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With a heavy call center volume, mountains of paperwork, and complex scheduling demands, healthcare staff commonly face burnout and consider quitting due to high stress levels, leaving organizations in a “revolving door” of staff turnover. This heightened stress often prevents them from resolving patient needs in real time and offering the personalized care people expect.

Jerold McDonald M’08 wants to solve the root cause of the healthcare staffing crunch by using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate routine tasks, thereby increasing productivity, reducing costs and the risk of error, and, most importantly, humanizing the care patients receive.

McDonald acknowledges that there are a lot of questions about artificial intelligence, but he believes we’re missing an opportunity to focus conversations about it by making it a black-or-white issue.

“AI’s potential is endless,” he points out. “You’re already surrounded by AI today, whether you realize it or not, from navigation and dating apps to recommendation engines. Now the question is, how can you leverage it to help and minimize harm, to optimize for health and human potential, and to be like the Iron Man suit for you?”

McDonald envisions health care without the busyness, leading to increased access so that health care can be more equitable and work for everyone. Along with Ani Bagepalli, he founded Omaiven Health in 2018 with the mission to “save one billion minutes of busywork across health care.” Omaiven is a spin on the word “maven,” which is a person who is experienced or “one who understands,” and the “ai” in the middle of the name is a nod to how the company uses artificial intelligence to drive purpose and profit.

McDonald calls health care a space that occupies simultaneously two different worlds—one of fast-moving medical innovation and slow-moving administrative tasks. He hopes to bridge the gap between those worlds with Omaiven.

“On the medical or care side, you can literally see what your heart looks like in real-time images. We can perform surgery where a patient and doctor are on opposite sides of the country. We can save people from a massive stroke within minutes. We can map the human genome. At the same time, all of the administrative work is still primarily done on a piece of paper, through fax machines, or with tons of manual tasks,” McDonald says. “Our job is to close that gap [in healthcare operations] so that we are accelerating the same type of innovation.”

McDonald has always felt at home in a healthcare setting. Growing up, his brother frequently required hospital care. With regular visits, the hospital became a comfortable place for McDonald. McDonald also connected with the service element of the healthcare industry.

“The through line of my life is service, especially coming from a family of military, social workers, and educators. Since I did not end up serving in the military, I found other ways to be of service,” McDonald says.

McDonald earned undergraduate degrees in economics and corporate communication from the University of Texas at Austin and then enrolled in Trinity University’s Health Care Administration (HCAD) On-Campus Master’s Program.

“Health care administration was a good way for me to take my business skills and be of service,” McDonald says.

After earning his master’s degree, McDonald gained experience in operations, healthcare consulting, and technology implementations. Across his work in different areas of health care, McDonald realized how deeply access and resources are intertwined.

As McDonald notes, a lot of paperwork in health care is repetitive, which opens the door to more human error. If the wrong box is checked on a form, for example, all sorts of issues could arise. Omaiven’s technology works 24/7 for organizations to help offload calls, leverage digital forms to update demographics, communicate with patients at-scale, complete financial clearance, and more. By automating those repetitive tasks, Omaiven uses AI technology to create a digital “workforce” to support healthcare staff, freeing them up to build the deep, meaningful relationships patients seek in their health care.

“Technology is not supposed to be the solution; it’s supposed to enable the solution,” McDonald says. “Think of AI as your support team, not your competition. In an odd way, we’re using AI to enhance humanity in healthcare interactions.”

Keeping in line with his spirit of service, McDonald continues to stay involved with Trinity’s HCAD program. In 2022, he received the Momentum Award for outstanding achievements in the field of healthcare management as an early careerist. He currently serves on the department’s Advisory Council, which provides advice to the program in terms of curriculum, residency development and placement, and resource enhancement. In this role, McDonald mentors students on how to think of innovative strategies to address problems in health care through pitch competitions like Tiger Tank and Healthcare PRISm (Healthcare’s Problems Require Innovative Solutions), preparing them to lead with empathy and creative confidence.

