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Raise the Line with Podcast

“Raising the Line” is about strengthening our global healthcare systems. To do this, we need to accomplish many things including training more healthcare professionals, and helping them stay in their professions longer. However, there's so much more we can accomplish together.

Dr. Rishi Desai, Osmosis Chief Medical Officer, Shiv Gaglani, Osmosis CEO, and Nurse Jannah Amiel, Director of Nursing Curriculum talk to top experts in the fields of medical education, policy, healthcare, technology and more to explore solutions to strengthen the capacity of our healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Raise the Line explores solutions with top experts to strengthen the capacity of our healthcare system during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.



Using Technology to Create Deeper Learning Experiences - Dr. Peter Decherney, Faculty Director of the Online Learning Initiative, University of Pennsylvania


Like many academics, Dr. Peter Decherney wears many hats, but in his case you can also add a virtual reality headset. That’s because in addition to being a professor of Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he’s also a filmmaker working in both the traditional “flatty” format and virtual reality, with subjects ranging from artists in Puerto Rico to a Jewish community in Ethiopia. Choosing which medium to use to tell which story is a newer part of the process he enjoys. “Filmmaking is often about this kind of obsessive control. It's a challenge to be able to give up some control and create lots of different opportunities and learning experiences for audiences,” he tells host Michael Carrese in this episode of Raise the Line. Using technology to create learning experiences is also a big part of his job as the Faculty Director of UPenn’s Online Learning Initiative, a role that put him at the center of perhaps the largest, quickest, and most significant change in higher education in modern times when the pandemic forced the universal use of remote learning. “The pandemic was a moment of reflection and it was kind of amazing to see people across campus just think about education and pedagogy in a really deep and new way.” Check out this wide-ranging conversation to find out what that new thinking is leading to, what he likes about online instruction himself and one of the most important things universities learned about themselves during the pandemic.


What a Long Strange Trip: The Fall and Rise of Psychedelics in Medicine – Dr. Jim Fadiman, Author and Pioneer in Psychedelic Research


The current interest in using psychedelics for mental health treatment is a ‘back to the future’ moment for Dr. Jim Fadiman, a pioneer in psychedelic research known as the father of microdosing. “The method that's been developed for administering high doses in a supervised environment is replicating exactly what we developed in the 1960s,” he tells host Shiv Gaglani. At that time, the federal government approved his research, but when the Nixon administration criminalized this class of drugs for political reasons, all research stopped, creating a wide belief that they are unsafe when actually, he says, they’re among the pharmacologically safest drugs. In the absence of government-sanctioned research, what Fadiman calls “citizen science” has been thriving. Hundreds of thousands of people have self-reported through social media and other means that the drugs improve their functioning and have no serious side effects. Other countries are sponsoring research yielding the same results. In the context of a deepening mental health crisis, Fadiman believes it makes sense to integrate psychedelics into treatment, especially when the pharmaceuticals in use are only modestly effective for a minority of patients. Make sure to listen through to the end of the episode to learn about his new book, Symphony of Selves on harmonizing different aspects of our personalities to reduce stress and increase empathy for others. This is a deeply-informed, revealing and fun conversation you won’t want to miss.


A Multipronged Approach to Incontinence: Vanita Gaglani, Physical Therapist, Author and Incontinence Expert


