Sparking innovation by unblocking health data

It’s been quite a year for Manifest MedEx and, really, we’re just getting started. Through a series of events across California and at the nation’s capital, we have recently sparked conversations with providers, care coordinators, CEOs and technologists. And we’re feeling more energized and optimistic about the future of health data in our state than ever.

A standout event from the series was a conversation at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco with Claudia Williams, CEO of Manifest MedEx, Lisa Suennen, one of the top healthcare investors and the new head of Manatt’s venture fund, and Paul Markovich, the visionary CEO of Blue Shield of California. Together, we talked about creating the data infrastructure urgently needed to spark innovation and improve our healthcare system for patients.

Each quarter, we are seeing a new, unprecedented level of venture capital investment in digital health – $3.4 billion in the first half of 2018 alone and we are watching new forays into health by companies like Amazon and Google. Yet, over and over, we see these innovators tripped up by health data. How do we create a steady, reliable stream of data as the foundation of innovation for everyone? Manifest MedEx is working to enable the same kind of core infrastructure we share for other sectors — the electric grid, the internet, our freeways, satellites, the ATM networks. Imagine what is possible for healthcare if information has the same kind of consistent utility structure?

After a welcome reception with leaders representing a broad spectrum of guests from community care clinic executives to physicians to startup founders, Paul started the event’s program talking about the future of health connection, and the cockroach-like durability of the dreaded fax machine in our sector.

CEO of quoting on fax machines being like cockroaches in our healthcare system at the event tonight.

Emily Peters 

Paul then turned the stage over to our panel of Claudia and Lisa, moderated by Emily Peters. These two firebrands brought decades of healthcare leadership experience to the conversation along with a strong sense of humor, covering topics ranging from the influence of health policy regulation, informatics trends from the front lines of Silicon Valley, the changing economics of health data hoarding, the push for open note sharing with patient, and the future impact of social determinants of health information.

I want these amazing people to WIN data liberation for all!

Kyra Bobinet, MD MPH

The final question for the panel was “what new partner would you most like to see connecting to our healthcare system?” Claudia answered with a call for better coordination with prisons, citing the deadly spikes in overdoses that occur when people are leaving corrections without medical support. Lisa answered with a call for better health education and support in schools, noting the strong ROI for every dollar spent on prevention and nutrition. During audience Q&A, there were several questions about the possibility of using social determinants of health data along these lines.

“I hope [access to health] data ends up fixing medical errors.” — “When will the time come when It’s medical malpractice not to know something [about a patient]…it’s not how we train care teams today, yet” —

Nick Dawson

“The alpha users of are .”

Steven Lane, MD, MPH

After such an energetic and honest conversation about healthcare in California, it proved difficult to say goodbye to the guests at the end of the night. Our event set out to discuss sparking innovation with others, but ended up sparking innovation within the health leaders in the room. We can’t wait to keep the work going with this dynamic network of people passionate about improving care for all patients.