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The valuable expertise healthcare innovators are missing

The concept of obtaining knowledge from subject matter experts (SMEs) is by no means revolutionary. But you’d be surprised how far healthcare companies — of all sizes and stages — go before considering clinical expertise. Innovators and entrepreneurs set out to solve problems in the healthcare sector, and while they certainly have the best of intentions, they rarely possess the specialized experience and information needed to do so successfully.

How healthcare innovation works — or doesn’t

Many innovative healthcare firms lack the resources and bandwidth needed to arrange one-off consultations, let alone hire a Chief Medical Officer or build a clinical advisory board. Even those that do have clinical specialists on staff, may not be properly equipped to strategically iterate and evolve. Healthcare is incredibly varied. If you’ve spoken to one clinician, you’ve spoken to one clinician. If you’ve seen one hospital, you’ve seen one hospital. Now more than ever before, it’s essential for innovators to source diverse perspectives, and engage early and often.

On the expert side, we’re seeing a population of clinicians, who have worked tirelessly to obtain and maintain their credentials, growing increasingly frustrated by new firms and technologies that don’t appear to fully grasp the nuances of the very fields that they’re trying to disrupt. Medical professionals are inheriting solutions from industry that don’t solve — and sometimes don’t even begin to address the complexity of — their problems. It’s a broken cycle that healthcare professionals are all too familiar with.


According to Kevin Ban, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Walgreens and Inlightened Advisor, “I’ve had extensive exposure to industry-driven solutions that will never help clinicians or improve patient care. This is because the companies introducing new products and services haven’t experienced the real problems faced on the front lines.”

Today’s solutions

So how is information currently sourced from healthcare consultancies and expert networks? Not as responsibly as you’d think. Today’s solutions comprise an $8.7 billion market, but not all are created equal. There are many players whose differentiators  — including varied interpretations of what it means to be “healthcare-specific” — drive fragmentation of the market. Even those that boast a tangible level of specificity and expertise do so mysteriously, with a black box approach and lack of transparency around quality and perceived value. Credentials and performance data are not readily available, often because the consultants aren’t already part of the network, but instead need to be reactively located and asked to apply to opportunities. These issues are further compounded by the fact that most users pay a hefty premium to the middleman, with the expert consultant taking home a small portion of their earnings. While unfavorable for both sides of the transaction, this model is simply unsustainable for startup or growth-stage companies seeking high quality expertise on-demand. 

Simply stated, Ban says, “The field is ripe for disruption. When the founders of Inlightened approached me for feedback, they came from a mission-driven place of wanting to advance healthcare innovation. And they are determined to do just that.” 

lab_research_InlightenedInlightened launches to drive responsible disruption in healthcare [PR]

We understand that the healthcare sector presents unique challenges; that accessing the right clinical expertise can be costly, time-consuming and sometimes nearly impossible for companies; that experts need to be vetted for thIeir highly-specialized knowledge, which they are intrinsically motivated to share. We are driven to connect the brightest clinical minds to the boldest innovators, and support those connections and interactions with a tech-enabled platform that handles search, contracting, scheduling, and payment, and effectively removes the administrative burden. We are focused on maximizing value for each side of the transaction; clinicians set (and take home the majority of) their hourly rate; companies know what they’re paying, and who gets what. We are dedicated to building an invite-only network consisting of clinicians who are widely recognized as leaders in their respective specialties, and interviewed, vetted, and verified for their expertise. We know, given our own backgrounds in healthcare and startups, that innovators can gain a leading edge via Inlightened’s on-demand healthcare expertise. And we are committed to aligning with an ever-expanding base of experts — including administrative leaders, award-winning academics, patient advocates, trailblazing researchers, physician executives, serial entrepreneurs, and social change agents — to deliver.

Truly advancing healthcare innovation is going to require broad collaboration and extensive knowledge sharing. Inlightened is committed to partnering with both sides to impact healthcare for the greater good.

Are you ready to get Inlightened?