Digital Health And The Sting Of 2016 – Forbes

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It’s been said that you can learn more from your mistakes than from your failures. As digital health advances, the two-step march forward can bring with it a step backwards—sometimes in the form of a stumble or fall. That being said, we can look back and learn from 2016.  We might even be able to take away a few key lessons to stay on the path forward.

Science rules.

The heat and excitement of innovation always attracts attention. Sometimes, it can also attract those who are interested in promoting ‘snake oil’ as opposed to real innovation. The problem is that sometimes it’s difficult to tell. And while the arbiter might be finance in some instances, science should rule the day.

Look around and you can see that we are in the trough of disillusionment in digital health. There’s too much pseudoscience, not enough science. –David Albert, MD Founder, AliveCor

Danger!  Do not stand on top step.

Anyone who has climbed a ladder knows this–the top step is dangerous.  Sometimes we reach a bit far or sometimes we reach a bit wide in the quest for innovation.  Sometimes, the practical realities of clinical practice or patient dynamics can prove just as important as the innovation itself.  The tragedy is innovation for the sake of innovation.

Innovation can certainly get ahead of reality. It’s important to push forward but keeping a sense of the practical realities of both technology and business.  This is particularly true and important when it comes to health and medicine.  –Robert Scoble, Technology Futurist

Your board of directors matters.

We’ve seen too often that a board of directors is more a path to funding and connections than it is a basis for engaged and productive dialogue on building a company and launching a product or service. The flash of a (disconnected) name can come at the expense of the wisdom and insights of true leaders who may not have the big name but can have the big idea.

Innovation. In a vacuum?

We got to the moon by an aligned, grand effort.  JFK didn’t call it a domestic competition, he defined it as a team effort.  And while individual ‘lone wolves’ can drive innovation, today’s hyper-technical medical environment might be better served by collaborative efforts.  To this end, we’re seeing the advancement of accelerators that reflect this thinking.  The emergence of personalized medicine and the cancer moonshot initiative further illustrates this point.

‘There comes a time in the natural progression of innovation where the alignment of the leading thinkers and initiatives can accelerate the pace and maximize the efficiency of getting to goal. For me, it’s less about an isolated startup and more about an integrated the role up as the key to building a successful company in life science industry.   –Robert Hariri, MD PhD Co-Founder Human Longevity, Celularity

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