Jason Hwang, MD

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Authority on Health Care Innovation; Co-Founder & CMO of Telehealth Startup Lemonaid Health; Co-Author, “The Innovator’s Prescription”

Biography

Jason Hwang avows that disruptive innovation will fix health care – and technology, he says, is at the heart of the transformation.

Internal medicine physician turned entrepreneur, Dr. Hwang is living and leading the mission. Co-founder and chief medical officer of Icebreaker Health (Lemonaid Health), a California-based telehealth startup focused on delivering affordable primary care via smartphone and the web, he spent the last six years energizing the industry’s conversation about how to reinvent health care’s business models. Now he’s putting that knowledge into practice. Dr. Hwang co-authored the best-selling “Innovator’s Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care” (McGraw-Hill, 2008) with Harvard Business School Professor and father of the disruptive innovation theory, Clayton M. Christensen. He also previously co-founded and served as the executive director of healthcare at Innosight Institute (now the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation), a non-profit innovation think tank dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing social problems.

A sought after speaker and writer, Dr. Hwang engages audiences of every level and background with his provocative insights on and remedies for creating new growth through affordability and simplicity. Disruptive innovation, he contends, has the power to satisfy unmet needs and transform the delivery of care. He argues that the health care system continues to move toward a more decentralized system, citing increases in outpatient care in ambulatory settings, the rapid expansion of retail clinics staffed by nurse practitioners, and advances in telehealth and home monitoring as examples of this trend. Dr. Hwang also believes the opportunity exists to extend the provision of care beyond doctors and specialists by using technology to upskill new care providers, including patients themselves.

Dr. Hwang previously taught as chief resident and clinical instructor at the University of California, Irvine, where he received multiple recognitions for his clinical work. He has also served as a clinician with the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif. He received his Bachelor of Science and M.D. from the University of Michigan and his master’s from Harvard Business School.

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Biography

Jason Hwang avows that disruptive innovation will fix health care – and technology, he says, is at the heart of the transformation.

Internal medicine physician turned entrepreneur, Dr. Hwang is living and leading the mission. Co-founder and chief medical officer of Icebreaker Health (Lemonaid Health), a California-based telehealth startup focused on delivering affordable primary care via smartphone and the web, he spent the last six years energizing the industry’s conversation about how to reinvent health care’s business models. Now he’s putting that knowledge into practice. Dr. Hwang co-authored the best-selling “Innovator’s Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care” (McGraw-Hill, 2008) with Harvard Business School Professor and father of the disruptive innovation theory, Clayton M. Christensen. He also previously co-founded and served as the executive director of healthcare at Innosight Institute (now the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation), a non-profit innovation think tank dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing social problems.

A sought after speaker and writer, Dr. Hwang engages audiences of every level and background with his provocative insights on and remedies for creating new growth through affordability and simplicity. Disruptive innovation, he contends, has the power to satisfy unmet needs and transform the delivery of care. He argues that the health care system continues to move toward a more decentralized system, citing increases in outpatient care in ambulatory settings, the rapid expansion of retail clinics staffed by nurse practitioners, and advances in telehealth and home monitoring as examples of this trend. Dr. Hwang also believes the opportunity exists to extend the provision of care beyond doctors and specialists by using technology to upskill new care providers, including patients themselves.

Dr. Hwang previously taught as chief resident and clinical instructor at the University of California, Irvine, where he received multiple recognitions for his clinical work. He has also served as a clinician with the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Group and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach, Calif. He received his Bachelor of Science and M.D. from the University of Michigan and his master’s from Harvard Business School.

Speech Topics

Disrupting Health Care: From Predictions to Practice

Health care delivery is decentralizing, moving away from traditional brick-and-mortar and ever closer to the patient. It’s becoming mobile, an on-demand experience that puts the patient in control of decision-making. It’s easy to declare this is how health care should be; putting it into practice is a challenging work-in-progress, says Dr. Jason Hwang. Over the past eight years, he’s moved from an observer – a researcher – of how disruption happens in health care to actually implementing it through a successful startup he founded two years ago.

Dr. Hwang shares his story, including lessons learned and opportunities still untapped. He details the barriers specific to health care, from state-based physician licensing to resistance to change from legacy models of care delivery. But he also explores what isn’t unique and urges his audiences to look at and learn from successful innovations in other industries. The challenge is largely same: how can health care delight customers and keep them coming back? After all, improvements in health care aren’t just about making sick care delivery better, but perhaps even more so about overall wellness. The idea is to improve the value of the care we provide and to improve how we connect with patients; it’s not just about cutting costs.

Realizing the Potential: The Next Generation of Telemedicine

Most health care takes place inside brick-and-mortar walls. Physician-patient visits are largely unstructured, 15-minute “conversations” with little engagement – highly variable experiences with highly variable outcomes that are also neither scalable nor efficient in an era of rising costs and workforce shortages. The advent of telemedicine brought high expectations of disruption, but physicians continue to adhere to the same care delivery model – just on a video screen. A new model of telemedicine offers the best potential to introduce enormous efficiency, standardizing workflows and care processes, and provide care that is not just affordable and convenient, but also high in quality and scalable.

Dr. Jason Hwang is a pioneer of this next generation of telemedicine. He delves deep into the automated, software-based framework, and discusses proven outcomes, drawn from his own experiences. He also shares his vision for the future of telemedicine in which new models of care will arise in often unexpected ways, as new caregivers and care sites enabled by the digital tools that are being developed today.

 

How Technology is Changing Health Care – for Good

Traditional health care is simply not set up to evolve alongside rapidly advancing technologies. Consider the influx of health data from wearable fitness devices and home diagnostic equipment. Doctors either don’t know what do with the data, or they can’t keep up with the data deluge. What’s needed is a software solution that can absorb and process the data, supported by doctors who can then make both the sophisticated and regulatory-required decisions, says Dr. Jason Hwang.

It already exists in what Dr. Hwang describes as an asynchronous, cloud-based platform. By moving more of the rote, routine care online – “automating the automatable” – it frees up capacity for doctors to focus on more complex care that genuinely requires their expertise. Dr. Hwang also explores the changing relationship between providers and patients, and explains why he believes digital health care will ultimately enhance doctor satisfaction and help eliminate doctor shortages.

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Recommendations

“We are very grateful for Jason’s contribution to our ‘Connect for Impact’ conference. He delivered an inspiring, thoughtful and tailor-made keynote which was highly appreciated by our guests. Besides that, Jason was also available for private conversations, reflecting on ideas, giving comments and advice!”

—Wim Post, Noaber Foundation

“Your presentation on Innovation in Healthcare Service Delivery was exceptionally well received. You truly connected with our members who seek entrepreneurial leadership and are eager to advance behavioral healthcare “back home” and industry-wide. Thank you so much for an excellent presentation.”

—Dale E. Shreve, MHCA

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Hwang, MD, Jason