Healthcare - May 2023

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Microsoft empowers pharma supply chain innovations

The tools revolutionising supply chain and product development

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digital healthcare will help older adults stay safe

In this issue, two former refugees tell us about mentorship in the healthcare sector. We also look at digital healthcare keeping older adults safe at home, hospitals bringing healthcare to underdeveloped areas, and technologies supporting those with high blood pressure.

Welcome back!

In this issue, I was fortunate to catch up with periodontist Dr Sharyar Baradaran and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Arya Shamie. The two doctors escaped Iran in 1979 and emigrated to the USA. They told me about the joy of mentoring new medical professionals, the value of education and what being refugees taught them. I also spoke to Ann Aerts, Head of The Novartis Foundation, who shared her study of people with high blood pressure living in São Paulo, Dakar and Ulaanbataar. The global population of older adults is increasing; Max Parmentier is CEO of birdie, which builds digital home care technology that supports older adults to live safely and independently at home. Finally, Dr Akram Bouchenaki, CEO of Abdul Latif Jameel Health, discusses how new technologies can treat women’s healthcare conditions and how healthcare professionals are working outside of hospitals in underdeveloped areas.

Keep looking up, Helen HELEN

As the global population
144 18 12 14 CONTENTS 8 May 2023
FRONT 12 BIG PICTURE Rising obesity rates 14 LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT Ken Ortbals, CEO of WestCare Foundation 18 FIVE MINS WITH JT Garwood, CEO & Co-Founder at bttn
118 70 40 94 9 FEATURES 40 HOSPITALS Women's wellbeing & remote care at Abdul Latif Jameel Health 70 DIGITAL HEALTH Birdie's digital home care supports older adults 94 TECHNOLOGY The Novartis Foundation is improving cardiovasular health 118 SUSTAINABILITY Former refugees disucss education & mentorship in healthcare 144 TOP 1 0 Live healthcare sector events MAY 2 023
Digital Content for Digital People THE TOP 100 COMPANIES IN SUPPLY CHAIN Discover the companies leading the way, setting the pace and inspiring global business change. COMING SOON Join the community Sponsor opportunities
168 156 102 24 COMPANY REPORTS 11 128 NLAG NHS FT Digitalisation at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust 156 NYCBS NYCBS eletronic records and robot processes help heal humans 168 BEST BUY HEALTH Best Buy Health enables care at home for everyone 182 ELANCO Securely scaling animal care through cloud 24 MICROSOFT Mike J. Walker at Microsoft empowers pharma supply chain innovations 50 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY A cultural shift in IT is transforming dentistry at VCU 78 UNITED UROLOGY GROUP Safeguarding health through supply chain 102 CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY Digital technology & data is transforming cancer care MAY 2 023


12 May 2023
Image credit: Phynart Studio

Rising obesity rates

London, UK

The World Obesity Atlas 2023 report shared that over half of the world’s population will be overweight or obese by 2035, totaling 1.5bn adults and nearly 400mn children. The economic impact of this could rise to US$4.32tn through the 2030s. 13




Ken Ortbals is the Chief Executive Officer of WestCare Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit behavioural health service based in Henderson, Nevada. Ortbals is responsible for the management of WestCare’s global clinical and administrative functions, across its 24 non-profit entities that work in 17 states, four territories, and three countries.

Sharing healthcare patient information securely Ortbals has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a dual major in Management Information Systems and Accounting, from Central Missouri State University.

Ortbals went onto manage project implementations in the wireless communications and telecommunications industry with Accenture, a multinational management and consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company.

He stepped into the healthcare sector by working on a Robert Woods Johnson Foundation project in Kansas City. The project united local organisations in using a new technology: the electronic health record.

“The idea was that this would enable providers to share client information across the community, greatly helping those serving women in recovery and their families,” says Ortbals. “We then used this model to develop more extensive collaborations in mental health and child protection services.”

The positive reception of the project turned into managing a software development company which licensed other software products to nonprofits.

“The biggest challenge I have encountered is sharing patient information across a network of providers,” Ortbals added.

“The healthcare industry struggles with this today, even with the millions of dollars invested into health information exchange.

14 May 2023 15


16 May 2023

The simple sharing of information is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. This is exacerbated for nonprofit organisations that have to enter duplicated information across multiple systems to receive payment for services.”

Building meaningful relationships between patients and healthcare professionals at WestCare Foundation In 2015, Ortbals started at WestCare as Chief Information Officer, later taking on the role of Chief Financial Officer position and the additional responsibility of Executive Vice President.

Working in the healthcare sector, his biggest lesson has been in developing assessment tools that foster meaningful encounters between providers and patients.

“These encounters are necessary to identify patient challenges to achieve overall wellness successfully,” explains Ortbals. “For WestCare, this looks like assessing the patient’s current life regarding the social determinants of health: healthcare, economic stability, education, social and community context, neighbourhood and built environment. Each of these factors plays a vital role for a patient with mental health and/or substance use disorders.”

Over Ortbals' career, he has learned to be a results-oriented leader. He uses his background in accounting and information security for a unique perspective, while still welcoming innovative ideas. Ortbals is dedicated to installing a high morality and fairness culture across WestCare and leads by example. For those joining the healthcare sector, his advice to them is to embrace new technology.

“The healthcare sector is rewarding and full of endless opportunities to serve your community,” he says. “One thing to note is that you can never get too comfortable with how you do something, as you must be willing to use the everchanging technology that enables quality patient care. This means continually learning and growing because every healthcare job will inevitably evolve alongside healthcare and technology. 17


CEO & Co-Founder at

Medical supply startup bttn wants to lower the cost of healthcare with its digital-first platform. Here, CEO and Co-Founder

JT Garwood shares with us how the company used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to support customers


» “My name is JT Garwood, and I am the CEO and Co-Founder of bttn. I’m also a two-time marketplace founder, angel investor, and active advisor to startups throughout the US.”


» “bttn is a medical supply startup based in Seattle, Washington. I co-founded the company in early 2021 with the mission to lower the cost of healthcare for all. At bttn, we are bringing a digital-first platform to the antiquated medical supply market, offering fast onboarding, easier access to name-brand products, pricing transparency, and most importantly cost savings to our customers.

“Our hybrid business model combines a digital ecommerce platform where customers can shop on their own or with knowledgeable sales representatives who are available to help. bttn is building the next generation of healthcare distribution.

Our health tech company offers a modern, easy and cost-effective way to procure medical supplies. We offer wholesale medical supplies online from only top suppliers, helping our customers save more on their medical supply bills for surgical, dental and PPE supplies. We had over 7,000 customers in our first year, continue to have strong growth, and are providing better access to suppliers.”


» “Ultimately, COVID-19 was an opportunity for us to help our customers during an extremely intense time for their businesses. Some had to close their doors, some needed to drastically change the way they did business. We can’t underestimate the impact that COVID-19 had on healthcare workers across the world. We stepped up in our own way, providing businesses and providers with the supplies they needed to do their jobs safely, and expanded access to over 2.5mn types of medical supplies.

18 May 2023 19

Now they are coming back in droves. Some people’s first interaction with bttn might have been searching for a particular medical supply SKU that was on backorder or simply out of stock with their current healthcare distributor. Once they stumbled upon us, they loved the experience, and are now hooked and looking to swap in bttn for their existing healthcare distributor.”


» “We are all about meeting customers where they are in the buying cycle. We are not creating technology for technology’s sake. Our platform is purpose-built to provide easy, reliable access to high-quality name-brand medical supplies. Medical supply is a massive market – an area where we can reach and help many. bttn can help solve the problem that is the lack of medical supplies with our commitment to operational excellence. With those goals in mind, we can save our customers time and money on one of the most time-consuming aspects of a job: supply procurement.”


» “When an industry begins operating on the internet, customers benefit from many attendant benefits – convenience, choice, cost savings and transparency to name a few. bttn is delivering these benefits to the medical supply space. In our first year of business, we garnered 7,000 customers and now provide over 2.5mn medical supplies from top name-brand manufacturers. A true disruptor, bttn’s vision for a new generation of healthcare distribution will make buying name-brand medical supplies online

20 May 2023
“As we build the future of healthcare distribution, every decision is about respecting our practitioners – their time, energy, and resources”

Building Transparency in Medical Supplies

businesses and emergency responders. Medical supply is a massive market with a total addressable value of US$307bn per year. Currently, we are laser-focused on our vision for a new generation of healthcare distribution that will make buying namebrand medical supplies online easier and faster for medical practitioners, businesses and emergency responders.”


» “As we build the future of healthcare distribution, every decision is about respecting our practitioners – their time, energy, and resources. We recognise that time spent on the sometimes-aggravating process of procuring medical supplies is better spent elsewhere.

We are building the future that you want with the technology that enables pricing transparency, faster ordering, and better customer experience. Starting as a digitalfirst healthcare distributor means our business model is lighter and we can pass savings directly to you.”


» “We believe that ecommerce will continue to play a big role in how people procure their products and services. In the healthcare sector, it will continue to expand. Our business model is scalable and has the potential to connect providers and their customers with thousands of necessary and sometimes lifesaving equipment and supplies. Being able to do that from behind a screen with the click of a button is invaluable.”


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We help busy and lean security operations teams save the day — day after day.

LogRhythm: Helping the healthcare industry fight cybercrime

Andrew Hollister, Deputy CISO and Vice President of LogRhythm Labs, shares how the company is mitigating cyberattacks on healthcare organisations.

Security intelligence company, LogRhythm, was founded with the ambition to save the world from cyber threats. The founders saw the importance of equipping network defenders with the tools they needed to quickly see what threat actors were doing and to be able to respond to those activities.

LogRhythm supports small businesses through to multi-national enterprises, offering them a wide range of services. One of the main sectors it works with is healthcare.

Andrew Hollister, Deputy CISO and Vice President of LogRhythm Labs said: “Healthcare organisations are in a unique position. They’re holding huge quantities of sensitive data making them prime targets for bad actors that are directly focused on compromising patient data and critical hospital technologies.”

Hollister outlined ways in which LogRhythm assists healthcare in the fight against cybercrime. Its primary way of helping is with threat detection, explaining that they help detect threat actors in their customers’ environments early to mitigate risks, and provide support to meet compliance requirements.

“Typically, healthcare organisations don’t have massive cyber security budgets. Through our platform, we can help our healthcare customers get the most value from the resources that they have. We’ve also developed the Security Operations Maturity Model that helps organisations of all types develop their security operations and improve their resilience to cyberthreats. Security is not a step; it is a journey, and we want to provide guidance to organisations to help them.”

Speaking on the importance of partnerships, Hollister noted that the company seeks to make it a bidirectional effort. “We’ve worked with many healthcare organisations over the years and as a result, we’ve gained insight into how those organisations work and where their priorities are. We’ve been able to develop specific content that helps healthcare organisations with the challenges they have in the cybersecurity space.”

LogRhythm’s overall focus continues to be on reducing the time that it takes to detect and respond to cyberattacks and provide solutions that evolve with the ever-changing threat landscape.

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Mike J. Walker at Microsoft empowers pharma supply chain innovations

24 May 2023 25
Mike J. Walker, Executive Director, Global Health & Life Sciences Strategy at Microsoft

Mike J. Walker heads up Microsoft’s life sciences supply chain practice, and explains why industry advisory drives business value

Supply chain is a complicated industry that typically requires highly trained engineers to oversee, but pharmaceutical (pharma) supply chains take complexity to another level.

As well as the usual litany of supply challenges, pharma has distinct requirements on the handling of materials like a cold chain element, and also faces the perils of product recalls and compliance issues, because the field of medicine is just about the most regulated sector there is.

And then of course there’s the added pressure of how catastrophic any delays might prove, because the medicines being shipped are critical for ensuring patients have access to the medicines they need to maintain their health, or even keep them alive.

While there is a variety of permutations, the most prevalent today is the small molecule pharma supply chain. This chemical-based drug will typically begin with the sourcing of raw materials – active pharmaceutical ingredients – used to manufacture drugs. The manufacturing process involves several stages: formulation, quality control, packaging and labelling. Once the drugs are ready, they are shipped to warehouses or distribution centres, from where they are distributed to healthcare providers, pharmacies and hospitals.


For other forms, like biologics or vaccines, the supply chain is required to keep these volatile medicines stored at the right temperature and humidity, with tracking shipments to prevent counterfeiting and diversion.

Pharma supply chains turning to digital technologies

To address such challenges, pharma companies are adopting digital technologies such as cloud, blockchain, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance transparency, traceability and efficiency in their supply chains.

One company that is helping pharma firms digitally transform operations is Microsoft,

“My role is about being a trusted business advisor to empower our top global customers with expertise and proven practices to accelerate their digital strategy”
28 May 2023 MICROSOFT

and at the forefront of its offerings is Mike J. Walker, Executive Director, Strategy, Health & Life Sciences.

In his role, Walker is the strategy leader for Microsoft’s supply chain and manufacturing point of view on pharmaceuticals, med-tech and biopharmaceuticals.

“My role is about being a trusted business advisor to empower our top global customers with expertise and proven practices to accelerate their digital strategy,” he says. “Ensuring that these conversations are business-led with a keen understanding of the pharma business along with the external market risks. As with all industries, technology is always part of that conversation, but the key is to ensure that




Mike J. Walker is an entrepreneur, futurist, digital strategist, podcast host, global keynote speaker and a best-selling author with a specialty in helping business executives stay relevant in the digital economy.

Walker brings paradigm-shifting digital transformation by leveraging leading innovation practices through experiences with Fortune 500 leaders around the globe.

He has found success in driving pragmatic approaches to large scale problems, an ability to break down large complex challenges into something manageable, along with an insatiable need to bring teams together.

Currently at Microsoft, Walker leads a team focused on life science supply chains and manufacturing.

He acts as a trusted advisor to executives, helping them with some of their toughest challenges. This includes how pharma organisations digitally transform using digital ecosystems, digital twins, AI, IoT and blockchain. 29

those technology conversations are focused on how strategically relevant they are to your businesses long-term goals. Once we know that, we can have a conversation on how to maximise the value potential of those technologies. That is what really matters for my client’s executive teams.”

Typically, Walker partners with “decisionmakers” – C-suiters both on the business and technical sides of pharma organisations.

The most challenging aspect of the role, he says, is “the pace and the sheer amount of change happening”. He adds: “When you peel back the onion you find each has subtly different business drivers, different cultures, different personalities and leadership styles. It requires you to employ a level of emotional intelligence to your approach. ‘This is the right answer’ is something that never flies.

Microsoft helping pharma supply chains navigate change

‘I am like a counsellor, only without the couch’

“Instead, provide the executive with a framework to work within and let them drive the conversations based on the guided journey and lots of questions. I am there to shepherd them through proven practices, almost like a counsellor, only without the couch.”

Another challenge stems from the nature of the pharma industry itself.

Walker says: “What most needs changing in pharma supply chains is the legacy mindset and a culture of risk aversion. These organisations fall into the trap of thinking they can’t do something because they’ve always done it that way. With this mindset they don’t ask the right questions.”

Questions, he says, such as: How do we create this experience within the bounds of the rules? Will the market dynamics change that would make this a viable solution? What is the level of risk tolerance we are willing to take? How can we partner with the regulatory bodies to influence change?

On the latter point, Walker says that, in his experience, regulatory bodies like the FDA are “very willing to hear you out if you've got a compelling approach to solving industry challenges”.

As for barriers to digital transformation, Walker says that here things are playing out just as they have in other sectors.

Barriers to transformation take time to overcome

“I see lots of barriers other industries have gone through and have overcome,” he says. “It just takes time. The nice part of having a cross-industry background is I've seen how other supply chain organisations have dealt with this level of change.” 33 MICROSOFT

This is why Walker likes to take biopharma clients to visit Microsoft customers in other fields, such as consumer goods. He has also taken them on visits to brewing giant ABinBev Anheuser-Busch.

“Brewing beer is very similar to what a biologics organisation does,” he explains, “so showing them what is possible in a less complex environment is a worthwhile thing to do.”

Technology obsolescence is another hurdle, 65% of manufacturing environments run outdated operating systems, he says.

“Even though the intent is to update technology and software, if you’ve got manufacturing equipment running Windows XP on devices supporting your biologics

manufacturing lines, you can’t just shut it down and replace it because that could impact the entire batch worth millions of dollars.”

He adds that from a strategy perspective the challenge is “to not only fix the current problem, but to create an evergreen model that prevents obsolesce from happening to begin with”.

Of course, some of the barriers to transformation in pharma differ to other sectors, particularly around regulation. The FDA’s Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), a single federal framework for tracing prescription medications through the supply chain, is challenging the pharmaceutical sector to reach data transaction targets by November 2023.

“We need visibility across the entire value chain, and you can't do that in a sequential, linear, compartmentalised way”
34 May 2023 MICROSOFT

“There is much less scrutiny on manufacturing a beer versus a vaccine,” says Walker. “Medicine is treated very differently not only from a supply chain perspective but also from a manufacturing and a sourcing perspective.”

