Health Tech Reads: The Originals by Adam Grant

This week our review was written by Jen Horonjeff who founded Savvy Cooperative- We will have a discussion on Twitter about the book on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 9:30 PM EST. Please follow Savvy on Twitter!  I am consistently impressed with Jen's intelligence and hard work to work with patients for fair representation in medicine. When I have a question about fair treatment for patients I ask her.

Want to find the chat? If you go to HealthTechReads or click on the Hashtag #htreads you can follow along. If you haven't finished this book a twitter chat can serve as a great preview. Need to get a copy? A great fast option is to get it on Amazon. Want to give this book as a gift? You can offer to give away a copy (not everyone can afford awesome books). Our main mission is to increase reading and great books for those interested in Health Tech. We want to promote women in STEM as well through literacy- knowledge inspires action.  - janae

The Originals: a review from Jen Horonjeff

Adam Grant starts his book, The Originals, with a quote from George Bernard Shaw, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Grant lays out what it takes to be a trailblazer and challenge the status quo--and it’s not likely what you think. He dispels the assumption that successful entrepreneurs are risk-takers and lone wolves and, in fact, that those who take that approach are ripe to fail. Instead, he takes the reader on a journey through stories and research studies, across time, discipline and geography, that illustrates quite the opposite. Some of the most impactful originals are often those who are generally risk averse, thoughtful about execution and purposely surrounded by diverse perspectives. Grant describes how all of us have the opportunity to recognize good ideas, overcome anxieties and find allies in unlikely places.


I read this book in the summer of 2016 while I was quietly researching what it would take to launch a radical new idea of my own. I didn’t fit the typical entrepreneur stereotype, nor did I have any experience launching a business. I was just a lifelong patient with a chronic illness and a scientific research PhD (the most risk averse breed!). This book gave me the courage to recognize the original in me and inspired me to found what is now Savvy Cooperative, a patient-owned co-op that restores power back to patients by giving them a voice in healthcare innovations. And to make the radical even radical-er, Savvy uses a business model, called platform cooperativism, that lets patients co-own the co-op, have a say in what we do and benefit from equitable profit-sharing back to them. So whether you’re starting your own endeavor or looking to be more original in your current work or relationships, I hope that you will read this book and cultivate your own inner-trailblazer.


  1. Grant notes that “practice makes perfect, but it doesn’t make new.” Where have we seen this in healthcare and what is the impact on innovation?

  2. What fears/barriers exist in healthcare that keep us from innovating?

  3. “Groupthink is the enemy of originality.” What can people do to surround themselves with diverse perspectives?

  4. Originals may have great ideas, but it takes personal stories from users to bring them to life. With so many stakeholders in healthcare, which stories matter?

  5. BONUS: Which people or companies stand out as originals and trailblazers in your mind?

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the w.png

Health Tech Reads: In Shock by Dr. Rana Awdish

This week we are discussing and previewing "In shock" by Dr. Rana Awdish. We will discuss the book Tuesday night, December 5 at 9:30 PM EST. This will include questions about the topic and book. If you haven't read the book you can get it here. We don't ask that you finish every book before a chat, you can use this as a preview for great books in Healthcare. Please be respectful and interact with great content by following the twitter handle @healthtechreads and searching the hashtag #htreads. 

Our review this week was written by the very kind Grace Cordovano. Please follow her on Twitter. 


Review: In Shock


Dr. Awdish tears down the walls housing her personal experiences as a doctor turned patient. She masterfully guides the reader through multiple vantage points: as a doctor expecting a child, to the loss of a child and her own “death”, to miraculous survival, painful yet determined recoveries, multiple set backs, surgeries, and medical emergencies, with victories and profound revelations throughout. The story captivates the with a raw authenticity, transporting the reader through a broad spectrum of emotions the reader couldn’t possibly be prepared to experience: disbelief, grief, devastation, sadness, victory, joy, and true hope.  Dr. Awdish’s deep inner reflections are juxtaposed with her seemingly endless battle for life, providing a thought-provoking framework for redefining the terms patient experience, patient engagement, doctor satisfaction, and the meaning of true healthcare. There is no doubt that medical education must be refreshed after experiencing this harrowing account.


