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modelH – Health Model Co-Creation Forum (part 4)

modelH – Health Model Co-Creation Forum (part 4)

After reading my 3 earlier posts, I hope we have you convinced that this is a worthwhile effort and that you should join us. By joining the forum – you join the movement to create a better healthcare system.

The solutions for transforming healthcare will come from harnessing diverse ideas from across the ecosystem of healthcare stakeholders. We are inviting individuals inside and outside of the healthcare industry to join us on one platform to ignite conversations and build solutions for new business models within US healthcare.

That means you – yes, you are invited!

When you sign up, you will join other passionate healthcare and innovation professionals to create meaningful change in the US healthcare industry. You will also cultivate new professional relationships, elevate your personal brands and identities, and receive direct attribution in my forthcoming book as permanent proof of the important co-creative role you played.

Please know this is not a marketing scam – we are sincere in our work and care deeply about our goals. Our end result will be a book published in 2014 that you will get to share in the credits for creating.

How to Participate in modelH

Well, first you have to register on the modelH site.  We suggest you read up on the whole project here first –

After that, there will be three Phases to the modelH project, which will last through at least March of 2014.

model Business Model Canvas for Healthcare

The three Phases are:

  • 1. CoCreate a healthcare business model generator, called modelH. We will draw from the work of Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur in their book, “Business Model Generation: A Handbook For Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers” to create a new framework for developing health model innovation throughout the remainder of the project. Building the modelH engine is the most critical part of the project, and we’ll be devoting most of our time – 4-5 months – on this module.
  • 2. Generate and evaluate ideas through the modelH engine. Next, we’ll gather your inspiration, insights, and research to develop ideas that can be tested in the modelH engine. These ideas will address our three main areas of concern for healthcare: creating positive consumption experiences, improving the care delivery mechanism, and aligning payments and incentives. If we’ve built modelH correctly, we will be able to produce innovative business models that reflect a new direction for US healthcare. We expect to spend 2-3 months on this module of the project.
  • 3. Validate the health model innovation solutions. The final step is to review our modelH solutions to ensure they are fair, reasonable, and feasible. Once validated, Kevin Riley will be compiling the work into a visual playbook to be published later in 2014. We expect to spend 1-2 months on this module.

This project is a labor of love for all of us and the modelH team is fronting the cost to put all of this together. Our reward is the same as your reward: pride in creating a new path forward for US healthcare. It’s an opportunity to do something meaningful that has the potential to effect change on a system that is in dire need of change and to positively impact the lives of millions of Americans. We’ll also provide attribution to all contributors in the book as proof of the important role you play.

Keep in mind that this is an experimental project, and we expect some bumps along the way. If you encounter troubles, inconsistencies, or simply need clarity on how it all works, kindly let us know so we can improve the process. Also, we will have a firm “no jerks” policy in place within the modelH forum. We want disruptive thinkers, not disruptive individuals. If you are serious about making something that will help all of us create the healthcare system we so desperately need, please join in with a heart and mind for that task. If not, please sit this one out.

So, step up to the plate and get involved.


To your health,

The Team at imagine.GO


modelH – Health Model Co-Creation Forum (part 3)

modelH – Health Model Co-Creation Forum (part 3)

What is a business model canvas? Wikipedia defines it as “a strategic management template for developing new or documenting existing business models”. It is not a business plan, but rather a visual language designed to align business activities that produce value by illustrating potential trade-offs. The idea was initially proposed by Alexander Osterwalder.

A business model canvas for the American healthcare system

Phase 1 of the modelH CoCreation Forum aims to create a business model canvas specifically for healthcare. To do so we must first agree on what defines value within the American healthcare ecosystem. Our definition of value is based on Michael Porter’s work in What is Value in Health Care? – “the patient health outcome achieved per healthcare dollar spent”.  Therefore, a value-based healthcare business model must result in:

  • Increased access to necessary care through an engaged delivery system;
  • Reduced aggregate cost of care, with a market-driven, balanced incentive and reward model; and
  • Improved consumer experience yielding an informed decision maker aligned to their risk and reward.

