February 2018
Vol 6 | Issue 168

Q&A with Harry Glorikian

Author of MoneyBall Medicine: Thriving in the New Data-Driven Healthcare Market.

Principal Series:

Family Office Insights sits down with Harry Glorikian, Author of MoneyBall Medicine, to discuss the business challenges and opportunities arising for those working in one of the most vibrant sectors of the world’s economy: healthcare. In order to succeed in the new, cost-conscious and value-based environment, Harry maps out many of these changes taking place, describes how they are impacting everyone from patients to researchers to insurers, and outlines some predictions for this industry in the years to come.

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Introduction from MoneyBall Medicine:

How can a smartwatch help patients with diabetes manage their disease? Why can’t patients find out prices for surgeries and other procedures before they happen? How can researchers speed up the decade-long process of drug development? How will “Precision Medicine” impact patient care outside of cancer? What can doctors, hospitals, and health systems do to ensure they are maximizing high-value care? How can healthcare
entrepreneurs find success in this data-driven market?

A revolution is transforming the $10 trillion healthcare landscape, promising greater transparency, improved efficiency, and new ways of delivering care. This new landscape presents tremendous opportunity for those who are ready to embrace the data-driven reality. Having the right data and knowing how to use it will be the key to success in the healthcare market in the future. We are already starting to see the impacts in drug development, precision medicine, and how patients with rare diseases are diagnosed and treated. Startups are launched every week to fill an unmet need and address the current problems in the healthcare system. Digital devices and artificial intelligence are helping doctors do their jobs faster and with more accuracy.

This book, which includes interviews with dozens of healthcare leaders, describes the business challenges and opportunities arising for those working in one of the most vibrant sectors of the world’s economy. Doctors, hospital administrators, health information technology directors, and entrepreneurs need to adapt to the changes effecting healthcare today in order to succeed in the new, cost-conscious and value-based environment of the future. The authors map out many of the changes taking place, describe how they are impacting everyone from patients to researchers to insurers, and outline some predictions for the healthcare industry in the years to come.

Tell us about your background and your book, MoneyBall Medicine.

I have been in the healthcare industry for 27 years. I started my career in pathology, specifically in personalized medicine, where tools can help better identify disease and identify the correct therapy for a patient. After some entrepreneurial jaunts of starting my own companies, I ended up at Applied Biosystems where we made all the instrumentations for the Human Genome Project. We spun out a company, Celera Genomics, which was instrumental in producing the code for the first human genome that was published in Science in 2001. Soon afterwards, I started Scientia Advisors, a strategy-consulting firm focused on healthcare, which I grew over 8 years, and was acquired by Precision for Medicine in November of 2012. As in many acquisitions, I stayed on for 18 months, and then left when GE Ventures contacted me to help them ideate and spin out new companies. Although I was lucky to have worked with a great group at GE and to create 2 new companies, I am currently General Partner at New Ventures Funds where I continue to build new companies.

The kernel of the idea for MoneyBall Medicine: Thriving in the New Data-Driven Healthcare Market came about a few years ago when I was thinking about how data was going to impact the practice of medicine and the industry as a whole. I thought of how to present a variety of topics and the right people who could share real concrete experiences and stories on how to implement the needed analytics into the real world—instead of hypothetically talking about what the future could look like. This whole concept of gathering and leveraging data is changing everything, and I wanted to share how it is and will have a profound effect on healthcare and medicine. I think if people understood and appreciated the integration of data and analytics into healthcare, then we could completely change the healthcare industry.

Unlike most industries, in the healthcare world, no matter what you do or how you do it, the system pays you. There’s no true driver of efficiency here, because it’s not truly a competitive environment. As a patient, if you go to the hospital—where you’re at the mercy of the system because you can’t look at the quality or price of services prior to getting treatment. This was a problem certain pieces of the Affordable Care Act attempted to fix, by stating that we should be paying for outcomes. We want to make sure if we pay someone that the product that is produced is as high quality as it can be. This is like every other industry that we interact with on a regular basis. You can look at the price, quality, and reputation before deciding what you’re willing to pay for, except in healthcare. But leveraging data and analytics we can bring transparency to the system and help improve outcomes, easing the difficulty of making those decisions, drastically.

