Fika LP Summit Healthcare Panel: A Dialogue on the Urgency of Leveraging Data
Jeff Diamond — Fika Ventures
Fika Ventures is an LA-based boutique seed fund that invests in founders solving meaningful, systemic problems through the use of data, related AI-enabled technologies, and automation. Subscribe here to stay up to date on our investments and market perspectives.
As a part of Fika’s LP Summit this year, our team convened a group of healthcare leaders and pioneers who are working on some of the industry’s most urgent challenges. While there are a bevy of topics we could have explored given the state of the world today, there is perhaps no industry attracting more headlines, public attention, and scrutiny than healthcare. Innovation across healthcare is rampant, which has garnered heightened investor attention. At Fika, healthcare remains a key sector of focus for our fund as we continue to explore new tech-enabled services, such as orchestration layers and data integration systems, with innovative go-to-market strategies. As a natural extension of our curiosity and general investment thesis, we felt it was the opportune time to bring together thought leaders in this space to have an honest dialogue about the state of the industry.
Shannon Goggin, Co-founder and CEO of Noyo, a Fika portfolio company building the benefits data platform enabling benefits software and insurance carriers to exchange data securely, quickly, and accurately, led and moderated an impassioned conversation about the principles of data strategy in healthcare, the industry’s evolving investment landscape, and how our panelists’ companies are positively contributing to the acceleration of precision and personalized care. Joining her as our three panelists were: Andrew Parker, Founder & CEO of Papa, a marketplace that matches older adults and families who need extra assistance with “Papa Pals,” Ryan Fukushima, COO of Tempus, a precision medicine company that offers genomic testing, and Maneesh Goyal, COO of Mayo Clinic Platform, whose mission is centered around providing world class care in every neighborhood.
The healthcare industry is rapidly becoming digitized. Investment dollars are pouring into tech-enabled solutions to facilitate data exchange and interoperability. In the midst of the noise, there is an urgency to identify where gaps remain and how data can be leveraged to spur innovation. The panelists at the summit surfaced some of the gaps that persist and further emphasized that data-driven decision making will be fundamental to sustained positive outcomes, and that the winners and losers in this space will be determined by those who buy into data dissemination, organization, and synchronization.
It is clear that data is the future of healthcare. Our panelists highlighted some of the most exciting data-driven growth opportunities within the industry, including novel value-based care models, preventative and proactive care, personalized treatment plans, and precision medicine. Within each of these focus areas, and especially at companies like Tempus, it is paramount that a first principles approach be taken to understand data and turn it into actionable insights as data becomes more commoditized and siloed. Two hot-button issues persist: bias and data privacy. There is a pressing need to build and access broader, more holistic data sets to create unbiased constructs. There is growing urgency for advancements in data management to better track, measure and control components of patient privacy. While our panelists’ sentiments were that, broadly, there remains a lack of holistic, positive data sharing in healthcare, thought leaders like Mayo are continuing to lead the charge by enacting a sharing and enabling ecosystem, whereupon they connect data sets together, de-identify data, and allow institutional access. Industry leaders need to continue to push the boundaries of data sharing and break through the inertia that exists in healthcare.
Our panelists also honed in on the fact that when talking about data, it is imperative to bring the social view into the picture in order to get a longitudinal record of an individual and to understand patients beyond just clinical data capture to now thinking about them as a whole person. As care moves more and more into the home, social determinants become glaringly obvious and accessible to physicians in a construct that is supported under current reimbursement models. If you plug in organizations like Papa, which take the patient journey to its natural conclusion, you can unlock the “holy grail” of untapped data and solve for the unsolved intersection of the patient state and the consumer state.
Looking to the future, our panelists noted that more investment and resources need to be allocated to in-home care and health plan operations as innovators must rethink how fixed costs can become variable costs without sacrificing system-wide culture. They urged us to be wary of too much emphasis and funding being put towards the notion of changing human behavior via tools alone. While there is much excitement surrounding novel, highly sophisticated AI solutions in healthcare, we must go a few layers deeper to understand how and why AI is a necessary tool. And, with value-based care being the way of the future, there is a need for proper incentives and improvement in this area, as well as a pullback from the increasingly overhyped and overfunded term, “platform.”
All of the pieces are available to change the supply of information, as well as clinical services and goods, such that we can deliver much better care across the globe. Our panelists emphatically affirmed that this is the true market opportunity. We are grateful for their contribution to our LP Summit and are excited about the future of a more interconnected, holistic healthcare system.