Consulting Innovation
 Disruption and Innovation Sensing

Sensing Soundboard

Sensing on the Edge

and Democratized Insights

May 5, 2017

Medical Innovation Forum

Contributor:
Olga Liberzon

The 2017 World Medical Innovation Forum was held on May 1 to May 3 in Boston with 1,300 participants, including 125 executive presenters and key leaders who will shape the future of healthcare /cardiovascular care.

 

A common theme emerging from the sessions was the crucial role that innovation can play in improving patient outcomes, enhancing devices and diagnostic technologies, and improving treatments.  The CEOs and senior executives of Medtronic, Philips, Cardinal Health, Abbott, Eli Lilly, Amgen, Mass General Hospital, GE Healthcare, UnitedHealthGroup, Bard, Abiomed, Edwards Lifesciences, representatives from academia and investors offered their perspectives on enabling innovation in their companies and in the industry overall.   They touched upon industry wide issues of how we make drugs and treatments affordable while ensuring companies are still able to generate the funds needed to drive innovation;  potential cross-industry collaborative solutions; applying AI to improve decision making across the value chain.  The overall theme of the conference was that the industry is at the transformative moment when it comes to innovation and access and all players need to come together to harness the potential that digital/exponential technologies offer.  

EXPAND

The 2017 World Medical Innovation Forum was held on May 1 to May 3 in Boston with 1,300 participants, including 125 executive presenters and key leaders who will shape the future of healthcare /cardiovascular care.

 

A common theme emerging from the sessions was the crucial role that innovation can play in improving patient outcomes, enhancing devices and diagnostic technologies, and improving treatments.  The CEOs and senior executives of Medtronic, Philips, Cardinal Health, Abbott, Eli Lilly, Amgen, Mass General Hospital, GE Healthcare, UnitedHealthGroup, Bard, Abiomed, Edwards Lifesciences, representatives from academia and investors offered their perspectives on enabling innovation in their companies and in the industry overall.   They touched upon industry wide issues of how we make drugs and treatments affordable while ensuring companies are still able to generate the funds needed to drive innovation;  potential cross-industry collaborative solutions; applying AI to improve decision making across the value chain.  The overall theme of the conference was that the industry is at the transformative moment when it comes to innovation and access and all players need to come together to harness the potential that digital/exponential technologies offer. 

 

The five key takeaways from the conference could be summarized as follows:

 

  1. Future of innovation in healthcare depends on cracking the code on big data and integrated data, predictive analytics (how you apply data to get to the best outcomes and what data goes into the analysis – need to be surgical about it, wrong data – creates noise), precision medicine (identifying the drivers of the disease, stratifying patients, to understand patients physiology and apply genomics to direct the specific protein in specific sequence), Automation and AI to improve decision making and focus clinicians on higher-value tasks (top potential UCIs, radiology, doctors decisions, etc.)

 

  1. While focusing on enabling innovation, companies should continue to re-invent their culture and make progress in the following areas (those serious about innovation truly focus on this): ability to pivot, ability to fail fast, base innovations on unmet need and focus on value, focus on patients, bet big and focus.  Innovation needs to focus on both uncovering efficiencies from existing approaches AND creating the breakthroughs / introducing net new drugs/devices/approaches

 

  1. There are a number of issues that the industry needs to find solutions to:
    • Advance policies for patients to get access to treatment / affordable care (Currently out of pocket cost is so high that 30-40% of prescription in oncology is not filled because patients can't afford it)
    • Reduce admin burden on clinicians (now they spend more time on admin tasks and explaining to payers why they have prescribed a certain therapy than with patients)
    • Provide support to doctors to make the right decision (currently:  Health economists now say that physicians are completely unexplainable…)
    • Need to connect the ecosystem players (Currently very divided industry - people who focus on genomics, etc. - very separate from pharma companies and device companies.  True innovation will bring those players together) 
    • Shift from just selling products to creating solutions that impact the outcome (Philips – not just selling products that spin out the data, need to enable data interpretation)
    • Address the unmet need – data integration and analysis.  Need more clinical data scientists
    • Device companies need to become “consultants” and not just push devices, but be responsible for outcomes together with providers
    • Improve precision of our diagnostics framework
    • Episodic care and long-term disease management need to be addressed holistically
    • Heterogeneous approach to treating diseases across country – need to be more homogeneous.
    • Shift focus from treating acute diseases to prevention.  Specialists need to be involved earlier.  Money should go into “before they get sick”.
    • Engage patients  (understanding their own health, their own precision).
    • Integrate data – Wrong diagnostics / prescribed therapies because of disconnected / lack of data - Study with oncology patients in Rotterdam – currently with limited use of data, 25% of oncology treatments was wrong.  After integration of multiple sources of data - radiology, images, genomics, etc., the % of incorrectly prescribed therapies went down to 1%.

