Dr. Bill Morice, president and CEO of Mayo Collaborative Services and Mayo Clinic Laboratories, and board chair for the American Clinical Lab Association, describes the marketing challenge of demonstrating the value of the lab for healthcare, in conversation with Senior Editor Jack O’Brien

Senior Reporter Lecia Bushak recaps a new bill — the PREVAIL Act — that could affect pharma drug patents. 

Plus, the ongoing medical mystery surrounding President Joe Biden tops our Trends segment, along with the sentencing of Outcome Health’s former CEO and why Sam Altman and Arianna Huffington are building a personalized AI health coach.

Music by Sixième Son

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In the history of medical marketing, the clinical lab industry has been one of the more quiet players. The large commercial providers – think Quest or Labcorp – haven’t exactly become household names. And even those in the business, like the pharma and biotech sides of our audience, don’t have a lot of visibility on marketing of lab services. One reason for that is that labs, as a clinical function, interact with the rest of healthcare in a very episodic way: A patient presents with a set of symptoms, the HCP orders a set of tests and then makes a diagnosis. Other labs work behind-the-scenes for hospitals or are laser-focused on serving a specific group of doctors, such as those who treat cancer. The industry has also lacked a singular voice to portray its importance to stakeholders and policymakers. But the COVID-19 pandemic renewed the focus on test results – there was a direct correlation between outcomes and areas where people had ready access to lab tests. And the industry, which now faces the threat of mandated cuts to Medicare’s clinical lab fee schedule, wants to seize the moment to raise its national profile. This week on the podcast, Dr. Bill Maurice, president and CEO of Mayo Collaborative Services and Mayo Clinic Laboratories, and the chair of the board of directors for the American Clinical Laboratory Association, explains his approach to influencing public policy and the patient- and provider-centric marketing challenge of demonstrating the value of the lab for healthcare. And Lecia’s here with a health policy update. I’ll recap a new Bill in Congress called the Prevail Act. Which could have an effect on how Pharma companies design patents for their drugs and Jack what’s training in healthcare this week this week? We’re talking about President Biden’s ongoing medical Saga the sentencing of outcome Health Executives and open ai’s partnership with Arianna Huffington startup. Marcus go with editor at large and welcome to the mmm podcast medical marketing media showed at Health Care marketing route large. Hi and welcome to the mmm podcast. My name is Jack O’Brien. I’m the digital editor of mmm. I’m pleased to be joined today by very special guests. You want to introduce yourself? Sure. Happy to Jack. My name is Dr. Bill Murray’s I am currently the president and CEO of male collaborative services. Awesome before we get too far into the conversation, which I’m very interested in because it has a lot to deal with stuff that focuses on our audience as it relates to clinical work and Innovation. Give us a little bit of a background about your organization for those who may not be familiar. Sure. So male collaborative Services Mayo Clinic Laboratories is an independent or separate for-profit company. That’s wholly owned by my male clinic. It’s been in existence for about a little over 50 years and it primarily serves as the conduit to bring test performed by our academic Department of laboratory medicine and pathology access to the Reference Laboratory Market. We primarily have a hospital business. I’ll do we do all so serve some Physician Offices as well. We’re both domestic and international. We’re the third largest Reference Laboratory in the country reference meeting other hospital care center test to you. And so we we run we about 26 million tests per year primarily in our Rochester campus, but my personal background I am actually a hematopathologist. I’ve been at staff at Mayo Clinic since 2000. I’ve been at Mayo Clinic since 1987 when I came here for my training. So I went from being a staff pathologist and an academic with all of this functioning in the department and have evolved over time to a leadership role. Now in the externally facing business. I appreciate you giving it background on your organization your own academic history as well. I think we’re going to be able to touch into that a little bit later as a relates to Innovation. But as I was saying to you before we got the interview started our audience our primary medical markers focused on the Pharma and biotech side of things I come from a background of previously covering provider organizations and hospitals which is what made so intriguing and getting you on the show talk me a little bit about how when it comes to marketing Hospital Labs. What goes into that Dynamic that might be something that’s a little unfamiliar for our audience in terms of how that side of the sector works is supposed to be say like the the farmer and biotech side of things. Yeah. It’s a great question and it’s a very Quite a bit between different Healthcare organizations, right? So I think Mayo Clinic would be at one end of the spectrum where we actually have a email a business that’s designed to give access of our external of our labs to the external market. So we present ourselves on a lot of different ways, you know doing too much in the way of consumer advertising, but do we do a lot in terms of Education podcasts visibility, of course, Mayo Clinic has a brand has, you know, a lot of cache and recognition and so really what in that perspective we then just portray how we use Diagnostics and the clinical lab in the delivery of care. So that’s on the one end. There’s a many hospitals do Outreach meaning that they do in their communities open up their their Hospital base Laboratories to Physicians and providers in their Community. They will have varying levels often reputational. There’s you know, not a lot of they would vary bit but pretty much Compared to other parts. So you think of services that hospitals and Health Care Systems are trying to grow patient demand the labs tend to be a little bit more on the quiet side. I would say in terms of a marketing perspective and even some of the large commercial players like a cholesterol LabCorp, they don’t do a lot either so so it tends to be sort of the history of the clinical lab industry that we don’t do a lot in terms of compared to other careers of Healthcare in terms of actual marketing and you talk about