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Healthcare topics on the agenda at TiE meeting

By Anu Sengupta
November 2012
Healthcare topics on the agenda at TiE meeting


(Photos: Bytegraph)

The September event of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) was held at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center to provide insights into healthcare opportunities for entrepreneurs. Moderated by Barry Patel, president and cofounder of TTM (Total Therapeutic Management, Inc.), the panel had distinguished speakers Kathy Harris, SVP of Corporate Development for ShareCare, Inc.; Nirav Desai, CEO of Hands On Telehealth; and Grant Bell, SVP in risk management at William Gallagher Associates.

Barry Patel began by noting that the US spends 2.5 trillion dollars annually on health care. Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act is causing a huge transformation in healthcare. In the past physicians and hospitals found incentives in ‘the more you do, the more you get paid.’ With this Act, efficiency and outcome will be key. For an entrepreneur, even a niche in this healthcare industry can be a large business.



The panelists.

Kathy Harris is in a venture capital firm and led investments in companies like WebMD. In the 90’s she along with Jeff Arnold thought about healthcare opportunities that would marry digital media with IT to achieve lower cost and get people healthier. WebMD continues to create valuable health content and Q&A platforms where experts from reputed hospitals and institutes answer health questions. It includes educational material, resources, and interactive tools—anything that can help people get informed about health and inspire them to get healthier.

Nirav Desai explained that ‘telehealth’ means providing healthcare through telecommunications technology. It plays a very significant role in healthcare, helping to advance programs and helping people get access to expertise. The main issues in healthcare are the retiring of 65 million baby boomers, a decreasing supply of physicians, and an increase in scrutiny and oversight of expense—which creates a lot of opportunities. His company, for example, has a media channel, e-book, video, and interview capabilities to access the best healthcare for rural areas.



Worth thinking about.

Talking about revenue models, Kathy Harris said “with 45 million healthcare searches in a day, 60% of those are making a healthcare decision based on those searches. The best revenue models are registration-based products, advertising, and partners who give revenue.”

Nirav spoke about revenue models in telehealth which might offset the disadvantages inherent in rural healthcare. Grant Bell spoke about risk management and data security models in healthcare. Responding to an audience question about IT opportunities in healthcare, he mentioned electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR), which continue to get significant investments.



Food for thought.

Harris spoke about employer programs for people who need a little nudging to get healthy. Employees are being asked to live better and healthier so employers can cut down on premiums, Bell said. Gaming apps can be used for healthcare; those that add socialization, real time feedback, and metrics will be more helpful than simple apps.

Healthcare can be customized in 5 years through consumer-friendly private exchanges, another new feature that Obama Care has provided. It is estimated that one quarter to one third of Americans, 80-100 million people, will get healthcare through these exchanges. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) is a worldwide organization that was started in Silicon Valley. The Atlanta chapter is recognized as one of the top 5 chapters. TiE Atlanta works with around 40 companies, helping those that are just getting off the ground and looking for mentors. TyE mentors young entrepreneurs.

For videos of meetings, see https://atlanta.tie.org/


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