It’s been some eight years since I hung up the Chilmark Research shingle and started this business. I founded the company on a simple belief that still holds true today: Effective deployment and use of IT can demonstrably improve care delivery processes and ultimately the patient experience. I had based this belief on the personal experience of seeing massive positive change occur in the manufacturing sector as a result of effective IT adoption. It seemed only natural that a knowledge intensive industry, such as healthcare, would also reap huge benefits from IT.
That belief led to a simple mission statement for Chilmark:
Provide the healthcare industry with forward looking, fact-based research on transformational IT that can positively affect the healthcare delivery process.
I may have been a bit naive when first jumping into this convoluted industry sector about the challenges facing it on its road to digitization but again reflecting back on the manufacturing industry – there were certainly a nearly equal amount of challenges there. I have also been fortunate enough to have made many friends along the way in this sector who have served as advisors, mentors and teachers, freely sharing their knowledge which has kept me pushing ahead. Most importantly though and what really keeps me going is the opportunity to contribute in a very meaningful way to society. Everyone has a healthcare story – I want to make more of those positive.
But along this path, I also discovered that I alone would struggle to fulfill my vision – I needed others to join with me on this journey. Fortunately, the industry has been kind to me providing the resources to continue to grow Chilmark Research and over the last several years I have been able to slowly but steadily recruit analysts allowing our research efforts to expand far beyond what I alone would have been able to accomplish.
Expanding the Team
A little over a month ago, we successfully recruited Jody Ranck to our team. Jody was previously the lead healthcare analyst for GigaOm and before that has worked in many different capacities in the healthcare sector, primarily as a researcher. I had been following Jody’s work at GigaOm for the last few years where he wrote on a variety of cutting edge healthcare topics (e.g., analytics, wearables, pharma beyond the pill, etc.). When GigaOm pulled the plug, I quickly reached out to Jody and signed him on to lead our research efforts in the analytics realm.
This week, Brian Eastwood joined the Chilmark team as well coming to us from the trade press side of the healthcare industry. Brian interviewed me on a number of occasions for the publications he worked at, including CIO.com, HealthPayer and TechTarget. I was always impressed with the amount of research Brian did in preparing for these interviews and he always asked good questions. So when Brian approached me about the possibility of making the transition from journalist to analyst – I had no doubt that he could successfully make that transition. Brian will be teaming up with our patient engagement analyst, Naveen and together these two will do ground-breaking research on Consumer-directed Health.
Investing in these two resources is reflective of what I see as two of the biggest challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector.
The digitization of clinical data is, in time, going to provide profound insights on what are the most effective treatments at the individual level. These insights may also uncover previously unknown risks, for example last week’s news out of Stanford that popular PPI medications elevate risk of heart attack. Clinical practice is driven by science and science needs good data and analysis. The industry has but scratched the surface on the potential of analytics to significantly improve the healthcare delivery supply chain.
Secondly, I foresee a massive need for solid research on the role of the consumer in healthcare (frankly, never liked the word consumer and patient is not quite right either – maybe citizen is a better word). There are some very significant macro-factors occurring across healthcare that will, at last, drive a more patient/consumer/citizen-centric approach. How organizations large and small respond to consumer-directed health will play a crucial role in their long-term survival.
There is so much change occurring within healthcare, at times I find it difficult to keep pace with it all. Honestly, I have no idea how most healthcare IT leaders can even begin to keep pace with it. And that is where the role of the analyst comes in. It is our job to track this industry through in-depth research and then report our findings in a concise way that actually saves time for the IT leadership team. Moving forward, there is no lack of research topics to cover, our only hope at Chilmark Research is that by focusing our research on those issues, technologies and vendors that are truly transformational to the delivery of care, we will assist the industry as a whole in affecting positive change in the care delivery process and ultimately improve the patient experience.
[…] John pointed out last week, I’m the newest member of Chilmark Research. I’ve joined the team to wrap my head […]