being a little bit quieter than other aspects. Can you talk about why that is and maybe how you and your organization are trying to change that a little bit going forward. Yeah. I think it’s In part is if you think about how a provider or a physician, you know interacts with the laboratory, they tend to like my specialties came out of Pathologists meaning as a hematopathologist meaning hematologists that are seeing patients with blood cancers. They are the primary orders of our laboratory services. And so it’s it’s kind of the way we interact with Healthcare even is tends to be very focused on a specific group or more episodic number one, but and so that what that prevents is some someone actually presenting their totality of what the labs do for Health Care system because if you think about it, I mean about 70% or more of the quantitative data and anyone’s health record just come out of clinical lab. So the clinical labs are actually a very important infrastructure and fundamental element of Health Care delivery. We just often don’t think about it that way in healthcare. And so that’s where what we’re trying to do about that is really pivot that and just say look if the new If our new approach to healthcare delivery is going to be very data-centric and building tools on top of that data. You have to think about your clinical laboratories much differently. You have to move out of the episodic thinking of you know, Bill comes in with with, you know, with this set of symptoms. I order this set of tests to help create a differential diagnosis and make a diagnosis to the labs are an infrastructure part of our Healthcare System that are generating a lot of data a lot of Revenue a lot of opportunity for Value creation. And that’s really how Labs it becomes and coming on labs to portray themselves in that way and it’s really important right now. One of my other roles is I serve as the chair of the board of directors for the American Clinical Laboratory Association, which is a trade Association for for clinical laboratories in DC. If you look at some of the policy and Regulatory issues that we’re facing again, so even policy makers sometimes fail to recognize the totality of value that the clinical Labs bring to health care and tend to under invest and that’s even after covid which is I can’t think of an event that would be more emphatic on the role of clinical testing and sort of just health care and decision making It’s a little bit that I want to unpack there when it comes from you. We’re talking about the value of having education or when I talked to Brand leaders all the time. They say frequently that that’s one of the more challenging things special like say if I’m representing a brand that’s in a rare disease space. I have to educate my population on what the disease is why it’s important raise awareness take action as it relates to clinical labs and what you’re talking about there. It’s like okay even once we stress all this to stakeholders and decision makers it’s still getting them to act. What progress have you seen on that front and maybe where is there still room for improvement to be able to get to where you could see? Oh, we’re making a lot of Headway in this direction. I think gotten the one hand, you know, the progress is It both for Mayo Clinic and as well as many of our other hospital-based customers. I do think there’s a growing recognition within Healthcare leadership of the importance of the Clinical Laboratory as a core asset right for their organization. So it’s certainly the dialogue has changed in that way. Also, I think that if you look at our ability to get to influence policy makers both at the state and federal level, I think that’s grown and I think it is because there is a greater now appreciation of how important laboratory and clinical testing is for for Health Care delivery, right? And as a for instance, if you look at covid again is an example there was a direct correlation between outcomes and and and access to testing right? So if you look in ZIP codes that had lower access to testing and watch poor outcomes for covid so that if we go really serious about equity and access we have to really present the labs. Away, and we are getting traction people actually thinking in that way. So that’s good. I think the challenge we have is it still very fragmented, you know with there’s not a singular voice like there are for other areas of healthcare and that and I think that’s where you’re now, you know kind of drawing the line with her diseases again, it can be difficult to get tracks around some of those and raise visibility us where there’s a lot of clinical testing but there’s not a lot of singular voices out there and that’s one area that honestly Mayo Clinic is trying to take the lead in Mayo Clinic Laboratories is to help be that kind of be help be that voice to help portray to the healthcare industry and other stakeholders just and others in healthcare more broadly like in biotech just the real important labs and how do you push back against that potential clawback? Because you talked about like obviously there was renewed focus on clinical lab testing during covid same thing that we saw where Telehealth went, you know to the moon and it was something where people were saying are we even go back for in-person Care Now That We’re four years later. We’ve started to see like, you know, tell Health stocks have Back to Earth in some places crater. I imagine the demand has been the same way for clinical Labs. So how do you keep that momentum going even though we’re out of the emergency phase of the pandemic but we’ve already seen oh this can have a value across the healthcare ecosystem. Where does that come into play for your organization and like-minded ones too. I think the important thing is to Pivot even though I’ve done it mentioned it twice, but you really have to we have to Pivot the conversation away from covid and and kind of back to just the broader context of how important lab testing is for many many diseases, right and for many chronic illnesses and to really be engaged in understanding some of the challenges that we face in healthcare in the US and globally and just actually creating those use cases for where Diagnostics and access to testing and growing testing comes critically important. I think pre-pandemic there was a big focus on personalized medicine. Obviously that’s really coming out particularly in cancer, but also in a lot of mediated diseases we’re seeing novel Therapeutics are coming out and about drug. Conjugates again now to really hears where we need to focus on the investment in Innovation and Diagnostics to identify which patients are going to respond