Readers will undoubtedly leave this book permanently changed and rocked to the core. In Shock professes a convincing perspective on the need for compassion and human connection in medicine.  Dr. Awdish makes a clear case for the need for more empathy for doctors, patients, and their care partners. She is a visionary enlightened by her profound experiences as a patient. This should be required reading by every medical and nursing student, every hospital administrator, technician, and staff member. There isn’t a single person who wouldn’t benefit from reading In Shock and experiencing the consequent opening of the soul first-hand.


Questions for #HTReads In Shock

Q1) According to In Shock, what are the qualities of care that would enhance and elevate the practice of medicine?

Q2) In Shock presents the need for a change in the culture of medicine from disease and treatment focused to one that is more holistic, acknowledges imperfection, and embraces suffering. Do you agree that this cultural change is needed?

Q3) When a physician labels a patient, i.e., difficult, non-adherent, hysterical, what gets overlooked or missed?

Q4) What are the risks/benefits of physicians taking the time to listen to patient stories in the context of a stressful schedule and environment?

Women in HealthIT #KAREOCHAT

I'm really looking forward to being part of #KareoChat this week at 9 AM PST on November 30 - because we are going to talk about Women in Health IT. With recent culture shift and #metoo leading to the firing of high profile men in Hollywood it is a topic of discussion in many industries. What is happening in Health IT? We will chat on Twitter if you search for the Hashtag #KareoChat and we will have 5 questions. I really want to hear what your experiences have been. Is Healthcare and Health IT like other industries? Have you noticed a cultural shift?

On Twitter Chats we like to discuss and interact about specific topics online. 

We will discuss the following Questions:

1. What examples have you seen of women promoting women in Health IT?

2. How does news about workplace harassment impact women working in HealthIT? Are things getting better? #metoo

3. Do you know people who have left healthIT to go to other industries? Why did they leave/stay?

4. What is your wishlist for women in healthIT? 

5. What unique contributions can women give in improving informatics and EHR development?

Please come join the conversation.


Health Tech Reads: Medical Improv by Beth Boynton

Medical Improv by Beth Boynton was a really interesting read for me as I've talked to hospital systems about burnout and dealt with process improvement. So many errors in medicine are part of communication problems. Beth Boynton, RN, MS gives 15 practical tools that you can use to improve communication. 

I was reminded of a new Saturday Night Live sketch we could name- The Hospital. I would invite Patrick Dempsey and - What other famous doctors do we need to have on our improv sketch? We will discuss the book tonight on Twitter at @Healthtechreads and have 4 prompts for conversation.  ManageUpPRM is also contributing to a giveaway for this week. Their platform helps organize operations and engage employees. Maybe they can help launch a show about Medical Improv.

If you haven't finished the book yet- it's a great book for improving communication and you can get it HERE.

Questions for #HTREADS






Medical Improv

Nov 28 Health Tech Reads is Taking a break! After that join us December 5 for Dr. Rana Awdish and her book "In Shock" There is a great summary HERE.


Health Tech Reads: The Emporer of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The summary for #HTreads this week was written by Melanie Hilliard, an accomplished marketing creative in health informatics.

My history with cancer is a personal one. I’m sure I’m not the only #HTReads book club member whose life has been touched by the disease.


My father received his terminal cancer diagnosis of multiple myeloma at 49, although he had been sick for more than one year with unknown symptoms and no treatment plan. He passed at age 56 despite receiving remarkable care at the City of Hope in Duarte, California. I spent the bulk of my early 20s fighting the disease alongside him.


Siddhartha Mukherjee’s The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer begins with some startling statistics.


“In 2010, about six hundred thousand Americans, and more than 7 million humans around the world, will die of cancer. In the United States, one in three women and one in two men will develop cancer during their lifetime. A quarter of all American deaths, and about 15 percent of all deaths worldwide, will be attributed to cancer. In some nations, cancer will surpass heart disease to become the most common cause of death.”


I am most certainly not alone in my grief for a dying a loved one lost to cancer far too early.


Mukherjee offers up a sweeping and ambitious biography of cancer. From its first appearance in an Egyptian text written in 2500 BC to our modern-day treatments administered by doctors like Mukherjee.


Join us for the #HTReads Tweetchat on Tuesday, November 7 at 9:30 PM ET to discuss the book.


