NAB Health Insights Report: Achieving Long-Term Sustainability in Healthcare thru Technology [Interview][Transcript]

Health-Supplier-Segment-NAB-Health-Insights-ReportGuest: Nehemiah Richardson
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Nehemiah Richardson is General Manager, nabHealth, a leading provider of financial services to the Australian Health Care industry owned by National Australia Bank Ltd. Nehemiah has had a very diverse and successful career in financial services spanning senior roles in mergers and acquisitions advisory, corporate finance, funds management, corporate development and people leadership roles at JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and National Australia Bank. Nehemiah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, we are joined by NAB Health General Manager Nehemiah Richardson. Nab Has recently developed the NAB Health Insights Report where they have found that the common theme to be the importance of technology and how it looks to change and alter the health industry now and in the future. On the impact with the ageing population, we are living considerably longer than was expected 30 years ago wen many of the funding models we now operate under were designed and instituted. Technology plays a vital role in the health care sector as it requires new and innovative ways of delivering services.


Health Professional Radio

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio, my name is Wayne Bucklar. Today I’m joined by Nehemiah Richardson, the General Manager of NAB health and Nehemiah joins me today from Western Australia. Welcome to Health Professional Radio Nehemiah.

Nehemiah Richardson: Yes, thank you very much Wayne. It’s great to be here.

W: I understand that you’ve recently published some research that’s also tied in with the health sector.

N: Yes, that’s absolutely right. And we’ve recently released something called “Health in Focus, Health Sector Insights.” And actually every month, we have a publication that we put out digitally. So it comes from our website and you can sign-up to an email list if you so choose, called “Health View” that covers kind of ongoing developments within health and some issues around it. But specifically on that report that we put together, effectively with that, what it covers is, it talks a bit about some of the supply and demand issues that most in Australia health would be well aware of and are constantly talked about and on a lot of cases have been talked about for years. It covers some of the issues around sustainability of the healthcare sector and an aging population and then from our perspective touches on the need for sort of a better visibility across the system around some of key clinical and financial data. The need to focus on enabling patient-centered or patient-driven care, so better enabling individuals to take more accountability and be empowered to take more accountability for their health and navigating the system, as well as it touches on how collaboration is really required across the whole system, across that entire continuum of care as well as across the funders of the health system be they government, private health insurers, and government – state and federal – that is, private health insurers and of course individuals. And in then, the final piece is how technology innovation can actually help enable this to happen. So really, it touches on, I guess, macro factors and then, we then look specifically across some of the major industry sectors within health for more specific insights, those being primary healthcare providers and insight and impacts pharmacy, aged care and acute care.

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio with Wayne Bucklar. My guest today is Nehemiah Richardson General Manager of NAB health. And we’ve just been talking about some research that has been published by NAB Health recently. And Nehemiah, we often talk here on the radio about what we call the trifecta of tsunamis and that chronic disease, the aging baby boomer population bubble, and the idea of the “methuselah syndrome”, you know living longer and longer. Your research has touched on some of those. Do you see any innovation on the horizon that will change the health paradigm significantly?

