Event Recap: Healthcare Pioneers Day in Boston

Recently, Big3Bio Boston attended a daylong conference, “Healthcare Pioneers Day,” organized by Dr. Simon Sikorski, president of Healthcare Pioneers, Inc.

Healthcare Pioneers is a nationwide business development network that connects healthcare professionals. This active network is made of startup entrepreneurs, practicing physicians, industry experts, and investors.

Hosted by Merck at their research laboratories in the Longwood area near Harvard Medical School, the event was well-balanced and contained both general and targeted information.

In the morning, Barry Sands of RQMIS Inc., a consulting company helping with the regulatory process, gave a complete overview of the regulatory hurdles and strategies that must be considered for the success of healthcare commercialization.

One of his highlights: “Out of the many suggestions and advice, I’ll mention two that are especially significant to the start-up ecosystem. First, do your homework immediately. If you understand the different routes to FDA approval, investors are more likely to take your business plan seriously. Two, managing your strategy is an ongoing process, don’t strategize then forget.”

Steve Porcaro was the second speaker of the morning session, and with the energy of the successful salesman, he went over the five key factors essential to developing an effective sales team. His talk — smartly peppered with well-rehearsed motivational sentences such as “humans don’t have weaknesses, superheroes do; humans have challenges” – engaged the audience, which was, for the occasion, made of a few members of the medical sales world.

The afternoon session began with a discussion on wireless medical technologies and telemedicine. It was followed by a panel of health IT entrepreneurs. The panelists were Dr. Sangeet Khanna, co-founder of the doctor network, AttendingDR; Dr. Gregory Goodman, consultant at Remedy Partners; and Dr. Stephen Fitzmeyer, CEO and founder of MD Idea Lab.

The panel was very informative as it gave real-life examples of the pitfalls and issues associated with the development of new technologies for clinicians and caregivers. Other important topics included data quality, encryption, commercialization, and the standardization efforts that must be made to keep up with the increasing value of personalized medicine. Several audience members kept the discussion on a human level by reiterating the main goal of these innovations: to promote better care for patients and empower more efficiency for clinicians.

The day ended with four start-ups – Lattis Surgical, SmartCode , AttendingDR and Apptomics – pitching their technologies to a panel made of IT health and medical device venture capitalists and investors. The session was a “shark tank” with pitches ranging from developing wearable devices for Parkinson’s to developing better ways to search medical codes.

For a schedule of future Healthcare Pioneers events, click here.


by Kristophe Diaz, Regional Consultant/Correspondent