 

  1. New business models = paying for outcomes are used by many organizations – Amgen (if patient taking the drug gets a stroke, Amgen will reimburse); antibacterial sleeve in Medtronic (if patient gets an infection, it will get reimbursed and compensated)

 

  1. The industry is employing gamification to unlock patient engagement and harness new opportunities.  Interesting examples include:
  • Social program utilizing gamification:  “Heart Safe City” – United Emirates want to be the safest place. Under Philips leadership and collaboration with the government – claim “Noone dies on the street from a heart attack”.   We are using crowdsourcing to solve this challenge.  What if we could crowdsource - where the nearest ICDs, who can do resuscitation.  Get this data into one place.  “Uber for CV care”. This is being rolled out right now.
  • Power of marketing / gamification to increase patient engagement and focus on prevention:  UnitedHealthCare Diabetes management program - lifestyle interventions help diabetics patients.  However, addressable population - 5-7% of people of engage and organized enough to truly own their lifestyle.  They acquired two companies to break through this barrier + hired people from Consumer Products and Retail.  Launched gamified consumer engagement program.  They package this up in a different way and engage consumers in a different way – advertising beach body, etc. and that increased addressable population to 30-40%.
COLLAPSE
April 19, 2017

Sony's
The WOW Factory Delivers

Contributor:
Mark Stern

Virtual and Mixed Reality (VR or MR) were amongst the most showcased technologies at SXSW 2017, and Sony’s The WOW Factory stood apart from its peers as featuring some of the most promising applications of the technologies.

 

Although most mainstream use cases of VR involve a 360 degree video (i.e., viewing a scene or video in every direction with limited movement), Sony’s lounge introduced visitors to a series of emerging applications of the technology, including immersing users in environments that stimulated all the senses. Most notably, Sony’s Mixed Reality CAVE Experience represented a unique experience that will likely become more mainstream as VR and MR mature. During the 5 minute exhibition, guests were asked “If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?” Seconds later, visitors were teleported to the location of their choosing.

EXPAND

Virtual and Mixed Reality (VR or MR) were amongst the most showcased technologies at SXSW 2017, and Sony’s The WOW Factory stood apart from its peers as featuring some of the most promising applications of the technologies.

 

Although most mainstream use cases of VR involve a 360 degree video (i.e., viewing a scene or video in every direction with limited movement), Sony’s lounge introduced visitors to a series of emerging applications of the technology, including immersing users in environments that stimulated all the senses. Most notably, Sony’s Mixed Reality CAVE Experience represented a unique experience that will likely become more mainstream as VR and MR mature. During the 5 minute exhibition, guests were asked “If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?” Seconds later, visitors were teleported to the location of their choosing.

 

The mixed reality cave automatic virtual environment (“CAVE”), also known as a warp square, is a fully immersive, 4K experience that allows multiple users to experience a VR-realm without the use of a headmount display. With Sony’s ultra short throw projectors and interactive walls, the cave experience allowed guests to fully interact with their digital environments without the distraction of their own shadows.

 

Though the application of the technology without a headmount is relatively new, the technology has already demonstrated promising use cases for several industries, including:

  • Automotive: Design and test full-size models of vehicles in a real-life virtual environment before reaching production
  • Energy: Provide fully-immersive scenarios requiring teams to collaborate and assess risk and safety during maintenance operations in remote or dangerous locations
  • Retail: Test out new concepts for in-store layouts and point of sale in a virtual environment without incurring high production costs

 

According to Sony, next generation use of the technology will seek to further stimulate the senses, including sound, scents, and natural elements (e.g., wind, cool temperatures, heat). With VR projected to generate $30B in revenue by 2020, we can only expect to see the application of CAVE technology continue to develop and become more prevalent in the marketplace.

 

COLLAPSE
March 27, 2017

The Imperative of Tech 
Literacy

Contributor:
Dylan Hannes

This past week, I attended a TUGG event connecting New England's tech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and philanthropists. TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good) hosted its annual Wine and Tequila Party to raise funding for six non-profit organizations serving local under-resourced youth through entrepreneurial, educational, and life experiences. In addition to being attracted by the event’s name, I was excited to meet and learn from entrepreneurs using technology for social innovation. In both regards, the event did not disappoint. Between a myriad of margaritas, I talked with these six non-profits competing for $50,000 funding, which was determined by attendees’ votes.

EXPAND

This past week, I attended a TUGG event connecting New England's tech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and philanthropists. TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good) hosted its annual Wine and Tequila Party to raise funding for six non-profit organizations serving local under-resourced youth through entrepreneurial, educational, and life experiences. In addition to being attracted by the event’s name, I was excited to meet and learn from entrepreneurs using technology for social innovation. In both regards, the event did not disappoint. Between a myriad of margaritas, I talked with these six non-profits competing for $50,000 funding, which was determined by attendees’ votes.

