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Duke Health Sector Management Program's Annual Medical Innovations and Strategies Conference 2010 Podcast Preview Series

An Interview with Gopal Chopra, MD, MBA, FRACS

Listen to the Interview:

Read the Transcript:


Gopal Chopra, MD, MBA, FRACS
Associate Professor at Duke's Fuqua School of Business

Aaron B. Joslow
Duke Health Sector Management MBA Program


Aaron Joslow

Hello everyone.The Duke Health Sector Management Program is on the cutting edge of new wireless and health care technology. Its upcoming conference on Consumer Healthcare & Wireless Technologies is bringing together the best minds in business, education, and information systems to discuss one of the most pressing concerns in public policy.

Joining us to preview the conference is Gopal Chopra, an Associate Professor at Duke's Fuqua School of Business, one of the event's keynote speakers, and a leading force behind organizing the event. Welcome, Gopal.

My first question for you is: what makes wireless an issue, a great concern, to the health management community?

Gopal Chopra

So, the healthcare community today is acutely aware of the cost delivery, the expense, of healthcare and what it seems to be insurmountable cost and actually delivering high quality care.

I think wireless is extremely important because there are a variety of technologies that have been implemented across other industries successfully that have built efficiency and quality into our daily lives and implementation of that in healthcare, I think, is an extremely important agenda.

The definition of wireless, however, is evolving. The assumptions of wireless sensors is not where wireless is just restricted. I think there is more than that. In fact, even telecommunications comes under the category whereby access and other important aspects of healthcare can be delivered through technology.

So, I think the primary reason everyone sees wireless being an extremely important issue is that cost and quality can have improvements that everyone is experimenting in implementing.

Aaron Joslow

Terrific. And, Gopal, can you give some examples of the best innovations or implementations of wireless technology in the marketplace today?

Gopal Chopra

So when we look at consumer driven solutions, we as individuals are accessing information and making decisions all the time in a variety of spheres whether it's simply to book a table at a restaurant or purchase complex items whether they're cars or houses or other technology.

We can gain access to the information to make those decisions while very easy to access portals and where information is transparent. So, I think the transparency to do business and to make decisions that personally impact our quality of life and our activities is available and is growing exponentially.

I think the ability to simplify that is also growing because people are starting to interface with the consumer in more friendly ways and we are truly mobile in all of our decision-making capacity.

Where that doesn't exist is healthcare. So, that's the gap in my mind and certain business solutions as well.

Many businesses know how to deliver more efficiently product to the consumer because they can track the demand of the consumer and build it all the way back to the supply chain and the value chain. As a result of all the tracking and the knowledge of the information and the product, the decision of the purchase in the consumer hand is also enhanced.

So, I think there are many, many examples whether we're wirelessly moving money in bank accounts or we're making nutritional purchase decisions with product, the information transparency is significant enough for us to make good decisions.

Aaron Joslow

Alright. Gopal, when you speak at September's Consumer Healthcare and Wireless Technologies Conference at Duke, what are you most looking forward to sharing with participants?

Gopal Chopra

I think the exciting thing is the consumer is finally empowered.

We have talked about consumerism in healthcare for many, many years and really what we've done is changed our attitude toward the patient. They've become a client. They've become more integrated into their own healthcare decision.

But to truly be a consumer where the decision is in your hands has always been an issue because of the inability of the consumer. In this case, the patient is required to actually make the decision based upon complex data.

I believe now that we have a significant opportunity that this empowered consumer is ready to make their healthcare decisions and so that's really, I think, the focus of this year's conference.

Aaron Joslow

Terrific. And what do you think is the biggest misperception or blind spot people have when joining this conversation?

Gopal Chopra

That's a great question. Give me a second to frame this.

We as innovators are anticipating trends within healthcare or any industry, we're anticipating a trend of behavior.

The biggest blind spot, I think, the way the people don't realize is that we have an indigenous population of technology users and this youthful individual is about to change the way we use technology in a very significant way.

A linked history of past events is delivered to the physician, and other vital parameters are screened. The vitals are being monitored virtually, and signs and trends of potential adverse event or unresponsiveness to therapy alert the pediatrician and parent, allowing triage to occur for more acute management.

So, the many corporations and entrepreneurs and investors out there are immigrants to a digital age and the true indigenous resident is about to transform this world fairly rapidly because they're enabled. And so I'm talking about a younger generation that uses technology with proficiency and facility that we don't understand.

And so I think that's a significant vector that I don't think anyone has really understood.

Aaron Joslow

Alright. And two more questions for you, Gopal: if participants took away one thing, what would you like that to be?

Gopal Chopra

Healthcare is a complex service delivery platform anywhere in the world. I think no system of delivery of healthcare is one in the same nor is it equal to all. It's certainly not efficient in any particular environment despite all the conversations we've had about global and healthcare models.

The one thing that I would take away from the conference is that we can actually leap frog the current infrastructure by enabling the services with technology whether it be information technology, telecommunications, wireless sensing.

The technology leap can actually deliver healthcare globally, not just locally, with a significant impact to access in quality.

Aaron Joslow

And the final question for you: this is Duke's Second Annual Medical Innovation and Strategies Conference. Why is this conference special? What's the main draw for people to come and attend this event?

Gopal Chopra

So as the founder of the conference and the agenda and the choice of focusing on consumer and wireless, I really looked at a variety of trends in healthcare and wanted to bring an opportunity for the convergence of multiple disciplines.

If you look at the conference agenda, we have entrepreneurs who are physicians. We have academics who are social behavior economists. We have corporate entities that are telecommunication giants. We have investors that have been very successful in building the current infrastructure and legacy systems.

We're bringing them together in an academic setting so that we can have open discussion on what works and what doesn't work. I think the goal here is to meet, to encourage and grow innovation and really assist each other in a community where collaboration is key.

All these technologies work and integrate with each other. No one technology on its own is a solution, which is a huge paradigm shift for healthcare and I think this, in an academic setting at Duke University, bringing all these minds and intelligence into one place, we can have some formative learning so that we can make the right steps for innovation with success.

Aaron Joslow

Thank you so much, Gopal, for that insight.

This concludes our podcast preview of The Duke Health Sector Management Program's conference. To register or learn more, please visit us online. Thank you for listening and we hope to see you September 15th on the Duke campus at the Second Annual Medical Innovation and Strategies Conference on Consumer Healthcare & Wireless Technologies.

Upcoming conferences

Previous conferences

  • Delivering on the Value Proposition for Connectivity and Health IT – April 23, 2009

This conference focused on connectivity and industry strategies for health information technology in response to related provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Discussions helped raise the awareness and the need for a clinical informatics management program. Participants included informaticists, healthcare providers, vendors, payers, policymakers, and educators. Among the companies represented were IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences, McKesson, Perot Systems, and Siemens Medical Solutions.

  • Medical Innovation and Strategies Conference, Wireless and Consumer Healthcare – September 23, 2009

This meeting focused on identifying and discussing fundamental drivers of connectivity in healthcare IT and ways the Fuqua community can participate in the development and implementation of wireless and consumer healthcare. Participants included healthcare providers, members of the medical device industry, innovators in wireless healthcare, and venture/investment professionals and students of Fuqua’s Health Sector Management program. Among the companies represented were IBM Healthcare and Life Sciences, Microsoft Corporation, General Electric/NBC Universal, and Medtronic.

For more information, please contact:

Ana Quinn
Associate Director, Business Development
Health Sector Management
Phone: 919‐660‐7900