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VOL. 130 | NO. 226 | Thursday, November 19, 2015


Michael Graber

Two Innovation Talks That Noted Telemedicine

By Michael Graber

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A Journey Toward Commercialization: A Case Study in Xerox’s Venture into Telemedicine, a talk given by Denise Fletcher, Xerox

Xerox has more than 5,000 researchers and a deep history of innovation. Xerox has six research centers across the globe.

Telehealth has reached market readiness. Forces converged to make the market ready: doctor shortage, larger population and the Affordable Care Act.

Meanwhile, consumers are demanding more and better care, “on-demand” care. As well, most people have access to smartphones. Finally, regulations changed to adopt telemedicine.

Consumers seek care everywhere. They don’t want to wait a few days. As well, they want care that easy to access anytime, anywhere.

Xerox already works in 1,900 hospitals, with payers, and with large employers; so getting into the space made sense for the company.

Challenges arose including interoperability; clinical workflow; security and privacy; and physican involvement.

To enter the space, Xerox invested in HealthSpot.

The build out and operational cost of a clinic versus a telemedicine kiosk were much less expensive, $250,000 less in fact, on average.

The objective was to create value by handling coughs and colds via telemedicine to reduce ER expenses.

Trying to move Americans to get the right care through the right channel is key. Most important, the market potential of telemedicine was a high-growth area.

Right now, this technology is being piloted in a Rite Aid in Ohio. In five years out, we see this moving into the home, via smart television instead of a kiosk. As well, we’ll see more remote monitoring devices.

Home-based telemedicine is where the future is heading to make our lives easier.

Vertical Innovation

A Back End of Innovation Presentation by Bill Nottingham, Nottingham Sprik

In Vertical Innovation, one firm handles all of these steps in the process: insight; design; engineering; prototyping; sourcing; and packaging.

We define innovation as “the collision of unrelated ideas.”

Our first client was a rotational molder who made bedpans. We collided two worlds and used our clients to create Little Tykes. They turned from making bedpans to being a leading toymaker.

Three value-generating platforms were discussed:

1. Tech transfer: The problem with traditional tech transfer is that you don’t get a lot of transfer. But working with Nottingham Sprik, Case Western University was about to create the CardioInsight vest, which was then acquired by Medtronic.

2. Platform innovation: They created the Troybuilt FLEX – a line of products that collided tractors with lawn care. Lowe’s became the exclusive retailer of this product suite, and Nottingham Sprik was allowed to handle the branding around the products and the launch. FLEX is a modular system for lawn care. Changing out the modules was core to the innovation, solved with a kick-stand innovation.

3. Soft launch: Took the concept of an ATM machine and a pharmacy and created a hybrid. They created a telemedicine kiosk, introduced it at CES, then where the concept (HealthSpot) won the CES Entrepreneur of Year award. Then, they rolled it out to hospital systems, then lastly into Rite Aid.

Michael Graber, managing partner of the Southern Growth Studio, can be reached at southerngrowthstudio.com.

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