 

Top Five Takeaways:

  • Resilient Coders stood out due to its relevance to the Future of Work. Recognizing that school systems, particularly in under-resourced areas, are not preparing students for the 21st century economy, Resilient Coders leads web development bootcamps for teenagers and young adults. In addition to teaching core technological skills, the organization helps students develop communication and design abilities (they won one of the two $50,000 prizes).
  • Another organization that stood out was Mbadika, whose organization means “idea” in the Kimbundu language. Mbadika teaches youth product design and development principles to convert ideas for solving everyday issues in their communities into real products.
  • The American population is less technologically savvy as a whole than one might think. Nearly one in three Americans do not have a computer with access to the internet at home1.
  • It is not hard to understand why people fear that technological advances will take jobs away. FoW experts say that as technology advances, menial tasks associated with people’s jobs become automated, freeing the workforce to perform higher value activities. However, a key implied fact in this narrative is that workers have a basic technological understanding to harness automation to optimize their value. Currently, for a large portion of America’s workforce, that is not the case.
  • Organizations like Resilient Coders and Mbadika are crucial because they tap into important Future of Work principles and not only provide under-resourced populations a core technological literacy, but also emphasize the importance of creativity, communication, and applying technology to maximize one’s impact. Additionally, they instill a culture of continuous learning and improvement in their students, qualities that will become essential in the Future of Work.

1. http://www.techgoeshome.org/history

COLLAPSE
March 21, 2017

Can Robots Truly Be Creative? Plus Overall Takeaways from SXSW

Contributor:
Eric Thompson

One of the more inspiring and convincing presentations at SXSW (at least to an optimist like me) came from Deloitte’s own thought leader John Hagel, who delivered a talk entitled “Robots Can Restore Our Humanity”. He opened with a bold claim that all of today’s work as we know it will be automated – making the case that work can be defined as “executing tightly specified and tightly integrated tasks in a standardized way”, and that is exactly what computer algorithms are designed to do. He went on to essentially mythbust the idea that the gig economy will disrupt work in any lasting way because the discrete tasks on the table to be outsourced are exactly those that can be automated – and they will be the first to go!

EXPAND

One of the more inspiring and convincing presentations at SXSW (at least to an optimist like me) came from Deloitte’s own thought leader John Hagel, who delivered a talk entitled “Robots Can Restore Our Humanity”. He opened with a bold claim that all of today’s work as we know it will be automated – making the case that work can be defined as “executing tightly specified and tightly integrated tasks in a standardized way”, and that is exactly what computer algorithms are designed to do. He went on to essentially mythbust the idea that the gig economy will disrupt work in any lasting way because the discrete tasks on the table to be outsourced are exactly those that can be automated – and they will be the first to go!

 

His conclusion is what hooked me: If today’s repetitive tasks and processes will be automated by machines, then nobody will be required to do anything repetitive…ever. The only “work” left to do will be endeavors unique to humans – those linked directly to creativity, emotion, and passion. The work (and institutions) of tomorrow will revolve around creative pursuits and maximizing human potential, opening the floodgates for fields related to the arts, performance, wellness, coaching and experiential hosting (e.g. in entertainment, learning, and travel as demand for “experiencing life to the fullest” increases). Humans will use automated technologies as a springboard – not a replacement – for human achievement.

 

Thoroughly convinced that creativity is untouchable and ready to enroll in singing lessons, I headed over to the IBM House (every attending company has a “house” of some sort and does their best, through a combination of alcohol and digital things, to make it the cool place to hang out). Staring me in the face in fancy digital signage was a message that said “At the heart of every great song is a powerful emotion.” Amen!

 

Below that: “What if you could inject specific emotions directly into a piece of music?” Hmm…I guess that sounds cool.  

 

Then I read further: “With Watson you can.” Damnit Watson! My creative dreams were dashed. Machines can replicate human creativity after all, so yea we’re doomed. Then I picked up the tablet in front of me, selected a genre, selected an “emotion”, and hit play. I was underwhelmed. I quickly realized the finite range Watson had, and reminded myself that its abilities were based on pre-programmed algorithms rather than creative inspiration. But wait – what does that mean for the future relationship between machines and creativity? If Watson can do this right now, then according to Moore’s law machines will be able to one-up Beethoven by next week.

 

Here is why I stand with Hagel: It’s all about the human experience. No matter how automated the creation of an output becomes, it will matter whether or not a human did the creating. Look at live music performances, for example (and there were plenty at SXSW): Would you rather watch someone lip sync to a pre-recorded track or hear them sing it with their actual voice? You’d pick the human, because there is an innate appreciation for that and emotion triggered by experiencing a fellow human’s performance. This can be applied to the wide range of arts, adventures, and other experiences that humans want to share with each other. And humans will want to continue creating these types of creative outputs because there is natural fulfillment in doing so. No matter how automated the world becomes, there will be demand to continue creating and consuming work that pushes our potential.

