10.10.10 Health 2017: Solutions


On June 15, the Denver program 10.10.10 Health 2017 drew to a close as 10 prospective CEOs revealed the “wicked problem in health” they have been working to solve, and their intentions to pursue solutions in the future. It was an intensely busy 10 day period since The Big Reveal, and included a fascinating midpoint public program on June 9th. I volunteered as a “Ninja” this year at 10.10.10, so I was busy helping the CEO’s understand the problems and sketch out possible solutions. I will introduce the CEO’s and their projects momentarily.

10.10.10 Health 2017 Mid-point Recap

The mid-point event saw several speakers and panelists, among them Jack Cochran, MD, a career physician, author, and retired executive director of The Permanente Federation. Dr. Cochran expressed concerns about the rising cost of health care, and a dilemma of doctors in his age group. As he relates it, upon graduating from medical school, healthcare costs were 7% of GDP. Now, they are 17% of GDP, and he and his cohort created a wealthy life over that time-frame. After a long and distinguished career of saving lives and improving the lives of countless others, this dimension of his profession seems to hang as a dark cloud above him. Coupled with the fact that mistakes are the third leading cause of medical death, Dr. Cochran sees a great deal of room for improvement. Advanced technologies in healthcare continue to drive progress, but he worries that inertia among doctors limits the effectiveness of improvements. “Learners inherit the earth. The learned inherit a world that no longer exists”, according to Dr. Cochran, and increasingly, a younger generation of doctors are adapting to new technologies and the improvements they can bring. Dr. Cochran urges physicians to take a more active role in leadership to solve these problems in his book, “The Doctor Crisis: How Physicians Can, and Must, Lead the Way to Better Health Care”.

The keynote speaker for the mid-point event was Colorado Lt. Governor Donna Lynne, DrPH, former executive vice president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.  Dr. Lynne discussed the tension between the “business of healthcare” and the broader social impact of healthcare affordability and availability. Families and individuals on the lower end of the socio-economic scale generally have poorer health. Contributing factors include greater distances and less access to adequate healthcare facilities, poor diet, lower education levels, and lower ability to pay for healthcare. The escalating costs of healthcare affect us all, sometimes in non-obvious ways. In Colorado, a full 32% of the state budget is consumed to pay for healthcare. The high cost of healthcare starves out K-12 education programs. While the direct costs are extremely high, we are also paying secondary costs by under-funding programs with significant impact to our future. Like many others, I personally feel that better education is the path to success in a globally competitive world. We need to fix healthcare in order to fund education, which in turn is necessary to secure a prosperous future for our next generation.

Sprint to the Finish

The Mid-point public program also marked the end of CEO’s initial exploration of the 10 wicked problems. It was time to stop pondering the depth healthcare problems, and start doing something about it. That day, the CEOs and their teams began a “sprint” to design a solution. The sprint itself was an accelerated “lean startup” process which guided a CEO to design and test a solution over a period of 5 grueling days (see more information on the sprint process here). The sprint culminated with testing the solution with a rapidly developed software prototype or a detailed product description. The CEOs presented the results to validators, who are healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and administrators. Feedback from validators enabled the CEOs to refine their product and plans, almost in real time.

10.10.10 Health 2017 Finale

On June 15th, after a final day of preparation, the CEOs presented the problem they were working on, an overview of the solution, and their intentions in the future. Below are brief summaries of each CEO’s presentation. I encourage you to find out more about each CEO… they are all accomplished entrepreneurs. You can see their brief biographies here: http://101010.net/ceos.

10 Solution Ideas

Bryon Bhagwandin is attacking toxic stress in children with a solution that among other things, measures cortisol levels in the blood (which is a marker for stress). This could lead to early intervention and prevention of the long term adverse affects of toxic stress.

Jenna Walker plans to increase health literacy and communication for parents of young children with an application that administers well-baby questionnaires in advance of appointments. The technology will encourage more accurate answers, which could help detect and correct developmental problems.

Patrick Flynn is designing a way for a patient to maintain a comprehensive health record that follows him or her everywhere. In the short term, Patrick aims to bring intelligence to faxed medical records by applying automated recognition of the information, and making it searchable.

Chris Kay is designing a device to reduce or eliminate sepsis, a possibly fatal condition usually contracted during or after a hospital stay.

Bec Chapin is developing an affordable housing solution that helps tenants pay rent by performing jobs such as pet sitting, dog walking, childcare, babysitting, lawn mowing, etc. Bec described her long range vision as a general platform where consumers can exchange services nationwide, then apply earned credits towards rent, if desired.

Nina Baliga is working on an application to improve mutual understanding between doctor and patient. Using the app as a visual communication tool during your visit, your doctor points out areas of interest on a body map, and applies notes for better understanding. You have access to the app for later review, and to take to your next appointment.

Jennifer Maskrey is planning to reduce food insecurity by distributing healthy food left over from restaurants to those in need. 

Keith Camhi plans to help people adopt better fitness habits with fitness coaches, both real and virtual. His target audience is focused on those who are overweight and have diabetes.

Tina Maloney wants to create and manage new funding models for businesses that help other people, especially the underprivileged.

Scott Ford is planning a technology solution to improve health literacy, by enabling patients to own their health data and more easily interact with it.

Solution Development Under Way

While the 10.10.10 Health 2017 program officially draws to a close, the CEOs now begin the hard work of turning their early design work into real businesses. The 10.10.10 organization will continue to sponsor and support the CEOs over the next 9 months. Having spent a lot of time with these CEOs, I am convinced this year's ideas will result in a good number of businesses with significant positive impact to healthcare. It was a very rewarding experience for me personally, to do my small part in helping the CEOs begin a new business venture in healthcare.

Kirstan Vandersluis