More than twenty-five million people in the U.S. experience bladder leakage every day and while the problem is more common in women, millions of men also confront this challenge. Unfortunately, says Vanita Gaglani, support for men dealing with this issue is lacking, especially after prostate surgery. “Men have been ignored and they have an equal problem. They don't know who to go to. There is no structure. There are no guidelines for them to follow.” Gaglani recognized this gap not long after starting her physical therapy practice in Melbourne, Florida thirty years ago, and now 90% of her patients are men. In that time, she’s treated thousands of people with a multipronged approach that resolves incontinence issues in a matter of weeks. “Kegels are not the end-all, be-all treatment. We have to have a complete approach,” she says, which includes nutrition, understanding body mechanics and lifestyle changes. Gaglani has detailed her protocol in a new book: Life After Prostate Cancer and Other Urological Surgeries: A Step-by-Step Guide to Stop Urinary Leakage in Ten Weeks, which is a follow-up to an earlier book that was geared more to an older population. Don’t miss this deeply informative conversation about the special characteristics of the bladder, insights on how men approach medical treatments, and advice about helping patients overcome reluctance to speaking about embarrassing issues. And, make sure to listen to the end to discover Vanita’s special connection to Raise the Line!


A Global Look at Online Postgraduate Medical Education and the Future of Healthcare – Dr. Tom O’Callaghan, CEO of iHeed (Cambridge Education Group)


Dr. Tom O’Callaghan thinks he’s already seen the future of medicine in this tech-heavy age, and it looks a lot like the personal, trusted healthcare he saw his father providing in the small community in Ireland in which he was raised. As he tells host Rishi Desai, if you have a good family doctor “you're far more likely to have a better healthcare outcome to every illness you have in your life.” It’s not that O’Callaghan is anti-technology. For one thing, he thinks wearables and remote monitoring will actually facilitate a needed transition from hospital-based to community-based care. But perhaps a greater proof point is he leads a specialty online medical education company called iHeed that leverages the latest technology, tools and educational approaches to make post graduate education for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals in 65 countries across Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa more accessible and affordable. The company, part of the Cambridge Education Group, also develops national scale residency programs in countries including Malaysia and Saudi Arabia to spur the evolution of primary care in underserved communities. Tune into this revealing conversation for a global take on medical education, to hear why developing more nurses is key to tackling the gaping healthcare worker shortage, and for some wisdom he’s drawn on in his own career as a family practitioner that he discovered on a slip of paper in the bottom of the doctor’s bag his father carried for decades.


Public-Private Partnerships Are Key to Improving Health Equity - Dr. Aditi Mallick, Chief Medical Officer for Medicaid & CHIP at CMS


“The biggest things I’ve learned about improving health equity are the importance of data and relationships,” says Dr. Aditi Mallick, who, in her role at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services counts that goal as a top priority. That knowledge was largely gained last year while she was director of North Carolina’s COVID-19 Response Command Center. Data on testing and vaccination rates by race and ethnicity allowed Mallick and her team to pinpoint where outreach efforts should be targeted. Then it was a matter of communicating effectively with community organizations to drive turnout to free clinics. Those public-private partnerships are also vital to achieving progress on other priorities Dr. Mallick has related to advancing whole-person health. As she tells host Dr. Rishi Desai, when clinics are closely connected with community social service agencies, a “closed-referral loop” can develop so all stakeholders know that patient needs are being addressed. “The more we can do to encourage that model will serve us well in meeting health-related social needs.” Check out this informative conversation to learn how the nation’s largest insurance programs work and interconnect, why Dr. Mallick identifies with a “doctor plus” approach to her work, and what can help physicians get through the inevitable hard days in their profession.


Find Your People, Find Your Purpose: Youngsuk ‘YS’ Chi, Chairman of Elsevier


“One of the pieces of advice I like to give young people is to collect knowledge, interests and a network of people you want to know. You don't know yet how you are going to use it all, but later it will become obvious which pieces fit with which,” says Youngsuk ‘YS’ Chi, Chairman of Elsevier. If you want a great example of how this approach works, you can look at Chi’s own remarkable career which took him from banking, to helping enable Amazon’s early growth, to being president of Random House to his current role at Elsevier and its parent company RELX, where he is Director of Corporate Affairs and Asia Strategy. Chi reveals to host Shiv Gaglani that what connects those disparate experiences are two people he “collected” at the start of his own career with whom he stayed connected in a mutually beneficial partnership. Seeing relationships as core to success explains why Chi makes time to be a mentor to dozens of people in a wide range of professions. Although wanting to help them on their career journeys is the prime motivator, Chi is quick to point out his mentees are a network he can tap for expertise as part of his commitment to continuous learning. The wisdom drop continues as they discuss how to help employees connect purpose to their work and how a post-COVID analysis needs to include “a humanistic re-questioning of what we do and why we do it.”


