Behind the scenes of a Jessica DaMassa interview.

WTF.Health: Jessica DaMassa Interviews the greatest minds in Health Tech & Innovation

WTF Health is a new video series hosted by Jessica DaMassa that seeks answers to the question, “what’s the future (WTF) of health?” Wait. Hold on. You thought WTF meant something else? Oh right. Well, it means that too. After all, healthcare is an industry we all love, and love to hate. Recently we caught up with Jessica to find out WTF is going on in the ever-changing world of health and technology, and learn more about her labor of love (and awesome .health domain), WTF.Health.

Warning: the writer of this blog could not resist using the acronym WTF multiple times in this article. Reader discretion is advised.

So, What is WTF Health Anyway?  

For the past three years, Jessica has been doing interviews at various health innovation conferences – Exponential Medicine, Health 2.0, Frontiers Health, Startup Health Festival, and Health 2.0’s WinterTech during J.P. Morgan Healthcare Week and, of course, HIMSS. Here, Jessica is in her element, interviewing the most famous people in health tech with the enthusiasm of an E! News host, chatting it up with celebrities on the red carpet. Except this host doesn’t care WTF you’re wearing, she’s here ask you real questions – things people in the industry want to know.

“I have the best job because I get to ask whatever I want of the people who are coming off the main stage”, explains Jessica.  “And a lot of times, it becomes a deeper conversation about what’s happening in the greater environment of healthcare.”

Jessica, interviews Glen Tullman CEO of Livongo and author of On Our Terms for HIMSS TV.

However, in doing these interviews for different conferences, Jessica realized that the content she was producing was being distributed to a somewhat limited audience.

“One of the things that’s driven me crazy the past few years is that I do these interviews, I talk to these amazing people, and I get their stories, but the content lives with the conference,” said Jessica. “The conferences do a great job of sharing it out, but they’re sharing it to the same audience of people. We need to cross-pollinate these stories and these ideas to see what’s working and what’s not. Innovating in healthcare is so difficult, but people are doing it. We can learn so much from one another.”

WTF Health is Jessica’s way of bringing all of her content together under one beautifully branded umbrella. The website links out to Jessica’s YouTube channel where anyone can watch her interviews. Whether you’re a startup founder or an investor, a UX designer for a health insurance company, or a hospital system CIO, Jessica’s expertly-curated playlists make it easy to find what you need.

“Let’s say someone wanted to find out what’s going on with AI in healthcare,” explains Jessica. “They could visit the site and get a cross-section of people who are talking about that from all of these different conferences around the world and see what’s trending in the marketplace and what opportunities exist. What are the big companies doing? How about the startups? What do the investors think? What are the challenges? People can search by topic, conference, or what interests them.”

WTF is the Future of Health?

One side-effect of interviewing the who’s who of healthcare and technology is that certain trends begin to emerge. Trends that Jessica is all too willing to share:

1. “Startups should know that investors are no longer looking for apps that are one-trick ponies — that’s over — now everybody’s talking about platforms. Healthcare from a patient standpoint or a provider standpoint is a journey, and it’s complicated, and investors want one thing that will fix all of it.”

2. “Investors, both VC and strategic, are really focused on administrative efficiencies right now. For example, things that alleviate the burden of typing things in. I feel like I’ve been seeing a lot of chatbots this year and natural language processing solutions. There seem to be more prominent use cases for these that show how they can be integrated it into the EMR and workflows.”

3. “Women’s health has been having a big year. Lots of investment dollars into startups that focus on fertility, family planning, period tracking, intimate health. Women make the household purchasing decisions. So, are we seeing healthcare go after women’s health as a way to win the female health consumer and ALL the decisions she makes about healthcare spending for her family?”

Taking WTF Health Global

Jessica also thinks it’s important for people in the U.S. to look at what’s happening on the health tech scene in other parts of the world. Jessica has plans to visit Japan, a country that takes a different approach to elder care, and Israel, where they’ve made some important advances in the medical device space. And then, there’s Finland, where people who used to work for Nokia are now dedicated to creating mobile solutions for healthcare.

“I’m looking forward to learning more about these little hotbeds of innovation and deepening my own understanding about the market opportunities in different parts of the world,” said Jessica. “Also, it’s interesting to see how other countries are tackling the same issues we are in the US — driving down cost of care, improving access, improving health outcomes. Our payment model here is unique, it’s true, but we spend more money healthcare than any other country in the world and don’t have the outcomes to show for it. Why wouldn’t we look to other countries to learn how they’re engaging patients and getting those better outcomes at a lower cost?”

Here are some of Jessica’s favorite interviews with health tech professionals in other parts of the world:

Zsuzsanna Varga of Bayer G4A on Global Trends in Digital Health Investment

Nawal Roy on the Health Tech Market in Singapore

Christopher Kommatas on Digital Health in Australia

“WTF?!!! – I Just Saw You on WTF Health!”  

WTF Health is also a way for Jessica to introduce people through technology. And she hopes more conversations in healthcare begin with the words, “I saw your interview with Jessica DaMassa.”

“These interviews are an opportunity to meet somebody and hear their story,” said Jessica. “These are quick conversations, a few minutes long, with cool people who are taking risks and innovating in our industry. It’s hard and it’s messy — but it’s exciting and fun.  I try to ask questions that any other ‘health innovation geek’ would ask if they met this person themselves. There’s so much to learn and I hope that I’m creating awareness, inspiring people, and helping to bridge some connections.”

WTF Are Your Favorite Interviews?

Whether you’re new to WTF Health or tune into the show regularly, you’ll want to check out some of Jessica’s top picks:

Mario Schlosser of Oscar

“I used to work on the innovation team for a health insurance company, so when I had the opportunity to interview him at Health Datapalooza I totally geeked out. I have Oscar insurance, and so I half-jokingly asked him to sign my insurance card.”

Rasu Shrestha of UPMC on the Consumerization of Healthcare

“I’ve interviewed Rasu a number of times, but the interview I did with him that focused on how healthcare is becoming more consumer-focused was just brilliant. How he explained the macroeconomics behind this market shift and what it’s doing to healthcare was worthy of another doctorate.”

Matthew Holt of Health 2.0 and S.M.A.C.K.

This list wouldn’t be complete without an interview with Matthew Holt, Jessica’s partner in crime on Health in 2 Point 00, a show where she asks him about what’s going on in health and technology, and he gives the play-by-play in under two minutes.

“He’s super insightful, and it’s amazing the number of things he can pack into an answer.”

Jessica also loves talking to startups.

“It’s always a genuine conversation once they get past their pitch, and I can ask them deeper questions about their solution or their tech and why they’re passionate about changing healthcare,” explains Jessica. “Their demeanor will start to change and their face will light up and they get excited, and I love that. I really feel like I’m helping bring visibility to this small little company that’s just starting out.”

Kristiina Tolvannen of Nightingale Health 

WTF?!!! WTF.Health is Available?

When Jessica typed “WTF Health” into the search bar of her domain registrar of choice, she could not believe her luck. “ How is that even still available?” remembers Jessica. But that’s the thing about the .heath domain, there’s still plenty of great names out there, and Jessica did not waste any time getting hers.

“I feel like the .health domain belongs to us, it belongs to our industry, and I wanted to claim my small little space in it.”

And we’re certainly glad she did!

Want to experience WTF.Health for yourself? Watch Jessica’s latest interviews at WTF.Health

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