as we talked about before, you know, we went into record. My background was a lot of biomarker discovery, which actually helps delineate A different diseases and so if you think about one of the things I’ve kind of learned over the years is that if a disease has a name that like a person’s name in it. It’s probably multiple diseases and we just don’t have the Advanced Diagnostics to really differentiate between them. So you think about like Alzheimer’s disease is that really one disease or is it actually many different manifestations of you know with disease with a common in state? You know when I started and I actually wanted to be a neurologist when I first started my medical training it wasn’t that important right? Because there wasn’t much you could do now we’re seeing that event of Therapeutics that become important and Minister early. So now we have to innovate on the night side to really understand your diseases and which ones will respond to these therapies. And which ones all your points very well taking their obviously the progress. So we’ve seen the past couple years of relates to not only Alzheimer’s but you think about also there’s been additional Investments made in Parkinson’s and all these sorts of different diseases where I think beforehand if we had this conversation back in 2014 2004 would bend. Yeah. These are really awful and we’re trying everything we can but it felt like much more of a moon shot. Whereas now we’re starting to see those Investments and really starting to reap what we’re selling on that front. I want to go back to a previous point though before we talk a little bit about Innovation one of these seen in terms of communications and marketing to kind of change that conversation that you’ve been alluding to what is been most effective from your purview have there been any sort of campaign or effort where you’re like, Oh, they’re they’re getting in terms of how we’re trying to rethink clinical labs and their value. Yeah, there’s been a few some that we’ve LED and some that have been actually led by by acla to trade Association and others that really just sort of. Provide scenarios that really demonstrate the value of the laboratory for health care, right? So on the hospital side really thinking about Again, Diagnostics are really the driver of the patient’s Health Care Journey. Right? So you have to think about the labs in that way that there are high value services that hospitals and Healthcare Systems provide that they want to continue to have demand for particularly. Now that things are kind of normalizing again in terms of capacity and people want you know, hospitals Health Care Systems wanting to grow areas of their practice that are driving, you know, driving Revenue to be completely honest and and labor huge part of that. Right? So I think one of the things for Health Care Systems to connect the dot for them, you know, a lot of it honestly is around connecting the dots. But because people just don’t think of Diagnostics in that way and a more consumer focus and trying to influence public policy because one of the things that we face in the labs is a protection to access to Medicare actor gamma would actually mandate cuts to The Clinical Laboratory fee schedule. We’ve been delaying that we Congress has been delaying that but we actually need a permanent fix so really getting Different stakeholders to understand the value of the laboratory. You know, what what access to laboratory, you know what it means in a very personal level for someone with diabetes or child with with an undiagnosed rare illness, right? It becomes critically important. So I think it’s working both ends. It’s working kind of the patient-centric provider Centric. Here’s where labs create value really think about that and then the organizational level where they create value as well. Again, your point is very well taken there in terms of being able to communicate the effort but then saying hey, it’s not enough to be aware of this we have to actually take action and move the ball across the line into the end zone. I want to talk a little bit about Innovation because we do cover the diagnostic space and it seems like there has been a lot in terms of okay that kind of covid jolt that we’ve seen to advance a little further ahead. Where have you seen the most meaningful advances in the diagnostic space? And where are you most hopeful like Hey, we’re going to see more progress here that maybe we haven’t seen already. I think there’s probably two-fold and with all the advances in Therapeutics and the fact, you know people don’t think about it. But the Clinical Laboratory is actually one of the primary intersections between Healthcare and Technology Innovation, you know, the Innovation cycle on the instrumentation we’re using in the Laboratories is like it’s about on a three-year three to five year cycle where there’s a major impactful technical change being introduced. So on the one hand, we’re really seeing things with this is on the concept of phrase multi omics meaning we think about biomarkers as a blood test for single analyte. If we really want to delve into unraveling complex diseases. We have to look at multiple different and lights and biomarkers with multiple different systems and then actually pull those together into a more singular holistic view of a patient and what that information tells us. That’s that’s really multi-omics again on the therapeutic side the farmers side very much driving towards that because that’s going to hold the key for love these Advanced Therapies. The other area that I really seeing now starting to take off as on the concept of digital biomarkers and I think for labs that really is twofold number one. It’s kind of what you would someone in the audience might think about and that’s digital pathology again as we start to digitize histology images we can start to unlock information in them, which just is either not not apparent to the to the you just can’t see it as a human or you have to have such a wealth of experience in most people can’t see it right and so digital pathology and also to make it quantifiable, right? So it’s a very much right now his pathology and pathology is a very descriptive. We just describe what we see now we can move to quantification which is really exciting. The other is really the Advent of machine learning and if you think about it’s great that we’re going to have digital pathology, but most of the laptop testing is already in the digital domain and can we start to now layer largely language models and a It on top of those to draw observations that again require, you know ability to kind of massive transformation of data even around a