Lowering Patient Costs Through Drug Industry Disruption: Mark Cuban, Serial Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of CostPlus Drugs


“I'm in a part of my life where I like to have an impact that disrupts an industry,” says famed entrepreneur Mark Cuban, and his new online pharmacy CostPlus Drugs is already showing signs of creating a major disruption, indeed. Here’s just one example of what his no-frills operation is making possible: a 30-day supply of the cancer-fighting drug Gleevec is usually $2,500, but on the same medication is $17.10 for a month’s supply. You probably have the same question as host Shiv Gaglani: how is this possible? Cuban says CostPlus Drugs sidesteps insurance companies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers to deal directly with manufacturers. There’s a standard 15% markup to cover operational costs, a $3 pharmacy fee and a $5 shipping fee. “That's it, period, end of the story.” Word of mouth over the last two months has pushed sales to levels not expected for two years. Cuban is quick to credit co-founder Alex Oshmyansky and his team, but obviously the business acumen he’s displayed for years on the TV show Shark Tank plays a big role, as does his motivation to do something about a bedeviling problem. “The fact that people are having to choose between rent, food, or medication in this country is wrong in every which way.” Check out this fascinating analysis of the healthcare industry spiced with valuable advice for budding healthcare entrepreneurs, and find out what Cuban thinks the healthcare industry can learn from the NBA.


Dr. Mike Hoaglin - Medical Director of Prairie Health and Independent Telemedicine Consultant


We’ve talked a lot on Raise the Line about the upsides of the telehealth boom, but our guest today, Dr. Mike Hoaglin, brings a new silver lining to light: it’s one way to help with the physician burnout crisis. “I've certainly been in the trenches of burnout in the past, and having the flexibility to be able to see patients when I'm at my best and when I'm able to be at home with my family is just a great setup for me to be successful, and my patients benefit.” In fact, “Dr. Mike” was an early adopter of telehealth and other medical technologies as well. Best proof point? He and host Shiv Gaglani worked together a decade ago to develop the Smartphone Physical. Add that experience to his work in federal health policy, various start-ups and a stint as the clinical director on the Dr. Oz Show, and you can understand why “Dr. Mike” is full of revelations on many subjects including on a special focus of his, the microbiome. For instance, did you know your body has more foreign cells (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, etc) than human? As Dr. Mike shares with Shiv, intensifying interest in these trillions of microorganisms in recent years has led to a deeper understanding of the wide range of impact gut health has on overall health, from diabetes to mood disorders. Check out this lively excursion through a fascinating career, and be sure to listen all the way through for Dr. Mike’s advice on the one thing you should eat more of for good gut health.


Sharing Insights from Elsevier’s New Clinician of the Future Global Report: Drs. Ian Chuang and Tate Erlinger


On today’s Raise the Line episode, you’ll have a unique opportunity to hear the collective voice of healthcare providers all over the world who shared their needs, hopes and concerns with Elsevier in its first-ever Clinician of the Future Global Report. Elsevier and its partner, Ipsos, engaged nearly 3,000 clinicians from 111 countries to reveal current pain points, predictions for the future, and how the industry can build a roadmap to future-proof healthcare. Join host Shiv Gaglani as he explores the fascinating findings with his Elsevier colleagues Dr. Tate Erlinger and Dr. Ian Chuang. “One of the key pieces of feedback from participants was, ‘I see the potential, I just need support. I need better training and education and skills development to align where healthcare is going,’” said Dr. Chuang, Chief Medical Officer of Global Health. “I would look at this report as a call to action,” said Dr. Erlinger, Vice-President of Clinical Analytics. There are some alarming numbers in here, but healthcare has always responded. We just need to be diligent and look for and test solutions across a broad range of concerns.” What will healthcare look like in ten years and how can we prepare clinicians for that future? Tune into this revealing conversation to learn the answers drawn from a landmark report that will shift the current conversation about global healthcare from problems to solutions.


