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Discussing the state of digital health with a health care venture capitalist: Twitter interview with Lisa Suennen of Psilio Group
Posted On: January 14, 2013 @ 2:20 pm Category: Interviews | Tags: , , , ,

Lisa SuennenWe wrapped up 2013 CES with an interview with Lisa Suennen, co-founder at health care venture capital firm Psilos Group and blogger at VentureValkyrie.com. Digital health startups were a popular topic at this year’s CES and Digital Health Summit, and we sat down with Lisa to get a pulse on the digital health startup industry.

The actual interview was conducted on Twitter between Lisa’s Twitter account, @VentureValkyrie, and our own @CESHealth account. The following is a recap of our discussion with Lisa. You can see the original interview by viewing the #uhcces hashtag on Twitter.

Please tell us a bit about the company you co-founded, Psilos Group.
Psilos Group is a health care-focused investment fund. We have invested in health IT, services, and medical technology since 1989. Companies we invest in must demonstrate they can both improve quality and reduce costs to the health care system.

Sounds great! What trends are you seeing in the digital health startup space?
A lot of diagnostics and patient engagement tools, as well as payers and providers seeking ways to engaging actively with patients. Also, I’m beginning to see a larger number of enterprise solutions for care coordination, workflow, error reduction, etc.

You also blog at Venture Valkyrie. Please tell us about your goal for the blog.
My blog is an outlet for writing and engaging more creatively about health care and investing issues than is possible for me at work. It is also a way to amplify Psilos’ ideas and activities, or those in the community we seek to influence and join. I also like to add humor to my world and the worlds’ of others who enjoy it. Real life is funny enough, if you point out where.

You frequently blog about the gender imbalance in the worlds of health and technology. Why is a balance so important?
Because men and women bring different ways of thinking and acting to the party, both are important so balance is good. Also, because women are vastly underrepresented as health care CEOs and investors but they make 80 percent of health decisions – they need a voice! Or should I say “WE” need a voice!

Do you currently use any apps or digital products to help manage your health and wellness?
No, not really. I think I am so surrounded by them so much during the day that I stay away at night.

I am one of the few remaining people that isn’t best friends with my iPhone. No doubt I will find my way to apps eventually.

Were you following CES 2013? Did any of the health news stand out to you?
It’s interesting to see traditional health care people show up to the “party,” not just the quantitative selfers. Digital health is going mainstream!

Speaking of CES, digital health is one of the fastest growing segments of the show. What do you make of this?
There are many amazing ideas, but not so many great businesses yet – we are early in the marketplace. It’s important for digital health companies to think about who pays and who saves when a product is used, not just how cool it is. For companies who have cracked this code, there is a huge opportunity as everyone is eager to see this sector succeed.

Great point! Finally, fast forward ten years. What advancements do you hope to see in the technology industry?

  • More youth education about the importance of a healthy lifestyle
  • A willingness for payers, providers and patients to pay for products and services that maintain health, not just treat illness
  • True commitment to helping seniors live out their lives well at home, with maximum independence
  •  Provider and patient partnerships, not just payer and provider relationships
  • And a line for the ladies’ room, not just the men’s room, at every health care IT event!