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Real care delivery challenges, virtual solutions

You don’t need to work in health care to understand our system is facing significant challenges―an aging population, astronomical wait times and increasing costs to name a few. See how two physician innovators are tackling these challenges virtually.

This episode of Boldly was recorded from one of the most inspiring conferences out there: TEDMED. There Lindee David, CEO of Joule, was joined by Dr. Sonny Kohli of CloudDX and Dr. Yanick Beaulieu of Reacts. She asked about their experience at the event, their journeys as physician innovators, their thoughts on failure and how to move forward with ideas you’re passionate about.  

What outcomes are possible when physicians can care for their patients virtually? How do you continue to stay motivated with your projects when things get tough? Listen to this episode of Boldly to hear from some sage advice and personal stories from some of the best physician innovators we know. If you’re working on your own innovation project, you won’t want to miss it.

tweetable: Never have I thought about the merging of medicine with the arts and how that can be viewed as innovation.

Key takeaways

What is TEDMED like?
  • What sets TEDMED apart from other conferences.
  • What is the TEDMED Hive and why is it so captivating?
  • What are some of the solutions they discovered in the Hive?

tweetable: The barriers on one hand are intimidating and they can crush an innovator’s journey. On the other hand, if you look at them as opportunities to transform healthcare, then they are exciting.

What led Dr. Kohli and Dr. Beaulieu to their success today? 
  • Which “aha” moments Dr. Kohli experienced while in Haiti that led him to found Cloud DX.
  • The experience Dr. Beaulieu had at the age of twelve which inspired him to want to be at the forefront of medicine.
  • The realization Dr. Beaulieu had about remote training which led him to create Reacts.

tweetable: Don’t think about what will happen if you fail. Think about what will happen if you succeed. (Dr. Queen Dube from Malawi)

What are some barriers to adopting virtual solutions to care today?
  • Despite the many benefits to caring for patients virtually, there are some challenges to getting administrators on board. 
  • Some barriers are virtual. The clinical processes underneath are often the problem (not having computers, communication issues).

tweetable: Let the idea find you.

How can young health care professionals overcome their reluctance to share ideas? 
  • There are advantages to getting out there and being bold 
  • Knowing health care can move mountains
  • Don’t think about what will happen if you fail. Think about what will happen if you succeed. 
  • Don’t try too hard to find what you need to be doing. Let the idea find you.

tweetable: You have that innate drive already within you. That’s why you’re in medicine. You can use that for good in many ways.

What failures have helped them ultimately grow their career and respective products? 
  • Getting approval for a product from Health Canada too late to compete. It was still considered a win because they continued to chip away and they did not give up. It opened more doors than they believed possible. 
  • An app update that caused issues didn’t lose customers because of their customer care. The solution made their app even better.

tweetable: View processes you take for granted every day with a critical eye. You’ll find so many points of failure that you can improve upon.

What are ways to keep going when things get tough? 
  • Don’t give up on patients that are reluctant to change their habits. 
  • Innovation seems hard but often the real barrier to innovation is process.
  • Persistence: pushing it will bring about successful products and innovations.

tweetable: Process innovation is much lower hanging fruit and you can really bend the needle.

What will they remember as the key takeaway from TEDMED?
  • It is easy to become pessimistic about health care innovation, but at TEDMED you can see how other people are making improvements with fewer resources.
  • You see so many different perspectives and get a sense of global optimism that exists. 
To get more insights from Dr. Sonny Kohli and Dr. Yanick Beaulieu, be sure to follow them on Twitter @sonny_doc   and  @reacts71.

Recommended resources

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Are you making waves in innovation or have a bold idea to share? We would love to hear your story. Connect with us at to have your thoughts featured in a future podcast. 
Disclaimer: The opinions stated by podcast participants are made in a personal capacity and do not reflect those of the Canadian Medical Association and its subsidiaries including Joule. Joule does not endorse any views, product, service, association, company or industry mentioned in this podcast.