Practical Steps for Combatting COVID Misinformation: Adam Beckman & Kyla Fullenwider, Office of the U.S. Surgeon General


According to a recent Kaiser Health News study, nearly 80% of Americans believe at least some of the COVID-19 misinformation that has flooded news and social media channels since the start of the pandemic. For today’s Raise the Line guests, this troubling report confirmed the urgency with which their boss, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, has tackled this challenge. Adam Beckman and Kyla Fullenwider, both senior-level advisors to Dr. Murthy, join host Shiv Gaglani to detail the “whole society” approach the Office of Surgeon General is taking which involves calling on major stakeholders in social media, education and journalism to do their part, but also providing help to local communities and individual Americans who Dr. Murthy sees as key players in this struggle. “The evidence tells us one of the best ways for addressing health misinformation is through individual, smaller-scale, intimate connections,” says Beckman. To that end, the Office of Surgeon General created a Community Toolkit to provide detailed guidance on how to have difficult conversations with friends or family about misinformation including listening without judgement, steering people to credible sources whenever possible, and avoiding shaming. Don’t miss this fascinating and vitally important conversation about what one of the most visible health figures in the nation is doing about one of the greatest challenges of our time.


Special Episode: Osmosis and Elsevier Join Forces to Raise the Line!


As the exciting new relationship between Osmosis and global medical education leader Elsevier begins, Co-founder & CEO Shiv Gaglani and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rishi Desai sat down with Jan Herzhoff, President of Health Markets, and Elizabeth Munn, Managing Director of Global Medical Education at Elsevier to discuss how the partnership will benefit students, healthcare providers, and their patients. When contemplating a potential partnership, Munn says Osmosis’ brilliance at boiling down complex topics was a key factor. “People – including us -- write whole chapters on a topic, but Osmosis can get it covered in five minutes. So, look, that's magic! That's actual magic. So, we just think it's the best thing since sliced bread to now have you within the team.” For Jan Herzhoff, bringing together the capabilities of innovative companies like Osmosis and the capabilities and assets from Elsevier to improve the lives of learners and healthcare professionals is an important focus for Elsevier. “Together with Osmosis and our other offerings, we’re here to support you through the educational journey, and through your professional journey. We're also looking forward to your ideas and your suggestions on how we can make your life easier and better.” Check out this lively conversation about navigating a turbulent time in medical education, confronting mistrust in science, and the power of innovation to enhance learning. Plus find out how Elsevier can help Osmosis meet its “big, hairy, audacious goal” of educating one billion people by 2025.


Fixing the Black Hole of American Medicine – Dr. Rahul Rajkumar, COO Optum Care Solutions


Early in Dr. Rahul Rajkumar’s career, he wondered how he could help improve health outcomes at a population level. An interest in public policy led him to the realization that, at least in the U.S., the financing mechanisms of the health care industry are “the main lever” that we have to this end. The question of how these mechanisms should (or could) be reengineered has guided Dr. Rajkumar through a career that has taken him from the clinic to the health insurance industry to government, where as deputy director at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, he experimented with different approaches to organizing and paying for health care systems. The problem is “really, really hard,” he tells host Dr. Rishi Desai. Every single case “is a puzzle with a human being at the center of it.” Rajkumar believes more attention should be paid to what he calls ‘the black hole of American Medicine’ – the period after a patient is discharged from the hospital when coordinating care becomes more difficult. “Is there an accountable provider, or a quarterback outside of the hospital? Someone who, beyond their professional ethic, actually cares about what happens to this patient? That's the nut of the issue.” Tune in to hear about novel payment systems emerging in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, the true social meaning of health insurance, and what other nations try to emulate about the famously dysfunctional U.S. health care system.