Who did you write this book for? Who is the target reader?

The biggest takeaway I’d like readers to have is that data and technology are already starting to make big differences in patient care, drug development, and nearly every aspect of healthcare, but it’s time to go from being a novelty that just a few places are taking advantage of, to an industry where everyone is using the tools necessary to drive accelerated change. When we have systems in place for collecting and analyzing the data, we can use those insights to transform healthcare to produce better outcomes for patients. This can result in lower pricing for the patient and optimum profits for the industry.

The average consumer can read it the book, but it might be a slow read. It’s ideally written for those who are in the industry, such as pharma, physicians, diagnostic and medical device companies, as well as investors in this space. I am getting positive responses from every group in that they are learning a lot. I recently heard from 3 different CEOs of public and private companies saying that they thoroughly enjoyed it and have now made it required reading for their boards and their employees. And it’s far more than an opinion piece—everything is cited, so it can stand alone as a reference, as well.

What were some of the challenges in writing this book?

This book came together on and off over the span of 4 years. During that time, I published another book in early 2017, so I had a lot on my plate. The hard part about writing this book was coming up with the right things to write about—healthcare is a giant topic—while still balancing the information and real-world experiences of the thought leaders I interviewed. Communicating the impact and profound change that’s coming in the healthcare industry because of data and analytics without falling prey to the hype—that was a challenge.

Are there any other books that are similar to Moneyball Medicine?

I tried to write this book to be as down to earth as possible by being grounded in real life stories where people in the field are actually practicing the digitization of data and seeing the great impacts of it on its patients, hospitals, and companies. Typically, when physicians write similar books, they write in a way that a physician would write, meaning it doesn’t include the business aspects, which I try to tie together in MoneyBall Medicine.

From the very beginning of brainstorming for this book, I knew it was essential to have conversations with the industry’s thought leaders, to find out how their organizations were adapting to an increasingly technical field and where they saw things moving in the future. More than 30 interviews later, we have stories from people like Christoph Wald, chairman of the Department of Radiology at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, who described how they used data analytics to take a hard look at their department, from equipment utilization and radiation exposures to technician and radiologist performance, reducing their imaging defect rate to less than 1%. I spoke to Kathryn Teng, Physician Executive Director at MetroHealth Medical Center, who uses data analysis to assess what their patient population needs and uses it to strategically determine where the health system should locate physician practices and how staffing should fluctuate to accommodate those needs. I spoke with Jeff Rice, CEO of Healthcare Bluebook, and Leah Binder, President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, about using data to help bring about price and quality transparency for patients and employers. It’s real-world examples like this, from across the healthcare spectrum, that sets MoneyBall Medicine apart.

I approached MoneyBall Medicine by writing it from multiple lenses to cover the wide range so as to show how every area is up for improvement. I tried to cover different aspects of healthcare through different chapters, whether it’s drug discovery or how healthcare is managed through price transparency. If the US embraces this trajectory, then we will see a decrease in healthcare costs per person and a profound increase in quality of life, as well as, a significant profit opportunity for all the people involved.

How are you changing the landscape of your industry?

There are plenty of people out there doing the hard work of building the systems and doing the analysis to change the landscape—I’m just one person among many, working to find novel solutions in healthcare. But healthcare is still a very silo-ed industry. Big Pharma, medical device manufacturers, healthcare providers are all focused on their particular part of the whole. What I’m trying to do is take a look at the industry broadly and show people how the common thread of data and technology span across the industry. I am trying to get the message out that data and analytics are starting to break down those silos and open up people’s minds to the inevitable change that’s happening. We can resist it or embrace it—but I think it’s better for the industry as a whole if we learn to use it effectively.

