5 Things I Learned From Being a Digital Health Entrepreneur

Top 5 Posted on February 14, 2016 by Amos Adler Being a digital health entrepreneur is an educational experience to say the least. Most lessons are about pain, endurance and learning how to persevere. But I’ve also learned volumes about patients…whom I will call ‘people’ while working to improve medication adherence. While these ramblings could fill a novel, I’ll leave you with the top 5 takeaways from the last few years:  

1. Be Malleable…Help People Help Themselves:

No one likes being told what to do! Act now! Click Here! Do this! How about listening without judgement? How about finding out what motivates people? I’ve learned that adherence programs that listen, guide, and adapt become successful in motivating people. At MEMOTEXT, we focus on creating relevance in this way. Many dislike the term adherence as a concept. I prefer to encourage my team and clients to think of engaging, empowering (even if for just 20seconds a day) and giving people the tools and support to make decisions and act if they have the means. Everyone is different and people change. Support should be adaptive, flexible.


2. Action my Damn Data:

With 21st century digital technology we have access to vast and seemingly unrelated puzzle pieces of data. Digital health needs to connect the dots and ‘action’ the damn data! I’ve learned that this means you must commit to developing the capacity to interpret and create value, not just collect data. At MEMOTEXT, this means beginning with a) user requirements and b) business/stakeholder requirements. Show people what they don’t know. Synthesize it, learn from it, action it, create meaning and purpose from it, follow it and use the rules we already know from the clinical and behavioral knowledge base.


3. Be an Ecosystem:

Digital health is connecting people to their world in ways that we have never seen. The Internet of Things (IoT) is allowing a perspective of how people interact within their environs. There is no isolation. Through wearables, claims, EMRs and other ambient data sources we can connect, create context, understand and activate that data to influence health behaviors. Embracing a person’s health ecosystem is part of an evolution of digital context. Privacy is still paramount and there are risks but there is value in interoperability and data sharing. We’ll get there…


4. Listen More:

You don’t get 91% user retention rates by telling patients what to do, you collaborate with them. I have learned, a successful health intervention is based in empathy. People don’t want pictures of broccoli and more information and disclaimers. What does health engagement mean to you personally? At MEMOTEXT we believe in listening and engaging first, the health part is second.


5. Continue being curious:

At the end of the day healthcare is people helping people. We are curious about that. At MEMOTEXT I consistently ask our team, How can we make a difference? Our mission is to humanize digital health care. Care is embodied in what we do from working with our clients, many stakeholders and ultimately the people we serve. When we started we hoped we could be a business about helping people. We wanted a model of collaboration on all levels. I am happy to report, so far so good! I am even happier to say that MEMOTEXT is even more curious today. The things we have learned and the outcomes we’ve influenced keep us going as we continue to challenge ourselves and make digital-health care a compassionate experience.

  AMOS ADLER M.Sc. FOUNDER & PRESIDENT img35 Amos brings speech, mobile and social technologies together to create mobile (mHealth) and telehealth patient adherence programs. Since 2008, Amos has led the design and deployment of dozens of digital patient adherence and behavior change programs globally while advocating for evidence-based approaches to technology-based behavior change. With a background in user oriented design methodologies, user-requirements elicitation, finance and enterprise scale technology deployment, Amos focuses on solutions solving real-world business requirements with patient centered designs while understanding the challenges of change management in clinical settings. Prior to founding MEMOTEXT, Amos held multiple technology and finance related positions within the Bell Canada Holdings family of companies as well as a background in social and private real estate development. Amos holds a M.Sc. in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems from The London School of Economics in London England, graduating with distinction was highlighted by his work within the launch of the world’s first independent exchange for international wholesale telecom capacity. Amos speaks regularly at events such as: mHealth, Stanford Medicine X, Health Datapalooza, Genentech FutureMed2.0 and guest lectures at the Univ. of Toronto.