The Global State of Nursing During COVID – Elizabeth Iro, Chief Nursing Officer at the World Health Organization


“I'm really proud of the global response from nurses to this pandemic. They really have stepped into a situation that is high risk, but they continue to care in the most difficult situations,” says Elizabeth Iro, a lifetime nurse and midwife who was appointed Chief Nursing Officer of the World Health Organization in 2017. Her arrival marked a new focus on nursing and midwifery at the WHO that was captured in several comprehensive reports on the challenges they face and the greater role they could play in improving global health. Based on that data, the World Health Assembly recently adopted a resolution on strengthening nursing and midwifery, something that Iro says will help guide a post-COVID future for nursing. “We have some real solid policy options that we can take in the next five years to support countries and make a difference,” she tells host Shiv Gaglani. Iro sees a future of greater connection between nurses and midwives internationally to advance their impact and also serve as a source of psychosocial support. “The pandemic tested all of us – as a profession, as a community, as family members, and as individuals.” Take advantage of a rare opportunity to hear from one of the world’s leading health officials on critical issues such as vaccine hesitancy, vaccine equity and the importance of having nurses fully involved in setting COVID response policy.


YouTube Powers Health Information Videos - Dr. Garth Graham


Communicating accurate, vital healthcare information to the public has seldom been more important than during the COVID 19 pandemic. As we’ve all seen, the challenges of doing that well have been a major factor in the spread of the disease and participation in vaccination campaigns. Watching all of this carefully is cardiologist, researcher and public health expert Dr. Garth Graham, who was chosen earlier this year to lead a new health partnerships team at Google/YouTube to create high-quality health content for viewers around the world. Graham will work with an impressive coalition of organizations including the Mayo Clinic, National Academy of Medicine, Harvard School of Public Health (and Osmosis!) to extend evidence-based clinical information beyond the exam room in a way that meets the evolving digital health needs of consumers. “The challenge that we're taking on is how to deliver public health information to empower communities across the world to live their healthiest lives. We’re using the power and reach of YouTube to engage people directly with health information in a way that they’re used to receiving other information in their daily lives.” Check out this lively conversation with host Dr. Rishi Desai to learn about the importance of providers seeing life through the eyes of the patient and community, and why the healthcare system sometimes resembles a stampeding elephant.


Are Micro-Assessments the Future of Testing? - Sebastian Vos, Chief Business Officer of Turnitin


We’re all aware that during last year’s massive shift to virtual learning, many colleges and universities scrambled to acquire technology and to help instructors get good at using it to teach and assess their students. Now that the dust is starting to settle on the crisis, many are looking at how all of this worked, and what adjustments need to be made. “I just think there's so many programs that are struggling to figure out what do we do now,” says Sebastian Vos, a veteran of the EdTech space. “I think they're looking at what is actually making a difference. How am I taking my students from novice to expert and what tools are facilitating helping the students along that journey, or helping my faculty to help my students along on that journey?” His company Turnitin helps educators mine data from its assessment tools to evaluate how students are progressing, but also whether the questions they are asking on exams are well-designed. Check out this episode of Raise the Line with host Rishi Desai to learn why Vos thinks micro-assessments -- multiple brief evaluations throughout a course – are gaining momentum over just relying on a few big projects and tests, and why educators should embrace data the same way retailers like Amazon do. “Educators can have that kind of knowledge without being creepy about it, and can share that with you so you can grow on your personal journey.”


