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Tech & Science Dispensed: Hospital CIOs dish on the cloud, digital chiefs talk tech in healthcare, and how our editor picked his health plan

20:25  06 december  2019
20:25  06 december  2019 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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a group of people sitting in chairs: Pfizer's chief digital officer Lidia Fonseca and Novartis's chief digital officer Bertrand Bodson. Pfizer's chief digital officer Lidia Fonseca and Novartis's chief digital officer Bertrand Bodson.

Hello,

Welcome to Dispensed, Business Insider's weekly healthcare newsletter that's officially been up and running for a year! Here's a look at our first-ever dispatch, if you're looking for a blast from the past.

Are you new to the newsletter? You can sign up here.

A quick housekeeping note: Healthcare is officially a $US3.6 trillion industry in the US (up from $US3.5 trillion). That's according to the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which came out with its annual National Health Expenditure data on Thursday.

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That breaks down to $US11,172 spent on healthcare per person in the US. Spending on retail prescription drugs increased 2.5% between 2017 and 2018, driven by new drugs used in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune conditions.

A figure that's sure to be cited as well by the Trump administration: Retail prescription drug prices fell 1%, driven by lower generic drug prices as well as relatively lower growth in prices for branded drugs, the report said.

With that in mind, let's get to the rest of this week's headlines.

To start out the week, I spoke with two chief information officers at health systems who have made the move to the cloud - Mayo Clinic and Providence St. Joseph Health.

They gave me some good insight on what it takes to make the move, and why they did it (at a time when there's scepticism about working with tech giants).

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Tech chiefs at 2 top hospitals reveal 3 crucial elements to working with cloud giants like Microsoft and Google, and one reason not to do it

  • Hospitals and tech giants are starting to work more closely together.
  • In November, Google's work with the second-largest health system in the US came to light, raising questions about how Google will use the patient information that's being transferred to its cloud.
  • We spoke to two tech chiefs at top health systems that have started the move to the cloud about why they made the jump.
  • They shared three elements health systems should keep in mind when setting up relationships with tech companies to ensure patient information is handled appropriately - and one justification health systems shouldn't use to move to the cloud.

It was an interesting contrast to my past conversations with CIOs at health systems that haven't made the move to the cloud yet. If there's anything I've learned through my reporting and conversations with CIOs, it's that keeping up with technology and keeping patient data safe and private are no easy feat to do at the same time.

Amazon CEO says wants to work more with Pentagon

  Amazon CEO says wants to work more with Pentagon Amazon CEO says wants to work more with PentagonSIMI VALLEY, Calif. (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos said it would support the U.S. Department of Defense as technology companies vie for more defence contracts and the Pentagon seeks to modernize itself.

Somewhat related in CIO-land, Mayo this week hired on Dr. John Halamka, the former CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, to run its Mayo Clinic Platform.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of that work. Halamka told me this week that there are three areas he's focusing on to start: helping to facilitate more hospital care done in the home via the platform, finding ways to use data for more preventive measures, and finding ways to make past patient data more useable by current patients looking to learn from those experiences.

Elsewhere at the intersection of technology and healthcare, over the past few months I've been trying to get a better grasp on what all the role of a chief digital officer entails. Here's what I learned from the CDOs of Pfizer, CVS Health, and Novartis.

We spoke with the execs tasked with bringing technology to some of the world's oldest healthcare companies. Here's how they're picking their spots.

  • Healthcare giants are hiring chief digital officers to help the companies better use technology within their businesses.
  • Each role carries its own priorities, from finding ways to enhance drug discovery and development to better connecting with consumers.
  • We spoke with the chief digital officers at CVS Health, Novartis, and Pfizer about their priorities.

This week, Novartis also came out with a partnership working with Amazon Web Services. The two will work together to essentially digitize Novartis's manufacturing processes. Novartis CDO Bertrand Bodson told me the team comprised of Novartis and Amazon employees working together will adhere to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's two-pizza rule.

Health funds call for urgent reform after government caps price hikes

  Health funds call for urgent reform after government caps price hikes The smallest annual increase since 2001 will come as a relief for consumers, but health funds have pleaded for reform to help them deal with their rising costs. Health minister Greg Hunt on Saturday said health insurance premiums would increase by an average of 2.92 per cent next April, after rejecting the funds' proposal for averages hikes of 3.5 per cent.The smallest annual increase since 2001 will come as a relief for consumers, whose wages are only growing at 2.2 per cent annually and have been dropping out of the private system because of affordability.

Lastly, I caught up with Michael Dixon, a 10-year vet of Sequoia Capital who just joined newly created Transformation Capital, spun out of SVB Leerink. We had a good chat about what's ahead for digital health after an eventful 2019.

A former Sequoia partner just joined a $US313 million VC fund that's focused on digital health. He told us how he's planning to pick his next investments.

  • Michael Dixon, who spent 10 years at Sequoia Capital, is joining a new venture fund focused on digital health.
  • Dixon is joining up with the Sequoia alum Todd Cozzens and Dr. Jared Kesselheim at Transformation Capital, the recently spun-out digital-health venture arm of SVB Leerink. The fund, which initially got its start within the bank in 2016, manages $US313 million.
  • At Transformation Capital, Dixon is looking to invest in commercial-stage digital-health companies, especially those selling to organisations beyond hospitals.
  • "The thing that excites me equally and more is the advent of new customers in the marketplace," Dixon said.

I'll leave you with a fun post that isn't on BI.

Our editor Zach Tracer wrote a post for the Boston Globe about his experience picking a health plan - definitely worth a read if you're still deciding for 2020(or, if you're double checking your already-made decision like me).

I'm going to be in Boston on Tuesday at the Digital Health Innovation Summit. If you're around, I'd love to say hi and grab coffee! I'll be interviewing Livongo's Glen Tullman onstage, so if you have any burning questions for him, send them my way. You can find me at lramsey@businessinsider.com.

- Lydia

'Natural buzz' for Goldman Sachs, Job hunting at McKinsey and Netflix, and investigating a tech CEO's unexplained death .
Hello! Healthcare editor Zach Tracer here, filling in for Matt Turner while he's out on parental leave. We have lots of fascinating stories for you this week, as we approach the end of the decade. But first, a plug: If you want more healthcare news from Business Insider in your inbox, you can subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.Melia Russell has a story this week that I haven't been able to stop thinking about. On its face, it's an investigation into the still-unexplained death of Erin Valenti, the 33-year-old founder of a tech startup in Utah. But it's also a story about the pressures and loneliness of leading a business.

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