If you go back 10 years and think about how profoundly things have changed because of digitization, you will see that there is not one aspect that hasn’t been affected by it. If you wrote an article before Amazon existed saying that the book business is going to be disrupted, everyone would’ve laughed. Everything has changed in such a short period of time and we’re just seeing the beginning of that in healthcare. There are skeptical people out there that don’t believe healthcare can change quickly, but based on history and data, once you digitize something, the existing business models will be manipulated. That sets the stage for the next Amazon, Facebook, Google or Apple to emerge in the healthcare industry.

What’s the mission of your book?

My mission is to get people to think about how to implement data in what they’re doing in and surrounding healthcare. For investors, it’s fair to say there are opportunities in healthcare similar in trajectory to being one of the first investors in Facebook or Google. My goal is to get people to read MoneyBall Medicine and use their influence, identify the ideas they can take forward, and create opportunities. If you get thousands of people reading and thinking about data, analytics, and healthcare differently, you’ve influenced the space in thousands of small ways, but yielding dynamic and important change industry-wide. There’s going to be a strong shift in the world—what remains to be seen is how the industry responds.

What’s next for you?

Currently, I’m working to expand the readership of MoneyBall Medicine. I feel passionately about bringing these ideas and examples that show how data and analytics are changing the industry to people across the spectrum—from CEOs at tech companies to execs at Pharma to leaders of health care systems. Right now, I’m doing talks and book signings to promote the book and people have been very receptive. I have a series of articles that will be coming out online in the upcoming months that will continue to show how MoneyBall Medicine is transforming the industry.

I’m also a General Partner at New Ventures Fund, where I am able to leverage my decades of experience in the industry and these ideas to make investment decisions. Understanding how data, technology, analytics are reshaping the healthcare industry is a tremendous advantage when separating promising innovations from hype and when building new companies or showing existing ones how they can accelerate growth.

Harry Glorikian

Harry Glorikian is an influential global business expert with more than three decades of experience building successful ventures in North America, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. Harry is well known for achievements in life sciences, healthcare, diagnostics, healthcare IT and the convergence of these areas. He is a sought-after speaker, frequently quoted in the media, and regularly asked to assess, influence, and be part of innovative concepts and trends. He holds four US patents in telecommunications, and has others pending.

He currently serves as General Partner at New Ventures Funds. Before joining New Ventures Funds, he served as an Entrepreneur In Residence to GE Ventures – New Business Creation Group. He currently serves on the board of GeneNews Ltd. (a molecular diagnostic company). He also serves on the advisory board of Evidation Health (a digital health startup launched with support from GE Ventures), and several other companies. He is also a co-founder and an advisory board member of DrawBridge Health (a revolutionary diagnostics startup launched with support from GE Ventures).

Previously he co-founded and held the position of managing director and head of consulting services for Scientia Advisors, a company that became the go-to provider of strategic advice and implementation services for next-generation healthcare and life science innovators and Global 25 market leaders. Scientia Advisors was acquired by Precision for Medicine in November of 2012. Among his other professional roles, Mr. Glorikian served as senior manager for global business development at PE Applied Biosystems, founded X-Cell Laboratories, managed global sales at Signet Laboratories and held various roles at BioGenex Laboratories.

Mr. Glorikian holds an MBA from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University. Harry has addressed the National Institutes of Health, Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference, World Theranostics Congress and other audiences, worldwide. He has authored numerous articles for industry publications, appeared on CBS Evening News and been quoted regularly by Dow Jones, The Boston GlobeBioWorld Today, Los Angeles Times, London Independent, Medical Device Daily, Science Magazine, Genetic Engineering News and many other media outlets. He is also the Author of two books: Commercializing Novel IVD’s; A Comprehensive Manual for Success and MoneyBall Medicine: Thriving in the New Data-Driven Healthcare Market.


If you have any questions, please contact Harry at harry@glorikian.com.