The Penn HealthX Podcast focuses on the intersection of medicine and business, with an emphasis on healthcare management, entrepreneurship, and technology (H-MET). This podcast has two aims.
First, we want to highlight excellent work happening at The University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, and beyond.
Second, we want to help students and those early in their medical careers understand how to become leaders in the field, and use their skills outside of strictly clinical medicine.
We intend to achieve these goals by interviewing students and faculty members who are working in the H-MET space. We also plan to discuss current events, trends and opportunities in healthcare, and other topics future healthcare leaders need to know about.
Penn Health-X is supported by our generous donors - Dr. Wong. Dr. Slevin, Dr. Anand, and Dr. Wills.
Find us on iTunes!
78 - Josh Makower - A Career of Innovation in Med Tech and Venture Capital
Today’s episode is a conversation between Sope Eweje, one of the VP’s of Entrepreneurship and Ventures for Penn HealthX, and our guest, Dr. Josh Makower.
Josh currently leads medical device investment as a general partner at NEA, one of the world’s largest and most active venture capital firms. Josh is also the Founder and Executive Chairman of ExploraMed, a medical device incubator that has created 8 companies over the past 20 years. Notable transactions from the ExploraMed portfolio include Acclarent, acquired by J&J in 2009, EndoMatrix, acquired by C.R. Bard in 1997, TransVascular, acquired by Medtronic in 2003 and Neotract acquired by Teleflex in 2017. On-going ExploraMed/NEA ventures include NeoTract, Moximed, Willow and ExploraMed V.
In addition to his role at NEA, Josh serves on the faculty of the Stanford University School as an Adjunct Professor of Medicine and is Co-Founder of Stanford’s Biodesign Innovation Program, a unique training and educational program for multi-disciplinary health technology innovation with trainees that have gone on to form 50 companies that have had an impact over 2.7 million patients.
Josh holds over 300 patents and patent applications for various medical devices in the fields of cardiology, ENT, general surgery, drug delivery, obesity, orthopedics, women’s health, and urology. He received an MBA from Columbia University, an MD from the NYU School of Medicine, and a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.
In this episode, Sope and Josh discuss how he went from a music major to a prolific medical technology innovator and venture capitalist, and how each of the experiences he had along the way have shaped his passion for technological innovation in healthcare. We also discuss the role clinicians play in health care innovation and his view of invention as a skill that can be learned by technical and clinical stakeholders alike. We wrap up by discussing his thoughts on how COVID may impact the medical technology VC landscape and a piece of advice for students interested in using technology to improve healthcare.
Josh’s Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-makower-14a0b7ba/
NEA – https://nea.com
Willow wearable breast pump - https://shop.willowpump.com/
Stanford Biodesign Innovation Program - http://biodesign.stanford.edu/
77 - Sandy Varatharajah - Planning For a Career to Transform Healthcare Via Digital Health
Today’s episode is a conversation with one of my colleagues, Sandy Varatharajah. Sandy is a 2nd year MBA student and a member of the Healthcare Management program at Wharton. In the episode, we discuss what drew her to the healthcare space, her previous experiences, including interning at the white house, consulting, and working for CityBlock. We also discussed the decision to get an MBA, and some of the interviews she has done for the Pulse Podcast by the Wharton Digital Health club. We end with some things she is most looking forward to in the coming years.
If you like The Penn HealthX Podcast, you should check out Pulse, a podcast created and maintained by The Wharton Digital Health Club where they interview leaders in the digital health space.
Sandy’s LinkedIn Profile
The Pulse Podcast - Soundcloud
The Pulse Podcast - Medium Page
Sandy’s Medium Profile
76 - Dr. Arpan Parikh - Using Business Skills to Improve The Future of Psychiatry
Today’s episode is a conversation I had with Dr. Arpan Parikh. Dr. Parikh was a colleague of mine at Wharton last year. He has since graduated and moved on to a role with CareMore Health. Dr. Parikh got his MD at Ohio State, and completed his residency in Psychiatry at Mt. Sinai in New York City.
