Tech is all about disruption and innovation. They have been a poster child in the economy we live in today: tear everything down and build it over again — newer, brighter, and shinier.
We’ve seen tech disrupt several industries — it’s changed the way we buy every day items, or even interact with loved ones. But there’s one area that it can’t really change in the same way: Healthcare. After all, when you’re seeing millions of patients every day with their health on the line, disruption isn’t a good thing — it’s a public health crisis waiting to happen.
On the other hand, healthcare is in desperate need of innovation to battle the rising costs and terrible patient experience. So the question becomes, how do you make these two worlds come together?
For Mike McSherry and Mary Haggard, the answer is simple: Instead of innovating from the outside with a typical burn-it-all-down mentality, we should disrupt the system from the inside.
Haggard is an Amazon and Microsoft vet who leads the internal startup incubator at Providence St. Joseph Health. McSherry is the co-founder and CEO of Providence’s incubator’s first spinout, called Xealth.
Tune into the podcast below to listen to Haggard and McSherry talk about Xealth’s conception within our health system, as well as their trials and tribulations while bringing disruptive tech into healthcare:
McSherry is no stranger to the startup world: He is a longtime technology entrepreneur and startup executive, who most recently led mobile tech company Swype to its $102 million acquisition by Nuance Communications.
When he started talking to Providence about joining the organization as an entrepreneur in residence, he thought it would be a piece of cake. “Everyone’s got a screwed up story about healthcare. There must be all this low-hanging fruit — we’ll solve something,” McSherry said, recalling his thought process.
However, McSherry and his team soon discovered that disrupting and innovating in healthcare would be more complicated than they could have imagined.
They spent months inside Providence, going into hospitals, meeting with doctors and executives and generally trying to find the place they could have the most impact. With guidance from Haggard, they eventually decided to stick to their area of expertise, core software.
They created a platform called Xealth, which lets doctors prescribe digital treatments, including things like educational videos, apps that help manage health and even devices. The platform ties natively into a hospital’s electronic health records (EHR) system and its patient portal, so patients and doctors don’t need to go to a third-party provider to use the service. It also returns data to the doctor so they know if a patient has completed the treatment.
Tune into the podcast above to learn more about Xealth and Mike McSherry’s story.