Podcast Interview: Kevin Schulman, MD

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Duke Health Sector Management Second Annual Medical Innovations and Strategies Conference 2010


Podcast Preview: Kevin Schulman, MD



Kevin Schulman.
Professor of Medicine and Gregory Mario and Jeremy Mario Professor of Business Administration

Associate Director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute
Professor of Business Administration, Fuqua School of Business

Aaron B. Joslow
Duke Health Sector Management 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 Kevin Schulman, the Director of the Health Sector Management Program at Duke's Fuqua School of Business in Durham and the organizer of this event.

Welcome, Kevin. My first question to you is what makes wireless technology an issue of great concern to the health management community?

Kevin Schulman

It's not really a concern, it's an opportunity.

You know, where wireless applications in health sector management are exploding and yet, if you think about healthcare and healthcare environment, we're not taking advantage of the opportunities available from this technology.

Our goal in organizing this conference is really to think about how we could deploy this technology to achieve very standard goals in healthcare, which is improving quality, improving the patient experience and, at the same time, seeing if we could use the technology to reduce the cost of healthcare.

Aaron Joslow

Terrific. And the next question for you is can you give a specific example or two of how wireless technology is used in the marketplace today for healthcare?

Kevin Schulman

Wireless is really underused in healthcare to the full extent we could think about applications.

Some of the places where people are thinking about using wireless are very basic functions - say asset management with RFID tags in the hospital. Some have to do with portability and connectivity of laptops or PDA's to a larger database or electronic data warehouse, but we'd like to think about it where we can springboard into having information and applications that really travel to the point of contact with patients, that travel with patients or travel with providers and that offers the potential to really unleash a tremendous amount of value to consumers and to the marketplace

Aaron Joslow

What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions or misperceptions or blind spots that people have when joining this conversation?

Kevin Schulman

Healthcare is a very challenging environment for entrepreneurs. The institutions, the landscape, the regulations and reimbursement make it really tricky to think about who's going to pay for your technology - the application to your technology and who's going to benefit from this application. The problem in our market is oftentimes the people paying are not the people receiving benefit from the technology.

So thinking through the value story: the customer, the sales cycle are all critical pieces of bringing some successful tool or application to the marketplace.

For example, is the environment that you're going to deploy in a hospital environment? Well, is the hospital the one that's going to capture the economic value of that deployment? Or is it going to be an economic value that's going to occur outside the hospital setting? In which case, why would the hospital be interested in paying for that technology?

Those are the kinds of thought processes we really have to walk through step by step and very carefully when you're thinking about healthcare application compared to something more of a B2B application in other markets or a more traditional consumer application.

Aaron Joslow

Okay. For people who are coming to this upcoming conference, what is the thing you're looking for most sharing with them?

Kevin Schulman

Well, if anything about the conference is the energy. The people that come together in the room, the excitement about bringing technology to this marketplace, the common recognition that there's tremendous opportunities that are totally untapped in the healthcare market for some of these applications. Really, working together jointly to try and figure out how we're going to tap into the market to effectively deploy these solutions.

Aaron Joslow

Okay. And then more broadly, what makes the Duke Health Sector Management Consumer Healthcare and Wireless Technologies Conference so appealing?

Kevin Schulman

Well, I think we're very excited to host this conference here at Duke and the Fuqua School of Business.

The Healthcare Management Program at Duke is the largest of any top healthcare program in the country. The faculty and the resources at Duke really make for an engaging group of people, an engaging environment to have these discussions and hopefully people will feel like the facilities are also conducive to getting people talking to each other, to network, to meet some of our healthcare management students and to meet new colleagues.

The business school has been a great place to really to get disciplined focus look at very hardcore business problems and hopefully people leave with real solutions to issues they've been grappling with.

Aaron Joslow

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 in Raleigh at the Second Annual Medical Innovation and Strategies Conference on Consumer Healthcare and Wireless Technologies.

Upcoming conference

For more information, please contact:

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