Pharma regulatory environment is unique

He adds: “The entire supply chain looks a little bit different, and the regulatory environment is unique. In an automotive company's supply chain, for example, they don't necessarily have to tell a regulatory body the specific specs of the machines that they will use to make that product.“

And of course, like all businesses across all sectors, pharma organisations are getting

hit from all sides. There’s a rising need to be more sustainable, materials cost more, increased energy costs – especially in Europe – which drives the impetus to do more with less cost. They're also getting hit from a geopolitical perspective, like the war in Ukraine but also, says Walker, economically from a global trade and tax perspective.

“In China for example, there is an increase in operating costs of doing business in China, especially for manufacturers with aspects like minimum wage increasing between 30% and 65% in recent years. Tax rates are also higher across the board due to a unified corporate tax, and with China’s new cybersecurity and privacy regulations, they 35

have the potential to transform how pharma companies conduct business in China. The most pressing question I hear from pharma executives is, should we stay or should we go.”

Walker also points out that the pharma industry is being disrupted by smaller biotech firms, along with tech-savvy companies. He likens what’s happening here to how Uber and Lyft have changed the taxi business.

“It’s the same in the pharma industry, where you've got countless small biopharmas that, from an R&D perspective, are pumping out way more patents than the traditional players.

“A lot of that has to do with their ability to be nimble and they also leverage technology at its fullest. With the bigger organisations you've got a big ship to turn, and you've got a lot of moving pieces.”

Technology is a conversation for later in the relationship

Technology is vital, but Walker says it is “always a conversation I have later in the relationship”. But it is very much a conversation that needs to be had, because many supply chains as they stand are simply ill-suited to being digitally transformed.

“Supply chains can be very linear,” he says. “The connections between the ecosystem of partners can be brittle and fragile, and there is a growing need to make sure supply chains are modular, dynamic and provide transparency across the entire value chain –and you can't do that in a sequential, linear, compartmentalised way with technology.”

He adds: “You have to do it in a way now that is much more decentralised than what it was before. There's a significant amount of processes around reconciliation of data that is introduced because of that.”

Many of my customers are regional ecosystem hubs that serve specific markets”
36 May 2023 MICROSOFT

Walker observes that this requires “an ecosystem approach” – supported by a common “data fabric” that allows organisations to digitise their supply chains in a meaningful way.

On this note, Walker has partnered with Kinaxis, a ‘visionary leader in supply chain’ solutions, according to analyst firm, Gartner.

Walker believes that leveraging the power of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform together with Kinaxis' solutions will provide pharma organisations with an agile and autonomous supply chain platform,

which are essential in today's rapidly changing business environment.

He says: “This combination of capabilities enables a digital ecosystem platform for pharma supply chains that uses advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to analyse data from across the supply chain, including suppliers, customers, and internal systems.

“It can also integrate with other systems, such as ERPs, MES, CRMs, and logistics systems, to provide a comprehensive view of the entire supply chain. 37 MICROSOFT
38 May 2023 MICROSOFT

Walker recounts a past conversation he had with a pharma company.

“They were talking about how one of their key priorities is to digitise all instances of paper use,” he says. “On the surface

“But I asked if this meant putting scanners into their factories at each process-step to make sure that all paper was scanned, and then entered into a document management system.

“Then I asked if they wanted instead to solve the root problem, which was fundamentally how to reinvent the business process and how data is handled.” This, he says, requires a rethink of the organisations’ relationship with data

Digital twins can co-exist at different

Walker says he knows of pharma organisations that are leveraging digital twins for an end-to-end view of their supply chain. But does this tick all the boxes that need to be ticked, even? Probably not, he feels.

“When you look at these digital twins there's different levels and types. You have layers of digital twins that coexist within an organisation. Some represent the asset itself. Some represent the people and the interaction. Some represent the process, and others represent the facility or the

Walker says that what is needed, and often lacking, is a strategy around creating “a common data platform that is able to create digital threads to connect all of this data”, and “a full genealogy of everything that was involved in the creation of all these layers of digital twins”.

What makes Microsoft unique is our commitment to industry specific standards

and communities, such as the Open Manufacturing Platform, the OPC Foundation, the Digital Twins Consortium and our innovative partner ecosystem, coupled with composable and extensible solutions that seamlessly connect people, assets, workflows and businesses processes. Our technology is giving businesses more intelligence and visibility than ever before and making operations more adaptable.

Looking at the bigger geopolitical picture, Walker says pharma companies are changing the shape of their businesses, by stepping away from globalisation.

“I've heard from four very senior executives in the pharma supply chain that globalisation as an approach is dead,” he says. “Now it's more about de-globalisation and modularity. Many of my customers are creating an ecosystem of ecosystems strategy whereby they are regional ecosystem hubs that serve specific markets. However, each one of these is still loosely connected and provides a level of autonomy but also flexibility.”

Walker references McDonalds here because “they solved this problem in the fifties with the franchise model”.

He adds: “Why make every one of your factories unique and bespoke when you can create a franchise model that provides speed, modularity, and flexibility through a common set of methods and standards? For example, maybe it would be possible to take an oral solid dose drug and make the manufacturing and supply chain 90% standard across all applicable factories.

“This also gives you a level of nimbleness and agility in the marketplace that you won't have in linear supply chains with bespoke factories.” 39 MICROSOFT




Dr Akram Bouchenaki, CEO of Abdul Latif Jameel Health, shares how technology can support healthcare workers outside of hospitals in underdeveloped areas

Akram Bouchenaki is Chief Executive Officer of Abdul Latif Jameel Health, a hospital which is focused on accelerating access to affordable modern medical care while addressing unmet medical needs in developing markets around the world. Abdul Latif Jameel Health is part of Abdul Latif Jameel, an international investor and collective of independent, family-owned and diversified businesses, founded in 1945 by the late Abdul Latif Jameel, which today has a presence in over 30 countries.

Dr Bouchenaki joined Abdul Latif Jameel Health after 25 years of operational and strategic roles in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, including global leadership roles in big-pharma corporates as well as in top California-based biotech, where he was an executive director for Africa covering the largest markets on the continent.


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Akram holds a Doctorate in Pharmacy from Université de Paris V, France; has lived and worked in nine different countries across five continents; and speaks French, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese and English.

“The majority of medical innovations occur far away in the US, Japan, or Europe, which are the hubs of medical innovation, so small companies don't usually come to our area,” says Bouchenaki. “We, at Abdul Latif

Jameel Health, give them a chance to quickly expand their footprint and immediately become a global organisation with the benefit of us being that one-stop-shop company that handles everything for them.

“Abdul Latif Jameel Health is uniquely positioned as a trusted partner to realise the exciting opportunities ahead to build a commercial platform to offer underserved populations products that are both impactful and transformative.”

Advancing women’s healthcare with innovative solutions

“Women make up 49.6% of the population today and women's diseases account for more than US$500bn in economic costs,” said Bouchenaki. “Despite this, research and development funding for healthcare products

“The product is designed to expand the capabilities of practitioners working outside of hospitals in developed, underdeveloped and remote areas”







Dr Bouchenaki joined Abdul Latif Jameel Health after 25 years of operational and strategic roles in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, including global leadership roles in big-pharma corporates as well as in top California-based biotech, where he was an executive director for Africa covering the largest markets on the continent.

“These innovations have made it easier for patients to access quality care, regardless of their geographic location or physical abilities”
44 May 2023 HOSPITALS

and services for women accounts for only 4% of all funding. With healthcare becoming increasingly personalised and patient-centric, and there being significant discrepancies in the way different diseases impact genders, it is now time to address the fundamental question of whether care delivery and management should be gender-neutral.”

At Abdul Latif Jameel Health, women’s health is a priority and the team is constantly exploring new opportunities, partnerships and long-term investments to provide the best solutions.

Some of Abdul Latif Jameel Health’s key milestones that seek to accelerate developments in women’s health and diagnostics include partnerships with iSono Health and Melody International.

“Abdul Latif Jameel Health is the exclusive distributor of iSono Health’s ATUSA scanner in the Global South, making it available to hundreds of millions of women in an initial 31 countries covering the Middle East and North Africa, Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia,” says Bouchenaki. “The patented and FDA 45 HOSPITALS

Abdul Latif Jameel Health at Arab Health 2023: Summary (JP VO Subs)

cleared ATUSA system is a compact ultrasound scanner that captures 3D images through automated scanning of the whole breast in just two minutes, independent of operator expertise.”

The device connects to a laptop or tablet for real-time image acquisition and 3D visualisation; the data is transferred to a secure cloud for storage. The ATUSA system is designed from the ground up to seamlessly integrate with machine learning models that will give physicians a comprehensive set of tools for decision making and patient management.

Through Abdul Latif Jameel General Trading Co., Japan, the company also has a partnership with Melody International for the exclusive distribution of Melody’s innovative ‘Melody i Mobile Foetal Monitor iCTG’ – a cloud-based, mobile wireless foetal monitor platform – across selected markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa covering a territory of over 1.9bn people.

WATCH NOW 46 May 2023

“This collaboration aims to address the lack of access to adequate foetal monitoring in many countries with unmet needs due to limited availability of medical facilities and maternity physicians, or those with geographically dispersed populations not easily able to visit primary health care. Melody’s product is a convenient, smart and highly portable remote mobile foetal monitoring device to assist in problematic or high-risk situations, enabling safer and more secure births for mothers.

“Their integrated platform comprises a foetal heart monitor (with an in-built speaker in the transducer that also functions as a foetal doppler); a uterine contraction monitor (external tocometer); and a smart tablet device to see data in real time and connect to the internet.”

Health technology – including medical devices, digital health tools and telemedicine – have been a game-changer in the healthcare industry.

“These innovations have made it easier for patients to access quality care, regardless of their geographic location or physical abilities. For example, telemedicine allows patients to consult with healthcare

“It is now time to address the fundamental question of whether care delivery and management should be gender-neutral” 47 HOSPITALS

professionals remotely, reducing the need for in-person visits, which can be especially beneficial for patients in rural or underserved areas. The Melody device mentioned above is one example of this.”

The challenges facing women’s health

Women's health in the African region is challenged by gender inequity, poverty, weak economic capacity, cultural issues and crime. Women in Africa are more likely to die from communicable diseases (HIV, tuberculosis and malaria), maternal

and perinatal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies than women in other regions. Non-communicable diseases are also a fatal reality, with one in four deaths among adult women caused by heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Abdul Latif Jameel Health is playing a huge role in facilitating access to quality care, from accelerating access to affordable modern medical care to investing in the future of MediTech and opening new markets for distribution of existing solutions.

48 May 2023 HOSPITALS

“As for distributing existing and innovative solutions, one such example is our partnership with Butterfly Network, Inc. (NYSE: BFLY), an innovative digital health company working to democratise medical imaging and contribute to the aspiration of global health equity.”

Butterfly iQ+TM is the world’s first single-probe, whole-body handheld ultrasound solution. From underserved communities in the United States to remote areas of Africa, more than 4.7bn people around the world lack access to medical imaging. The innovative ultrasound product

is distributed exclusively by Abdul Latif Jameel Health across the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and India.

“The product is designed to dramatically expand the capabilities of practitioners working within and outside of hospitals in developed, underdeveloped and remote areas.”

Abdul Latif Jameel Health wants to see the Butterfly iQ+TM ultrasound used by health professionals in remote and underserved areas, improving access to diagnostic care for patients across the globe. 49 HOSPITALS



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Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Dentistry was founded in 1893 in Richmond, Virginia. Its mission is to educate tomorrow’s oral health leaders in a community of service and inclusion by utilising emerging technologies and innovative research to provide comprehensive oral health care for all. As the only dental school in the state of Virginia, it plays a vital role in preserving and improving the oral and general health communities throughout the state. It incorporates state-of-the-art technologies to provide a unique, hands-on educational experience to students in dentistry, advanced dental education, graduate research, and dental hygiene programmes.

One of five health science schools at VCU, VCU School of Dentistry shares a campus with a large, urban academic health system, VCU Health. Functioning much like a hospital itself, the school is home to a robust, fully specialised dental practice that treats more than 32,000 patients each year through 100,000 plus appointments. It has one of the top digital dentistry programmes in the U.S., and its Philips Institute of Oral Health Research is ranked 17th among all US Dental Schools in National Institutes of Health funding.

As dentistry evolves to increasingly rely on advanced technologies for patient care, the information technology team at VCU School of Dentistry is critical to carrying out the school’s mission and serving the oral health needs of Virginia’s communities. Led by Brian Canaday (Chief

VCU School of Dentistry is at the forefront of a technological revolution in oral health. Brian Canaday, Mike Talley and Brent Idleman

Officer), Mike Talley, (Director of Application Development, Infrastructure, and Business Intelligence), and Brent Idleman (Director of Clinical and Instructional Technologies), the IT team is quick to point out that the school is a unique environment that blends education with patient care, allowing the flexibility and guardrails needed to let technological innovation thrive.

It starts with building a team and a culture Brian Canaday is the Chief Information and Business Solutions Officer at the school. He describes his role as a blend of information technology, business operations and, importantly, someone who sets the team culture and vision.

“I lead the processes, technology and people within our organisation. I ensure that the outcomes that we deliver meet the actual business objectives,” he said.

After graduating college, Canaday started teaching in public schools. He saw this as an opportunity to observe senior level teachers, administrators and athletic coaches in action.

“I picked up on all of the little things that they did, their attention to details, integration of tools and technologies, their focus on structured processes, and their passion for leadership,” said Canaday. “I started exploring technology to see if it could be a tool that I could use to assist with my teaching and coaching interactions. From there, I decided to pursue another degree and moved into the information technology space.”

After earning his M.S. in Information Systems at VCU, Canaday landed a job on the web development team with the City of Richmond. After that, he started his first stint at VCU School of Dentistry as a lead analyst and programmer before transitioning to a director of technology role at VCU School of Pharmacy.

“I missed the health care technology environment at VCU School of Dentistry and was fortunate to return in an expanded role,” said Canaday. “Since I returned, my focus has been to create an entirely new technology team and a new culture, one person and one process at a time. The last three years have been amazing.”

Mike Talley is the Director of Application Development, Infrastructure, and Business Intelligence. He leads a team of developers and engineers responsible for over 50 applications, some of which were developed in-house and some are third-party solutions.

“We’re responsible for the underlying infrastructure of those applications,


including the servers and cloud infrastructure,” Tally explained. “We ensure those applications are constantly up and operating when needed. We are continuously innovating and improving processes to ensure we have the reliability and stability to fulfil our clinical, educational and business needs.”

Talley has been interested in information technology and computers from a young age. “I remember getting my first computer and I took it apart - I knew that's what I wanted to do from that point on,” he said. Talley eventually went to Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated with a degree in information systems.



Brian Canaday is the Chief Information and Business Solutions Officer, where he is responsible for business operations and setting the team culture and vision.

After completing his M.S. in Information Systems at VCU, Canaday started work in the web development

“My team and I help everywhere that technology and education intersect”

“I loved the university, especially the culture and diversity that thrives at VCU. When I graduated, I knew one day I wanted to come back and work here,” said Talley. “I got an opportunity to apply for a web developer job here at the school, and I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it was terrific! I've enjoyed working here for the past 15 years.”

Brent Idleman is the Director of Clinical and Instructional Technology. He and his team assist everywhere that technology and

education intersect, including hardware and software support and optimisation in clinical settings as well as didactic needs in the classroom.

Idleman credits two personal interests that brought him to this point in his career.

“Music and video games got me here. Yes, as silly as it may seem, I think playing video games has really helped me,” said Idleman. “Gaming is really just software that is manipulated with some type of peripheral. Years of ‘practising’ has allowed me to

“Our students need to understand technology and effortlessly interact with it to be successful here and in their future careers”
A cultural shift in IT is transforming dentistry at VCU

navigate, learn, and test user interfaces and new software, efficiently and thoroughly. By learning every little detail a platform has to offer, all the click paths, all the menus, I can then spread that knowledge to others.”

Idleman is also a lifelong musician, and this is what eventually led him to pursue a career in musical education and become a teacher.

“As a music teacher, I honed my pedagogical skills, which have been instrumental in my current role. I also fell in love with teaching and helping others,” Idleman said. “When I left teaching in public schools, I had to find somewhere that married together my love of technology, love of teaching and my passion to serve others. VCU School of Dentistry is that place.”

“Bringing Brent onboard solved two major issues,” said Canaday. “We needed someone communicative and charismatic that could lead our instructional technology efforts, but we also needed someone who could teach our faculty, staff and students how to use our clinical technology. Brent has a thirst for teaching and an analytical eye toward technology; he was a perfect fit. Mike is a uniquely skilled individual who is great at application and web development, Windows servers, databases, electronic health records systems and more. He is also a certified Project Management Professional, which makes him a perfect fit in his role and allows him to leverage his talents to propel forward new technologies in our environment.”

Technology is critical to fulfilling the mission of the school

Assembling a strong and dedicated team was the first and most important step in establishing a successful and efficient technological environment at VCU School of Dentistry. Next, Canaday, Talley, Idleman and

Mike Talley has been fascinated by information technology and computers from childhood, dismantling his first computer to understand how it worked. Now as the Director of Application Development, Infrastructure, and Business Intelligence, Talley leads a team of developers and engineers in 50 applications. They are responsible for the underlying infrastructure of those applications, including the servers and cloud infrastructure. Tally’s team innovate and improve processes to ensure VCU can fulfil its clinical, educational and business needs.


