The Power of Innovation Communities

Posted by Mike Biselli on 2.22.2017

I witnessed some amazing things at HIMSS this week. Conference halls packed with healthcare experts and innovators (over 40,000 attendees!). Hundreds of booths filled with cutting edge technologies. Hallways, lobbies, and alcoves echoing with conversation – and each conversation trying to make sense of our new healthcare reality.

At HIMSS, I felt the same energy I had felt a week before at the BachHealth Summit in Houston, Texas. There was the same sense of excitement. There was the same sense of inspiration. And there was the same sense of hope that we can reimagine healthcare together!

Robert Blount (Board Chairman, MedicAlert and industry leader) and I showing off our pink socks (www.pinksocks.life) at the BachHealth Summit, Houston.

I came to these events with a message. I stood in front of audiences in Houston and Orlando and let them know, “You can take part in the transformation of our industry!” I told them about the innovation communities currently reimagining healthcare throughout the world, and made sure every clinician, entrepreneur, student, and executive in those audiences knew they had a role to play in these communities.

I delivered my message through a story, a story of my youth, when, as a high school student in Northern Nevada, the people in my community rallied around me and helped me qualify for a full-ride football scholarship to Stanford University. By taking my cause as their own, the shopkeepers, teachers, coaches, counselors, public officials, and many more in my town helped me accomplish something that would have otherwise been impossible.

In doing so, they gave me something important. They taught me a lesson that has guided me in everything I’ve done since, from my time as a health-tech entrepreneur at MedPassage, to my current role as the president of Catalyst HTI. They showed me that a strong community can accomplish anything!

That valuable lesson has been the secret to my success. It’s also how we’re going to reimagine healthcare. Think about it. Right now, the healthcare industry is painfully aware of the obstacles it faces. We’ve dealt with these problems for so long, and we know that no single individual or organization will be able to solve them on their own.

But change is starting to happen, and that change is happening in communities – innovation communities. In Colorado, we’re seeing these communities form among the members of incubators like Innosphere and accelerators like Boomtown Health. They’re being built by venture generators like 10.10.10 and ecosystem integrators like Prime Health. On an international level, networks like Startup Health are currently building innovation communities with members from across the globe!

Some of the innovators within these communities come from the healthcare industry. Others come from the tech industry. Still others come from other industries. But they’re all coming together to perform research, define problems, and test solutions. They’re all coming together to pool their experience, knowledge, and skills, because they know that only by working together will we change things for the better.

On their own, a single person won’t solve obesity, cancer, or Alzheimer’s. Neither will a single organization. But when talented individuals come together from a range of industries and occupations, incredible things start happening. Solutions are devised at generators like 10.10.10 Health, and those solutions become the basis of new companies like BurstIQ. Incubators and accelerators like Innosphere help those companies scale, while ecosystem integrators like Prime Health connect them with the resources, partnerships, and investments they need to thrive.

Many leaders of Colorado’s health innovation ecosystem attended HIMSS, including: Dr. Katie Richardson, Dr. Ken Bellian, and Julie Reisetter (left to right).

Innovation communities are starting to appear within the healthcare industry, too. Centura Health is considering how to drive the adoption of new technologies. Kaiser Permanente is beginning to collaborate with the members of Catalyst HTI. As these innovation communities grow, the processes they enable – the definition of problems, the development of solutions, and the formation of companies – become more refined, more sophisticated, and more effective.

During Monday’s keynote address, Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, shared how her organization is making artificial intelligence an everyday reality for providers around the world. As Rometty spoke, there was a sense that a brighter future for the healthcare industry was just within our reach. But we’re only going to reach that future of better outcomes, higher satisfaction, and more affordable care if we join hands and approach it together.

Please, join us at Prime Health. Join our Industry Integrator- Catalyst HTI. Come to the next 10.10.10. Stop by a BachHealth Summit, and say hi at next year’s HIMSS. Bring your experience, your knowledge, and your skills, and let’s build the future of healthcare together!