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The Tuck 360 Blog | Reflecting on Health Care Innovation: Insights from the MIT Sloan Healthcare & BioInnovations Conference

Apr 25, 2024

By Tim Lee T’25 and Ryann Miguel T’25

T’25s Tim Lee and Ryann Miguel share their key takeaways from the MIT Sloan Healthcare & BioInnovations Conference, how Tuck has prepared them to thrive in the broader health care community, and how this experience will advance their current interests.

What was your key takeaway from attending the conference?

Tim: Something that stuck out to me was the importance of getting the right stakeholders at the table. The panel on Transitions to Over-the-Counter Products mentioned previous attempts within the industry to commercialize novel and innovative technologies that could help patients, however, many products never made it to the market because not all stakeholders were on board from the beginning. While securing stakeholder buy-in could be a long and tedious process, I believe that if we want to improve the quality and affordability of health care, we need to bring the payors, providers, patients, and pharmaceuticals into the discussion. It takes a village to go far.

Ryann: There is so much opportunity in health care and health tech that there are endless ways to overcomplicate innovation as we work towards the ideal. Sometimes in the MBA environment, there is self-induced pressure to generate something novel and disruptive. It’s inspiring to stretch the boundaries of what is possible at the tip of the innovation spear. That said, there are many urgent needs with simple solutions that are ripe for outsized impact, yet they are often overlooked or under resourced. One of the speakers I found most inspiring was Fortuna Health CEO, Nikita Singareddy. Nikita and her team use digital tools to help eligible Americans enroll in and manage Medicaid—tremendously minimizing barriers to care for those in greatest need. I look forward to following their work!

How did Tuck prepare you to make the most of this conference?

Tim: This past fall, I enrolled in a course called Medical Care and the Corporation (MCC), taught by Paul Gardent and Mike Zubikoff; two amazing and highly accomplished individuals within health care. In the class, we had discussions about the role of insurance and employers and the unique challenges employers face. The panel discussions, particularly the one focused on eliminating financial barriers to care, struck a chord with me as they echoed many of the thought-provoking conversations we had in MCC.

Ryann: Tuck is a uniquely small and tight-knit community. As such, I’ve been able to connect extensively with incredible peers like Tim through the Center for Health Care, Health Care Club, and related classes. Additionally, I’ve benefitted from unparalleled exposure to alumni, faculty, professors, and guest speakers. This network is the reason I chose to attend Tuck, and it has truly exceeded my expectations! Wide-ranging conversations from PE/VC to data diligence to long-term care have stoked my curiosity, highlighted gaps in my understanding, introduced me to new resources, and given me greater confidence when it comes to sharing what I know as well as articulating what I am seeking to better understand. Some of my favorite moments from this conference involved meeting other graduate students or health care professionals over lunch to process the various panel discussions. I’m grateful that Tuck has prepared me well to engage thoughtfully and, in turn, build relationships in new and evolving contexts.

How will the conference inform your Tuck experience and/or further your current interests?

Tim: The keynote speech with the CEO of Best Buy Health, Deborah Di Sanzo, validated for me the importance for future leaders to take best practices from other disciplines and industries that they aren’t familiar with and incorporate them into health care. Thus, at Tuck, I’m planning to take courses like Ecosystem Disruption by Ron Adner and AI Decision Making by Scott Anthony to build up that new knowledge. Furthermore, I will be spending my First-Year Project applying those skills and knowledge via my entrepreneurial startup idea with four other Tuckies. I hope this experience makes me a better decision-maker, strategist, entrepreneur, and future business leader.  

Ryann: Like Tim, hearing from Deborah Di Sanzo was a highlight for me. I also enjoyed hearing from Dr. Robert Fields from Beth Israel Lahey Health on the topic of “Innovation and the New Math of US Healthcare”. My passion is working with the 65+ population, and I’m specifically interested in advancing solutions that enable more dignified, affordable, equitable aging in place. Last year, I was fortunate to work on a consulting project with a senior-focused non-profit through Community Consulting. This spring, I will be working on an expansion strategy for a start-up focused on opening culturally-focused PACE centers to serve minority patients. I’m looking forward to my upcoming internship with UnitedHealth Group this summer as a way to delve deeper into the topic as well!