Who We Are

We were the customers. We’ve walked the mile in your shoes. Now we are the seasoned vets, with an ideology built upon trust, communication and expertise.

What We Do

We live by a “customer first” mentality, and strive to deliver nothing short of IT excellence. Your IT Vision, Delivered.

Besides IT excellence, at IPDS we’re known for our events.

Our annual IPDS Tech Summit doubles in attendees, sponsors, and prizes almost every year. If you’d like to meet the team, fill out the form on the website and we’ll see you in September.

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IPDS helping keep VCU on the cutting edge of technology

IP DataSystems (IPDS) has partnered with VCU School of Dentistry at multiple levels, with the primary focus on modernising the school’s IT infrastructure

Founded in 2007, IPDS works with technology leaders to provide IT and workforce transformation solutions, combining industry-leading technologies with world-class engineering talent to modernise IT infrastructure, enable cloud operations and leverage today’s modern workforce.

“IPDS is a technology integrator that works with our valued clients to help deliver business outcomes through assessing, architecting and then implementing solutions that will cover everything from the beginning, all the way through the ongoing,” explains Michael Kubba, Sales Manager for IPDS’ acquisition team.

As Senior Account Manager Tom Pitera explains, IPDS has partnered with Virginia

Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Dentistry at multiple levels, with the primary focus on the next generation of the school’s IT infrastructure and environment.

“We partnered with the School of Dentistry by supporting their overall infrastructure, technology and environment,” Pitera comments. “We did this with everything from their storage level up to their application level, ensuring that they are consistently running in a manner to always accept patients, and always meet their client demands, whether that’s internal or external.”

With technology always evolving quickly, it is critical for IPDS to remain on the cutting-edge, Pitera explains. “As technology advances, we are doing our due diligence as the system

integrators,” he says, “ensuring that they are always up to par, and that we are answering any challenges that they may have.”

“That is our business model,” describes Kubba. “For us, it’s not about taking a project from beginning to end, it’s about how a project is going to tie into what the future outcomes need to be. When things are slow, if we don’t have an immediate project, that’s where we’re fine-tuning the environment. We’re assessing it, we’re being predictive, putting together roadmaps for what’s coming next,” he concludes. “That, to me, is the differentiator in us as an integrator.”

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the rest of the team needed to align their tools and resources to effectively serve the school’s mission.

Realising technology is everywhere and driving many of the priorities of the school and the future of the profession, they immersed themselves in the subject matter in order to better understand their stakeholders’ needs, opportunities and challenges, and provide solutions.

“I always say that this school lives at the intersection of education, health care and research,” said Idleman. “We educate future healthcare professionals, we treat patients, we perform leading-edge research and we build life-long relationships. That's very exciting. Technology is transforming each one of those areas, and our technology team is helping to drive that transformation.”

Dentistry has undergone a digital revolution in recent decades. For example, three-dimensional imaging with intraoral scanners is quickly replacing plaster moulds of teeth, and cone-beam computed tomography allows practitioners to understand their patient’s anatomy and dental needs more than conventional two-dimensional x-rays. However, this technology also creates immense amounts of data and requires careful integration with other systems essential to clinical operations.

In order to graduate dentists at the forefront of their profession, VCU School of Dentistry must be at the leading-edge of dentistry. The team tries to put itself in the shoes of the school’s dental, dental hygiene and advanced education students.

“Our students need to understand technology and effortlessly interact with it to be successful here and in their future careers,” said Talley. “We have multiple units within the IT team that work with those

students and our faculty members to make sure we understand their needs and can provide a clean and successful experience.”

The combination of serving more than 500 patients a day plus supporting the educational needs of students and faculty make for a fast-paced and constantly evolving work environment with complex technical demands.

“The key is aligning the knowledge and skills on our team with the operations of the school and clinics in a thoughtful and proactive way,” said Canaday. “We not only need to understand the goals, objectives and vision of the school’s administration and clinical directors, but we also need to maintain excellent relationships with the many vendors that supply and help us maintain the technology that the school relies upon.”




Brent Idleman credits his love of music and video games for his success. A passionate musician, Idleman previously worked as a music teacher, where he developed his teaching skills for the VCU. Playing video games also taught him a lot about interfaces and new software.

As the Director of Clinical and Instructional Technology, Idleman and his team manage software support and optimisation in clinical settings and in the classroom.

“We come from teaching backgrounds, because a teacher’s ultimate goal is to master their subject so they can effectively teach it to others”

Transforming the Patient Experience: How Intiveo is

Transforming the Patient Experience: How Intiveo is

Revolutionizing Healthcare


Revolutionizing Healthcare Communication

Better communication means better care.

Better communication means better care.

Enter Intiveo: A patient engagement platform that aims to transform the patient experience through automated messaging. Designed for the entire patient journey, Intiveo optimizes communication at every touchpoint.

Enter Intiveo: A patient engagement platform that aims to transform the patient experience through automated messaging. Designed for the entire patient journey, Intiveo optimizes communication at every touchpoint.

Nowadays, patients expect more personalized communication from their healthcare providers, on top of receiving high-quality care! They want to receive relevant information and appointment reminders delivered in a way that’s convenient for them.

Nowadays, patients expect more personalized communication from their healthcare providers, on top of receiving high-quality care! They want to receive relevant information and appointment reminders delivered in a way that’s convenient for them.

In fact, a 2021 survey revealed that over 98% of patients preferred to recieve their healthcare notifications via text.

In fact, a 2021 survey revealed that over 98% of patients preferred to recieve their healthcare notifications via text.

But while the healthcare industry is traditionally slow to adopt new technologies, one company is making waves with its innovative solutions. As the industry leader in patient engagement, Intiveo aims to automate communication without losing the personal touch. Through features such as automated workflows, twoway chat, and central reporting, Intiveo’s userfriendly solution is certainly a top pick.

But while the healthcare industry is traditionally slow to adopt new technologies, one company is making waves with its innovative solutions. As the industry leader in patient engagement, Intiveo aims to automate communication without losing the personal touch. Through features such as automated workflows, twoway chat, and central reporting, Intiveo’s userfriendly solution is certainly a top pick.

With over a decade of experience in innovative dental solutions, we spoke to Owen Ingraham, Intiveo’s Chief Technology Officer, about the future of healthcare communication.

With over a decade of experience in innovative dental solutions, we spoke to Owen Ingraham, Intiveo’s Chief Technology Officer, about the future of healthcare communication.

“At Intiveo, we’re not just keeping up with the latest technologies - we’re pioneering them. Our research and development teams are driven by one goal: to provide real-world value for our clients. ” Owen tells us, “We were ahead of the curve when we introduced appointment-specific SMS communication years ago. We continue to innovate with our robust chat system, which constantly improves. And now, we’re thrilled to be exploring the potential of AI platforms, which will bring even greater convenience to our clients.”

“At Intiveo, we’re not just keeping up with the latest technologies - we’re pioneering them. Our research and development teams are driven by one goal: to provide real-world value for our clients. ” Owen tells us, “We were ahead of the curve when we introduced appointment-specific SMS communication years ago. We continue to innovate with our robust chat system, which constantly improves. And now, we’re thrilled to be exploring the potential of AI platforms, which will bring even greater convenience to our clients.”

Intiveo’s team has focused on enabling “smart” patient communication for years, but finding the perfect fit hasn’t always been easy.

Intiveo’s team has focused on enabling “smart” patient communication for years, but finding the perfect fit hasn’t always been easy.

“That’s why we’re so excited about ChatGPT. With its high-quality communication capabilities, it’s a potential game-changer for the future of patient communication,” Owen explains. “As we enter the AI age and patient needs evolve, we’re committed to finding workflows that benefit our clients without adding headaches. So, stay tuned - the future of patient communication looks very bright!”

“That’s why we’re so excited about ChatGPT. With its high-quality communication capabilities, it’s a potential game-changer for the future of patient communication,” Owen explains. “As we enter the AI age and patient needs evolve, we’re committed to finding workflows that benefit our clients without adding headaches. So, stay tuned - the future of patient communication looks very bright!”

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It’s no surprise that the patient experience has become increasingly important as the healthcare industry evolves.
Learn More
It’s no surprise that the patient experience has become increasingly important as the healthcare industry evolves.

When asked for specific examples, Canaday points to their relationships with LM Dental, IP Data Systems, Intiveo, Medicorp Imaging and VCU’s central Technology Services unit as models of success that are driving innovation at the school.

Transforming the educational experience in classrooms and clinics

Once they had the right people in the right roles, the team then worked to identify areas to increase efficiencies through process improvement and automation wherever possible.

“One thing you’ll notice is quite a few of us come from teaching backgrounds. This was intentional, because a teacher’s ultimate goal is to master their subject so they can effectively teach it to others,” said Idleman.

“Next we began working on our relationships with faculty, staff and students, and inserting ourselves in committees and workgroups where it made sense. They are our clients, and we need to understand each one individually. Sometimes, we also get the opportunity to interact and support our patients to truly appreciate the technology’s impact.”

One example of success came from the implementation of a new exam platform. It’s able to automatically grade students, and it utilises artificial intelligence to detect cheating. The feedback from faculty has been very positive so far.

Another example comes from a need for better tracking of equipment and materials used in patient care and clinical education. The solution came from working with LM Dental and the school’s Instrument

LM Dental Tracking System™
to turn vital information into action that
Read more
The LM Dental Tracking System™ (DTS™) is the first commercially available system in the dental industry to efficiently track and monitor dental instruments and materials from different manufacturers using RFID technology.
DTS™ allows you

Management Services (IMS) team to leverage technology to increase efficiencies and capture more useful data. The team installed LM Dental cabinets, which allow faculty, staff and students to swipe their ID cards and check out the equipment they need, when they need it. This involved close coordination with the Assistant Director of Compliance, Training, and IMS to reduce touch points by his staff and automate the equipment check-in/check-out process. LM Dental was instrumental in helping the team design workflows and select the appropriate amount of technology to streamline processes. The web-based system allows them to manage everything from instrument kits and intraoral sensors, and scanners to laptops, and classroom technology kits.

“Imagine having to write down every single piece of equipment or enter parts into a spreadsheet when you check something out as a student provider or dental dispensary employee. Prior to integrating

the LM-Dental Tracking System, the student and dispensary workflow used outdated technology and involved lots of steps,” said Idleman. “Now, using RFID technology, most items, like dental materials, instruments, implant bags, laptops and classroom technology tools are tagged, checked-out, and tracked automatically.”

The technology allows students to easily use their ID badge to check equipment out and then return it by placing tagged equipment on an RFID scanner for easy check-in processing. This drastically reduces the amount of manual hand-offs and tracking.

It also allows IMS managers to run just-intime reports to see who has an instrument kit or piece of equipment. An implant bag can be tracked from the dispensary to a clinic and quickly documented in the electronic health record system seamlessly because of the LM Dental Tracking System. The tracking capabilities help manage 65

the supply chain and inventory better, something that has gotten more challenging since the pandemic.

“Before, we had to manually check out items, like dental devices, dental equipment, and classroom supplies,” said Canaday. “Now, we don't have to do any of that. A person walks up to a cabinet, taps their badge, and they check out whatever they want. We can run reports on essentially anything and even monitor how many times an instrument kit is sterilised to help us determine its useful lifespan.”

All of this automation leaves time to focus on other tasks that require more attention, like teaching and training.

The team has also turned their attention to the architectural foundation of the school’s IT environment by assessing and upgrading infrastructure.

“We’ve been working in step with the university to transition to a hybrid model that leverages the cloud where appropriate but also keeps many resources on premises,” said Canaday. “It was not an all or nothing strategy, a lot of thought went into making our infrastructure reliable with as little downtime as possible.”

Canaday emphasises their relationship with VCU colleagues. The university has a well-supported data centre on premise, and it is in the process of building a newer, better one. He also points to IP Datasystems (IPDS) as a reliable external partner who has helped to select, configure, optimise and help run equipment in the data centre.

“For the things that we do well, we decided to keep them on-premise. For instance, the traditional Windows servers, SQL and Oracle databases and the third party systems that run on those servers,” said Talley.

“The IT team that work with students and our faculty members make sure we understand their needs and can provide a clean and successful experience”

The VCU School of Dentistry infrastructure team manages over 25 virtual servers that support the administrative, clinical, instructional, and research operations at the school. Like all hardware, it eventually reaches the end of its useful life.

“Since we had already identified what systems needed to remain on-premise, we needed to scope out an appropriate infrastructure environment that could be optimised for our unique needs, especially our EHR system, which runs on an Oracle database backend, and our picture archiving communication system(PACS) that expands daily,” said Talley.

IPDS helped provide a solution that could grow with the school over the next five years.

“They were great partners helping us in evaluating and analysing our environment and assisting us with procuring and configuring the new equipment,” said Canaday.

Another move proved invaluable as the school and rest of the world grappled with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team had made it a priority to increase their usage and attention to virtualisation in 2020.

“VCU was one of the first dental schools to go paperless. We started exploring virtual desktop infrastructure technology for clinical purposes over a decade ago, and we were one of the first to leverage this technology,” said Talley. “This and remote access enable the unification of workflow across our clinical operations to enhance the employee and student experience.”

During the pandemic, the team replaced everything in the clinical operatories with Wyse thin clients that connect to Citrix infrastructure managed by our University, to improve the delivery of the clinical desktop experience to our students, providers, and support staff. The strategy has served them well over the last three years; however, they recently upgraded the backend environment with the help of IPDS. The new solution still uses Wyse thin clients, but it runs on Dell VxRail Hyper Converged Infrastructure while leveraging Citrix cloud services.

“Ultimately, this means every VCU School of Dentistry student has a consistent, reliable desktop environment when they go into the clinic, and they can also connect after normal business hours remotely using the laptops provided through our student laptop initiative,” said Canaday. “Since we are leveraging VDI, we can be platform agnostic, and so, for the first time, we’ve switched to Macbook Airs from DELL XPS devices for our students.” 67 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY

These decisions also help the infrastructure team when deploying software updates or making changes in the environment. Experiences can remain consistent throughout all clinical spaces, and changes can be integrated once rather than deploying updates to client equipment one endpoint at a time.

Investing in VDI early helped the School of Dentistry during COVID-19, because when everybody had to go home, students, staff, and faculty were able to access their clinical environment and research environments remotely, with little confusion or effort.

“It would've been very difficult for us to transition to a remote or hybrid work environment,” said Canaday. “But because we had already made an initial investment, we were able to build on that foundation to allow people to work at home through either the browser or through the Citrix workspace app without starting from scratch to develop a solution.”

The disruption caused by the pandemic also ushered in another technological solution to patient relations. To help reduce the workload for front-office staff and improve the appointment reminder experience, the school partnered with Intiveo.

68 May 2023


Founded in Richmond, Virginia

VCU School of Dentistry is one of five health science schools at VCU

“Prior to our relationship with Intiveo, there was a lot of manual work involved in patient communications,” said Canaday. “A front desk administrative staff member had to call or email a patient to confirm that they're coming in, remind them of appointments, handle cancellations, and reschedule appointments. Intiveo replaces all of that for patients signed up in our EHR system for automatic appointment reminders.”

Patients can now also automatically confirm or cancel appointments quickly from their mobile phone. It has also allowed them to optimise appointment scheduling. Front-office staff can now quickly scan

the appointment book to see if chairs are available the next day or the remainder of the week. Considering there are over two hundred treatment pods within the school, this helps keep them filled which ensures the school provides care to as many community members as possible which translates to valuable clinical experience for students and residents.

“The automated communication saves dentists time, clears up space for front-office workers, and helps in reducing the level of no-shows or cancellations,” said Canaday. “This is especially important because we have a large community of patients to take care of and having an empty chair isn’t good for them or us.”

Ultimately, Canaday brings it back to culture and relationships. He has worked to build and establish a culture within his team that values the importance of internal and external relationships to finding and implementing technological solutions needed to fulfil the mission of the school. This has led them to become integrated within all aspects of the school’s operations.

“We've really integrated ourselves into our environments. We meet regularly with finance and human resources, clinical operations managers, instrument management staff, administrative leadership and even our Dental Implant Committee to gain understanding and create value within each group,” said Canaday. “It’s about the people and the processes, and also the data created in each area. When you combine the data with relationships built on communications and understanding, you can accomplish incredible things and bring a lot of value to the table.” 69 VCU SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY


With the older adult-age population increasing, birdie offers digital home care technology to enable the elderly to live in safety and comfort at home

Research from the Centre for Ageing Better shows 80% of people want to age at home. Home care lets us safely maintain independence and freedom, while providing comfort and familiarity. All of that is not just crucial for the care recipient’s wellbeing, but for their loved ones’ peace-of-mind as well.

Yet, the adult social care sector is currently experiencing chronic staff shortages. It’s severely underfunded and has lagged behind on crucial innovations. All of these factors are heavily impacting care businesses and care professionals' ability to provide the support they are capable of to older adults in our society.