single patient. And so I think those are some areas where we’re going to see some real Innovation is in the digitization of the laboratory and the way it interacts with providers and patients. I don’t think I’ve had a conversation with any sort of healthcare leader that hasn’t led to AI at some points. So I’m glad that you brought up because I did want to ask in terms of and I think you just kind of gave your answer there, but just how AI factors into all of this too because I know that every industry has looked at the success of chat you beat Team and open Ai and everything and said like how can we use this and it sounds like we’re already starting to see those results and in the small part at least in the diagnostic space and could obviously start to see more of those in the months and years ahead. Oh, absolutely, and I think there’s really two. A couple areas. Number one again. There’s such a massive amount of information generated from the Laboratories. You know that if it comes over moment for provider particularly when they’re you know when they’re Already busy and it burned out if you look at a lot of the things that in retrospect when its outcomes are not ideal is often missing signal in The Clinical Laboratory. So that’s where one area I think we’re AI will really hold a lot of Promise because it’ll help with that again with pulling that information and in a way that’s Very agile and can map to an intuitive way that a physician thinks about a patient. I think the other area that’s a big challenge for us is in a utilization and I think that’s another area either Physicians. We spent a lot of time at a place like male we have over 4,000 unique tests, right and we test for everything and so it can be confusing for a position when they need to order something right and they tends to either actually both over utilization and underutilization and that will be another real opportunity as we see AI machine learning is that those kind of tools and health record interfacing with the clinician and the physician can help guide them to the best laboratory tests based on what’s being seen in the medical record as just their experience or their five minute interview with the patient. I’m getting so excited whenever I hear the actual practical uses of AI instead of just like oh, yeah, it could do this or it could do your time about like no, there’s all this data that’s out there and for so long it was just like we need big data. We need to have as much data as we can. But now it’s actually like, you know being able to go through it on a qualitative basis and say like here’s how we can actually improve patient outcomes. Here’s how we can make a better process out of it rather than just saying. Hey, we’re seeing all this data, isn’t that great? Yeah, right, you know for me, I agree and again that’s really goes back to the value because a lot the data is there right? It’s again, it’s 70% or so the data and the health records so you can create AI tools that have the smart attributes meaning specific measurable actionable relevant timeout to actually create those tools that will impact care. So so yeah, I agree. It’s a very exciting time I think for us to really know its incoming us to seize the opportunity. Right? I’ve really appreciate you being on the show here and being able to offer your insights on this. And again, if something that I think is adjacent for our audience, but it’s important for them to understand because there is this larger industry out there outside of Just the farm and biotech space one to leave you with the final word in case there’s anything you would want to share with our audience and maybe that they should keep in mind the more that they think about, you know, what hospitals are doing on the clinical lab front and maybe where their opportunities to cross over and have some sort of collaboration. Is there anything you would offer to them? Yeah, I I would say that to think holistically and particularly if you’re on the biotech side, you know, there’s going to be a continued blurring is there’s there’s a man for patients to get access to the Therapeutics that and and there’s also a demand for payers to make sure they’re being used rationally. This is an area where there’s going to be real compression between the biomarker discovery and the implementation and the clinical use and so to think about that and think about that transition and how we can bring stakeholders together to create value on both sides on both the discovery side as well as the implementation side I think is going to be really important and so it’s one thing that I would encourage people to think about awesome Dr. Maurice. You’ve been wonderful with your time. I appreciate all these insights and getting to allow me to walk down memory lane of covering the provider side of things again. It’s it’s a world that I was very familiar with for a long time. And I know that still has value for our audience of medical marketers. So thank you for being on the show best of luck with all that you and your organization are doing going forward and hopefully we can have another conversation down. Online about Diagnostics and where the world stands there. Yeah. Absolutely. First of all, thank you for having me. I hope the people listen and find it interesting at least and we have if they do I’d be happy to come on again Health policy update with Lesha Boucher opposition to recent legislation that would limit Federal oversight of patent approvals has begun to Bubble Up specifically in the farm industry last year bipartisan Senators, Chris Coons and Thom Tillis introduced a Bill in Congress dubbed the Prevail act which is designed to take aim at some of the federal government’s restrictions on monopolizing. In essence Prevail would allow companies to maintain patents on products that were already known or considered obvious to scientists in that respective field. As a post to the patents having to be entirely original. The bill would also limit the power of the patent trial and appeal board a federal tribunal that reviews patent applications and determines whether they’re viable the board was specifically designed to challenge wrongful patents. Opponents of the bill argue that Pharma companies would be able to hike up drug costs more onto the legislation as well as find ways to prevent generic competition through so-called wrongful patents. The campaign for a sustainable RX pricing and advocacy organization that includes Healthcare Providers and Pharmacy benefit managers this week sent a letter to Congress outlining its objection to the legislation. The statement notes that the Prevail act would limit the government’s quote capacity to review