Medullan: Lean, Digital Healthcare Expertise

Ahmed Albaiti, Founder & CEO For the surgeon standing over a sedated patient in the OT, every decision they make determines the patient’s outcome. Be it tools or several cc's fluids in vials, the outcome is still the consequence of choice—qualitatively, not quantitatively. Simply having more to choose from doesn’t determine what is best. What is best determines what is best. While this is ultimately true, it is also a very relevant metaphor which describes the current state of digital healthcare solutions. There are quite a few solutions out there, but we essentially need something that does its job well and with precision, because yes, lives are very much at stake here and no one is more important than the patient.

In the resounding words of Medullan’s CEO, Ahmed Albaiti, “Less is very often more in digital health.” In a world that is throwing more and more digital point solutions at problems in the health space—Medullan is driven towards improving the healthcare journey of individuals and those who care for them, all while dramatically transforming businesses.

"Our openness to understand the right enterprise partners and the fast movers, is of prime importance"

An Approach focused on adoption

For the successful adoption of any digital solution in the healthcare space, there are a lot of stakeholders that must be accounted for. The most obvious ones are the patients, caregivers, families, and clinicians of a wide variety because these tend to be the “end-users.” There are many critical administrative and operational actors involved as well, but the industry as a whole is painfully shifting towards putting those “end-users” at the center of how business gets done. When it comes to those administrative and operational functions, there is a wealth of enterprise service and technology players, in the likes of IBM, Salesforce, Deloitte, et al, who are adept at serving the needs of those administrative and operational functions. For the adoption of technology to be successful, it’s important that both “end-users” and the operational teams see the value, buy-in, and ultimately participate, to achieve scaled adoption.

Therein lies the rub with adoption of technology in healthcare. It’s challenging enough to deliver solutions that engage end-users, it is a whole other challenge to make the solution palatable for the stakeholders that will pay for the technology and drive scaled adoption. Thirdly, it then becomes critical to understand how the marketplace will accept and value the technology – which is critical for successful distribution and monetization. In Lean Startup terms, this is the spectrum from the unmet need to problem-solution fit and then to solution-market fit. In essence, this is the “triple aim” for digital health: an industry where the beneficiary of great services or products is often not covering the cost of said services or products.


Creating new experiences while the market around you is evolving and keeping things simple and personalized for end-users is what our platform does

Taking the time to understand this dynamic in healthcare reveals a much broader range of issues specific to the industry and digital in particular. They affect the entire healthcare value chain: payers, providers, pharma, and devices. This is where “integrated, mature consulting” comes into play.

Understanding the digital maturity of the organization, the culture, the existing capabilities (or lack thereof), and the risks that need to be managed, e.g. compliance is just the starting point to digital transformation. Integrated, mature consulting expertise addresses those factors with a combination of strategy, user experience, validation, technology enablement, and outcome measurement. All wrapped up in a Lean and Agile approach. Such an approach can accelerate and manage the risks of creating digital services and products that knit seamlessly with the rest of the operations that end-users have to deal with in their respective healthcare journeys. That is the game-changer for scaled adoption of technology in healthcare.

Medullan as a company sees this integrated approach as a key tenet. Medullan can handle the “meta,” which is where the digital innovation paradigm is headed and how healthcare organizations should think about digital as their market evolves; the “macro” which is the user experience design and solution roadmap to be powered by technology; and finally the “micro,” i.e., how the technology works in real-world environments, what clinical and non-clinical outcomes it delivers, and can it be commercially operated it in a compliant, scalable manner. Without relentless focus on one domain like healthcare, it is very difficult to cover all those bases well as a services firm. Typically, healthcare organizations look to management consulting to handle the “meta,” operational and IT consulting to handle the “macro,” and pilot and outcomes studies consulting to handle the “micro”—i.e., the measurement of the quality of care and auditing of the solution against standardized metrics. Bringing it all together into one programmatic approach has been a challenge, but it has proven to work very well in making the adoption of technology more reliable and predictable.

Healthcare-Specific Tools to Scale

Albaiti explains, “Creating new experiences while the market around you is evolving and keeping things simple and personalized for end-users is what our platform does.” Medullan enables its customers to create branded experiences, as and when the market around them evolves. In such a scenario, the customer doesn’t have to choose between two evils – becoming disintermediated from consumers or swapping technology partners with each paradigm shift. They can stay within their brand space and swap out their partners as and when the market evolves.
Clients can focus on building unique experiences and solutions that meet their brand position. They can use qualitative and quantitative measurement models that suit their business and strategy to make informed decisions that are both user-centric and business-beneficial. Just like that surgeon, what is best determines what is best. This is part and parcel to Medullan’s methodology—build, measure, and learn. “As you learn more, you fix more, and you choose and invite partners to similarly adopt that Lean, Agile approach,” adds Albaiti.

Medullan believes that this approach to digital health innovation services is the most effective, regardless of focus area: disease management, diagnostics, health expense accounting, or plain self-service. This versatility, and in its effectiveness across different applications, means that Medullan is a leading provider of services and technology that deliver on “consumer engagement hubs”(CEHs). The difference between Medullan and other CEHs is that most CEHs are not explicitly designed for healthcare; they are more generalized organizations and platforms. Medullan is focused exclusively on healthcare, and they ensure that they care about improving their digital strategy, customer understanding, and robust solution growth. While some CEHs provide a cafeteria of integrated solutions, clients are essentially limited by that cafeteria and often risk disintermediation or being leapfrogged as superior solutions are launched into market. Medullan’s services and CEH platform are the first hub capability that enables healthcare organizations to decide what their seamless branded experience should be, select and integrate third-party solutions on an on-going basis, and universally measure outcomes across first- and third-party experiences.

Growing Effective Healthcare Ecosystems

According to the Medullan team, healthcare organizations benefit from deep transformational expertise and collaboration to successfully adopt the technology. “Our openness to understand the right enterprise partners and the fast movers is of prime importance,” states Albaiti. For Medullan, part of what they are trying to accomplish is understanding and planning for how that ecosystem of technology players will evolve, and what roles will be played by whom. Medullan is agnostic to what technology players will dominate EHR, CRM, connected devices, and regulated or non-regulated mobile apps. The mission remains to be the best digital health advisor and accelerator for their clients.

While Medullan is planning to continue its focus on healthcare, the healthcare journey, and transforming businesses, what is going to change is their ability to serve the CIO office. Medullan has been making inroads and investments to meet the expectations of that office and those decision makers. Medullan is now both ISO and HITRUST certified for all services and platform. CIOs are a critical stakeholder in driving the adoption of point solutions and CEHs, as organizational silos come down faster than data silos. CIOs are arguably the biggest beneficiaries of CEHs, especially in healthcare organizations where digital transformation will be a priority for the next few years. Be it maverick providers of healthcare services, technology startups, or slower healthcare organizations that follow the trailblazers, Medullan sees their involvement in that transformation to be a valuable and exciting opportunity.

Company
Medullan

Headquarters
Somerville, MA

Management
Ahmed Albaiti, Founder & CEO

Description
A digital healthcare company that empowers consumers to navigate their healthcare journey with the aid of third-party vendors and latest technologies