However, we have seen that technology can give more people the option to age safely and happily in their own home. One example is birdie.

Healthcare designed to support older adults at home

Max Parmentier is the CEO and co-founder of birdie, a personalised home healthcare tech company aiming to reinvent care at home, radically improving the lives of millions of older adults. The company helps care businesses digitise their operations, meet regulatory standards, grow sustainably and help care professionals provide the highest standard of care. 71 DIGITAL HEALTH
Give it a shot

As CEO, Parmentier’s role is to set the strategic direction and vision for the future of birdie and to foster an environment where the team can thrive and create meaningful change in the social care sector.

“birdie’s software is a digital toolkit for homecare businesses,” he explains. “With everything on one platform, they spend less time on admin and more time delivering outstanding care. The birdie toolkit is a desktop and mobile app, easy to learn and intuitive to use. Everything is instantly available at their team’s fingertips. Tasks are made more efficient, reducing the time spent on administration. These efficiencies are crucial in providing personalised care







Before birdie, Parmentier started a global e-marketplace spin-off from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He also worked at the UN and in small startups, and spent four years at McKinsey as a manager helping clients develop their climate change mitigation, deforestation and bio-energy strategies. 73 DIGITAL HEALTH

tailored to individual needs and preferences. By ensuring care is always bespoke to each individual, care recipients benefit from the highest standard of care.”

Prior to founding birdie, Parmentier started a global e-marketplace spin-off from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. This was funded and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He also worked at the UN and in small startups, and spent four years at McKinsey as a manager helping clients develop their climate change mitigation, deforestation and bio-energy strategies.

“When I was younger, I had the privilege to spend a lot of quality time with my grandparents,” Parmentier says. “Nourished by their care and conversation, I felt first hand the security and significance that a connection to the older generation can bring. This, alongside watching the sharp decline of my grandfather after entering a care home, was at the heart of creating birdie.”

Along with co-founders Rajiv Tanna (Chief Product Officer), Gwen Le Calvez (Chief information Security Officer) and Abeed Mohamed (Chief Strategy Officer), the team set out to empower high-quality,

“Our technology is already helping older adults thrive at home, just how I would have wanted it for my grandparents”

personalised and improved outcomedriven healthcare for millions of older adults at home.

“Social care is an industry in desperate need of support – and the technology we’re building is already helping thousands of older adults thrive at home, just how I would have wanted it to be for my own grandparents,” says Parmentier.

Home care technology in healthcare

Parmentier believes that the social care crisis and the healthcare industry quandary are intrinsically linked.

“The slightest spike in demand on either side will cause systemic pressure which has a knock-on effect on A&E services, care providers, and the rest of the population. Homecare, especially when personalised to the needs of the care recipients, can alleviate this pressure. By identifying and treating needs early, personalised homecare prevents unnecessary hospitalisations and enables people to recuperate at home.”

This is where birdie’s technology comes in. Its digital platform helps care professionals understand care recipients’ needs efficiently to deliver personalised care during each visit. It then allows them to store and access data easily, quickly and in-line with regulation, putting an end to gathering information from multiple systems.

“Once stored, algorithms supported by AI have the potential to analyse the clinical and behavioural data, offering personalised recommendations and a move towards more proactive and preventative care,” says Parmentier. “When shared with health providers, this data has the power to dramatically shift the treatment paradigm of older adults. It helps accelerate intervention cycles and prevents early deterioration, as well as encouraging collaboration between 75 DIGITAL HEALTH

health and social care professionals to work towards achieving better outcomes for older adults.”

Ultimately, technology helps care businesses do more with less, increasing their capacity to care for more people.

“By providing transparency over requirements and gaps, technology can aid efficient care planning,” Parmentier adds. “By optimising care schedules to decrease travel time, software and automation help ensure limited resources are being used effectively.”

Digital onboarding streamlines the process, meaning newly qualified professionals can deliver quality care more quickly whilst being supported by digital training. By enabling care professionals to take notes digitally and automating some administrative tasks, care professionals will also spend less time on paperwork and more time caring for people.

“By digitally collecting and analysing data, care professionals access deeper insights into the wellbeing of care recipients and start to uncover patterns to support early interventions and prevent deterioration,” explains Parmentier. “By empowering care professionals with these insights, the care sector can reduce severe deterioration and systemic pressure on healthcare resources, expanding capacity and giving more people access to home care.”

However, Parmentier recognises that, due to the tough economic climate, home care businesses may struggle to grow.

“It’s no secret that unfortunately care businesses are struggling to survive in today’s climate,” he says. “Working with care partners on a regular basis has shown me that, for those wanting to grow their businesses, they should consider three things:

Streamlining operations

“Take stock of all processes that are currently happening within your care agency and look for opportunities to streamline these processes – perhaps by using digital tools for automation or clarifying priorities.”

Focusing on staff retention

“Low wages are a key contributor to high staff turnover rates, with many care professionals on zero-hours contracts. Creating an environment where employees have control over their own time and are able to

76 May 2023

collaborate with others will not only increase staff satisfaction, but also help attract new talent to the sector.”

Moving towards personalised care

“Empowering care professionals with more information about care recipients will not only create better health outcomes, but contribute to the longevity of clients too.”

By 2030, the World Health Organization believes that one in six people globally will be over the age of 60 - it’s time for home healthcare technology to get to work.

“By providing transparency over requirements and gaps, technology can aid efficient care planning” 77 DIGITAL HEALTH


78 May 2023 79

United Urology Group (UUG) is a US-based national network of 1,500 urology healthcarefocused employees. It has affiliate practices in Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, and Tennessee.

Founded in 2016 and with its HQ in Maryland, it supports 220 providers in 95 locations across five states, making it one of the largest urology networks in the US.

At heart, UUG is a management services organisation (MSO), providing administrative and support services to urology practices across the United States. This support includes revenue cycle management, financial management, human resources, marketing, and strategic planning.

David Forbes is VP of Supply Chain Management for UUG and is responsible for its source-to-pay programme, strategic sourcing, procurement, and accounts payable. He also provides consulting services in inventory management for UUG clinics.

The support Forbes and his team provide includes everything from human resources and sourcing services to IT.

He says: “I source contracts for my practices. I aggregate everybody's spend and negotiate the best possible agreements with the right trading partners at the right level.”

Why supply chain is a point of difference for US-based healthcare management services organisation, United Urology Group 81

Forbes also offers procurement support, or “day-to-day blocking and tackling” as he describes it. Accounts payable is another of his areas, and his team also ‘owns’ the company’s source-to-pay solution that serves its physician practices.

UUG’s network of practices are known for their integrated urologic care programs, a patient-first approach, clinical excellence, and innovative treatments for

a wide range of urologic conditions, from the most common to the most complex cases.

“We aim to support our affiliated practices in providing high-quality, patient-centred care,” he says, “and to support our affiliated practices in delivering care in an efficient and effective manner.”

UUG’s supply chain organisation is vital to this goal, says Forbes, who explains that it helps the

“We aim to provide high-quality, patientcentred care”

company deliver on its Quadruple Aim strategy, comprising:

• Clinical efficacy

• Patient experience

• Clinician experience

• Cost takeout

“These are four metrics our practices look to base decisions on, whether small or major,” says Forbes.

He adds: “Clinical efficacy is about whether or not a decision made by our affiliated practices improve patient outcomes. Clinician experience refers to the experience





David Forbes is a seasoned supply chain professional with almost two decades of experience. Currently serving as the VP of Supply Chain Management for United Urology Group, his team is responsible for providing end-toend source-to-pay support to over 220 urologists and advanced practice practitioners. David's extensive experience includes working with the Healthcare Industry Distributors Association to develop healthcare trading partner data communication standards, building value analysis and sourcing departments for a hospital-based system, and serving as a strategic sourcing consultant with The Advisory Board Company. He holds a B.S. in Business from Miami University and an MBA from Loyola University Maryland.


“Shortages and back orders are the toughest part of the job. In the healthcare industry, we've never seen it as bad as it is right now”
84 May 2023

Safeguarding health through supply chain

of physicians, nurses, and medical assistants when using the product or service.”

Patient experience, he explains, concerns factors such as patient comfort and recovery each of which “are key considerations in cost takeout”.

Forbes cites as an example the purchase of a simple piece of urological equipment, such as a catheter.

“Cost takeout is about what we can do to prune unnecessary costs from healthcare, but it is not always about monetary cost. I might be able to negotiate a fantastic deal on the latest foley catheter, say, but if this product is going to cause urinary tract infections, or if it’s difficult to insert or remove, then it doesn't make sense to do it.”

Supply chain, he says, helps UUG deliver on its Quadruple Aim metrics.

“The obvious one is cost takeout, and the rest are impacted through the clinical integration of my department with our physician practices.”


Number of providers UUG has for its urology practices


Number of locations


Number of US states covered


Partnering with Specialty Networks for Growth & Improved

Patient Outcomes

Specialty Networks and United Urology Group have partnered over the past decade to better practices across the group and improve patient care. The common focus on improvement in every area, along with clinical integration throughout, promotes consistent advancement at a clinical level.

Learn More

Partnering with Specialty Networks for Improved Patient Care

Specialty Networks, partnered with United Urology Group since 2013, enhancing practice performance through data, events, and group purchasing support.

Specialty Networks is the parent organisation of companies including group purchasing organisation UroGPO, of which United Urology Group is a member.

Specialty Networks has presence in multiple specialties

As a multi-specialist organisation, Specialty Networks has deployed GPOs in urology, gastroenterology, and rheumatology, alongside a robust data analytics platform (PPS Analytics) and also a research arm. The latter supports members like United Urology in conducting research inside their practices, with a data analytics arm to support practices while addressing gaps in care.

“The GPO establishes best-in-class purchasing agreements with manufacturers in areas including pharmaceuticals, services, and medical devices,”

Darren Dieleman, Senior Vice President at Specialty Networks, says. “We’re aggregating not just United Urology Group, but also the other 720 urology practices across the country into one buying group, then negotiating value-added programs with manufacturers to support the individual members.”

The partnership with United Urology Group

“What’s unique about the relationship between United Urology Group and Specialty Networks

via UroGPO is the fact that we share the common customer of our physician practices,” explains David Forbes, the Vice President of Supply Chain Management for United Urology Group. Alongside the benefits of the GPO, United Urology Group also utilises PPS Analytics – the data analytics arm of Specialty Networks – to streamline and identify potential gaps in patient care.

“We also run customised educational events at their individual pods and a series of live events across the country,” Dieleman explains. “We’re running a summit for United Urology in May to allow their practices, many acquired during the pandemic, to come together to establish longterm goals and objectives, network, and attend educational podium sessions.”

What’s next for the partnership?

“Live events, purchasing, reporting – there’s a much larger strategy ahead of us to help United Urology Group achieve in aggregate what they wanted to achieve individually as independent practices,” says Dieleman.

Specialty Networks and United Urology are moving forward with a hands-on approach to continually bettering themselves, the practices, and, therefore, patient care.


He adds: “This is why it's really important that as a supply chain organisation we’re closely aligned with the clinicians, so that we can be sure to execute on our collective goals.”

UUG is plugged into a large ecosystem of businesses who help it deliver on its goals.

These include:

• Specialty Networks

A niche group-purchasing organisation that negotiates agreements for specialty products, most prominently branded oncology pharmaceuticals.

• Medline

Medical-surgical distributor Medline is a key supplier. “We recently partnered with Medline because they are designed to scale with us,” says Forbes.

• Neotract

Manufactures a proprietary treatment called Urolift, of which our Chesapeake practice was an early adopter.

• Karl Storz

A key player in scopes and video equipment, crucial instruments that help urology practices meet patients’ clinical needs.

Such partnerships help Forbes meet his defining goal: the care of patients, whose health, often delicate, he and his team hold in their hands.

Along with just about every other supply chain executive on the planet, Forbes has been faced with a difficult market over the past few years.

Being able to juggle everything and keep things moving in the right direction in the face of adversity “comes down to people and systems”, says Forbes. “It’s all about making sure that you have the right infrastructure in place.”


He adds: I'll give you an example. When I first joined, only one other person other than me provided procurement support. When you're spread across the country like we are you can't expect somebody to be available at 7:30am Eastern Time and 6.00pm Western Time.

“So we made the decision to have somebody support our western markets, in Colorado and Arizona. Not only did this improve employee satisfaction, obviously, but it also made us more responsive to our market needs.”

Technology is another area UUG sees as a means to give it a competitive edge.

“We put a really heavy focus on the right technology in supply chain,” says Forbes. “Our prime strategy around resource management is leveraging technology. In my own department, we're evaluating AI tools to assist us not only with invoice processing, but also with strategic sourcing and contracts lifecycle management.”

Technology, says Forbes, helps UUG serve its customers, who are the practices in the field, for which assist them to focus on the communities they serve.

“We're evaluating AI tools to assist us not only with invoice processing, but also with strategic sourcing and contracts lifecycle management” 89

But as with any sizable change project, there are hurdles to clear and barriers to break down.

“You’ve got to be sure that you choose the right solutions in the first place,” he says. “But you also need to ensure you're then using these solutions correctly.”

Data is a massive issue, as it is with so many digital transformations.

“Organising data around category management is a massive issue in supply chain in general,” says Forbes, who reveals that he and his team procure more than 200 categories of products and services.

He adds: “We have to make sure that our data is structured in a way that allows us to mine it, so that we can have efficient

request-for-proposals, without which we cannot manage our contracts.

UUG’s new procurement programme “is fully built out” says Forbes, who adds that it has made a huge difference to the company’s procurement and sourcing processes.

“When I first started, it was taking us upwards of eight days to reconcile inventory at the end of the month, but this past month, we did it all in a single day. All counted, all reconciled.”

He says that, although the procurement transformation was tough at first, it has been “a caveman-discovering-fire moment”.

“We are now able to intelligently manage inventory levels, and drive a formulary of products. We used to get complaints from vendors about not being paid, but now we now have steadfast processes in place that ensure prompt payment. We’ve gone from taking 57 days to process an invoice to about 10 days.”

“Over time we acquired additional practices and when you grow you need to scale-up your staff” 91 UNITED UROLOGY GROUP

Forbes says the rapid pace of the transformation was driven by the fact UUG was going through a period of rapid growth.

In 2016, UUG included only a single practice, Chesapeake Urology, and operated only in the mid-Atlantic region.

“Over time we acquired additional practices,” Forbes says, “and when you grow you need to scale-up your staff.”

He joined the company in 2020 “when UUG was starting to get our legs back from the initial COVID push”.

That growth is continuing apace, says Forbes, who reveals the coming 18 months will see the group focus on integrating with its ambulatory surgery centre (ASC) jointventure partners.

These partners help operate the largest ambulatory platform in the US, comprising

“Running a supply chain is like ‘being a conductor at the front of an orchestra’”
92 May 2023

475 facilities serving patients in surgery centres and surgical hospitals.

ASCs are modern healthcare facilities focused on providing same-day surgical care, including diagnostic and preventive procedures.

They have transformed the outpatient experience for millions of Americans, by providing a convenient alternative to hospitalbased outpatient procedures. They also have a strong track record of quality care and positive patient outcomes.

In June 2022, UUG formed a joint venture partnership in 22 ASCs. At the time, UUG CEO Sanford Siegel said of the deal that “we have an exciting runway with USPI as our partner,

and we look forward to bringing our patientfocused cultures together” – a sentiment Forbes echoes.

“It’s an exciting time for us,” he says. “An exciting future.”

Customer satisfaction is everything and in supply chain that means being able to respond to needs in the field – “such as being able to procure items on shortage, or back order.”

Forbes says running a supply chain is like “being a conductor at the front of an orchestra”.

“I might need to set up a regional hub-andspoke in our Maryland market to manage a shortage, else we're going to run out of products to certain clinics.”

Forbes’ voice tails off, as he lets the implications of that sink in: compromised care for patients, some of whom will be seriously ill.

“It might be that we have to consolidate our inventory, and then I’m the conductor on that,” he adds, waving an imaginary baton. 93 UNITED UROLOGY GROUP
94 May 2023 TECHNOLOGY

Cardiovascular disease exacts a growing toll on global public health, with most of the burden now falling on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). At the same time, the trend of rapid, often unplanned urbanisation spans across regions and cultures, and will only accelerate in coming years. There’s a link between the two – and the Novartis Foundation is onto it.

RAnn Aerts heads up the Novartis Foundation, an organisation committed to transforming the health of low-income populations by implementing population health approaches, and leveraging the power of data, digital technology and artificial intelligence to reimagine health and care around the world.

“The Novartis Foundation is a nonprofit organisation based in Switzerland,” she explains. “For over 40 years, we have helped improve the health of low-income populations, initially supporting disease elimination in areas such as leprosy and malaria. Today, we focus on the world’s most pressing health challenges: cardiovascular disease and health inequity. We take a population health approach, which means widening the lens from a narrow focus on healthcare delivery to a panoramic vision of improving health in the population at large.”