Our healthcare business model canvas, which we are calling modelH, must also work in a market-driven system.  Better ideas can then be generated and evaluated using that engine because they 1) create shared value and 2) can succeed in the marketplace. Likewise, current models and trends can be evaluated through this engine to see if they are effective.

The basis for modelH is Alex Osterwalder’s work on business model generation but modified to fit the uniqueness of the American healthcare domain. Our community will participate in modifying the Osterwalder model as needed to create the modelH Healthcare Business Model Canvas.

Alex Osterwalder Business Model Canvas

Source: The Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder

Our work on Phase 1 of for modelH will take on two distinct conversation types.

The 1st conversation type will be to look at the core Building Blocks of Osterwalder’s model and debate their nuances in regards to healthcare business models. Wikipedia defines these core elements as:

  • Customer Segments – the customer groupings a business model serves.
  • Value Propositions – the collection of products and services a business offers to its customers.
  • Channels – the way a company brings its value proposition (product) to its customer segments.
  • Customer Relationships – the type of connection a company wants to create with their customer.
  • Key Activities – the most important tasks in the execution of a company’s value proposition.
  • Key Resources – the internal assets required to create value propositions for customer segments.
  • Key Partners – the external relationships needed so a company can focus on their Key Activities.
  • Costs – the most important financial concerns of a company’s business model.
  • Revenue – the way a company makes income from each customer segment.


The 2nd conversation type will be to define the new Building Blocks needed for healthcare and how they should be incorporated into the canvas. The additions to be discussed are:

  • Externalities – the external forces (regulations) imposed on healthcare business models.
  • Jobs-to-be-Done – the customer’s JTBDs, which may not adhere to a company’s value proposition.
  • Intermediaries – the influencers/intermediaries between the healthcare customer and the product.
  • Experiences – due to multiple intermediaries, customer experience bears a greater look.
  • Cost Drivers – for healthcare to exists, the cost drivers must come under control.
  • Payments Sources – in healthcare, customers are separated from payment sources in many cases.
  • Platform – the healthcare ecosystem is interdependent, requiring an infrastructure to work.

We will do this in the order of importance to a business model – starting with the Customer and ending with the Platform. The result will look something like this:

 modelH business model canvas for healthcare

Source: The Healthcare Business Model Canvas by Kevin Riley

So, step up to the plate and get involved.


To your health,

The Team at imagine.GO


modelH – Health Model Co-Creation Forum (part 2)

Hello again. I wanted to give you all another update on the big project I am calling modelH This project is a dynamic collaboration between Innovation Excellence, Batterii, and a bunch of great healthcare thinkers including me.

Last week I told you about what we were trying to solve. This week I aim to tell you how.

I need your help to make this work. But before we ask you to get involved, let’s talk more about how we can solve this problem – together.

modelH_Sketch 2

How do we solve the problem?

The American healthcare system is not so much broken as made up of working parts not working together.

The modelH team believes the ecosystem can be fixed! The answer lies in aligning the business model, so all stakeholders share an understanding of “value” across the themes of consumption, delivery, and financing. Our definition of value is based on that of Michael Porter, put forth in his paper entitled What is Value in Health Care?. Value in healthcare is measured as the patient health outcome achieved per healthcare dollar spent. A better healthcare business model must then result in:

  1. Improved consumer experience yielding an informed decision maker aligned to their risk and reward,
  2. Increased access to necessary care through an engaged delivery system, and
  3. Reduced aggregate cost of care, with a market-driven, balanced incentive and reward model.

Our goal of Health Model Innovation is lofty, but achievable. We believe modelH will result in a practical guide to fixing the healthcare system that all stakeholders can use to create better aligned and market-sustaining business models.

But our goal is too big and too important to try and solve alone. This cannot be done without the actual stakeholders co-creating the solution together, outside of an over-focus on any particular theme, or an over-influence from any stakeholder group.