Reinventing Healthcare After the Pandemic: Dr. Shantanu Nundy, Chief Medical Officer at Accolade


"Healthcare needs to become distributed, digitally enabled, and decentralized.” That’s the core message in the new book Care After Covid: What the Pandemic Revealed Is Broken in Healthcare and How to Reinvent It, by Dr. Shantanu Nundy. Between his work as a primary care physician, lecturer in health policy at George Washington University Milken Institute for Public Health, advisor to the World Bank on digital health and innovation and role as chief medical officer at Accolade, Nundy brings a lot to the national conversation about improving healthcare. Although plenty needs to be done by regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders, Nundy is also looking to his fellow providers to drive change. Taking the trajectory of telemedicine as an example he says, “we could have moved to virtual care sooner. Part of it was regulation, but part of it was us. We could have been giving our patients' blood pressure cuffs to take home with them. Part of it was regulation, but part of it was us. I think the pandemic has shown that you don't have to wait for someone in DC to solve a problem for you. There's so much that we all know because we're in exam rooms every day and there are things we can do to make care better.” Tune in for a trenchant discussion with host Rishi Desai on removing barriers to change, patient empowerment, changing medical education, training doctors to be mass communicators and much more.


Creating Higher Expectations for the Healthcare Experience - Bhavdeep Singh, CEO and Co-Founder of HealthQuarters


“We've got great doctors, we just need to give them the right ecosystem to work in,” says Bhavdeep Singh, a deeply experienced leader in the healthcare and retail sectors in the U.S. and India. Singh joins Raise the Line today to share the innovations he’s hoping to bring to the healthcare experience with his company HealthQuarters, which is developing a delivery model that combines physicians and other types of providers in one location, with an emphasis on wellness. They’ve just opened a location in New York City in partnership with Mount Sinai, offering convenient access to a wide array of services from primary care to mental health counseling, physical therapy, nutrition education and acupuncture. “The idea is to make what otherwise is such a challenging, sometimes painful experience for people into something where people are comfortable, respected, and they walk out saying, ‘Well, that wasn't so bad. They took care of me and at least I know what I'm doing, and I feel better about it.’" In short, make healthcare as customer-centric as the best retail experiences. Part of the challenge, as Singh sees it, is raising people’s expectations for what their healthcare experience should be like, and creating a mindset of wellness and prevention, something which COVID is helping to spur. Check out this insightful discussion about the many ways we can raise the bar (while we’re raising the line) in healthcare delivery.


COVID is Showing the Value of Value-Based Care – Dr. Tobias Barker, Chief Medical Officer at Everside Health


“Most of the time, things that make sense are probably going to find their way to the top, and value-based care just makes so much sense,” says Dr. Tobias Barker, chief medical officer of Everside Health (formerly Paladina Health). Barker has been exposed to many approaches to delivering care in a career that has taken him from under-resourced areas around the globe to VA hospitals to the retail giant CVS. What makes so much sense to him about value-based care, which pays providers an upfront fee every month for the patients they treat and rewards quality of care, is it allows them to do what will help patients be as healthy as possible without worrying if it fits a billing code. Everside uses this approach providing primary care to the employees of self-insured employers, and it has proven to reduce the total cost of care. It has also proven to be a resilient business model during the pandemic. Providers still in the traditional “fee for service” system were hit hard when patients stopped showing up because there were fewer services to bill for, while those in the value-based system could rely on the steady upfront payments. In this episode of Raise the Line, Barker is full of interesting examples and anecdotes as he recounts to host Shiv Gaglani his circuitous educational and career path, experiences at CVS Health and working early in his career with Dr. Anthony Fauci.