Q1: Mukerjee’s essential question is this: Is cancer’s end conceivable in the future? Why/Why not?


Q2: Is the war metaphor (i.e. the war on cancer) an apt one? What other metaphor makes sense?


Q3: What are some recent advances in health IT that are being used to improve health outcomes for patients?


Q4: Where/how does former Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative play a role in the history of cancer?


Q5: What is the patient experience like for cancer patients? How does Mukherjee portray the patient in his book? What is your personal experience?


Bonus question: Does “knowing your enemy”—knowing cancer—bring some kind of comfort?


The Emporer of all Maladies

Health Tech Reads October and November 2017 Schedule

Schedule for Health Teach Reads #HTreads for October and November 2017

October 10, 2017 Demystifying Big Data and Machine Learning in Healthcare by Prashant Natarajan

October 17, 2017 Heritage Biologics Podcast- Value Based Healthcare with Dr. Mahek Shah from Harvard Business School and Dr. Kyle Hogarth

October 24, 2017 Patients Come Second: Leading Change by Changing the Way You Lead by Paul Spiegelman

October 31, 2017 Halloween! Holiday off.

November 7, 2017 The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

November 14, 2017 EHR Workflow Management Systems: Essentials, History, Healthcare by Charles Webster, MD MSIE MSIS

November 21, 2017 Medical Improv by Beth Boynton

November 28, 2017 Thanksgiving Holiday- break

December 5, 2017 In Shock by Rana Awdish



Health Tech Reads: Demystifying Big Data and Machine Learning in Healthcare

General Guidelines for Health Tech Reads Twitter Chat:

1) Please read the book before the chat begins. We try to make content accessible if you haven't had a chance to read the book but please respect the authors and their efforts.

2)  There will be 4-6 questions, please identify your response to question by identifying which question you respond to.

3) Don't forget to use #HTReads.

4) We assume all tweets during #HTReads are your own.

5)  Follow the #HTReads twitter account for more information and updates. @healthtechreads.

6) #HTReads last one hour.

7) Through the eyes of celebrated authors and their works, #HTReads hopes to widen the conversation. 

8) #HTReads meets every Tuesday 9:30PM ET.right after #hcldr- same day- same channel.

9) Please try to stay on topic and participate with the hashtag. #HTReads.

Demystifying Big Data and Machine learning in Healthcare by Prashant Natarajan

Our very own Prashant Natarajan has written a great book about machine learning in healthcare. With all the hype where can we get great information about this topic? Which companies have something to contribute and which are vaporware? Here are the questions for the chat:

1. Is healthcare looking at the right data sets for Artificial Intelligence to be helpful?
2. What are the best use cases that you see in Artificial Intelligence and healthcare?
3. Are there things you would consider unethical about Artificial Intelligence and healthcare?
4. Healthcare has lost a lot of money on potential improvements with artificial intelligence- does healthcare lack the tech talent to scale Artificial Intelligence?
5. What is the best source of education about machine learning and healthcare? Who do you consider an expert?
6. Bonus- what is your favorite potential of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare?

This starts at Tuesday, October 10 9:30 PM EST after HCLDR chat. 

If you don't have your copy of the book yet please watch this helpful video for guidelines and join us at HealthTechReads on twitter at 9:30 PM EST.

Spotlight: Jen Horonjeff & Savvy

It is not often that you get to meet someone who is truly doing something different.  Marketing content loves to toss around words like disruptive and game-changer, but when you meet someone who really is disruptive – you are not likely to forget it.   When I walked away from my initial meeting with Jen Horonjeff I knew that she was the real deal.

Jen Horonjeff and her business partner Ronnie Sharpe have come together to create something that is truly unique in the healthcare landscape.  The organization that they have started,  Savvy Cooperative is a new breed of business called a “Platform Coop.”   “A platform co-op is a digital platform — a website or mobile app that is designed to provide a service or sell a product — that is collectively owned and governed by the people who depend on and participate in it.” Writes Maria Sutton on

Jen explains that this is the ideal structure for the type of platform that Savvy is:   A web based tool to enable scientific and market researchers in healthcare to connect directly with patients.  The patient community (The savvy crowd as Jen calls them) can share their experiences to help drive patient driven solutions in healthcare, while also sharing in the profits of the cooperative as members.  