Heart disease is raging all across the world

Prior to joining the Novartis Foundation, Aerts served as Director of the Lung and Tuberculosis Association in Belgium and as Head of the Health Services Department of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. It was Novartis’ research into tropical diseases which drew her to the company.

“Initially, I served in research and development roles, and now I am able to combine my passions for R&D and global 95 TECHNOLOGY


• Real time data monitoring

• Real time hyper scaling

• Protecting data loss

• Securing Public Cloud Workloads

• Securing Vital COVID-19 Applications



health in my position leading the Novartis Foundation.”

“You could probably describe my role as leading the strategic design of CARDIO4Cities – helping drive understanding of the incredibly large, unmet need with regards to cardiovascular disease in LMICs, combined with the need to take a multidisciplinary, multisector partnership approach to address it, and he opportunity of leveraging cities as drivers of population health and innovation.”

Developed in conjunction with local authorities, the health sector and private sector partners, it combines different interventions in each city to make the most of opportunities for blood pressure measurement throughout the urban environment, both within and outside






Ann Aerts leads the Novartis Foundation, which supports the health of countries with lowincome populations using data, technology and AI. Previously, she worked at the Lung and Tuberculosis Association in Belgium and at the Red Cross.

of the health system. It has proved to be a recipe for success in terms of both health and economic impact.

The programme took place across São Paulo, Brazil; Dakar, Senegal; and Ulaanbataar, Mongolia. All three of these cities had a high prevalence of hypertension and associated illness.

“In Mongolia, for example, over 40% of all premature deaths are from cardiovascular diseases,” explains Aerts. “We also wanted to show how the CARDIO4Cities approach would work in diverse lower-middle- and middle-income country settings – thus working with cities on three different continents. Importantly, all three cities had local governments that were willing to take ownership of the initiative – an essential criterion for success.” 97 TECHNOLOGY

All three cities are undergoing rapid urbanisation, which contributes to increases in hypertension.

“Hypertension, or high blood pressure, significantly increases the risk associated with heart conditions, strokes and kidney diseases,” says Aerts. “In fact, hypertension is the single biggest risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Globally, an estimated 1.28bn adults aged 30-79 years have hypertension, with two-thirds living in low- and middle-income countries. 46% of adults with hypertension are thought to be unaware they have the condition.”

Although incomes may rise for those who migrate to cities, the move is often associated with:

• A poorer diet

• Less physical activity

• Exposure to air pollution

• These are key risk factors for developing high blood pressure.

Novartis Foundation - About Us

“While access to healthcare in rural areas is critical, it is therefore in urban areas that mass approaches like CARDIO4Cities can have a rapid impact in a short timeframe. Cities can be drivers of cardiovascular population health,” says Aerts.

Improving global cardiovascular health

While the Novartis Foundation uses its results to support cities around the world, Aerts has some advice for others looking to conduct their own programme and the Novartis Foundation has created an Urban Population Health

Toolkit to support those who want to implement the CARDIO approach.

“The toolkit starts with a needs assessment to discover what policies exist, understand the population at risk, map the patient pathway, and understand what barriers prevent progress towards achieving a city’s priorities in its efforts to improve cardiovascular health,” Aerts explains. The toolkit provides insights, evidencebased strategies, tools and best practices to improve early detection and management of the main risk factor for CVD – hypertension. It will also constantly 99 TECHNOLOGY





introduce new learnings and tools as they become available, while expanding the approach towards lowering the overall cardiovascular risk in urban populations.”

This year at the Novartis Foundation, a lot is going on. The CARDIO4Cities approach will be expanding to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, where the goal is to address other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, as well as hypertension.

“The next 12 months will be an exciting period for us,” says Aerts. “In addition, there will be further announcements of cities joining AI4HealthyCities, a network of major cities using data and artificial intelligence to improve urban heart health equity that is coordinated by the Novartis Foundation. Lisbon, Lausanne and São Paulo will be joining in Q1 2023 and the results of the New York programme, which launched in September 2022, will be evaluated in Q2 2023. Results from Lisbon and Lausanne will become available in the second half of this year.”

Till then, eat a balanced diet, get outside or get into the gym and find an efficient way to manage your stress. With all the research in the world, it will be willpower and self discipline which brings down the high rates of cardiovascular disease.


Digital technology & data is transforming cancer care 103

Cancer has a significant impact on Canadians living with the disease, their caregivers and the healthcare system. About half of all Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and about one in four are expected to die from it. The cost of cancer care in Canada is in the billions and is steadily rising. The Canadian Cancer Society plays an essential role in saving and improving the lives of people affected by cancer.

Lesa O'Brien is the Interim Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy and Technology for the Canadian Cancer Society. She has been with the Canadian Cancer Society for six years and in the not-for-profit space for 25 years.

“I am responsible for enterprise-wide digital, data and technology strategies, products, and solutions across the organisation,” she explains.

What led O'Brien to this industry was a lifelong passion for healthcare. She started her career at SickKids Hospital in 1998, one of the largest global paediatric hospitals based in Toronto.

“I was working on the implementation of a new clinical lab system at the time and also working on this new thing called the internet.”

104 May 2023
Lesa O'Brien, Canadian Cancer Society

While she was there, O'Brien learned all aspects of website creation, from designing and building websites to web server administration and database application development.

“I loved working on projects that digitally transformed the hospital and making information and services accessible to people anywhere. Then, after a few years, I moved over to the foundation side of the hospital where I was responsible for supporting digital fundraising, ecommerce, email marketing, and our online presence.”

O'Brien has enjoyed helping to lead the digital transformation and online growth for large scale not-for-profits in Canada over the course of her career.

“Through funding the best cancer research in the country, we can help advance cancer prevention strategies so fewer people get cancer”

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national charitable organisation and the largest national cancer charity in Canada.

“We work with donors and volunteers to improve the lives of people affected by cancer and we do that in three ways, through funding world-class cancer research, providing compassionate support programmes, and advocating to governments to shape health policies aimed at improving cancer prevention and supporting people affected by the disease.”

The purpose of the Canadian Cancer Society is to help to unite and inspire all Canadians to take control of cancer.

“Through funding the best cancer research in the country, we can help advance cancer prevention strategies, so fewer people get




Lesa O’Brien is the Interim Executive Vice President, Digital Strategy and Technology at the Canadian Cancer Society. She is responsible for enterprise-wide digital, data and technology strategies and solutions across the organisation to drive digital transformation.

Lesa has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare and charitable sectors. She has held senior leadership roles at several large scale not-for profit organisations in Canada leading the development and implementation of multi-year strategies to drive digital transformation.

She holds a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

cancer,” says O’Brien. “We can help develop better treatments so more people survive and live longer, healthier lives with or after cancer.”

Through the Society’s cancer information and support programmes, people are provided with accurate and trusted cancer information, online communities where they can feel support, hope, and a safe space where they don't have to face cancer alone.

“Through our advocacy work, we can help address gaps in cancer care and work with governments to shape policies that result in fewer people getting cancer and having an improved quality of life with cancer.”

The future of digital healthcare and technology

With digital healthcare and technology, change is inevitable and evolution is quick, opening up opportunities for businesses to

“We advocate to governments to shape health policies aimed at improving cancer prevention and supporting people affected by the disease”

use digital technology in new, exciting and meaningful ways to transform their business.

“Looking at ways to personalise and customise the user experience and the user journey really excites me, especially for people whose cancer journeys are so personal,” says O’Brien. “Looking at ways to apply evolving technology like AI and machine learning to be more efficient, to be more data-driven, to reach more people, and to provide our audiences with a more meaningful personalised and easyto-use digital experience to support them in their cancer journey, and to deliver that experience where and how they want it — that's what really excites me.”

The Canadian Cancer Society has been a national charity for over eight decades. In that time, the organisation has transformed its approach to digital tools and technology.

“Over the last 85 years that we've been in existence, it's easy to say that technology has completely changed,” says O'Brien. “For many decades, we relied on grassroots communications, conversations over tea, pamphlets in hospitals and medical offices, community gatherings, and we continue to rely on many of those tactics today.”

Now, the Canadian Cancer Society relies more heavily on digital tools and technologies to drive their fundraising strategies, improve delivery of mission programmes and services, engage, inspire, and inform audiences, and empower internal teams with the tools and resources they need to do their job effectively.

“We've evolved our communication strategies,” says O’Brien. “We rely heavily on digital technology, both with our internal staff through digital tools 109

and virtual meetings, to using digital communications tools such as email, SMS, live chat, and push notifications to reach external audiences.”

O’Brien and her team have created safe and supportive spaces for their online communities, both on social media channels and with their online support programmes, and, which have enabled them to reach more people and strengthen their relationships.

“Digital is key to all our fundraising strategies. We're an organisation that relies primarily on the generosity of our individual donors,” says O’Brien. “So, we need to

make sure that we provide donors with an easy-to-use online experience, and easyto-use online tools to set up their own fundraisers, sign up for one of our signature events, or give a donation online, and then provide them with the digital tools to share those fundraising initiatives with family and friends to raise more money.”

The Canadian Cancer Society has managed the change in adoption of digital transformation by accepting that change is always a challenge for any organisation.

“Change in adoption of our digital transformation is an area that we continue to work on. But our approach has always been to be inclusive and collaborative, 111 CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY

to bring key stakeholders together for the discussions, decision making, and journey, for our colleagues to see that digital, data and technology teams are strategic partners with them.”

There have been several moments that have had the most significant impact on the Canadian Cancer Society's digital and technology strategies.

“We've had four key moments that have really shifted Canadian Cancer Society's digital and technology strategies,” says O’Brien. “We've nationalised our organisation, we've had two mergers and then the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We work with donors and volunteers to improve the lives of people affected by cancer”
112 May 2023

Eight years ago, the Canadian Cancer Society transitioned from 10 provinciallyled organisations to a national model, which allowed them to operate more efficiently and as one united team.

“We had to bring together systems, processes, data, and teams, and that was a significant undertaking,” says O’Brien. “In 2017, we led the consolidation within the cancer charity sector to bring together two of the largest national health charities in an unprecedented merger when we joined with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.”

In 2019, they did it again when they amalgamated with Prostate Cancer Canada.

As a result of these significant organisational changes, the Society has had to modernise its IT structure, prioritise the centralisation and consolidation of technologies, and unite disparate digital systems, data, resources, processes and digital ecosystems.

“This change included implementing new solutions like our Salesforce CRM solution, which allowed us to centralise and secure our constituent data into one solution from 18 different databases,” explains O’Brien. “We've also had to align our brand into one organisational website, consolidate our fundraising platforms, and transition our social media audiences to our CCS channels.”

A year later, when the Canadian Cancer Society thought they'd made great progress, COVID-19 happened. That created an immediate disruption to fundraising programmes, services and the workforce.

“Like many organisations, we had to accelerate our digital transformation as we shifted our business to digital and virtual solutions.”

Using digital technology and data to modernise the Canadian Cancer Society's mission work

Modernising its mission work through digital, data and technology is an essential part of the Canadian Cancer Society’s digital transformation.

“Over the last few years, we've made several changes to evolve our mission delivery and communication with people affected by cancer,” explains O’Brien.

“Data and insights are key for us to better understand the needs of people we serve.”

Over the pandemic, the Society conducted multiple national online surveys to better understand the needs of cancer patients and caregivers. 113 CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY

Unlocking the potential of technology for nonprofits

Our work with Canadian Cancer Society is one example of how we guide large organizations through complex planning and solution implementation.

Our boutique firm helps nonprofits implement a clear technology strategy to fuel their missions long term. LEARN MORE

Creating better tomorrows for all with the Canadian Cancer Society.

Proud Partner 114 May 2023

“The data we collected informed our decisions on the type of information people needed to support them through the pandemic. That led us to create specific online resources, including webinars, to support people affected by cancer. But the data also informed our advocacy work, and that led to several campaigns that we have running nationwide.”

One virtual advocacy campaign is called ‘Get Better’, which rallies people across the country to call on the Canadian government to make cancer care better.

“It encourages people to share their stories and cancer experiences through an online portal. Then, we're bringing those voices forward to our government and calling for more improvements for cancer care.”

O’Brien is also currently using digital and technology innovation in the Canadian Cancer Society's fundraising strategies.

“Digital is such an important part of our fundraising strategy. Everything we do

from a fundraising perspective involves some digital or social media component. So, it's always exciting for us to try new and innovative ways to inspire and engage people to donate or fundraise.”

During the pandemic, O’Brien had to transform fundraising events into an entirely virtual experience. For one of their signature events, the CIBC Run for the Cure, they offered participants virtual avatars which they could customise and share on their personal fundraising pages to help deepen engagement and increase participation.

“To promote fundraising, we added more sophisticated gamification to unlock incentives such as sunglasses, t-shirts, balloons, and capes that you could add to your avatar when you reached certain fundraising milestones. We enabled activity tracking on our app and website that was integrated with smartphone and wearable technologies so people could record their training activities and their walk or run on the actual event day.”


The biggest challenge facing the Canadian Cancer Society today is staying competitive, relevant and finding new ways to reach audiences while retaining existing ones – all with the lens of driving the most impact for people affected by cancer.

“Digital technology plays such a critical role in helping to build and retain that trust through the delivery of secure and integrated technologies, improving our cybersecurity posture, data governance and policies, data-driven processes to provide reliable, timely, and accurate information across any touchpoint.”

In its journey, the Canadian Cancer Society has partnered with Salesforce, Heller Consulting and Slalom, among others, each of which O’Brien describes as ‘instrumental’ in helping the Society realise its vision.

“We're extremely fortunate to have such wonderful partners. They've collaborated with us to create many of our key digital, data and technology strategies, and they've been our implementation partners as well. That's been critical to our success.”

The Society has been a customer of Salesforce since 2009, but in 2018, they selected Salesforce for the one CRM platform.

“We underwent one of the most significant digital transformation projects where we consolidated 18 separate CRM systems and centralised our constituent data into that one CRM platform. We worked with Heller Consulting as our implementation partner for this multi-year project, which was successfully launched in 2020. We also used Salesforce's Marketing Cloud for mapping out our customer journeys and targeted email marketing campaigns. Slalom worked with us on the implementation of our donor journeys in Marketing Cloud, and our data strategy and continues to work with us to

implement data analytics dashboards in Tableau and Datorama.”

The Canadian Cancer Society’s vision when it comes to digital technology is to provide a more personalised digital experience for audiences.

“We want to provide a seamless, easy to use experience that helps people to accomplish what they need to do. We want to be a supportive partner in their cancer journey,” says O’Brien. “Having a fully integrated enterprise-wide architecture where stakeholder data is centralised and data is driving our business decisions is part of that overall vision.”

For Canadians with cancer and their caregivers, leveraging tools and technologies to improve support for all the people O’Brien and her team serve is important to achieving their vision.

“We can help find better treatments so that more people survive and live longer, healthier lives with or after cancer” 117 CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY

Former refugees discuss education & mentorship in healthcare

Periodontist escaped Iran in 1979, emigrating to the USA. Here, they tell us about mentoring new medical professionals

n 1979, the Iranian Revolution took place, forcing the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, into exile and making way for revolutionary Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to take control and turn Iran into a theocratic state. Two young boys escaped with their families and emigrated to Los Angeles. Today, Dr Sharyar Baradaran is a leading periodontist while Dr Arya Shamie is an orthopaedic surgeon at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Dr Sharyar Baradaran’s work focuses on treating periodontal diseases, including completing bone grafting, sinus lifts, implants and creating treatment plans for various gum diseases.

“I also work on correcting my patient's gums and helping their overall dental health,” he says. “In addition, I make sure my patients have clean, healthy, and beautiful smiles.”

Dr Arya Shamie’s work day begins with a Zoom call and ends with family.

118 May 2023 SUSTAINABILITY 119

Over the past 18 months the NHS has faced unprecedented demand and pressures due to COVID-19. The response to the pandemic was launched on many fronts - treating the ill, test and trace to minimise the spread of the virus and then the vaccine program.

Scotland faced unique challenges in trying to manage at pace such a geographically disperse population, so it remained imperative that NHS Scotland had the ability to rapidly record and process data in real time.

With NHS Scotland facing such an urgent problem, we approached them with a solution: working with Apple to acquire 1,600 iPads, which we then deployed with connectivity, dedicated software, mobile device management, logistics, support and crucially, network security, in partnership with Check Point Software Technologies.

The iPads allow NHS staff to easily and securely record people who have registered for the vaccine, update details to the central database (via wifi and our 4G network), record which vaccine they’ve had and when their next appointment is due. We manage the full solution under our Digital Workplace portfolio, so they don’t have to - allowing NHS staff to focus on their day-to-

day work. Updates are immediate, ensuring that everyone always has the very latest information – essential for an effective, fast-moving rollout.

Working closely with Check Point, we were able to ensure that the security embedded in this deployment aligned to what NHS Scotland uses in other areas - every device needs to be locked down, secure and protected from a malware, spam and data security perspective.

With time ticking away, we distributed iPads all around the country in the three weeks leading up to Christmas, with Logan Air stepping in to deliver to the Islands on Christmas Eve. We ramped this up to 2,750 iPads by the end of January, ensuring NHS Scotland could get up to their full capacity of vaccination efforts.