Understand Every Person’s Role – Dr. Vivian Lee, President of Health Platforms at Verily Life Sciences


“Why can't we get better health when we're spending two to three times as much money as any other high-income nation?” asks Dr. Vivian Lee, as so many other Americans have asked for so many years. But not many have developed answers as compelling as hers, making Lee one of the leading voices on healthcare reform in the country. Lee’s perspective, shaped by a rich set of experiences as a clinician, leader and academic, is strengthening a movement to make healthcare more centred on helping patients be as healthy as possible instead of being geared to just treat them when they are sick. Her influential book “The Long Fix” lays out an action plan to create a less costly system and a healthier population. As she explains to host Shiv Gaglani, positive change will depend in part on clinicians knowing as much as possible about the business of healthcare, and also about what other providers do. “You need to understand what every person's role is on the care team. Until you can make the most of every person, how can you drive value?” After running a highly-respected academic health system, Lee is now making an impact in the private sector at Verily Life Sciences, part of the Google family of companies. Listen in to learn how Verily is using digital health and data analytics to support schools, employers and patients during COVID, and the impact it is hoping to make long-term.


Question Everything While You’re Learning – Peter Frishauf, Founder of Medscape


Peter Frishauf’s message for today’s medical trainees and early career professionals is rooted in the zeitgeist of challenging the status quo he absorbed coming of age in the 1960’s and 1970’s. “If they think there is a better way of doing something, they should investigate that. You owe it to the universe of people out there to test out your ideas and push on them a bit and see what proves out.” For instance, it was “rebellious people” in the 1960’s, he argues, who developed the professions of Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant and elevated emergency medicine to specialty status. Pushing a bit on his own ideas led to a storied career in which he made a lasting mark as a pioneer in information and technology.  In the early 1980’s, he founded a medical journal company which developed a collaborative “electronic news room” model far ahead of its time. He made perhaps his most important contribution by launching Medscape in the internet’s infancy which has gone on to become the most visited professional medical website in the world, informing millions of clinicians and consumers alike. He's still at it, serving as an influential advisor, investor, board member and leader in New York's vibrant startup culture in healthcare media and life sciences.  But to host Shiv Gaglani, and the entire Osmosis team, he’s the “Godfather” of Osmosis. This is a special opportunity to hear from a visionary whose grounding and enduring mission has been improving health and healthcare for all.


Tie Your Work to Improving People’s Lives - Omar Ishrak, Former CEO of Medtronic


A strong, sustained sense of purpose is the bedrock of a successful company, with everything else flowing from that. So says Omar Ishrak, one of the most influential figures in medical technology and healthcare in the U.S. and globally. He earned that role in part by being Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, the world's leading medical technology company, from 2011 to 2020, but he was also president and CEO of GE Healthcare Systems earlier in his career. When it comes to having a durable purpose, Medtronic is hard to beat. Founded in the late 1940’s, the company has kept the same mission for more than 60 years – to apply biomedical engineering to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life. Ishrak considers a major part of his legacy at Medtronic to be successfully stewarding that mission and making it possible for his successors to carry it forward for decades to come. Of course, there were other accomplishments in his tenure including the acquisition of Covidien, a $10 billion global manufacturer of surgical products and supplies, marking the largest medical technology acquisition in the history of the industry. In this thoughtful discussion with host Shiv Gaglani, Ishrak talks about drawing encouragement from how quickly different parts of the healthcare industry came together in response to COVID, and what he hopes the lasting improvements will be from this crisis. He also makes the case for shifting the focus of healthcare at both the industry and individual worker level to successful patient outcomes. “No matter what you do in healthcare, having a line of sight to improving outcomes is important. Tie your work to how people's lives get better.”


"Alexa, Can You Improve Healthcare?" – Rachel Jiang, Head of Alexa Health & Wellness


If you’re one of the millions of Americans who just received a smart speaker as a holiday gift, you’re joining an enormous group. Earlier this year it was estimated that 90 million people in the U.S. own one, and that number is growing fast. They offer an easy way to get news, weather, listen to music and control functions in your home, but there are many other uses for these devices and health care is one area where they may play a major role, according to our Raise the Line guest Rachel Jiang who is Head of Alexa Health & Wellness at Amazon. COVID has only underscored this potential. “More than ever it's really important to help people remotely manage their health care needs, and we think Alexa is in a great position to do that,” she says. In fact, Jiang and her team have been working closely with health care providers to develop “skills” (the equivalent of an app on your smartphone) to facilitate safe care both in clinical settings and at home. As Jiang shares with host Jannah Amiel, RN, the video capability of the Echo Show adds power to the instructional value of these interactive devices. For instance, imagine videos showing post-op patients how to change a dressing or do physical therapy while at home. Check out this fascinating discussion to learn more about how this technology might help both patients and providers, how privacy concerns are being addressed and the role software developers will play in tapping what Jiang sees as the endless possibilities ahead.


