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On December 10, 2015, Alice commented on Flatiron Health: Finding the Cure for Cancer :

Thanks for your comment!

Re: Data extraction from disparate systems– one of Flatiron’s acquisitions (Altos Solutions in 2014) had its own cloud-based EMR. With their own platform (now called OncoEMR), Flatiron was able to boost their starting position as a central database hub. They are now using OncoEMR to build in functionality and promote interoperability to best serve their customers (OncoEMR is certified for meaningful use, ICD-10 codes are available, ability to ePrescribe, etc).

Re: data cleanup– that is spot on. Data cleaning across these different functions is a huge challenge for Flatiron, and the biggest hurdle I see is: Can Flatiron clean up all this data in a way that they will be able to effectively conduct analyses to drive toward actionable insights? I believe that while it’s a huge challenge, they have the means to do so. They have been hiring large numbers of “Oncology Abstractors” & “Oncology Data Specialists” who have the skills to help interpret and add structure to the data. From my understanding (and as expected), it is largely a manual, time-consuming process though there are opportunities to build in automation.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next for Flatiron and other companies in the space!

Great post– was fascinating to see Clinkle rise and fall… especially after all the hype in the Bay Area! I do wonder if the root of their problems operationally (and strategically) was the lack of poor leadership. Would they have been successful had there been someone else on top? Or was the product doomed from the start?

On December 9, 2015, Alice commented on MoveLoot: Making Moving Hassle-Free :

MoveLoot started up by some great UNC grads (yay NC!)– awesome team & great company. Enjoyed your post!

On December 9, 2015, Alice commented on Pixar Animation Studios: Creative Kaizen :

Fascinating– I love Pixar films and really enjoyed reading your post. There’s a special exhibition on “The Science Behind Pixar” at the Museum of Science in downtown Boston you should check out!

On December 8, 2015, Alice commented on Flatiron Health: Finding the Cure for Cancer :

Great point. I think because Flatiron is targeting cancer centers (vs. large hospital systems) that are all searching for a clinical solution, this confidentiality point has not been as large of a concern as it often is. The value each oncologist using Flatiron gets from this aggregated network is meaningful– e.g., now being able to have a large pool of patients to learn from across the Flatiron network vs. only one’s patients can help inform treatment decisions, etc. However, it is a valid point that this could become a larger issue as Flatiron seeks to scale.

On December 8, 2015, Alice commented on Flatiron Health: Finding the Cure for Cancer :

Thanks for pointing me to Medivo, Saumya! Looks like they’re doing great work.

On December 8, 2015, Alice commented on Flatiron Health: Finding the Cure for Cancer :

I’d say the cancer centers Flatiron targets are more incentivized than traditional hospital systems (that are often closed off with Epic and are traditionally not incentivized to openly share their patient data). The value proposition Flatiron offers these cancer centers includes an ability to match their patients to trials, keep them up-to-speed with the latest cancer research, and help them improve their business operations and billing processes. I think because cancer is such a black box where everyone is trying to ‘find the answer,’ Flatiron is in a great position to serve as this central data aggregator. Time will tell though if they end up losing steam should customers begin to raise confidentiality concerns.

On December 8, 2015, Alice commented on Flatiron Health: Finding the Cure for Cancer :

Great question– the OncoAnalytics software within OncologyCloud provides business-oriented insights in addition to guidance on matching patients to appropriate clinical trials, etc. These recommendations include flagging billing discrepancies, improving administrative operations, etc. You raise a really interesting point on whether there’s also a focus on streamlining costs by cancer treatment types. Flatiron is able to track drug utilization to help support patient treatment decisions. I think they could also use this data for cost-related purposes, especially as the healthcare world moves toward value-based care.

On December 4, 2015, Alice commented on Is Telsa’s Battery Turbo-Charged? :

Great post on Tesla. Interesting how they’ve built a custom supply chain for internal processes yet partner outside to achieve economics of scale on car parts. I wonder how the partnerships with Toyota and Daimler are setup given their potential conflicts of interest. It makes me wonder whether Tesla is primarily a car company or a battery company?

Enjoyed your post, Libby. I admire how Warby Parker took on powerful middleman Luxxotica. Warby’s definitely built up their lifestyle brand, and I’ll be curious to see how they broaden their portfolio. I do wonder whether the Warby Parker model can be as effectively executed in other industries — eg, Harry’s for men’s grooming, Casper for mattresses, Boll & Branch for bedsheets, etc. What has to be the minimum price point / differential for any given product that makes it ‘worth it’ for someone to become a loyal customer? How much share does any given middleman need to have for this model to take hold? For instance, with Luxxotica as a monopoly, it makes sense that prices are so superficially high — but I wonder what is the threshold of middlemen competitors at which point this model is no longer compelling?

On December 4, 2015, Alice commented on ClassPass: Shaking up the traditional workout regimen :

I really enjoyed your post. I too am curious about the sustainability of the business model as ClassPass’s strained relationships with their fitness studios brings to mind Groupon and their restaurant partners. Years from now, will there be enough value for these studios to keep promoting ClassPass? I wonder what the internal ClassPass data shows in terms of breaking down ClassPass users who trial, …

(1) Join, find their favorite studios, commit to those studios, and then quit ClassPass — a win for the studios
(2) Join ClassPass, continue membership, and never join any studios — a loss for the studios
(3) Join ClassPass and continue membership with both ClassPass and favorite studios – a clear win for both the studios & ClassPass

If most are in the second bucket, then I can understand why a studio would stop partnering, but then are you left with only the lower-tier studios using ClassPass to boost their numbers?