patentability claims weaken, the interparts review process and strengthen brand name pharmaceutical companies ability to extend its Monopoly protections. The Prevail act would inevitably result in patients paying the high costs of brand name prescription drugs for longer than even occurs today, but supporters of the bill including Kouns and Tillis have argued that it would quotes invest in inventors in the US maintain the us as the leading Innovation economy in the world and protect the property rights of inventors. I’m lesbian Shack senior reporter at mmm and is the part of the broadcast and welcome Jack O’Brien to tell us what’s trending in healthcare. Hey Jack, hey there mark, so the top story. I think not only in the healthcare industry, but probably in the broader American economy Society whatever you want to call it is the health Saga of President Biden and there were two things I wanted to do to frame the conversation for our sake we were talking about this offline before we start recording like we’re not here to game plan out any of the political aspects of this, you know the polling about Are by the matches up with Trump or VP Harris or anybody like that? It’s really looking at the healthcare conversation that’s going on. So I didn’t have the what I think most people consider objectively bad debate performance at the end of June against former president Trump on CNN a lot of stammering stopping holding conversation, you know, losing a train of thought and a lot of people that were concerned about the president’s abilities to be able to hold on to this office and be able to execute at the highest level that has now devolved into a lot of questions around the president’s cognitive abilities kind of culminating yesterday. We’re recording this on Tuesday, but on Monday, there was a press briefing following a New York Times report that a prominent neurologist had visited the White House eight times over the past few months the White House Press Secretary gotten an argument with multiple reporters over disclosing these visits from the Neurologist and ultimately, they released a letter through the White House physician that said this neurologist to visit the White House three times and they were all part of routine annual physicals at the president has undergone that all presidents undergo as well. This is led to a lot of questions about. President Biden’s cognitive abilities and I wanted to start the conversation off and Mark. I want to bring you in first looking at this from a purely Health perspective. We talk a lot about and we cover a lot in our coverage these awareness campaigns and destigmatization all the sorts of stuff and it feels like there’s a lot of nuance that’s being lost in this conversation around the cognitive abilities of President Biden. I was just doing a quick little scan. I haven’t seen anything from the Parkinson’s Foundation from the Michael J fox Foundation from a lot of these advocacy groups when this is really top of mind you go on any sort of social media or news site. They’re talking about Parkinson. They’re talking about Alzheimer’s they’re talking about dementia and I’m not seeing those Patient Advocates or advocacy groups out there. I don’t want to say dispelling but almost saying like hey when you’re having these conversations, they’re people that live with these things these people are you know disposable they’re not, you know Unworthy of your respect. And so I want to bring you in here because that’s one of the first things that really stuck out to me and I have another point that we can dig into But want to get your take on this kind of ongoing unclear Saga that we’re in. It’s an excellent point Jack. Yes, where are the advocacy groups pointing out the nuances that are missing that this is really Health conversation and not allowing it to be overtaken by politics, you know, which the Biden team is very seemingly effectively trying to shift the conversation to you know, as again, we were talking offline about this, you know, there was a Wall Street Journal report earlier this year obviously coming from right leaning Outlet like the Wall Street Journal no surprise, but you know, they talked to you know, a host of Congressman Congress people men and women on both sides of the aisle about the president’s struggles with cognitive issues and you know hearing to be alert and up on the facts press conferences and you know, he oftentimes conflated different issues, you know, whether it was International politics or other issues. And so this is not was not just a matter of you know, I think leche was saying offline a debate performance at one time thing. This was a buildup, you know of Elise several months here and that’s kind of what’s what’s been missing in the conversation. Is that context that you know older people don’t always suffer from cognitive issues. But this is a reality that we can’t sort of, you know dismiss that the leader of the Free World here is in the throws of some kind of cognitive situation or something impairing is cognitive ability. I didn’t know that cognitive issues frankly were Hallmark of Parkinson’s disease. I thought it would be more sort of a slam dunk, you know the case of potential Dementia or Alzheimer’s always not being a clinician. I don’t I’m not here to to diagnose either but you know Biden he simply quote-unquote messed up and the debate is kind of worrying quite thin as an excuse. And I think this is a very good vacuum Jack I agree for the more intelligent and Educated voices to step up and explain what could be going on here, which we know is not always the case in this country, you know, the fact that we haven’t had a very well-balanced nuanced conversation on health and my lifetime my 30 years on this Earth. I think it’s very telling leche. I want to bring you in here for your thoughts Because by the time that this even airs there could be a whole nother development terms of where this conversation is going. But at this point time, what do you make of things? Yeah, you know you both brought up an interesting point sort of watching how the national conversation around Biden’s Health has gone. It’s sort of reminds me of the scandalous gossiping internet viral stuff that was happening around Cape Middleton’s Health sort of before she and you know announced her cancer diagnosis. Everyone was like freaking out. Where is Kate Middleton? Why isn’t she made a public appearance what’s wrong with her, you know coming up with theories and so many different types of misinformation around her health and kind of hyper focusing on her health when arguably even high-profile leaders or celebrities still have a right to health privacy and I think this