Walmart’s Vision for Healthcare: Marcus Osborne, Senior VP of Walmart Health


If you’re curious about the impact “big box” retailers are going to have on healthcare delivery in the U.S., this episode of Raise the Line has some answers. Host Shiv Gaglani welcomes Marcus Osborne, a senior leader at Walmart Health, who is helping to build a new approach that could shake-up the whole industry. “If we can create a model that is actually compelling for consumers, and consumers are willing to pay for it, then we don't really care what the payers do about us,” says Osborne, who has plenty of other candid insights to share. For instance, he believes the challenge the U.S. is facing is a “vast underconsumption” of healthcare, not overconsumption as many healthcare policy experts contend. His point is that too many people simply don’t get the care they need due to the cost and complexity of the current system, and that delay inevitably drives costs up over time. He’s hoping to change that with in-store clinics that will offer a variety of medical and dental services under one roof at an affordable price. Check out this fascinating discussion as Osborne speculates that worsening shortages of healthcare workers will make it necessary to find new ways to leverage new technology and types of providers, and that much greater accountability for the quality of care delivered will be a reality sooner rather than later. This is a great opportunity to get a peek at the future of healthcare.


Reimagining the Education-Health Connection: Dr. Ryan Padrez, Medical Director of The Primary School


As a pediatrician, Dr. Ryan Padrez was frustrated by the challenges of navigating education and health systems to get his patients the services they needed – whether it was speech therapy, mental health counseling or other important care. That’s why he’s gratified to be involved in building a model for early education, developed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, that integrates learning with health care and family support services. Padrez is medical director of The Primary School which is currently serving two lower income communities near San Francisco, but has ambitions to develop best practices that will be adopted nationally. The emphasis is on supporting all of a child’s needs from very early in their life and working closely with parents to build child and family well-being at the same time. COVID has increased the challenge because many of the school’s parents have lost jobs and health coverage, and levels of stress are on the rise. Padrez, who is also an assistant clinical professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University, says COVID has shined a light on just how much schools do to support the health needs of children and families, and the connection between the two systems needs to be strengthened going forward if kids are going to thrive. Padrez and host Dr. Rishi Desai also touch on trauma-informed care, the trust schools need to build with families, and what the evidence says about the safety of opening schools in the midst of COVID.


Knowing Your Patients as a Person - Dr. Ken Johnson, Executive Dean of Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine


“If a patient feels like their doctor knows them as a person, they're eight to nine times more likely to follow through with their treatment instructions,” says Dr. Ken Johnson. Creating that kind of connection is more challenging in a virtual visit, he worries, not to mention the reduced opportunity to take the actual “hands-on” approach to care that osteopathic physicians practice. But schools of medicine like the one he runs at Ohio University are finding ways to teach telehealth skills, and Johnson has confidence the students will make it work. “Students have great ideas about how to evolve things, and I challenge every single class that comes in to give us feedback to improve the process for them,” he tells host Shiv Gaglani. Embracing the sudden ascendence of telehealth is just one of the major adjustments today’s medical students are having to make in the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic, and Johnson sees building their resilience to manage the stressful and unpredictable nature of a career in medicine as a key objective, which he says can be accomplished if you create an “environment of support.” Catch this conversation with host Shiv Gaglani as Johnson discusses how that can be done, strategies for serving rural communities and why so many schools of osteopathic medicine are located in relatively small towns.

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