In the episode, we discuss what drew him to medicine and psychiatry, memories he had as a student, clinical roles he took on, why he chose to get an MBA, and how he will use his skills at CareMore Health.
It was an absolute pleasure for me to speak with Dr. Parikh and learn from him.
Host - Ryan O'Keefe
Mt. Sinai Addiction Institute
75 -Adam Lessler - From EM Residency to Consulting and Venture Capital/Growth Equity
Today’s episode is a conversation I had with Dr. Adam Lessler, who is currently a Principal at Evidity Health Capital in New York City. He is a licensed physician with residency training in emergency medicine and over a decade of healthcare industry experience counseling Boards and senior leadership teams.
Prior to joining Evidity, Adam was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, where he served clients across the health care value chain, with a focus on provider growth and M&A/partnership strategy. Previously, Adam completed his internship in emergency medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and worked as an analyst in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs and as a research assistant in Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy.
Adam has a B.A. in economics from Amherst College, an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.D. from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
In the episode we chat about his background, some memories from getting his MD/MBA at Penn, his decision to pursue consulting and later venture capital after completing 1 year of an Emergency Medicine Residency, and a bit about his current role in the venture capital world.
Dr. Lessler has been a terrific mentor to many in the HealthX and Penn community, and we are lucky to have him share his stories and lessons with us here.
74 - Kwaku Owusu - CEO of DrugViu - Eliminating the Underrepresentation of POC in Clinical Trials
Today’s episode is one I co-hosted with Mariam Alausa, who is the current co-VP of Curriculum for Penn HealthX. Our guest was Kwaku Owusu, who is the founder and CEO of DrugViu and TrialViu.
Drugviu aggregates patient-related outcomes for people of color who take specific pharmaceutical drugs. TrialViu is a companion site that then educates those same patients about clinical trials, and then matches them to trials they may qualify for using AI.
Their lofty mission is to eliminate underrepresentation in medicine
Reading from DrugViu’s website to share more about the problem they are looking to solve:
Racial and ethnic minorities are 40% of the US population and growing, yet represent less than 8% of the participants in pharmaceutical clinical trials. Especially concerning are clinical trials for diseases that disproportionately affect minorities. Here are few more examples:
Per the National Cancer Institute, African-American men are twice as likely as their white counterparts to die from prostate cancer but represent 4% of clinical trial participants.
The CDC reports that suicide is one of the leading causes of death among Asian-American women under 45 years of age. Yet, Asian-Americans constituted less than 1% of trials for CDER-approved treatments of major depressive disorders in the last two years.
Cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanics, yet Hispanic cancer patients only make up 4% of participants in cancer clinical trials in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute.
Native Americans are often not represented in studies at all
Without enough minority participants, it’s virtually impossible to determine the effectiveness and side effects of a particular medication to that group. To compound this, there is no place online for minorities to research drug information specifically targeted for them. There is no online community where users can read and contribute to side effect/drug efficacy reviews by people that look like them.
In the episode, we discuss Kwaku’s background, more about what made him interested in this area of medicine, and what he has learned along the way getting these companies off the ground.
Now, let’s get to our conversation with Kwaku Owusu.
73 - Erik Maltais, CEO of IMMERTEC - Innovation in Surgical Education Using Virtual Reality
Today’s episode is with Erik Maltais, who is the founder and CEO of IMMERTEC, which is a company using virtual reality tools to bring remote surgeons and trainees into the OR to teach them skills and how to use certain medical devices.
He has a really cool background in both the business and medical worlds, and it was a pleasure to speak with him to learn about his journey, the process of founding IMMERTEC and finding physicians to collaborate with, and what the long term goals are.
I hope you enjoy this conversation with Erik Maltais.
Host - Ryan O'Keefe
Not only is this podcast informative, but even as an individual who isn't in the medical/business field, I'm still learning a lot and able to follow.
Very informative, educational, and interesting, great for down time when I wan to learn. 5 stars!
I've really enjoyed the perspective on medicine and management offered. Time well spent! Keep up the great work!