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The Eagle Has Landed. And It’s Hot as Hell.

July 22, 2019

The word of the week was: hydration.

I never thought Chicago could be hotter than India (or Singapore, or Thailand) in July. All of those places I swung through in the first two weeks of July seemed balmy in comparison to la mia citta.

As I lay in bed last week deliriously fighting off uncontrollable chills and stomach flu, I couldn’t help but wonder if automation in healthcare isn’t progressing fast enough. Case in point: “Grace,” a chatbot launched by Providence St. Joseph that triages symptoms and offers to schedule a visit to a clinic. My online message to my provider via myChart elicited a response after two days, and the message was to call their after-hours service! When I did reach the doctor, she asked the standard triaging questions a bot could have asked. I am pretty certain that if I had immediate access to a Grace, I could have saved an extra day of recovery (and saved the on-call doc the inconvenience and stress of an after-hour call intruding on her family time). I can imagine Grace would have diagnosed my condition just as accurately and decided that since I was in no shape to drive, a ride-share to the nearest urgent care was necessary and would have arranged it. All with mostly yes/ no responses to questions, which, for someone feeling sick and weak, can be quite an effort. Would have been a life saving Grace.

A related, but curious, coincidence is Modern Healthcare’s recent survey on risk-based contracts. The report suggests that the transition to risk is happening slowly; however, my provider Edward-Elmhurst Health in Naperville, IL came out on top with 85% of revenues coming from at-risk models. Wonder if that has anything to do with a two-day lag in responding to an online query.

As we celebrate the moon landing’s 50th anniversary, the story of one of humanity’s greatest achievements may well be acknowledged as the birth of silicon valley as we know it.

Digital transformation in healthcare: our picks for the week

The transition to risk-based contracts is happening slowly

Modern Healthcare’s survey shows wide variations in the adoption of risk-based models for payment.

Chatbots gaining ground in healthcare to boost access, hospital workforce

As automation gains ground in healthcare delivery, it’s time for bots to take on routine and repetitive tasks and ease the burden on a strained workforce.

Microsoft and Providence St. Joseph Health announce strategic alliance to accelerate the future of care delivery

Large health systems like Providence are making strategic bets on digital platforms.

Selling your private information is a terrible idea

Claiming ownership of personal health data is one thing. Monetizing it is an entirely different challenge. Early days yet.

Intermountain spins off new company to help ease the transition to value-based payments

One more spinoff from a leading health system validating the opportunity landscape for monetizing the internal innovations.

Baring Private Equity Asia to buy CitiusTech

Mid-tier tech firms with a healthcare focus are looking very attractive to PE firms. There’s not that many out there.


My favorite piece on remembering the moon landing. It was as much about computers and software as about humans. And the launch of a little piece of silicon wafer called a transistor.

The latest from Damo Consulting

Podcast – Episode #17: With Mike McSherry, Chief Executive Officer, Xealth

Healthcare IT podcast: “Digital health solutions should be ‘doctor prescribed.’”

Aligning stakeholder groups in enterprise digital transformation

Our latest white paper looks at what successful Chief Digital Officers do to align stakeholders across the enterprise.

The WITCH Monthly Monitor: Monthly update on major global IT consulting and services firms in healthcare (June 2019)

A surge in deals from the public sector.

The WITCH Report: 2018 Annual Review

A review of the financial and market performance of global technology firms in healthcare.


Coronavirus conversations

March 23, 2020 Starting this week, I am doing a series of podcast interviews with healthcare IT leaders who are now in the spotlight as

Extreme social distancing

March 16, 2020 For the coming weeks, this newsletter will focus on curating articles from credible sources that provide useful information on the coronavirus crisis.

What Hath God Wrought?

March 09, 2020 I borrow the subject line this week from the first ever telegraph message by Samuel F.B. Morse in 1843. Now, as then,

No handshakes, please. Namaste.

March 02, 2020 As I write this, HIMSS2020 is set to proceed as scheduled, with additional precautions to prevent any possible risk of infection with