 

In addition to this personal creative renaissance that SXSW sparked in me, here are my top five takeaways from the conference overall:

  • There will be a revolution in Western education over the next decade. The concept of a “job” is an industrial age notion that will only continue to be blurred away. Ongoing learning is an absolute necessity to succeed as an individual in today’s economy, as technological advancements create demand for new skills at a rapid pace. Education models will begin to shift more sharply to help students learn how to learn rather than forcing them to learn one craft for 20 years and working at it the rest of their life, which is no longer realistic
  • Robots are making an impact now in consumer services. Savioke, for example, featured its partnership with Crown Plaza which is actively using Savioke’s Relay Robots to deliver items to hotel guests in their rooms. Fellow Robots also featured their partnership with Lowes, which uses a robot to automate inventory scanning and direct customers to items in aisles. A challenge for these companies is user acceptance: how do you design robots with features deliberately intended to win over humans and make them feel comfortable – choosing whether or not to give a robot a face, or choosing between legs vs. wheels has important implications
  • AR/VR has come a long way, but seemingly still has a way to go before widespread enterprise adoption. While there were impressive showcases leveraging hardware like Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR (with high quality experiences), there were a lot more consumer-driven applications than business applications. It could be personal taste, but I still struggle to imagine putting on a VR headset as routine part of my work day any time soon until more convincing applications come along
  • There is a wide spectrum of debate over the role the US Government should play in shaping how businesses use automation. Some experts called for the government to start exploring legislation that regulates enterprise use of automation now, while others insisted it should be completely up to businesses based on what is optimal for value-creation. Most proponents of the latter stance also contend that humans aren’t at risk of unemployment anyway because robots and automation will create new jobs. Yet others encourage the government to play a “fast follower” role behind businesses and help shape the effective use/scaling of automation through targeted legislation as applications develop
  • AI personal assistants have high short-term potential to improve productivity. While everyone was talking generally about automation in the workplace, one of the more surprising insights was from Assist CEO Shane Mac, who noted that all of his employees have a personal assistant and that each assistant works with its own automated personal assistant, x.ai, to conduct work. These solutions are only getting better, and I believe they could revolutionize the productivity of Business Analyst-level practitioners at Deloitte and other professional services firms
COLLAPSE
March 20, 2017

Everyone Fears the Robot

Contributor:
Eric Thompson

The Future of Work and its general ongoing reference to a fear of the robots was a major theme at SXSW. A session titled “Gig Economy and the Future of Work” focused on the regulatory considerations for the gig economy, and how to ensure a new population of temporary workers receive equal benefits and income security afforded by working full time at a corporation. It also focused on the importance of enabling the “passions of the people”, and that any future labor policies will help enable individuals to pursue their passions openly – I thought this tied neatly to another idea presented at the conference that the future of work will be all about pursuing passion and creativity.

EXPAND

The Future of Work and its general ongoing reference to a fear of the robots was a major theme at SXSW. A session titled “Gig Economy and the Future of Work” focused on the regulatory considerations for the gig economy, and how to ensure a new population of temporary workers receive equal benefits and income security afforded by working full time at a corporation. It also focused on the importance of enabling the “passions of the people”, and that any future labor policies will help enable individuals to pursue their passions openly – I thought this tied neatly to another idea presented at the conference that the future of work will be all about pursuing passion and creativity.

 

During Q&A a panelist pointed out that the model of Western education in going to school for twenty five years, then working in a job for the rest of your life no longer works, and that the system needs to be refocused to empower students for lifelong learning: New jobs and new skills / thought processes required will continuously emerge as current (and even future) jobs are replaced through automation at an increasing rate.

 

Another session called “How to keep you company human in 2030” focused on the importance of enabling “meaningful work” for the future worker – and that diversity is of critical importance. Diversity, in particular, has important implications for how AI programs are developed in the first place: if the algorithms through which machines learn are built by humans (hint: they are), there is a risk that said human’s inherent biases (regardless of background) will find their way into the programming – resulting in a biased robot. For an exaggerated (if not comical) example of how this is possible, see Microsoft’s attempted release of the Tay chatbot last year.

 

Assist CEO Shane Mac, one of the many attending panelists speaking on this topic, noted that all of his employees have a personal assistant and that each assistant works with its own automated personal assistant, x.ai, to conduct work. As a Deloitte lifer, I deeply connect with the value this would add for staff – freeing up their time from repetitive tasks to focus on higher value work! The fact companies are employing these solutions now signals the technology is mature enough today.

COLLAPSE