kind of opens up that Health privacy question again, because to what extent should a high-profile leader, you know like the president of the United States also be allowed to have the health privacy that every American is allowed to have And not have to disclose, you know certain conditions and whatnot. I think because the elections are so highly politicized and controversial especially with Trump in the race right now. I think all of that has kind of gone out the window and everyone is you know hyper focusing on Biden’s symptoms potential symptoms of a diagnosis where we don’t know yet, you know, as you mentioned some people have been thinking it might be Parkinson’s dementia another form of neurocognitive issues and that sort of care that we typically take when we discuss health issues and health privacy issues is like has like gone out the window for bright like it’s kind of all fair game now and everyone’s kind of attacking him. Where as you mentioned Jack, you know people with dementia people with Alzheimer’s are still full humans. It’s you know, they need to be treated as such so it’s kind of Been a wild west situation. I think with with a lot of this and it definitely reminds me of those like celebrity cases we’ve talked about on here where people have gone wild with like speculation around health conditions. And ultimately that led Kate Middleton to make a public announcement About Her diagnosis. So I’m really curious to see if the White House is going to make like a public announcement about a diagnosis for Biden or not. I mean it really it really could go any way at this point like we’re kind of waiting to see if he drops out or if he keeps going in the race right now to Peters he’s doubling down. So yeah, I mean, it’s kind of a touch and Coach situation your points very well taken their lesson and I agree with what you and Mark of both said words like, you know, it’s it’s just the Insidious nature of American politics where anything could become partisan fodder and it’s you know, I’ve seen people even talk about like well if you were to drop out, you know, he would be able to frame this in the context of having whatever sort of Condition or medical ailment. It’s like just so so gross and this may be me trying to moralize and editorialize a little bit but it’s so gross to have something health-related framed in that sort of way instead of like you said Lesha being a patient at the other day, like whether you are the president of the United States whether you’re a princess in England, whether you’re my uncle who lives in Eastern Massachusetts, like the fact that it has to be some sort of like Stakes to it instead of it being. Oh this person is going through something and that’s how we’re addressing it. But that’s ultimately where the stakes are at. And it’s it’s very frustrating to see that playing out along with conversation about ages and along with you know, even the fact that we’re having this sort of debate of always at Parkinson’s is Alzheimer’s and conflating the two even though they are completely different conditions and diseases that can be dealt with it’s it’s so frustrating to just see that we continue to barrel head on as media as Society into another Health conversation that just lacks any sort of meaningful nuanced. Yeah, wouldn’t it be you know, Interesting if those voices from that advocacy groups or whatnot or Physicians, you know or the White House doctor for that matter stepped up and sort of clarified, you know that you know and made the case that okay. He has this this and this but that doesn’t mean he can’t do his job, you know, and you know, give him a little bit of you know, leeway, you know, in terms of some of sometimes of these these public appearances. He might not be at his best and you know, you can debate whether leader of the Free World needs to always be at his best in these situations to project, you know, an air of confidence because he’s representing but we don’t see that in the conversation and that’s leaving a vacuum, you know of misinformation to fester and so it’s not serving anybody’s purpose and I’ll give one more point because I do want to bring Molly our intern into this conversation but your point so well taken their mark because we cover all of these campaigns and they’re always talking about stigma and how people if they’re they feel like they’re experienced you Ignition or disease or they have symptoms or whatever they’re nervous to come forward because there are repercussions and you can imagine that somebody is you know, somebody’s losing their train of thought or somebody might be going through something where it’s like oh similar to the president. I might be having these neurocognitive issues. Look at how he’s being treated out there. I’m not I’m not here to say one way or another Republican or Democrat that that’s right to do but I can say from a patient perspective. I saw other people treating somebody that’s going through that. That way I would be more reluctant to go and talk to my family to a caregiver to a provider and say this is something I want to come forward with I think that and that’s where I would love to see, you know, the health Brands the patient advocacy groups step forward and say like this is something that millions of Americans go through and we’re going to help you get through and this is a learning moment. It’s similar the way I was talking with our podcast producer fits about when Ronald Reagan came out with his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in 1994. They gave him an unprecedented View and understanding of this disease and that still wasn’t enough that was 30 years ago. We still aren’t fully there yet. And so if this Is that moment for Parkinson’s or any sort of cognitive issue? It could be something that’s really a valuable Learning lesson and it feels like we’re Biff it again as we usually do. Yeah. Like this is like fueling stigma more after all of the years of trying to break down stigma about mental health and cognitive health and things like that. It really feels like we’ve gone backwards a little bit on that front. Yeah, which is nothing new for us. Unfortunately Molly. I want to give you the final word before we move on to our Second Story here. Yeah. I mean I completely agree with pretty much everything you guys said but I kind of noticed just again with the whole the lack of understanding that we all have and even like professionals reporters what how none of us seem to understand, you know, the complete difference between Alzheimer’s between dementia and Parkinson’s and just I feel like it is true that a lot of these organizations kind of have this platform right now where they have kind