NCQA Digital Summit Interview of Kevin Pereau by DJ Wilson, part 2

How do you parse out what is marketed when we’re talking about technology and innovation and what is really meaningful?

So we have been in this innovation space now for a generation, maybe even longer. And I think you follow this as closely as anybody in the country and you parse through fact from fiction, what is real versus what is marketing. And I have both developed an acute optimism and acute cynicism that go hand in hand when I think about innovation. How do you parse out what is marketed when we’re talking about technology and innovation and what is real meaningful? What do you kind of look for to try to discern what is what is going to move the market and disrupt health care and what is maybe more talk than action

I think you have to start with measurable results. And I think to put some context around that, if you take a look at what’s the sort of connected health and actionable data, take a look at companies like Virna Health. You know, the numbers that they’re posting are just absolutely astounding. I started writing my books after connecting with a couple of schoolmates that I played ball with back in Vermont. Now, these were next level kind of athletes that played for the University of Pennsylvania.

And they both confided in me that they now have Type two diabetes and me coming from the tech sector before I got into to health care. I asked him what kind of tools are you using to better connect with your doctor, your clinician and others who can help keep you healthy and happy. And one just laughed and said, this is type two diabetes. We did this to ourselves. No one no one cares about guys like us. And the other guy was a little bit more somber. He was looking down and he said, you know, I’m going to have my foot amputated in about six months. And when my foot hurts so bad that I can’t stand it anymore, I schedule an appointment with my doctor. And I thought over and how they now reverse type two diabetes for sixty thousand members or customers. Think about the enormous savings in just an insulin alone and in meds. And I thought, what good is all this innovation if we’re not getting the message out side of health care to a broader audience who really could use this information in a way that’s beneficial for them?

So I think that’s a good example of where they have basically collected data, whether it’s from your monitoring, your glucose, stepping in and intervening with people who are clearly trending in the wrong direction and then connecting them with a stakeholder who can help them do something about it. And what they learn was kind of eye popping. It’s not always a clinician. Sometimes it’s a nutritionist, and sometimes it’s it’s a mental health resource or just simple coaching. I mean, there’s cyclical things.

I think that people go through the the death of a loved one, the passing of a spouse or or someone in the immediate family that sort of sends us into an annual downward spiral. And I think one of the things that Virna Health was was really good at pioneering was recognizing the triggers, recognizing the events and being there as a resource for people when they need it, not overwhelming them when they don’t, but being there for them when they need it.

I think the other thing that they recognize was, well, there a good dashboard and they’re good at collecting and analyzing the data. Those who take action on the data are what you need to connect to. And sometimes that your clinician, sometimes that your doctor, sometimes that’s a fitness instructor, sometimes that’s a nutritionist, and sometimes that’s just a coach who can help remind you of the the healthy habits that you need to reinforce to be the best version of yourself you can be.



Kevin Pereau is the founder and principal of TranscendIT Health, a boutique health care strategy and management consulting firm focused on helping health care payers, providers and consumers get maximum value from their digital health technologies. He is the author of the soon to be published book, “It Takes a Village”. You may also know Kevin from his highly successful book titled “The Digital Health Revolution”.
D.J. Wilson, D.J. is the founder and CEO of State of Reform. State of Reform covers state health policy in 15 states and convened some of the largest health policy events in 20 markets across the country.