The Digital Health Guy Gets The Expert Opinion: Constance Sjoquist, Chief Content Officer, HLTH
HLTH.com, a company founded by Jonathan Weiner, is reshaping the industry narrative on what it means to drive reductions in health care costs, continually innovate and increase quality in health care.
Their conferences are all about uniting people from all phases of health care: insurance companies, hospitals, benefit professionals, employers, venture capital investors, start-ups and more. Their typical list of presenters often includes executives from 23andMe, Accenture, Aetna, Amazon, Aspire Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, Color, Comcast, CVS Health, Fidelity Investments, Fitbit, Frost & Sullivan, Google, Kaiser Permanente, Garmin, GE, Humana, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Omada Health, Optum, Uber, United Health, Walgreen Co., Walmart . . . the list goes on and on. They pull together thought leaders and host great events.
I spent some time chatting with Constance Sjoquist, Chief Content Officer, HLTH, and here is what she told us.
Kevin Pereau: How exciting are HLTH events, and why?
Constance Sjoquist: Very exciting! From a historical perspective, I think we are at a point where many different companies each have their own Swiss Army knife, filled with tools. But people are looking at other companies and saying, “Even though what you have is really cool, your can opener doesn’t open my bottle.”
Or they are looking at other companies and saying something like, “I have too much invested in manufacturing, and there is no way I can align with you, you are just too different.” We are thinking that HLTH will be a place where people will rearrange how they think about their technology, talents, investments, and discover one another and use what they have to their advantage.
Kevin Pereau: The Swiss Army knife analogy is very fitting . . . how does data fit into it?
Constance Sjoquist: I think that in the past, people have been talking about data as though it is some kind of flowchart, or maybe a warehouse storing lots of information. But data is essentially nothing in and of itself, right? It’s just ones and zeros and stuff. It’s like the stuff I put in my dresser drawer and I don’t know why I’m keeping it.
The data that many organizations have gathered is like that. It’s hard to throw it out or to clean it out, or to understand how to share it. You’re thinking, “No, I don’t want to give it away because I may need it someday . . . If I give more than I have, I’m left with nothing.”
So there is competitive worry around data sharing, privacy, and security. I think that is pretty much the old thinking and the old conversation that was taking place within organizations.
Kevin Pereau: And what is the new conversation?
Constance Sjoquist: There are many taking place I think, but I think the big question that is being asked is, “What do I do with the rest of my time when I am not in the compensation bucket?” I think that people are thinking about the whole orchestration of a larger ecosystem around health.
Kevin Pereau: What are some of the tech trends that you have discovered in the companies you are working with as you plan?
Constance Sjoquist: I think that there will be conversations at HLTH about developments like 3D-printed body parts that have intelligence built into them, and about the increasing use of genomics in predictive diagnostics, based on the growing realization that people respond in different ways to different medications, and that they are more or less likely to develop certain diseases and conditions, based on their genes. I also think there will be many conversations about retail, and who is getting into the retail health care space.
I often get calls from people who come from outside of health care who say, “We have a payment solution” or, “We have this great software” or even, “We have a bunch of people in our company who are entrepreneurial, but they don’t know how to succeed in health care, how can we figure out what to do?”
The Geek Squad concept works with computers and home electronics. You buy a piece of equipment, you have a problem, and the Geeks come. But in health care, the Geek Squad just doesn’t work. We are talking about a whole interconnected ecosystem that is made up of so many different entities and kinds of companies.
It is time to share. In my view, sharing is the new “sprinkle dust” that is getting mixed into the industry.
Constance Sjoquist is Chief Content Officer at HLTH.com, sponsors of the annual “HLTH: The Future of Healthcare” Conference. HLTH.com was founded by Jonathan Weiner, who is reshaping the industry narrative on what it means to drive reductions in health care costs, continually innovate and increase quality in health care. Follow Constance on Twitter: @CASjoquist #hlth2019 #gotohlth #createhealthsfuture #healthcare
— Constance Sjoquist (@CASjoquist) September 19, 2019