of an international stage everyone’s kind of tuned in to this topic right now, so it could be a big opportunity for them to set straight some of these stigmas and really explain the differences between these things and you know, The reality is of them. Yeah. Absolutely. The ball is the ball is teed up there and it’s not it’s not being taken fully advantage of I’ve talked enough on this segment. I’m gonna hand the reins over to mark for the second segment here because we had some big news. We were admittedly in the end of our fiscal year push and there was coming off of can there was plenty of healthcare news this kind of flew under our radar but Mark why don’t you go to the news on outcome Health? Sure sure about a week ago this verdict came down where Rishi Shah who was the former Chief Executive and co-founder of the startup outcome Health had been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for his part in What prosecutors termed a billion dollar fraud scheme to defraud investors and advertisers in video advertisements in doctors offices and this verdict kind of closes the book on what was a major case for the point of care marketing industry just a major segments of our coverage and a corporate fraud scheme that’s reminiscent of theranos. Elizabeth Holmes, you know the kind of dig too deeply to see the similarities and all like to take people through some of those. But basically just to recap again seven and a half year sentence for Shah and the company had installed video screens and doctors offices and charge Pharma companies to run drug ads targeted at patients in the waiting room, which is basically the core of what point of care marketing companies many of them do and the prosecutors had said that company leaders misled clients, which include Nova nordis can be Ms. Auditors lenders investors about the number of offices that had received these screens and inflated the supposed effectiveness of the advertising and so again I said, as I said, there’s a lot of similarities here between this case and the outcome Health case one of them is that the reporting of the journal Wall Street Journal prompted the fraud case and the Elizabeth Holmes trial and we saw again here. There was a report in 2017 the kind of the doors off of this one. The court also said that our excuse me prosecutors in 2019 indicted Shah. As well as Brad Purdy the CFO and shroud the former president and jury found them last year guilty of numerous criminal counts, why are male and bank fraud and a fourth executive design who served as the government’s Chief witness received to reduce sentence Agarwal and pretty by the weather are due to be sentenced this week. But another similarity with the Holmes trial was that prosecutors there had pushed for a larger sentence. She still got jail time here a prosecutors had pushed for 15 year sentence for Shah as the driving force and his lawyers kind of downplayed as well and his financial the financial harm suffered and pushed for home confinements, which I remember Elizabeth Holmes lawyers as well did but the biggest takeaways I think in terms of the similarities between the two cases where that here, you know in 2017 album Health raise to 500 million dollars, you know, they had 20 to the top 30 drug makers as clients. And this was a at the end of the day a promising idea and at one time a solid business and you could argue that they could have been successful without cheating and so too in Holmes’s case in 2013 and 2014. She had a good idea to improve Healthcare and there was of course was valued at 9 billion dollars. And we all know how that Saga ended and perhaps silicon Valley’s, you know, most infamous meltdown, but there’s one major difference here in that, you know with theranos that company folded of course, but here in this case as our colleague Larry dobrow Editor in Chief of M&M reported back in 2019 that outcome Health didn’t fold. In fact in June 2018 McNally joined a CEO and he initiated the turnaround that ensued he stabilized the business. He brought more rigor and transparency to point a care marketing and the client slowly returned and the eventually the company was sold and so again closes the books on a sort of a dark chapter of medical marketing but in the end the whole sector, I think emerged in better shape and it’s now pointed to as kind of a success story Luca turn around story. I’ll say in our industry. I That Mark I don’t really have anything else to add on to their like you said it’s kind of the theranos in the medical marketing world. Yeah. So yeah. Thanks Mark for that great background and description, you know, it’s interesting that similar to theranos and Elizabeth Holmes. You know, Rishi Shah was sort of this rising star in you know, the medical marketing industry and he was like named under fortunes 40 under 40 at the time and sort of had a lot of influence and power and then sort of had a huge decline, but it was kind of interesting to hear you say that outcome health and ended up actually sort of learning from its mistakes and implementing changes and is sort of an example in the medical marketing world of like where you shouldn’t be going and you know, you have to like maintain Integrity in your business. And you know all so thought it was interesting that you know, I was the Wall Street Journal that actually originally reported on this sort of brought it to light and I always enjoy a good example of investigative journalism. Absolutely. That’s a great Point lash. I mean, it’s that’s the thing that I didn’t really go into too deeply on terms of how the brought more, you know, it’s sort of improved. I think the image of the whole industry and the end I think that it went through this period of term oil and emerged stronger for it. So it’s again A notorious chapter but a turnaround story on the last What do we got next Jack for our files story? We’re talking about Thrive AI Health, which is a company backed by open AI startup fund and Thrive Global Sam Altman, who is the CEO of openai and Aryan Huffington the founder of The Huffington Post and the leader of Thrive Global wrote an op-ed talking about this AI focused Healthcare startup that they’re launching and how it’s going to be based on peer-reviewed Medicine peer-reviewed Science and a whole host other factors. I you know, I I see this is just kind of more of the wave that we’re seeing in terms of put AI in your name and have a healthcare focus and there’s going to be money and attention that follows. The one thing that made me chuckle is just the fact that open Ai and time have that licensing and Technology agreement that allows open AI to have access to Times archives. So when I was reading