Talking to Jen about Savvy – her passion and energy were palpable.  Jen grew up with Juvenile arthritis and has been active in the Arthritis patient community for years.   Through her life experience and her connections to that patient community she saw a need.   She described getting calls frequently to be in focus groups, take surveys and connect with academic researchers because her name was known.   She knew that the people who were requesting her time had little access to patient communities and she wanted to find a way to make things easier both for them and for patients.   Often the patients who become vocal patient advocates can be overwhelmed by multiple requests because they are the visible and accessible person to the industry.

The Savvy Cooperative is a breath of fresh air in an industry that struggles with true patient engagement and involvement – and holds the potential to bring patients to the table in a meaningful way in the world of Healthcare.     Check out Jen’s own writings about Savvy on Medium.    Membership to the Coop will be launching this month, so be sure to check it out. 

Health Tech Reads: Nudge

Our selected reading this week, Nudge, comes to us from the recommendation of Joe Babaian. Joe is one of the co-founders of Healthcare Leader (#hcldr), a weekly blog and chat that centers around the cutting edge of healthcare, patients and the innovations leading change. The chat occurs each Tuesday at 8:30pm Eastern Standard Time and brings together doctors, patients, entrepreneurs, consultants and innovators who wish to learn, engage and collaborate. Healthcare Leader chat is one of the foremost healthcare chats on Twitter, so please join in, if you have yet to partake in this excellent academia based event.

Nudge Health by Megan Janas, Joe Babaian, & Melanie Hilliard
The book we have just engaged with, Nudge, can be applied to almost any area where humans
might need a little extra information, a little more knowledge, or a little more incentive to act. However, there is enormous opportunity to engage people with their health and even the healthcare system itself, by offering guidance and direction. Humans are not designed to be omniscient. We make mistakes, we err, we lean into our habits. (A lot.) We understand that we should exercise, or eat more vegetables- but very often, we fail to do so. And this process just repeats and repeats. Our collective failure, (through our individual habits), are coming at an enormous cost to us in America. We are increasingly overweight, are suffering cardiovascular problems, have diabetes, cholesterol issues and our sedentary lifestyles are only exacerbating these ailments. We are at a critical juncture where healthcare costs are skyrocketing and we are increasingly sicker, at younger ages. These problems seem severe, but there is hope to alleviate our health epidemics. We can “Nudge.”
Nudges cannot just happen- they must be constructed within a framework. We need a guide, a
device, a program, or direction. We need a “Choice Architect” to assist us with discovering the nudges. A choice architect is anyone who has the responsibility for organizing the context in which people make decisions. Choice architects are doctors, designers, employers, software systems, forms, apps- anything that helps someone make a decision, is described as a choice architect.

Thaler and Sunstein define Nudge as any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s
behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. To count as a mere nudge, the intervention must be easy and cheap to avoid. Nudges are not mandates.

By a nudge we mean anything that influences our choices. A school cafeteria might try to nudge
kids toward good diets by putting the healthiest foods at front. We think that it’s time for institutions, including government, to become much more user-friendly by enlisting the science of choice to make life easier for people and by gently nudging them in directions that will make their lives better.

Increasingly, we are witnessing something quite amazing happening with companies like Apple
and Fitbit. Both the Apple Watch and Fitbit have entered the health and wellness space to assist us with our physical activity. These choice architecture devices are nudging us- through notifications- to walk, stand up, take more steps, complete challenges and engage with our everyday movement like never before. These devices are making it easier for us to engage directly with our activity, daily. This is just a glimpse leading to a whole new frontier of devices nudging us to take action with our health. The future is ripe with possibility to shape and direct health- the question is, what will we do with our newfound choice architecture? How will we nudge people into their best health? How will we nudge healthcare into tomorrow?
“Nudge.” by Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein. Penguin Books (2008, 2009)

1. Do you agree with the author’s assertion that choice architecture can be used to nudge us in
beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice?
2. What is the responsibility of providers to help patients make better health decisions?
3. What are some of the pre-existing biases that the healthcare industry believes about
patients (that may or may not be correct)?
4. How can nudges be used to improve population health?
5. How does choice overload affect a person’s ability to make healthy life choices?
6. Where do you see the most promise for choice architecture and healthcare? Apple?
Wearables? Devices? Something else?