Nehemiah Richardson: Absolutely. And can I start by saying firstly, personally, I don’t subscribe to the characterizations that we see out there around tsunamis, unsustainability, almost kind of “woe is me”, we’re going to blow up as a country because people are ageing and it’s going to cost too much money. And the reason I don’t like that is I look at that and say “That’s a very negative view to take and it’s a negative view to take on in industry and a phenomena that it provides the opportunity for significant prosperity.” It provides the significant opportunity for people to age exceptionally well, it provides the opportunity for service providers to actually thrive and create not expense but create economic activity and services leveraging of the high quality we have as a system and the number of great individuals and research institutes and business operators out there currently providing services in health, to kind of transform our economy from a resources based one to a services based one leveraging the great advantage and if we can become more efficient, use the dollars better and if we can turn what could be considered to be a tsunami and say an unsustainable system into something that’s highly productive, helps people to live longer, live better, be more productive, take employment opportunities for longer etc. etc., which then turns into a much more productive economy.
Okay, so I like to think about this as saying what a phenomenal opportunity this country has with the assets it already has and the capabilities that it already has in the healthcare system, if we can better utilize those assets in a more productive manner and get rid of the inefficiencies etc. okay. So if you then look at it from that lens and then you look at what’s happening in technology, and when I look at technology I say “Boy there’s one debate that you hear a lot about which is we have a lot of paper based information in the system.” And then even if we scan it, that’s not digitizing it. You have to actually take it digitize it for to be use. Now let’s not look at digitizing the information that’s already exist, right now we have the “Iwatch” or we have “Fitbit.” And then you go to the next stage of the wearable technologies that are being developed, right. So very soon I think in the next 3 or 5 years and you’re a technology person you might think it might happen sooner, I don’t know, right. But in the next 3 or 5 years put aside consumer take up for a second a wearable is goanna provide real time information, telling me how I’m digesting the lunch I just ate. You overlay that with my demographic information, so my age, my ethnic background etc. etc. etc., all of a sudden all of the stuff on digitizing the old stuff is irrelevant because I’m capturing so much stuff in real time, that I can slice and dice demographically, I can slice and dice across various types of genomics or anything else. And then I can have IBM watson and some other big super computer crunching things is in a way that is completely transformational for the system and for the individuals operating in it.
You know another thing is “payment.” So it will get to the point where the Australian environment through some of the reforms that will come through from the RBA, from the Reserve Bank of Australia, around the payment system. Or it’s not far, we’re not far from having your mobile phone or perhaps even an embedded device in your wearable that becomes your payment mechanism. Then all of a sudden you can match where I go in the system, what I do in the system with what I’m paying in the system to whatever to what actually happens to me on a day to day basis. But then provide information for experts in the industry to add a lot more value to me as a consumer and it also enables me as a consumer to be empowered to make all kinds of different decisions. So for example were not far away for an individual like myself to say I’m in here in Perth and I’m not feeling very well, tonight and let say I’m not in the health business so I know no one in health, so I’m not feeling very well and I actually need to see somebody, I can look at my phone and I can see there is six GP’s within a one kilometer radius, my health insurance provider will pay this amount to that if health insurers are allowed into general practice funding, okay, but it will tell me how much it cost. There’s probably a rating system that will tell me the customer satisfaction or the customer set up, the experience I might have with those six different people. And then I’ll know right away what I’m going to pay and the quality of service and the final piece, I can book it at my convenience, right? So across all of healthcare there is technology that’s going to enable much more efficiency, much more patient driven decisions. And actually hopefully across that whole continuum of care given where it’s so interconnected, primary to acute, a better understanding of the cost and efficiency across the system. And from there you can start thinking about the amount of transformation that can happen I think that anyone here hopefully can conceptualize that. And then I’ll add one other piece which is it then because of digital technology, it then means our system can be the biggest exporter of healthcare services to the world if we wanted it to be.

W: That’s an interesting perspective isn’t it? That maybe we can actually export services remotely in what’s seen as a hands-on profession. Nehemiah Richardson General manager with NAB Health. The art of the possible is something that obviously occupies a lot of your time and it’s a pleasure to discuss with you. And it’s a pleasure to discuss with you what you see happening in the health vertical. Your passion is clear and evident. And I’m sure will have lots and lots of listeners very eager to get in touch and engage with NAB Health. How is the best way they do that? Is it a website?

H: Yes, you can go the website and just search “health”. And our landing page will come up, our “Health View” and our “Health Insight” will come up and contact details, for the key leaders and business including myself are there. So you’ll see our email addresses, as well as our phone numbers depending on what geographic location you’re in. And were more than happy to take your call and to do we can to support to support people across the health care industry.

W: Well today we might have managed to spread a little bit of the word about NAB Health, and NAB Health. And I certainly can see many of our listeners having an acute interest in your vision for the world. Thank you for your time today. If you’ve just joined us on Health Professional Radio then you’ve just missed a very fascinating conversation with Nehemiah Richardson, General Manager of NAB Health. But the good news is we have a transcript on our website. You can also hear the original audio on YouTube and on SoundCloud. This is Wayne Bucklar for Health Professional Radio.