This is a guest post by Julia Wu of Luminary Labs
Aman Bhandari is U.S. Director, Health IT & Data Strategy at Merck, and previously served as a Senior Advisor to the White House. He moderated the Health: Big Innovation Playbook panel as part of the Future of Now: Health Innovation Track, Presented by Merck. The session was packed and full of great questions, which you can see:
Now, meet Aman:
- Aman, what are you most looking forward to at Social Media Week?
I’m always curious to learn more about how other industries are approaching digital and how these trends apply in a healthcare context. There are ton of great talks from across the spectrum, but I’m especially looking forward to hearing Anil Dash interview Steve Case, given the very different perspectives they bring.
- Can you tell us more about social media’s role in healthcare innovation?
While we’re just beginning to fully examine how social media can be used in health, we’ve long known that some of the most critical aspects of health and wellness lie in information exchange, connectedness and community. These themes are now being explored in entirely new ways through online platforms.
This is an exciting time, and I see a tremendous opportunity for those who can figure out how to use social media to have an impact on health.
- How does data fit into the picture?
Right now, data is hot in healthcare both because of health reform and the potential for technological disruption. The healthcare industry is being incentivized by Obamacare to leverage data, and players across the industry understand that we need to measure what works because the old system is not sustainable. This massive policy shift along with increased data liquidity is creating new complexities, and as a society, we need to keep privacy considerations foremost in our minds as we explore this enormous opportunity.
- You’ve been recently involved in some interesting partnerships across health IT/digital health and data/analytics, what’s the biggest learning or insight you can share from these collaborations?
Because of the huge changes we are witnessing in the health, wellness and technology spaces, collaboration across the industry is no longer an option, it is a necessity. Yet, rather than finding opportunity in this demanding environment, many large organizations are still using a 20th century approach to business and partnerships.
Collaborating outside of your organization has to be done with great care. It is hard work to be aligned, but when done right, partnerships can yield benefits greater than the sum of the parts and keep larger organizations at the forefront of innovation.
- Do you have any advice for others looking to transform the healthcare space?
Learn from the industry insiders, but also pay attention to the periphery, as the best ideas often come from those working outside the bounds of industry orthodoxies.
One of my favorite quotes is from Steve Jobs who said: “I’ve always paid close attention to the whispers around me.” He understood the importance of listening to fresh perspectives when coming up with breakthrough products.
We are thrilled to have Aman and Merck join us at SMW NYC! Healthcare is hot — and it’s only getting hotter.