The programme was a direct aid to helping to put Scotland at the top of the European vaccination league.


“After work, I come home in time for dinner so I can spend time with my family. Dinner time for our family is sacred. We try to all be present.”

According to Shamie and Baradaran, the secret to a lifelong friendship is taking a non-judgmental approach.

“It is crucial to value mutual respect, honesty and genuine care in all relationships and friendships – these traits are our secrets to maintaining a lifelong friendship. We come from professional families: both of our fathers are physicians and they taught us these values that we are now passing on to our kids.”

Leaving Iran and coming to the USA also taught Shamie and Baradaran the value of education.

“Education is one of the most critical assets, which can never be taken away or lost. Our education has allowed us to become leaders in our respective specialties. Education also teaches us to keep an open mind and see things from different perspectives, rather than dogma, which can also negatively impact friendships.”

From refugees to working in the healthcare sector

Being refugees themselves impacted both doctors. “It taught us to work hard, be tolerant, and help others. When hard work

“I’d like to tell the next generatwion of healthcare professionals to take pride in their profession and their work” 121 SUSTAINABILITY


allows you to achieve success personally and for your family… you desire to give back and help others also live better lives.”

In 2022, Iran was in the news – from the front pages of newspapers to TikTok shorts – due to the murder of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police. The subsequent ‘Woman Life Freedom’ protests caught on – from the initial ones in Iran to defiant echoes among the Iranian diaspora.

“It reminded us that the innate longing for freedom and self-expression is the backbone of any healthy society,” says Dr Baradaran. “To me, freedom is the backbone






As a periodontist, Dr Sharyar Baradaran’s work focuses on treating periodontal diseases. This includes completing bone grafting, sinus lifts and implants and creating treatment plans for various gum diseases. He also works on correcting patient's gums and helping their overall dental health. In addition, he makes sure his patients have “clean, healthy and beautiful smiles”.

122 May 2023






Dr Arya Shamie is a leading orthopaedic surgeon specialising in spine surgery. He has worked at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for three years.

of our innate behaviour. It allows us to create and make a path to our destiny.”

“Freedom brings us opportunities; opportunities lead us to success; and success brings us happiness,” adds Dr Shamie.

Despite coming from different religious backgrounds, the friends see the importance of not letting religion dictate who your friends are, or what your life experiences come to be.

“I am personally not religious,” says Dr Baradaran. “As Iranian, Jewish, and American, I value and celebrate all the beautiful traditions which are a part of my heritage. However, I seek out and enjoy being exposed to different customs. Being able to experience and learn from other cultures is deeply important to me.”

“I am personally not religious either,” Dr Shamie concurs. “As an Iranian-American who was raised in a Muslim family, I have 123

never identified with my religion. My identity has always been linked with my character. Words have formed my character: my father told me as a child that we are of the religion of being good to others. I remember my grandfather telling me as a teenager that he thought I would be successful because ‘you are a good person’. Both of these men were indirectly telling me that I need to work on becoming a good person when I grow up. They never talked about the fact that we were born in a Muslim family.”

When his family moved to the USA, Dr Shamie had no idea that his Iranian friends, who had also emigrated, were of other

“Take care of yourselves and your families… without a balanced life, a professional can’t be successful or resilient”

beliefs to segregate and criticise others from different faiths,” says Dr Shamie. “This goes against my basic beliefs. I choose my friends not based on their religious beliefs, but based on their moral compass and their values.”

The doctors proudly uphold the longstanding traditions of their Iranian culture, one of the world's oldest and richest cultural heritages.

“The most long-lasting approach to maintaining one’s identity and cultural heritage is to teach children customs from a young age,” says Dr Baradaran. “Cultural heritage can live on forever by teaching cultural traditions to the next generation.”

“Iranian culture is one to be proud of,” agrees Dr Shamie. “In fact, Avicenna (who was Persian/Iranian) is an important figure in medicine; he authored a five-volume medical encyclopaedia called The Canon of Medicine. It was used as the only standard medical textbook in the Islamic world and Europe up to the 18th century.” 125 SUSTAINABILITY

Mentoring the next generation of medical professionals

Mentorship is very important to Dr Baradaran and Dr Shamie, both of whom believe that the most effective way to teach is by giving healthcare students live examples of the mentors’ own approaches. Teaching students the core lessons of the healthcare profession is invaluable, but to these doctors, so is showing them the importance of living a fruitful life.

“I’d like to tell the next generation of healthcare professionals to take pride in their profession and their work. If you do that, you will love your work, and it will become your passion,” says Dr Baradaran. “Success takes time, and it can’t be rushed. Experience cannot be gained overnight, and it takes time to master your skills. It is important to remember that a successful career should be modelled like a marathon and not a sprint. Take care of yourselves and your families… without a balanced life, a professional can not be successful and resilient over decades of practice. Also remember the motto: ‘I work to live, not live to work’.”

“ Freedom brings us opportunities, opportunities leads us to success, and success brings us happiness” 127 SUSTAINABILITY



Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust supports 400,000 people. Diagnostic & Imaging Manager Kris Weavill and CIO Shauna McMahon tell us how

Across the world, healthcare organisations are taking the lessons they’ve learned during COVID-19 and using them to make their their service safer – as well as more efficient – for staff and patients. Digitalisation is a huge part of this growth.

Shauna McMahon is the Group Chief Information Officer for Northern Lincolnshire and Goole and Hull University Teaching Hospitals. Northern Lincolnshire and Goole is an NHS Foundation Trust, while Hull University is a Teaching Hospital NHS Trust. She is a member of both hospital boards, as well as the two executive teams. She’s learned a lot about the NHS since arriving from Canada in 2015.

“I thought it would be an interesting experience. But prior to this role, I worked as the CIO at Frimley Health,” explains McMahon. “I’ve worked in the private and public sectors in banking and consulting. However, most of my career has been in healthcare.”

McMahon has a passion for how digital healthcare can improve the working lives of people in the industry, as well as how it improves the care delivery for patients.

“It makes the access easier for patients,” she explains. “It’s a really exciting area to work in because healthcare is always changing and developing.”

Kris Weavill is the Diagnostic and Imaging Systems Manager for NLaG and came to the NHS in 2015 as a ward clerk.


“My role now is around the frontline management of our radiology, cardiology, medical physics and nuclear medicine suites of software,” says Weavill. “It’s an interesting role – I’m a technical specialist, but I’m also a liaison at a clinical level. I sit in the middle and do high-end technical work, project management and business case management. I even have responsibilities at an operational level as there are patient pathways that my team are responsible for.”

Weavill gets a slice of everything – the business, the patient care and the technical work.

“It’s really fulfilling,” he adds. “We’re a geographically diverse Trust. We have the port towns of Grimsby and Cleethorpes,

“It’s a really exciting area to work in because healthcare is always changing and developing”
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust

which are geographically isolated on two corners. That brings with it a lot of interesting statistics.”

There are high levels of deprivation in the area, high levels of diabetes and higher rates of lung cancer. The region is one of the 20% most deprived districts in England, while 26% of children come from lowincome families.

“We have Scunthorpe in the middle, which is a big steel-producing town that has a mixture of urban areas and some very wide rural areas,” Weavill continues. “Then we have our Goole campus, which is an hourand-a-half away from Grimsby.” Hull Royal Infirmary is in downtown Hull, while the Castle Hill Hospital is situated in Cottingham.

Transformational technology in healthcare McMahon and Weavill are excited to bring about transformational technology to Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust. There have been several interesting projects in the last few years, including securing augmented reality glasses for community nurses.

“We are one of five trust sets piloting the use of the NHS app for the Wayfinder project,” says McMahon. “This will enable the patients to have access to information on the NHS app. We are also working on four robotic processing automation tools to help with the processing of patient referrals and also help with the recruitment process within our organisations.” 133

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Integrity360: Securing your digitalisation journey

Richard Ford, Chief Technology Officer of Integrity360, outlines how and why businesses should take advantage of the digital world, securely

As the largest independent cyber security provider in the UK and Ireland, Integrity360 provides security services across a full suite of cyber security requirements, encompassing everything from technologies and consultancies to pen testing and managed services.

In recent years, many businesses have undergone digital transformations, meaning a vast amount of critical data is now stored online and needs to be protected.

“Part of storing data online means it can now be actively shared and collaborated on,” Richard Ford, Chief Technology Officer of Integrity360, explains. “To take advantage of the digital world, we must

ensure security isn’t an afterthought. It needs to be a main focus, to ensure security is an enabler that successfully allows us to take advantage of the opportunities digital transformation may bring us.”

As a trusted security provider and partner, Integrity360 helps organisations to take a security-first approach, through a mature and singular lens. To this aim, Integrity360 develops security postures by providing a range of solutions, such as exposure management, MDR and SASE.

A 360-degree approach to security

Integrity360 engages with customers to help them identify risks and address

where they are currently positioned, so they can align with cyber security frameworks, such as NIST. This enables Integrity360 to understand what preventative controls are needed to help protect businesses from threats.

“From here, we need to take a mature approach, knowing cyber security will never be 100% secure and that there will be gaps for potential threats,” Richard says.

“We often focus on external threats, but internal threats can be incredibly harmful, too. So, we work with our customers to ensure they have the ability to detect and analyse the threats that preventative controls cannot detect, in order to provide 360-degree protection.”

Learn more



Shauna is currently the Joint Chief Information Officer & Executive Board member at Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (HUTH). Prior to joining the NHS in 2015 she worked for 15 years in the Canadian Healthcare system. Shauna has provided leadership for IT infrastructure, facility planning & construction, commercial leasing, capital planning and clinical engineering, digital solutions and many more.



136 May 2023

Currently, the team is in the process of unifying their patient admin system, allowing them to see all the patients on the waiting lists, as well as the activity of patients across the two organisations.

“We’re also putting in a solution which might be overlooked by some, called ManageEngine,” explains McMahon. “What that’s going to do is consolidate our digital services. So we have one service desk, one way to access the support you need for the two organisations and manage the service we offer.”

The radiology systems also received an update, resulting in a significant reduction in waiting times.

“We are part of the collaborative team that procured a single-PACS solution for about seven acute trusts,” explains Weavill. “What that enabled during COVID-19 was real-time image sharing and report sharing with our clinicians, largely thanks to the Agfa Healthcare Xero platform.

“Successful digitalisation to me, it’s not so much about the outcomes, it’s about the attitudes and the culture”

“Traditionally in the radiology world, if a consultant at another hospital wanted to see someone’s images, it would either be a mixture of putting them in a disc in the back of a taxi – or smoke signals. Now, we have real-time sharing and we don’t need to get involved. It’s always quite refreshing when we get phone calls from consultants or doctors saying they need certain images, and we can say ‘they’re already there!’”

Jackie France, Associate Director of Patient Services, is leading on many of the patient-centred digital programmes. NLaG is one of five NHS trusts to pilot a new NHS App functionality that will transform the way patients access and manage appointments.

The project, known as Wayfinder, is part of a national strategy led by NHS England to improve patient experience and tackle NHS backlogs – positioning the NHS App as the “front door” to NHS services. The pilot, which went live across NLaG at the end of February, enables patients to see and manage their appointments, referrals and, in time, their test results and waiting times. It is already proven that, in providing patients with more control over their appointment bookings and making it easier to book, cancel or reschedule, trusts experience a reduction in missed appointments (known as “did not attend” or DNAs). The initiative is designed to be vendor-agnostic, with patient communication suppliers from all five trusts working together, alongside NHS England, to provide a consistent service delivered through the NHS App. Healthcare Communications, which has a longstanding relationship with NLaG, has worked closely with the national project team to seamlessly integrate its patient portal into the NHS App for NLaG patients.


NLaG launched its patient portal in June 2021, enabling the trust to send patient appointment letters digitally and provide SMS appointment reminders that enable patients to cancel or rebook their appointment. Since its launch, 66% of patients have accessed the patient portal and 77% of patients have opted in to SMS messaging services, exceeding initial targets. The trust has since sent more than 500,000 appointment letters digitally which has saved £171,000 in printing and administration costs. Additionally, SMS reminders have resulted in an immediate reduction in DNAs – from 10% to 7% – meaning patient appointments can be reallocated and are not wasted.

France hopes the Wayfinder project will enable the trust to reach even more patients digitally, further expanding efficiency and cost savings, and enabling more patients to reap the benefits.

“We’ve also been carrying out surveys to measure the impact our digital communication is having and to check satisfaction levels, so we know it’s popular with our patients,” adds France. “One of our patients shared his delight that his letters could be read aloud via the patient portal, granting him privacy for the first time as it meant he no longer had to rely on a family member to read the paper letters. Another told us how he was able to reschedule a long awaited consultant appointment that was scheduled during a holiday. The notification arrived digitally while he was abroad and he could easily reschedule, meaning he didn’t miss the appointment and his care wasn’t unduly delayed.”

These examples explain why Weavill, France and McMahon support digital transformation within the NHS. Their unapologetic belief that healthcare is now a digital business is unwavering. 139 NLAG NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

“I know people will be uncomfortable about that, but you simply cannot deliver healthcare now without that digital enabling support,” explains McMahon. “Our business just happens to be focusing on helping people when they’re at their most vulnerable.

“We definitely have the expertise and the knowledge; we are here to help and enable, but it is actually all about people relationships and business transformation. When you bring digital together with people, you can really make a difference.”

Across the globe there is a large babyboomer population and life expectancy is increasing from the gifts that healthcare research brings. Being able to treat people faster and with better outcomes brings significant benefits.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted this digital transformation. One thing the team observed is that, previously, a lot of effort was being put into desktop solutions. The pandemic changed the mindset around mobile technology and how critical that is.

“We’ve shifted our thinking around using tablets, mobile phones and the Surface Pro laptops in a more robust way than we would have done beforehand,” says McMahon. “I think it’s changed our thinking about the delivery of healthcare and that it’s not static. It’s very dynamic now.”

The Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have great plans for data and cybersecurity.

“People sometimes think cybersecurity is just one thing – we have 22 different approaches we’re using in our cybersecurity plan,” explains McMahon.

This includes a combination of in-house solutions, partnerships with external suppliers and internal staff doing more specific work.

“We have focused on getting those 22 areas that create our cybersecurity wrap up to standard,” she continues. “Our focus now is on replacing all out-of-date hardware and modernising our local area network. We implemented the IT ManageEngine solution, which is quite robust, and part of it allows us to run patching more efficiently in an automated way. We don’t stand still and we continuously monitor and update our cybersecurity ecosystem.”

Weavill adds: “In radiology we have devices like CT scanners and MRI scanners which are connected to networks. They are incredibly locked down. But we use systems like Cynerio which highlight vulnerabilities. What we found is that, again, the level of cybersecurity awareness was quite low.”

However, post-COVID-19, healthcare professionals at NLaG are thinking far more about security, which has involved Weavill engaging with his colleagues in radiology.

“They want to be more security conscious about viruses,” he says. “Our trust was sadly hit by the WannaCry ransomware attack. That was an eye-opener that made people appreciate cybersecurity and we’ve seen massive levels of investment in it. People are now more aware of their obligations

“The challenge now is bringing the solutions together across the two Trusts so that the end users have a seamless experience”

and we are regularly asked to look at devices to make sure they are locked down as much as possible.”

The Digital/IT team runs two separate trusts and is currently on a transformational journey to create a single Digital/IT service for them both.

This includes consolidating digital solutions wherever they can to create a seamless experience for more than 16,000 employees.

“When I was at a Canadian Health Authority,” McMahon continues, “I had a single digital service that supported eight hospitals and a number of community centres. We had a single service desk and a central team.

“It was less costly to run, more efficient, gives your team more resilience and also an opportunity to improve the knowledge and skills of that whole digital team. I’m now working with our employees and using some external organisational development support to help us go through that culture change, because it is a very different way of working when you’ve been used to just working in one organisation.”

One of the first things McMahon did was recruit in order to have a single senior leadership team in place. Three senior clinical leaders are supporting her, along with three senior operational leaders. their dotted-line relationship is a big help in allowing the team to get the message out that they are a single service.

“The challenge now is bringing the solutions together so that the end users have a seamless experience,” McMahon continues. “We’re now looking at how we can bring all those solutions in to support everybody.”

This will take a few years to complete, but is cause for excitement.

“I have excellent staff supporting me, and the trust board and executive teams

are there to help make it work.” For Weavill, successful digitalisation involves utilising the most modern of technologies without hesitation.

“In my particular area of radiology, it cannot function without digital,” he says. “Everything is computerised. The days of printing out a hard x-ray film and the doctor holding it up to the light have been gone for 20 years.”

“Successful digitalisation to me is not so much about the outcomes; it’s about the attitudes and the culture. Our clinicians are now asking how they can digitise something. Successful digitalisation involves relationship management.”

McMahon is working to consolidate the two digital IT service departments, while


delivering digital enabling solutions. Staff feedback can help with this. “We often do surveys with our employees and they’ll come back saying ‘we want to have input in the decisions that affect us’,” she explains. “In taking this role, I committed to working closely with employees so they can have an input on what the design would be to create a modern, joined-up, digital service.”

