know you are doing well? What are you tracking? From that you can start building a business model.

As a health entrepreneur, you need to understand the hospital administrators’ constraints. Healthcare is a complex industry with a third party payment system. If you want people to pay for your stuff, it has to come from a billing code or people have to pay out of pocket. There has to be so much value that people are willing to pay out of pocket.

4. What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs who are entering the health IT field now?

It’s a very interesting time to be in the healthcare space. The companies that are getting traction and are likely to be successful are the ones focus on solving clinicians’ needs and have realized a clear payment mechanism for their service or product.

Consumers are very much prepared to be proactive about their health, this is a real paradigm shift. That gives me real confidence because as an entrepreneur, you don’t want to be in a nice to have category. You want to create something that’s indispensible. There is better acceptance among consumers that they’re prepared to do things at home. They no longer expect to just end up in the hospital and have their problems solved by healthcare professionals.

Are you a thought leader in digital health or do you know someone who is? Give me a shout at – I would love to chat!

This post was written by Yashvi Shah, Marketing Associate at SeamlessMD.

The Seamless Team

SeamlessMD transforms paper-based instructions into an interactive, personal navigator for patients on smart phones, tablets and the web to improve outcomes and lower costs.

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