this I was like, how did this get in time? That’s why one of throw it over to you mark unless you if you had anything in terms of you know, I I’m really kind of more of the Mind the more that we see these I companies I want to see something of a value more than just these Grand ideas before I start to care too much. Oh, yeah check as you said in the in the opening interview with Dr. Maurice, you know, you don’t have to wait too long, you know before any interview eventually with a Healthcare Executive turns to the subject of AI but what’s really interesting from a healthcare reporters point of view is when you hear really use cases, you know for that Ai, and he was talking about some really interesting ones, you know from digital pathology, you know to you know other areas where AI can take the enormous amount of clinical lab data and kind of help it, you know, bring it to Bear, you know on you know, the types of tests not only the types of tests that are run but you know, the the decisions that are made from those tests and and here, you know Behavior change, you know and science behind behavioral behavioral change what gets people to make certain Healthcare decisions, you know is a very deep one. I would refer people, you know to not to be pretentious, but you know to A lot of reporting that we’ve done over the years on Behavioral Science and how it’s you know, come to medical marketing and the work of researchers in that area Dan ariely at Duke and others. That have talked about why patients people, you know do what they do and by extension patients do what they do and how Choice architecture so to speak can be set up in different ways to play on people’s pensions which not are not always, you know, the right, you know, Tendencies and Doctors show some of these Tendencies toward making incorrect decisions just as well as late people do and that’s kind of something that markers of seized on and a lot of campaigns whether it’s gamification of campaigns that we’ve seen or you know, fostering empathy, you know, in in clinicians, you know for certain diseases as a way to raise awareness. Those are all Behavioral Science techniques that we now have come to kind of take for granted in medical marketing. So there’s a lot of there’s a lot to this new startup, you know between Samoa and Huffington and all so, you know, it’s also reminiscent a couple weeks ago. It’s not, you know bringing AI to that conversation I want to say is not to to far-fetched an idea in fact a couple weeks. Ago we had Elaine gamble the former otsuka executive on the podcast and you know marketing extraordinaire and she was talking about how medical marketers can use AI in the context of omni-channel marketing to surface a lot of these a lot of these different sort of points in the patient Journey that can that can help people make the right decisions for their health. Whether it’s real Health Care Physicians or you know, social determinants of health health more Equitable Health Care decisions that kind of thing so also refer people to that interview, but this is you know, it sounds like a promising idea here. yeah, when I was reading the time article that Sam ultimate and Arianna Huffington wrote about Thrive AI Health, you know, I was kind of reading about how the goal was basically to create like this personalized AI health coach that sits on your phone and it is all as you mentioned Mark designed to Spur better Behavior change among people among we talk about Behavior change. Obviously, we know that you know things like better sleep better diet more movement every day as a sedentary lifestyle, you know Mental Health Care social all those things can happen impact on a lot of chronic conditions, and I know that Arianna Huffington has written about Some of these things in the past some of these behavioral changes in the past including this thing that she calls micro steps which is like very small steps. You can take every day that can have a pretty significant impact on your health. So it would be like, you know taking a 10 minute walk every day after you’ve been sedentary for 10 years and then kind of building upon that I guess like The Devil’s Advocate in me though is kind of wondering like how much a personalized AI health coach on your phone is really going to Change people’s behavior. I mean there’s already like hundreds and hundreds of apps out there that you know claim to be personalized Health apps that help people track weight loss and you know nutrition and fitness and any number of other things you can text with therapists and text with AI mental health coaches now, so I guess I’m you know, just wondering how you unique. This will be and I’m interested to see how it plays out. But as I mentioning, you know, the devil’s advocate in me wonders a little bit around like the hype about around some of these AI products and whether they will actually live up to the hype. Yeah, the hype is the exhausting part of this entire exercise is just following all of this and trying to figure out what’s up the wheat from the chaff Molly’s or anything else. You want to finish this off with before we yeah, I mean, I also agree I just like I think people are Often just kind of ignore say they can alert saying oh you should stand up you should do this. It’s really easy to just like ignore that so I think that’s a huge aspect of it. But I also just think that it’s gonna take a lot of trust for people to be giving such detailed information about their health and all of that and about their lifestyle to AI just because I don’t know we have like a very big cultural distrust with technology and I think AI has a lot of work to do with gaining that I guess certainly yes. There’s a lot of Technology out there. That’s that’s not used as a Lasher pointed out, you know, a lot of apps that go unused and AI is facing a lot of tech failures that have occurred the made people very jaded. So but certainly, you know, some Molly point will take it but certainly, you know, a big Power couple there, you know and area and Huffington and Sam Altman, you know, pretty high-profile Duo there so we’ll keep our eyes on that one. Well, thanks everybody for joining us in this week’s episode of the mmm podcast. Be sure to listen to next week’s show. We’ll be joined by Emma Fountain R&D projects and operations cluster lead at bear. That’s it for this week. The mmm podcast is produced by Bill Fitzpatrick Gordon failure LeSabre Shack and Jack O’Brien. Our theme music is by cesium Zone rate review and follow every episode wherever you listen to podcasts new episodes out of every week and be sure to check out our website. Mmm hyphen.com for the top news stories and farmer marketing.