McMahon knows there is plenty of work to do at the two trusts, yet feels fortunate to have such knowledgeable employees.

“While there is anxiety, they are stepping up to that,” she says. “But I fully believe part of this strategy is that employees engage in helping to co-create what the service needs to be.”

If McMahon wrote a memoir about working in the NHS, she wouldn’t be short on details of the personal benefits of working in another country, as well as insights on something she believes the NHS is not very good at: prioritising. The releasing of funds from the NHS – while welcome –is too fragmented and reactive, She says, which interrupts proceedings at a local level. The hope is that, as integrated care systems mature, this will improve.

“I’ll be quite forthright on this one: I’ve found it can be very challenging,” McMahon adds. “But there are so many positives and I don’t want to take away from that.” 143


144 May 2023



Here we celebrate our Top 10 healthcare events including HIMSS, Arab Health, The National Healthcare CFO Summit, ViVE, 2023 Curesearch Summit, LSX & more

Each year, industry events bring together the experts, leaders, pioneers and new faces from across the healthcare sector. This is a chance for healthcare professionals to network, look for opportunities to grow and glean where to invest.

Our Top 10 are: HIMSS, Arab Health, The National Healthcare CFO Summit (a marcus evans summit), ViVE, 2023 Curesearch Summit, LSX and LSX World Congress, Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit, Intelligent Health and MedTech Summit.

We’re almost halfway into 2023 and it’s time to start making plans for next year – where will you be? What will you learn? Check out our Top 10 healthcare events for some ideas.

TOP 10 145

MedTech Summit

Brussels, Belgium

19th-23rd June

For healthcare professionals specialising in medtech, this industry event is suited to professionals who want to share updates and solve modern problems in the sector.

Post-pandemic, this is a hybrid event from Belgium, where presentations will be recorded and made available on-demand for 10 days. Topics to be covered include: EU MDR/ IVDR, Clinical Investigations, Post-Market Surveillance, Software/AI, Biocompatibility, Law & Compliance and Global Market Access.

There will be critical insights offered by Competent Authority, Notified Body, and Medical Device and IVD Industry Pioneers and associate sponsors include EY, Knoell, RQM+ and Veranex.

LSX World Congress

London, UK

3rd-4th May

LSX events take place across the world, from London to Copenhagen and Boston (see number six).

The company is on a mission to ‘connect life science executives with the partners they need to flourish’.

This is the ninth LSX World Congress event in Europe.

CEOs from across biopharma, medtech and more will be brought together alongside investors, where they can discuss new ideas to help improve patient outcomes.

The event will begin with a keynote presentation on ‘Defining The Future Of Medtech’ by Jennifer Joe from AstraZeneca and conclude with a panel discussion ‘In Pursuit Of ESG – Are You Incinerating Profit?

TOP 10
146 May 2023

Intelligent Health

London, UK

24th-25th May

At Intelligent Health, the aim is to accelerate the safe usage of AI, to allow the full use of its benefits in a safe and ethical manner and at an appropriate scale. This event will bring together the top minds who can make this possible.

Everyone’s invited to join Intelligent Health in its mission to advance the technological collaboration of AI in healthcare, from across healthcare professionals working in hospitals, to those in Big Tech, AI startups, pharma and biotech, to medical device manufacturers and health insurers, academics and investors.

Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit

Boston, USA

7th June

The annual Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit (DHIS) brings together the pioneering manufacturers, investors and policymakers who dream of reshaping healthcare.

Topics on the 2023 agenda include: the future of direct-toconsumer healthcare, digital health regulations and policies, as well as the rise of IaaS and IoT in Healthcare. In addition, broader themes will be explored, such as providing healthcare for underserved populations and the current challenges in women's health and a conclusive healthcare executive keynote fireside chat.

TOP 10 147
Digital Content for Digital People THE TOP 100 WOMEN IN SUSTAINABILITY OUT NOW Read now

LSX Congress USA

Boston, USA

13rd-14th September

The LSX World Congress USA is in the middle of small-scale conferences and large-scale exhibits, and is suited to any healthcare business at any stage in their development. This event will bring together North America’s leading healthcare CEOs for two days.

The event looks at three main areas: CEOs working in health technology, healthcare investors and large pharma. The delegation aims to be relevant to the issues in modern healthcare and be an excellent opportunity for those seeking to form partnerships or invest.

Washington, USA

27th-28th April

For 30 years, the goal at CureSearch for Children’s Cancer is to end childhood cancer forever by initiating targeted and innovative research with proven results in a realistic time frame.

The 2023 Summit will look at the potential of machine learning and AI in medicine broadly, in addition to paediatric oncology and the big data revolution. There is also a pre-summit discussion webinar titled ‘The Challenges and Promises of Artificial Intelligence in Drug Development’, which will include a range of healthcare experts.

2023 Curesearch Summit
TOP 10 149

ViVE 2023

Nashville, USA

26th-29th March

ViVE 2023 will take place over four days and the event has been described as ‘the fresh new way to think about the Business of Healthcare’. After its 2022 launch, ViVE is ready to deliver a second live event focused on healthcare IT innovation and business transformation.

Senior and executive leaders working in digital healthcare from both the public and private sectors will come together to discuss their experiences and share their knowledge to help support other business leaders.

21st-23rd May

Marcus evans summits are top level business forums, which welcome the business world’s best decision-makers to a space where they can meet, learn, network, discuss strategies and build solutions. The company is behind 1,000 events worldwide every year including The National Healthcare CFO Summit. This is an invitation-only event that provides a platform for senior-level healthcare finance executives, innovative suppliers and service providers. This event will be aligned with core healthcare finance issues and interests, relevant market developments and progressive ideas.

Marcus Evan Summits San Diego, USA
TOP 10 150 May 2023

Arab Health

Dubai, UAE 30th January

For 47 years, Arab Health has been at the forefront of healthcare innovation. Arab Health events welcomed thousands of healthcare sector players in Dubai for four days, full of discussion and sharing.

The January 2023 event was free to visit and included 135,880 professional visits; 63,599 visitors; 3,358 exhibitors; and 3,450 delegates. 183 countries were represented by 320 speakers and together generated US$1.81bn.

Attendees were invited to view state-of-the-art imaging equipment, cost-effective disposables, the latest advancements in prosthetics and more. As the world’s biggest collection of healthcare product manufacturers and service providers, Arab Health is the place to be for those interested in healthcare sourcing and procurement.

Arab Health is the beating heart of healthcare in the Middle East and more global gatherings will follow.

TOP 10
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Indonesia: A Digital Revolution in Healthcare

TOP 10
154 May 2023

HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition

Chicago, USA

17th-21st April

HIMSS 2023 has just concluded. Said to be the most influential health information technology event of this year, over 40,000 healthcare professionals arrived for the HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition to build relationships, learn from experts, develop their expertise and learn more about how new technologies can solve the biggest challenges in healthcare.

For over 60 years, HIMSS has focused its operations throughout North America, Europe, the UK, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

It is a nonprofit, which provides a breadth of healthcare expertise across innovation,

public policy, the development of healthcare professionals, research and analytics, which can guide healthcare leaders and stakeholders on the best practices. The nonprofit is an advisor, thought leader and member association dedicated to advancing the healthcare sector.

HIMSS has a communitycentred vision to offer core insights and education to healthcare providers, payers, governments, startups, life sciences and other broader healthcare services and businesses, as well as thought-provoking events. 155

NYCBS electronic records and robot processes help heal humans


Sean Riley,

Information Officer of New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (NYCBS), talks about how technology can help save lives and build a business

Acreative attitude to technology and growth has helped New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (NYCBS) expand its state-of-the-art services to communities in Long Island, the five boroughs of New York City, and Upstate New York. Ongoing work with electronic medical records (EMRs) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is allowing the health company to automate tasks and reduce costs as they improve and enhance their multidisciplinary approach to healthcare.

NYCBS is a world-class, patient-centred cancer care practice dedicated to bringing medical care to communities close to home. The practice’s multidisciplinary team of physicians, surgeons, nutritionists, social workers, and other health specialists work together to provide personalised care plans that focus on the mind, body, and soul. With convenient locations across Long Island,the five boroughs of New York City, and Upstate New York, patients are always close to their support network.

The practice’s commitment to providing the best possible patient experience is at the heart of its philosophy. The staff is dedicated to delivering care with kindness and compassion, and is always striving for a world free of cancer and blood disorders. With over 50 clinical trials and state-ofthe-art technology services, the practice is dedicated to advancing medical knowledge and finding new cures.


NYCBS electronic records and robot processes help heal humans

NYCBS’s Chief Information Officer Sean Riley has been a key player in the practice’s journey to provide the best possible patient experience through technology. He joined the company when a single person represented the IT department. Since then, he has witnessed the department’s growth and says, “technology has evolved from a nice-to-have to an essential component in patient-centred care.”

The company has experienced tremendous growth and has gone on to form partnerships with hospital systems, effectively turning their competitors into allies and contributing to their combined growth.

WATCH NOW 160 May 2023




Sean Riley is Chief Information Officer. He is in charge of all of the company’s information technology systems and Integrations. Sean has been part of the rapidly growing company since 2014. Prior to his role at New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, Sean was a former technician/digital marketer for Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI). Sean graduated from SUNY New Paltz, where he majored in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. Sean is currently enrolled in the CTO Program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Sean is an accomplished volleyball player and has won several gold medals in the National Champions and the Empire State Games.

“When I joined, the IT department was one person, two days a week for seven locations,” says Riley. “We now have 96 locations and an IT staff of 20. In the beginning, I was the Director of Digital Marketing and took over IT. We had older equipment and devised a game plan for each office based on size and infrastructure. We’ve been able to scale with this model, which has been helpful as we’ve grown.”

On-site services prioritise safety and convenience

NYCBS ensures patients come first, offering a wide range of on-site services prioritising safety and convenience, all provided by


a team of skilled caregivers. They believe everyone deserves access to the medical care they need, which is why they offer financial solutions to those most in need. Their physicians, nurses, and support staff are dedicated to delivering the best care without any barriers or bureaucracy, working around the clock to ensure patients receive the help they need.

A multidisciplinary approach is taken to cancer treatment, which often includes surgical, medical, and/or radiation oncology. With numerous clinical locations throughout their network, patients can receive all their

treatments in one place, making their cancer journey as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Over 50% of cancer patients will undergo radiation therapy; the experts at NYCBS use the latest high-energy radiation beams to destroy cancer cells effectively. They offer various forms of radiation, and their radiation oncologists have the knowledge to choose the best therapy based on the patient’s specific needs.

To help patients throughout their entire treatment journey, NYCBS has created the Patient Health & Wellness Program. This programme provides patients with the tools to improve their mental, nutritional, and physical health – including psychology, nutrition, social work, chronic care management, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.


The NYCBS lab is an independent, full-service clinical and anatomical pathology laboratory that provides diagnostic excellence. Their staff of experienced, board-certified pathologists and technologists use the latest state-ofthe-art technology to provide world-class care to their patients.

Research advances the field of medicine

NYCBS’s clinical research focuses on advancing the field of medicine to better provide for the medical needs of patients in the future. A clinical study is either a privately- or publicly-funded clinical research project whereby people volunteer to participate and, in doing so, contribute to our understanding of medicine.

There are two types of clinical research studies: a clinical trial is clinical research that focuses on evaluating the effectiveness and/or safety of medical devices, diagnostic procedures, products, and medications in addressing the medical needs of people. An observational study is an investigative effort to collect data on health-related participant outcomes.

In an observational study, as opposed to a clinical trial, people are not assigned specifically to an intervention – or interventions – such as a specific treatment regimen. Instead, participants receive routine medical care.

Community oncology means ensuring patients receive medical care of the highest quality, making medical care accessible and affordable to them in their own communities. By conducting clinical research in the community setting, NYCBS has a unique opportunity to give patients not only the individualised attention of their care team but also to give them the additional resources that come with a specially-trained

164 May 2023
Patchogue machine

research team to attend to their needs and guide them through their treatment journey.

Clinical research in a community setting provides the best of both clinical research and community-based medicine; that is, opportunities to access the most cuttingedge therapeutics while maintaining the convenience of allowing patients to remain close to their homes, families, and larger support networks in the process.

Automation frees up staff to take on new tasks

A key aspect of the practice’s approach to technology is the use of electronic medical records (EMRs), which all clinicians use to store patient clinical information. The practice uses Flatiron’s OncoEMR, which is flexible for oncology and has all the different pieces of information needed for the treatment of various diseases.

“All clinicians use electronic health records applications to store clinical information for patients. Oncology-focused EMRs like Flatiron’s OncoEMR are used by more than half of private practices,” says Riley. “OncoEMR provides flexibility for oncology and has all the different pieces of oncology, as it’s not just one organ, and there are different treatments for different diseases.”

OncoEMR helps relieve daily pressure for oncologists and care teams through intuitive workflows, accessible data, and by automating tasks. This frees up staff so they can do their best work. NYCBS also uses Flatiron’s research tools, including OncoTrials and the OncoEMR Research Tab, to support research operations. Powered by clinical data and machine learning algorithms, these tools help research-focused practices like NYCBS integrate research into everyday care and reduce the operational burdens of running clinical trials. These tools also help by 165


finding trial-eligible patients more easily and improving data management practices.

The practice has also adopted Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate certain tasks and reduce costs. Riley believes that RPA is the first step to freeing up staff to take on new tasks and reducing costs. The practice follows HIPAA rules and regulations and has measures to ensure patient data security, such as yearly security risk audits and two-factor authentication.

166 May 2023

“AI is a trend everyone is talking about, and is a crucial trend for companies seeking to reduce costs and free up staff for new tasks so they can instead focus on patient care”, says Riley. “Although some people may fear job losses, RPA can automate tasks such as data entry and onboarding new staff. It is estimated that around 15% of jobs can be automated, making RPA a valuable tool for streamlining operations.”

Digital patient engagement has become increasingly important in the delivery of patient-centred care. By leveraging technology, NYCBS can provide a supportive environment that helps patients and their families through every step of their journey.

“The big hospital systems have all the pieces in place, including a patient portal and a system that collects demographic and clinical information,” says Riley. “Small healthcare facilities or private practices may use different companies for practice management and EMR. However, digital patient engagement is becoming more important, and patients expect to have access to their information and be able to communicate with their healthcare provider through a patient portal.”

Data security is important, especially in medical work, and Riley says there are many measures in place, such as following HIPAA rules and regulations, yearly security risk audits, and knowing where the data is going.

“EMRs and practice management systems are mostly in the cloud these days, so data security is not completely in our control,” says Riley. “Security has become a big part of HIPAA, and with the rise in cybersecurity prices due to breaches, it has become even more important.”

Though Riley comes from a digital marketing background, he says some qualities and experience have been useful in his new career in technology management. “Solving problems creatively has been helpful,” says Riley. “I think it’s important to come up with solutions by thinking outside the box. There are always problems, but if you can work on figuring out how to solve them, it’s tremendous.” 167 NY CANCER & BLOOD SPECIALISTS

enables care at home for everyone

168 May 2023 169 BEST BUY HEALTH

Best Buy Health engaged PwC

Strategy& to help drive a broad technology transformation designed to enable wellness, aging and care at home for everyone

There are two truths in modern healthcare: patients want to recover at home, and healthcare professionals need a way to easier utilise the technology available to provide care at home and improve patient outcomes. That is where Best Buy Health comes in.

Best Buy Health enables care at home for everyone, and to do this, focuses on three strategic areas: wellness at home, ageing at home, and care at home.

Best Buy Health built its strategy on the strengths of the Best Buy brand, including its holistic retail channels that offer the health technology customers need, its expansive distribution channels that help get customers technology quickly and their ability to help customers with their tech products right inside their homes through Geek Squad. No one has the combination of these abilities at scale like Best Buy does.

“Technology is at the centre of everything Best Buy Health does and more than ever, the role of technology in healthcare is becoming a crucial component of delivering care to patients and improving their experiences and outcomes,” explains Jean Olive, Chief Technology Officer at Best Buy Health.

Olive is responsible for all information and technology systems, product research, design and development for Best Buy Health.

“Technology is already in our homes and we know that healthcare is coming into our

170 May 2023 BEST BUY HEALTH 171

homes but requires complex technology to make it successful – that’s why we focus on what we do best. We’re not looking to actually provide the care for patients, we’re enabling the care by building an ecosystem that supports the entire care-at-home process.”

Throughout her career, Olive has worked for companies where she personally connected with their purpose. She previously worked in aerospace and defence, and then Philips Healthcare. In 2021, she jumped at the opportunity to get back into healthcare after experiencing the need for transformative technology.

“My dad had congestive heart failure and the last four months of his life were extremely difficult,” Olive explains. “It was during the height of COVID-19 and he ended up in the hospital for monitoring three times, unable to have anyone visit him. The whole time I was thinking that his quality of life would have been better if he could

“Caregivers are willing to invest in these technologies to help their loved ones feel safe and to give themselves peace of mind knowing there are others out there helping provide care to their loved one”
172 May 2023 BEST BUY HEALTH







Jean Olive is the Chief Technology Officer of Best Buy Health for Best Buy Co. Inc., responsible for technology strategy and architecture, product design and delivery, digital transformation, and operational excellence. Jean’s career has been centred on global companies with a mission to improve and save lives where she progressed through a variety of engineering, supply chain, programme management and leadership positions at Raytheon Technologies, Royal Philips, and Schneider Electric.

