How Partnerships Transform Healthcare: A Closer Look

By Diego Arias Published on Apr. 29, 2021

In the ever-changing healthcare landscape, partnerships have become key. On March 31st, 2021, Plug and Play hosted a virtual event where corporate partners and startups shared their views on this topic: they tackled their approach on partnerships, key factors in the collaborations, and their goals to transform healthcare by improving patient care and the provider experience.

Watch the full event here and find out the main takeaways of this insightful event in this article.

A Fireside Chat Between Simha Sadasiva & Saeed Amidi

The event started with a Fireside Chat between Simha Sadasiva, CEO & Co-Founder of Ushur, and Saeed Amidi, CEO & Founder of Plug and Play.

Sadasiva co-founded Ushur to eliminate unnecessary friction across the customer journey in high-contact industries like insurance, logistics and financial services. This vision has motivated him to work with different insurance companies like Unum, a Fortune 500 company; Irish Life, Ireland's leading life, investment and pension company; and Cigna, a global health service company. From Amidi’s point of view, the enthusiasm and passion that drive Simha were essential in convincing him to invest in an early idea that seemed impossible to execute.

But before we dive into Sadasiva’s background, let’s find out more about Ushur: Ushur is a cloud-based AI company that automates service workflows in both the backend process and conversational interfaces. Designed for high-contact industries like insurance, logistics and financial services, Ushur engages customers over email, apps, SMS and more, using conversational AI and intuitive business process automation workflows to understand what people are saying and what to do next.

Sadasiva, born and raised in Bangalore, explained how education was a key piece in his personal development. The Ushur’s CEO shared his story, and how he worked for different firms until a job with Lucent Technologies (Nokia) led him to the Valley. Throughout this learning journey and before becoming an entrepreneur, Sadasiva explained that it was due to his experience as an immigrant that he became cost-conscious, ambitious, and frugal.

Ushur began with a small and lean team during the summer of 2018, and it was thanks to his frugal mindset that he managed to stretch a $2M seed round into building a successful venture with hundreds of customers. Most recently, Ushur raised an oversubscribed $25M series B with Iron Pillar and Third Point Ventures, with a $5M extension from Aflac.

Sadasiva concluded with a piece of advice for people seeking to become entrepreneurs: take the plunge, you won’t learn to ride a bike or swim by watching YouTube videos, and entrepreneurship is the same!

Partnership Discussion with Kent Dicks & Dr. Zsolt Kulcsar

The next conversation in the event agenda was between Dr. Zsolt Kulcsar and Kent Dicks. They shared key factors in their successful partnership to provide “connected care kits” for at-home patients, and their goals to bring remote patient monitoring into the clinical practice. But, first, let us introduce these two fantastic speakers:

On one hand, Dr. Zsolt Kulcsar, who completed his training in internal medicine at New York-Presbyterian Queens hospital, and went on to complete a dual rheumatology fellowship and preventive medicine residency at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

On the other hand, Kent Dicks. Dicks is an award-winning serial entrepreneur and recognized thought leader in the mobile and digital health space. His desire to broaden accessibility to transformative remote healthcare solutions led to the founding of Life365, an emerging leader in remote patient monitoring solutions. Life365 has built a digital health platform for patients with various conditions where remote patient monitoring and active self-management will result in better health outcomes. The solutions gather biometric measurements, and other data, from patients located in their homes to keep patients away from unnecessary expensive hospital visits, facilitating community-based care.

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A Closer Look Into Community-Based Care

Community-based care is coordinated, integrated care provided in a range of community settings beyond hospitals. It is delivered in a way that is person- and population-centered, and both Dr. Zsolt and Kent addressed the importance of data to achieve this. Data is not only essential to help properly handle hospital visits and provide appropriate treatment to all patients, but also to monitor and reduce unnecessary spending. In short, appropriate data handling is needed to make informed decisions about choosing how and where to deliver care for patients.

Both speakers explained that the next step is to innovate in the way care is delivered, through new systems that use new and emerging technologies: telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other solutions that foster connectivity and create community.

However, Dr. Zsolt acknowledged that to implement innovative solutions, organizations like White Plains Hospital need to be nimble and forward-thinking.

Doctor Zsolt brought up the example of Plug and Play portfolio startup TestCard, and how it is revolutionising the way patients interact with their own health through new channels. TestCard is a simple solution for at-home UTI testing. A pouch holding a set of test strips, coupled with a smartphone app, provides immediate, medical grade test results from the comfort of the patient’s own home.

Accessible, fast and accurate will be the new standard of care. Patients will leverage this data, and hospitals and healthcare providers will need to look for opportunities to integrate this data into their existing services and workflows.

The chat ended when the audience asked how this new paradigm is empowering patients. Kent explained that remote patient monitoring tools are not only comforting patients, but they are exciting and engaging. Kent said that the key for remote health monitoring providers is to know the patients well, because when this happens, patients feel reassured - the regular data collection means that someone, whether a nurse or doctor, is keeping an eye out and making sure that the patients are well, sometimes even better than if they were at the hospital.

Are you a corporate partner looking to connect with new healthcare technologies? At Plug and Play, we fast-track innovation in the healthcare industry. Reach out to connect with the most disruptive startups.