  1. Phase 1 is to agree on the framework and tenants of a healthcare business model canvas.  This will create a structured means for business model generation, similar to the one developed by Alexander Osterwalder and team, but designed to work in the American healthcare system.
  2. Phase 2 will use the healthcare business model generator to develop and evaluate innovative market models and business ideas with the hope that some party within the ecosystem, or even outside of it, takes them to market.
  3. Phase 3 will take our findings and publish them in a visual playbook for all healthcare innovators to use.

Stay tuned – next week we will discuss how to build a business model canvas for the American healthcare system.

So, step up to the plate an get involved.


To your health,

The Team at imagine.GO


You Need an Innovation Center

You Need an Innovation Center

Any healthcare company that builds products or talks with customers ought to have an “Innovation Center”. The idea is to create a physical facility that is part consumer lab, part living laboratory, and part workplace- aimed at designing and delivering the healthcare models of the future. It will be an environment where all organizational and community stakeholders can experience your company’s view of the future of healthcare and be inspired to help create it. An Innovation Center can incorporate the brand promise within a physical setting. An Innovation Center shows true commitment to practice innovation in healthcare. It is time for all healthcare companies embrace the future the way the Mayo Clinic has done for years.

To get started on what I am about to talk about, watch this virtual walk-through of the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation.

What is an Innovation Center and Why Would You Need One?

The main objectives for an Innovation Center are:

  • 1. Designing
  • 2. Prototyping
  • 3. Collaborating
  • 4. Simulating
  • 5. Validating
  • 6. Envisioning

Lets discus them in some detail.

1. Designing.

Job # 1 of an Innovation Center should be to create (and improve upon) intentional experiences for your customers. You cannot have a good experience without good design. The Customer lab can serve as the place to visualize and practice Design Thinking. Wikipedia defines Design Thinking as “a style of thinking [designed with] the ability to combine empathy for the context of a problem, creativity in the generation of insights and solutions, and rationality to analyze and fit solutions to the context. “

An Innovation Center lets you teach the process and the methods of Design Thinking. These are the tools and techniques that great designers use to generate ideas and solve problems. Your aim should be to create an employee base trained in the arts of creative problem-solving.

Design Thinking for Developing Innovative Communication Strategies By Don Bulmer
Source: Design Thinking for Developing Innovative Communication Strategies By Don Bulmer

2. Prototyping.

Job # 2 of an Innovation Center should be to create faster paths to market for new products and models. One such method to do this is referred to as rapid prototyping and uses the discipline of Minimum Viable Product (MVP). MVP enables designers to validate assumptions about their “product” in two important aspects: its value and the demand for it.

By definition, MVP is the version of a product that gets built through one cycle of a build, measure, and learn loop – as fast as possible. Once the MVP is confirmed (keep in mind it may take a few iterations), other lean methodologies can be employed to build upon it. An Innovation Center allows this rapid prototyping to occur outside the traction of the legacy product and technology build systems at your company. MVP delivered through an Innovation Center enables product developers, system designers, and business analysts to determine whether people want what they are building – in a manner that gauges acceptance and demand – yet preserves capital and time for your company.

3. Collaborating.

Where Good Ideas Come From- Steven Johnson

Job # 3 of an Innovation Center should be to create a physical place designed to facilitate adult learning and team collaboration. As discussed in the book Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, big ideas are a series of smaller ideas coming together to form something that is meaningful to the market. The Innovation Center should be a co-laboratory that brings multi-disciplinary thinkers together on a common problem. Think of it as a modern version of a Library, except you are allowed to talk, experiment, and interact on topics of importance to your customers and your company.

You cannot ask people to collaborate on work if there has been no historical support for collaboration at your company – they simply just do not know how. They remember when they were kids but were programmed out of that model through a progression of educational settings and work scenarios where individual work product was the mode of operation. Asking people to change their work models without giving a realistic means to do so is merely rhetoric. An Innovation Center is designed to force interaction between co-workers. When combined with modern adult learning techniques like teaching collaboration, an Innovation Center can be the breakthrough that your company needs to re-educate its employees on how to work together.

