Disrupters CEOs

The Disrupters Are Coming! In Fact, They Are Already Here.

A ton has been written of late about ” The Disrupters ” coming into healthcare from other industries. Notably, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, and Jamie Dimon are “going for something bigger than shaving a few percentage points off health-care costs” for their million-plus employees. The fact is, the combined purchasing power – and will – of Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, and J.P. Morgan just might make a dent in their runaway healthcare spending. But frankly, healthcare’s been benefiting from “ disrupters ” bringing their skill sets honed in other industries since one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, invented the first flexible catheter to help relieve his brother’s bladder stones. And a ventriloquist, Paul Winchell, patented the first artificial heart (assumedly without the help of his puppet, Jerry Mahoney).

Fast forward to the current day, and we don’t need to look any further than one of ABL/Healthcare’s founding fathers, Bob Funari, who was educated to be a mechanical engineer headed for the auto industry, before he started applying his skills in production control at Baxter – where he rose to being the President of their Pharmaseal division, then – after a very successful exit from Syncor, started his own auto collection. Today, Bob chairs NxStage, whose System One lets patients dialyze at home, and Patient Care America, a specialty pharmacy services provider. In ABL’s Silicon Valley Healthcare Round Table, several of our Members entered healthcare from other fields. Like Dean Hovey, CEO of Comprendo, who, as a “general engineer” and product designer, cofounded what became IDEO, and worked with Steve Jobs to develop Apple’s first mouse. After founding and leading several more tech companies, Dean’s brought his consumer UX savvy into creating mobile products that “merge medicine, motivation, and mind” to activate patient and provider engagement in organizations like New York-Presbyterian.

Dirk Schapeler is another Silicon Valley Member who began his career in electronics and mechanics – and worked for several large automotive suppliers, before segueing into Bayer’s MaterialScience division in both Germany and the US. After a successful exit, the company recognized Dirk’s “crossover” talents, and named him to head Bayer’s Digital Innovation Hub, where his team is converging remote patient monitoring and Big Data visualization with other medical related innovations. Jiang Li, CEO of VivaLNK, put his Ph.D. in chemical engineering to use at Advanced Micro Devices and several other tech companies in The Valley before launching VivaLNK. The company’s first commercial success is a soft wearable thermometer that continuously measures body temperature, wirelessly sending it to a mobile device in the home or hospital. And, Sean Tan, after earning his degrees in Aerospace/Biomechanical Engineering, spent his career largely in the telecom industry with companies like Nortel Networks, UTStarcom, and Brocade, before leveraging his WiFi expertise as the CEO of AiCare. This VC-backed company is blending machine learning with IoT-enabled intelligent sensor technology to enable “intelligent senior living” in assisted living and memory care facilities.

In fact, ABL’s first Adaptive Business Leader Members, like Bob Funari, were leading med device companies, and belonged to our Southern California Technology Executives Round Tables. Given that was in 1989, we’ve had the pleasure of helping “disrupters” grow their healthcare businesses for 29 years. To read more about ABL’s “disruptive” Members, check out our “Member News” articles in our latest ABL Healthcare Online.

by Mimi Grant, President, Adaptive Business Leaders (ABL) Organization – Round Tables and Events for CEOs of Healthcare and Technology Companies

PHOTO CREDIT: http://time.com/money/5124642/warren-buffett-jeff-bezos-cheaper-health-care-insurance-costs/