Jean is passionate about the impact that delivering care in the home using technology-enabled solutions can have on the quality of care for everyone. Jean is a champion for advancing women in technology and leadership, seeing inclusion and diversity as a competitive advantage. Jean and her husband, Stephen, have five grown children, enjoy lake life, entertaining and travelling.

Jean received her BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Connecticut, is a member of the UConn Academy of Distinguished Engineers and serves on the School of Engineering advisory committee. She is the executive sponsor of the Best Buy Health Inclusion and Diversity and Learning Councils and serves on the advisory board for Women in Tech. 173

Best Buy Health support the elderly with at home technology

have been monitored at home – and life would have been less stressful for my Mom and our family caring for him if they were able to do so at home.

The day of his funeral, Olive got a message from Deborah Di Sanzo, President of Best Buy Health.

“I knew it was time for me to get back into health and focus on delivering technologies solutions in the home to improve patients’ and caregivers’ lives as well as the quality of care for patients,” Olive says.

One year and seven months into this role, Olive was recognised as a leader in wellness at home.

“It's wonderful that we're really getting recognition,” she says. “Nobody wants to be in the hospital, but when people are at home, we know that they eat better, they

“Best Buy Health is a really unique and important contributor to solving and supporting this trend of healthcare consumerisation”
174 May 2023 BEST BUY HEALTH

sleep better, they move more, and they're with their family and pets!”

“We do know, however, that in some circumstances where patients are receiving care at home, they can experience loneliness. That’s why we work so hard to provide care with our suite of products and services through the Lively brand as well as our Caring Centres, staffed by real people who can help with a variety of health-related needs including everything from medical emergencies, scheduling appointments or just providing comfort to those who need it.”

Kevin McLellan is a principal at PwC Strategy& as well as one of the leaders in its MedTech strategy and growth practice, with his work focused on helping MedTech companies grow and expand their impact with patients and health systems.

Unlike Olive, McLellan landed in healthcare quite accidentally.

“Both of my parents were speech pathologists, and I grew up in their speech and hearing clinic, which, for a young kid, was not very exciting,” he says. “I said I would never work in healthcare. Interestingly, I also said I'd never be a consultant!”

But what led McLellan to healthcare is not dissimilar from Olive’s story.

“My kid sister got breast cancer and we lost her too early, in her mid-thirties. About the same time, I had been working in high tech for 15 years and had the opportunity to serve a big healthcare client, quite unexpectedly. As I got into it, I very quickly realised that I was enjoying doing work in the healthcare space far more than I was in the high-tech space. I feel passionate about 175
176 May 2023

finding ways to improve healthcare delivery and continuing to drive change in an industry that really needs to change rapidly to meet the needs of patients in a digital age.”

PwC and Best Buy Health have worked together to drive a technology transformation that enables continued growth and that expands the reach of the Best Buy Health services that help so many patients and caregivers improve healthcare.

How Best Buy Health supports the ageing community For those ageing at home…

People are living longer and the population is increasing, but studies show once someone has to leave their home for an assisted living centre or a nursing home, their quality of life can significantly decline. Best Buy Health helps improve that experience for everyone – even those living in rural areas who may not have previously had access to the healthcare they need to live longer and live safely.

“Our Lively brand offers everything from flip phones to pendant alarms,” explains Olive. “Our products are best-in-class. They have fall detection, as well as emergency response buttons connected to our Caring Centres for human interaction, and help with a variety of needs.”

Lively’s health and safety services can also be accessed through smart devices like Amazon’s Alexa.

“Patients can just say ‘I need help’ and they will be connected our care centre,” says Olive.

“Imagine if you’re a caregiver for your ageing parent and they live alone in their home. Something comes up unexpectedly and you’re unable to visit them that day and, as a result, your parent experiences a deep feeling of loneliness. Using one of our Lively devices, your parent contacts our Caring Centre and is connected with an empathetic employee 177 BEST BUY HEALTH

who provides them with a sense of comfort. In addition to this example of loneliness, our Caring Centre employees can help with a variety of other needs, including helping to provide emergency medical assistance, scheduling appointments and more.

“The caregivers really need this peace of mind. So, we connect back to them to ensure they understand what is happening with their loved ones with the help of our Lively app,” says Olive. “As the caregiver, if your loved one presses the HELP button, you’re alerted. Caregivers are willing to invest in these technologies to help their loves ones feel safe and to give themselves peace of mind knowing there are others out there helping provide care to their loved one.”

For those receiving care at home…

Through Current Health, a recent acquisition made by Best Buy Health, the platform collects patient data from across various health technology devices recommended by providers for their care-at-home programme and then ensures the data is shared with the patient’s care team. This data helps monitor a patient’s progress and can allow providers to adjust a care plan in real-time if needed. Current Health also offers a Clinical Command Centre managed by nurses who monitor systems and check vital signs as a first line of defence to any triage that needs to occur during the care at home experience.

“For example, if your blood pressure goes up, a nurse from the Clinical Command Centre will call the patient to discuss the change. Sometimes the reasoning can be easily explained by a patient: ‘I know. Yesterday, I went out to eat and had bunch of salty appetisers’, and other times it might be something we need to further investigate. This is how we can monitor patients so that they can stay at home and stay healthy.”

Olive envisions a tipping point for at-home care.

“We know people want to receive care at home rather than stay in a hospital, and our goal is for them to be able to do that as well as to advocate for themselves by understanding what is possible with the help of technology,” says Olive. “That's what we’re after –consumerisation of healthcare and enabling people to make better, more informed decisions about their own care.”

178 May 2023 BEST BUY HEALTH







Technology transformations in healthcare

Best Buy Health is working with PwC to help build the technology and service delivery capabilities that will enable Best Buy Health to deliver a higher-quality patient and caregiver experience while lowering health care delivery costs and improving the quality of care.

“We have good customer master data that helps us promote our campaigns and gather knowledge about our customers, so we can support them in their needs,” said Olive. “We're building a new ERP platform. We'll have much better order management and supply chain processes enabling technologies to support the demand while delivering customer success.”

Although Best Buy Health has a lot of data, it can be a complex process to leverage it all.

“One of the most interesting areas mentioned is that you have both the realtime data coming from the devices that are touching the patient, and then you have a bunch of longitudinal information that you build over time,” says McLellan.

“One of the big challenges in healthcare data is that everybody says ‘AI is our saviour’,

Kevin is a Senior Partner in PwC’s Healthcare Advisory Practice in Boston. He leads the Medtech growth practice, helping healthcare technology companies transform and grow. Kevin has over 30 years of experience in management consulting, healthcare and high tech. He was a Partner at McKinsey & Company and has held line roles at IBM, Cognos and startup companies.

Kevin and his wife, Kristine, have 3 children (Alexandra, Liam, and Charlie) and live in North Andover, where they are busily restoring a 1790s' farmhouse. When they are not toiling to preserve history, they love to ski and travel together as a family. Kevin also volunteers on the Lawrence General Hospital Finance Committee and at Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School in Methuen.

“Our health
are under such tremendous financial pressure at the moment”
180 May 2023

but the challenge is that the data's very fragmented. So, constructing a data set that allows you to train new AI algorithms is actually very challenging. If you look at what Best Buy Health is building, it's an important example of how longitudinal data – structured the right way – can actually unlock a lot of insights.”

Being able to respond more predictably and accurately has the potential to lower the burden on health systems and healthcare professionals.

“Our health systems are under such tremendous financial pressure at the moment,” says McLellan. “Driving this transformation in care at home, well, it's hard to understate the importance of it.”

Best Buy Health’s transformation is an investment that delivers significant business value and speeds up the business building process.

“PwC can provide us with a deep knowledge across the industry that enables us to move faster,” says Olive. “When we have issues, we can team up together to solve the problem.”

PwC has been thrilled with the chance to help Best Buy Health accelerate towards their future goals and the world they’re building.

“They're helping to build the future of healthcare – that's really true,” says McLellan. “What we strive to do is to bring our experience to help them achieve their goals.”

PwC works with many companies on technology transformations, helping them to avoid pitfalls while also offering the breadth and depth of their experience.

“We wake up every day and work to enable transformative change for our clients and the patients they serve,” says McLellan. 181 BEST BUY HEALTH
182 May 2023

Securely Scaling Animal Care through Cloud 183 ELANCO

Elanco is a global leader in animal health dedicated to innovating and delivering products and services to prevent and treat disease in farm animals and pets, creating value for farmers, pet owners, veterinarians, stakeholders, and society.

Elanco products and services provide veterinarians, farmers, and pet owners in over 90 countries around the world with a complete approach to animal health. For more than 65 years, Elanco operated as a subsidiary of a US-based pharmaceutical company. In 2018, Elanco announced a corporate separation as part of an IPO.

This was a major event for Elanco, certainly the most significant event in their nearly 70-year history, which enabled them to rebuild the IT ecosystem from the ground up.

“Very rarely does an enterprise organisation get the opportunity to reboot and rebuild IT from the ground up,” says Matthew Bull, Chief Technology and Information Security Officer at Elanco.

“Over the last few years, Elanco IT has been working to unlock the value of modern architecture and technologies, which we believe will act as a differentiator, enabling us to deliver new innovative products and services to our customers around the world.”

After its split from Eli Lilly & Company, Elanco set its eyes on rebooting and rebuilding its entire IT ecosystem. Matthew Bull, CTO and CISO, tells us how
184 May 2023 ELANCO 185

Scaling-up Elanco with automation

Bull says scaling at speed has been a critical part of the process.

“We recognised very early on that our ability to deliver at scale couldn't be accomplished if we were to follow traditional, manual processes. For this reason, we placed a heavy emphasis on automation.”

At Elanco, prioritising automation meant a shift in our focus towards a cloud native architecture following software-defined techniques.

“First, we defined our desired IT engagement model and developer experience. We then built a cloud-agnostic automation stack using technologies from companies such as HashiCorp and Red Hat.

“Cloud can only be cost-effective when the principles of a cloud-native architecture are embedded in everything you design, implement, and support”
ELANCO 186 May 2023

“The objective was to deliver a programmatically defined IT ecosystem where services are provisioned, supported and secured as code. This paradigm unlocks speed to value, agility and flexibility when scaling and securing the IT ecosystem for internal and external users.

“We embraced the core principles and techniques of cloud across the value chain, covering research and development, manufacturing, and commercial,” he says.

“The intent was to deliver a standardised, highly repeatable experience facilitated through automation. This approach unlocks autonomy for our product and project teams, whilst enforcing proactive controls to ensure we meet our quality, privacy, security and compliance obligations.”






Matthew Bull is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Elanco.

Educated at Bournemouth University (UK) and Stanford University Graduate School of Business (US).

Accountable for the IT Strategy, Strategic Investments, Architecture, Engineering and Cybersecurity. 187

Data-Driven Digital Engineering

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Elanco’s approach to effective cloud utilisation

Bull reiterates that automation is the key to enabling Elanco to use the cloud effectively. He says if you are trying to operate workloads in the cloud - which by their very nature can be highly dynamic (ephemeral) - you need to have a mechanism that can keep pace, not reliant on traditional service requests.

This is especially true when looking to maximise the strengths of cloud, including continued innovation, cost optimisation and security.

“The automation layer gives us end-to-end visibility, as well as the ability to proactively and reactively manage our workloads, covering spend and our security posture.”

Cloud automation, Bull says, also enables dynamic scaling (up and down).

“Seen from the other side of the coin, if we were attempting to do this manually, not only would we need a lot of human capacity, but realistically we wouldn't have the speed and agility that is being demanded by our business and customers.”

“We recognised very early on that our ability to deliver at scale couldn't be accomplished if we were to follow traditional, manual processes”

Elanco: Securely Scaling Animal Care through Cloud

“We’re keepers of our own destiny”

Cloud is not a destination

Bull points out that the cloud is very different from how Elanco had been operating historically, which predominantly oriented around on-premises-based capabilities.

He says: “When operating on-premises, you are generally managing the end-to-end technology stack. The cloud is very different, including the financial model associated with it.

“I think one of the traps with cloud is to consider it a destination. Instead, it must be

positioned as a shift in philosophy regarding how work gets done, with a focus on the business processes.”

“Cloud can only be cost-effective when the principles of a cloud-native architecture are embedded in everything you design, implement, and support. If you fail to adjust, you are likely to experience spiralling costs, which will quickly erode the wider value proposition and any anticipated return on investment.”

Bull points out that it's a continuous activity embedded with their product and project

190 May 2023 ELANCO

teams to ensure they’re managing their cloud workloads effectively - and scaling them appropriately to take advantage of cost-control mechanisms.

“Due to its complex nature, this is an area that requires a lot of focus and pre-planning.

Elanco’s most significant event in their nearly 70-year


which enabled them to rebuild the IT ecosystem from the ground up

“Wherever possible, we have built these foundational processes and standards into our automation because ultimately that's the best (maybe only) way to drive adherence at scale.”

From challenges to opportunities Bull says that for him, the most exciting aspect of this transformation is the

opportunity it presents to deliver new value to customers through digital and data business models.

“Initially, as part of the corporate separation, the goal was simply to get to a position where Elanco could operate effectively and securely as a standalone organisation whilst continuing to meet our customers’ expectations.

“Things are not perfect, with processes that must continue to mature, but I feel we achieved the desired outcome and we're very proud of the achievement. The are I get most excited about is the next wave of innovation that these capabilities can now unlock. 191

“I absolutely think the modern foundations we have established are a market differentiator that presents us with an ability to go after emerging digital and data business models.

“We are now able to move with speed, bringing new capabilities to our customers. It all comes back to the customer and the innovation we can unlock.”

Elanco’s partner ecosystem

Elanco, like many large enterprises, has a broad partner ecosystem.

“Our goal is to try to find partners with complimentary purpose and values,” Bull says. “There are some I would call out that have really helped us on this journey.”

WinWire’s Cloud-expertise

“First and foremost, I would recognise WinWire, an organisation that brings a wealth of application and data expertise

192 May 2023
“The next exciting phase for Elanco is to unlock innovation for our customers around the world”

to the table. The sheer scale of the work over the past few years is beyond anything I have experienced in my career. There was a huge amount we needed to learn, and frankly, it would've been unrealistic for our teams to succeed within the aggressively defined timelines.

“We brought in WinWire, and they came with the cloud, application and data expertise we needed.

“The uniqueness of that relationship was WinWire engaged as a partner, focused on the Elanco business outcome, which goes above and beyond a traditional clientvendor relationship.

“WinWire's team operated on the ground, as an embedded part of our product and

project teams. They brought specific expertise, right-sized for the job - expertise that Elanco simply didn't have access to at the time.

“They also brought horsepower and an ability to scale up where needed, to drive towards our outcomes and deadlines.”

He says the other piece WinWire brought was helping Elanco implement and buildout the automation stack.

“A big part of our automation stack was the creation of predefined patterns that align with the workloads that we most commonly use across Elanco,” he says. “WinWire completed an application and data dependency exercise to ensure the goal was clearly defined. They then supported the design and delivery of the patterns, treating them as products of their own. Our product and project teams use these patterns as the consistent starting point for all digital/data workloads.”

HashiCorp Terraform

Another of Elanco’s key partners was HashiCorp, who, Bull says, brought a host of forward-looking, open-source technologies to the table.

“We have positioned HashiCorp Terraform as our infrastructure-as-code software tool, standardising how we design and deliver solutions,” Bull says.

“The advantage of Terraform is that it directly enables our Hybrid Multi-Cloud strategy.

“We believe the future is Hybrid MultiCloud, providing a flexible foundation to meet our regulatory and compliance requirements alongside our innovation expectations.

“The challenge, of course, is how do you support and scale Hybrid Multi-Cloud effectively? 193 ELANCO
“I see tremendous opportunity in our future with a focus on digital and data capabilities”

“That is where Terraform and the associated HashiCorp technologies, which are predominantly cloud-agnostic, have made a big difference.

“Terraform enables us to programmatically define a set of controls built from our policies, directives and standards. These controls can then be provisioned across different hosting environments as needed.”

“Additionally, we're managing a single codebase for each of the automation patterns.

“It brings the ability to support at scale and the obvious benefit of cost optimisation by only building things once and having a consistent skillset.”

“Last but not least,” says Bull, “by ensuring key quality, privacy and security controls are programmatically defined and proactively enforced, Elanco can easily verify the architecture meets all compliance obligations.”

Future opportunity

A standalone Elanco ensures “we are keepers of our own destiny,” says Bull. “The next exciting phase for Elanco is to unlock innovation for our customers around the world.”

“I see tremendous opportunity in our future with a focus on digital and data business models.

“Whether we're looking across pet or farm - both with a unique set of challenges, I think these markets are primed for a digital revolution.

“I'm incredibly excited about Elanco's leadership role within this transformation, and I believe the foundations we've established will act as a competitive advantage for years to come.” 195 ELANCO

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