4. Simulating.

Job # 4 of an Innovation Center should be to create a place to simulate customer interactions. Simulation is another great tool for adult education. While classroom learning and computer-based training still have their (small) place in the arsenal of training tools, nothing substitutes simulating a real life scenario to embed the training into the mind, and actions, of the trainee.

If your current training facilities do not invoke/inspire interest and a spirit of learning about how the customer feels in response to your customer-facing interactions – consider extending the facilities into an Innovation Center. Use the space as a simulation center to teach how to deliver the best results to a member and video it to review in private.

I had the opportunity to a take tour of the CAMLS — Center For Advanced Medical Learning And Simulation in Tampa, FL. I was highly impressed with this innovation facility and what it will accomplish for the future of medicine and healthcare. You can see some images from my time there in this short video.

5. Validating.

Job # 5 of an Innovation Center should be to create a place to have customers provide feedback on your company’s products and services. Part of the MVP concept mentioned above requires feedback. Healthcare is not like software – it is harder to have Beta users and not create tenuous or even dangerous situations. Proper validation through customer feedback is essential to great product design.

An Innovation Center as a customer lab allows this to happen with the control and confines of your company and reduces the need to pay outside parties to accomplish this oft-repeated task. To be a great consumer company, your company should foster its ability to do firsthand consumer research.

6. Working.

Job # 6 of an Innovation Center should be to your workplace of the future. Unless your company offers workspace like Google (and there are many of these, especially in Austin!) – consider using your space to transform your company’s cube farm into a dynamic workplace. Even if you are doing the best work on Earth, if you are sitting in a cube farm only lit by artificial overhead lighting, chances are you are miserable. Employers are obligated to make great environments for all people to work in, not just the executives. But convincing leaders about what this space should look like is hard to do.

An Innovation Center is supposed to look different – so make it your staging ground for your transforming workplace. Build it with the most modern yet simple furniture. Give it the technology bells and whistles that are fun to use and make people happier when using them. Keep it open and well lit. Provide couches and comfortable chairs to think in. Make it like everybody’s favorite thinking place – Starbuck’s. This will greatly enhance the employee experience and value proposition – and as a result, create a more productive workforce.


7. Envisioning.

Job #7 of an Innovation Center should be to create a fluid understanding of what the future of healthcare might look like. According to Microsoft, their “Microsoft Innovation Centers (MICs ) are state of the art technology facilities for collaboration on innovative research, technology or software solutions, involving a combination of government, academic and industry participants.” Apparently there are now more than 100 Microsoft Innovation Centers worldwide. IBM has several IBM Innovation Centers as well. The concept used at Microsoft’s Innovation Center is “Behind this door lies the future – not a vision of what we want, but a vision of what will be.” Your company should adopt this philosophy as well.

Microsoft Innovation Center

Telling is greatly improved by showing. Teaching a man to fish is how the old adage goes – try putting the pole in his hand near the water, and you are off to the races. Showing removes the need for employees to try and interpret what your leaders are envisioning. Instead, it evokes people to quickly debate on what they see or come up with ideas on how best to implement them. This should be a focus for your company.

Justifying the Cost

In Summary, an Innovation Center can be easily justified as both a capital expenditure and a resource development tool. To compete in a consumer economy, a company needs the capacity to think, react, and dream at the speed of the customer. The natural functioning of business units is contrary to this need. A customer lab opens up the ability for consumer thinking for the whole company, without jeopardizing the current operations.

So the question is not, how can an insurance plan justify an innovation center on an ongoing basis? – but how can they not if they want to become great consumer healthcare companies?

But a word of caution on this idea – companies and the people that work for them change – what is needed today will be old hat tomorrow. If you are going to build your own innovation center – don’t pour it in concrete. Meaning, save room for new ideas and build it modularly so sections that are no longer relevant can be removed.


To your health,

The Team at imagine.GO