Jessica DaMassa, the emerging ‘it girl’ of health tech interviewing, chats it up with the ‘who’s who’ of the health innovation set from around the world in her video interview series, ‘WTF Health – What’s the Future, Health?’
She will be bringing her high-energy style and tough questions to Frontiers Health to talk with the startups, VC investors, pharma execs, government officials, and other health innovation thought leaders buzzing around the two-day event. We sat down with Jessica to find out who she’s hoping to talk to – and what questions she’s hoping will be answered – at Frontiers.
Q: You’ve interviewed more than 200 people in digital health, health tech, and health innovation just this year alone. Who are you most looking forward to talking to at Frontiers?
JD: I really want to hear from healthcare investors…VC funds, strategic investors at big healthcare companies, governments. Rock Health and Startup Health have reported that this year has yielded the highest dollar value of investment in digital health ever. I’m curious about what different investors in different parts of the world – and different parts of the health ecosystem – find to be valuable right now.
The market is definitely evolving in the US. This year everyone is talking about platform solutions (no more one-trick ponies) and tech that tackles administrative and work flow problems to help bring down the cost of delivering care. In terms of digital health applications, women’s health seems to have attracted investors’ attention this year in the States. There have been a number of startups with devices or apps that track periods, provide insight into fertility, or offer other intimate health benefits that have closed some big rounds this year. Do investors in Europe have the same priorities? There are lots of startups out there that would love to know!
Check out our interviews with Jessica Da Massa
Q: Startups gravitate to Frontiers, so you’ll no doubt be interviewing some founders as well. Do you have any advice for startups when it comes to doing an interview?
JD: Don’t pitch! That’s the best advice I can give. A pitch is a pitch – not a conversation – and it’s got no place in an interview. I’d say to founders that they need to practice talking about their value proposition out of the context of how they’ve memorized it. Pretend you’re explaining what your business does to someone who doesn’t work in healthcare. Imagine you’re talking to your someone at a party. Be engaging, show the passion that led you to start your business, and don’t be afraid to weigh in as an expert about whatever it is that you’re an expert about – your technology, engaging a market segment, whatever. Viewers want insider information.
Q: When the year ends, you’ll have been to 17 conferences in 11 different countries. Why seek out this global perspective on health innovation?
JD: Healthcare is so siloed. We need to connect more as people across the industry – and that includes across borders and oceans. We need to share our stories. A lot of people will argue, ‘healthcare markets are so different depending on what country you’re in…it’s irrelevant to ask about what’s going on in Europe or Asia or Australia.’ I couldn’t disagree more! This is how you innovate…by being curious, by looking at what could happen if the constraints are removed. How would you solve for diabetes or heart disease or obesity if the payment model were different? How would you engage patients if an office visit was out of the question and all they had was a mobile phone? We’re all tackling the same basic problems. We want people to be healthier and have access to the care they need. We want the cost of care to go down. We want healthcare workers to love their jobs. No one, single market has solved all of these things but people in different places are starting to unlock answers to some of these things. It’s time to ask around… and that’s what I’m doing.
You can catch all of Jessica’s interviews from Frontiers, as well as her other interviews with healthcare innovators from around the world, by subscribing to her YouTube Channel. Just search ‘WTF Health’ or click through via her website http://www.wtf.health.