Jerold McDonald ’08 won the Health Care Administration Department’s Momentum Award in 2022.

McDonald follows the same empathy-driven approach in his own work with Omaiven.

“The only way to make healthcare technology better is to be around humans and exercise empathy to understand the reality people are facing. If you want to improve the accuracy of AI, that requires constant pursuit of representative data and improved feedback loops to power algorithms,” McDonald explains. “In other words, we have to deepen our understanding of the human experience. AI is an endless string of evolving possibilities, but humans matter and always will.”

The original post is found here.

This case study explores how Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures, an impact investing fund of the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, invests in purpose-driven health entrepreneurs to support greater health equity.   

As discussed in chapter 2 of our report Mobilising the global investment chain for social impact, corporations are rethinking the ways they can deliver value to a wider group of stakeholders. One such strategy has been to engage through investment in social entrepreneurs that are driving concrete change in specific sectors. Surprisingly, only 7% of the US$715bn invested for impact in 2019 was directed towards improving health outcomes.

Global healthcare company Johnson & Johnson launched its impact investing arm, Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures (J&J Impact Ventures), in 2019 to invest in “purpose-driven entrepreneurs whose innovations address health workforce and healthcare challenges in low-income and middle-income countries as well as in challenged communities.” J&J Impact Ventures, which is funded by the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, targets areas of health that do not attract enough venture-backed funding but show high potential of having a positive social impact for communities most in need. In October 2021, J&J Impact Ventures announced an expanded financial commitment of US$50m to support health impact entrepreneurs.

Adding technical assistance to investment

J&J Impact Ventures works with the public, private and philanthropic sectors to catalyse investments through innovative finance vehicles. It directly invests in companies that have strong potential for being sustainable and scalable with target annual revenues between US$500,000 and US$1m across priority geographies such as the US, southeast Asia and east Africa. In addition to funding through loans or grants, J&J Impact Ventures provides entrepreneurs with technical assistance, mentorship and access to Johnson & Johnson’s wider network across the healthcare sector.  

Since its inception, J&J Impact Ventures has provided funding to 47 health entrepreneurs, and reports that it has improved the lives of 1.8m individuals globally through the companies that it has invested in.

Fund and incentivise

Ioannis Ioannou, associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at London Business School, highlighted in our report that a younger generation of workers had strong views about the role of business in society, and that this was influencing their career choices. Addressing healthcare disparities is a goal set by J&J Impact Ventures, which invests directly in enterprises and provides funding to accelerator programmes and competitions that are specifically taking on health inequity.

J&J Impact Ventures partnered with Village Capital, an impact investment group, to launch US-based programmes to identify and support startups that focus on culturally competent care.

In the four months since receiving grant funding from the accelerator programme, Omaiven Health, which provides AI-based software to clinics and community health centres, has brought a more efficient and inclusive healthcare system to thousands of individuals, as well as deploying over 10,000 clinic automation systems across the US.

J&J Impact Ventures collaborated with Village Capital on a startup showcase where Health In Her HUE, a company aiming to reduce racial health disparities, was named the overall winner. The startup offers a digital platform connecting Black women and women of colour to culturally competent healthcare providers, and also provides tailored and engaging information.

J&J Impact Ventures also participated in the latest round of funding for NextStep, a healthcare technology company that provides career and training support for current and aspiring healthcare workers.9 NextStep seeks to address the caregiver shortage crisis during and in the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic in the US by providing tuition-free training to low-income or unemployed workers, with the goal of expanding the supply of certified caregivers and nurses. J&J Impact Ventures’ participation, alongside investments from JAZZ Venture Partners, Springrock Ventures and ZOMA Capital, has taken the total investment in NextStep to US$3.3m.

The J&J Impact Ventures team hopes that their work will catalyse peers to invest in health entrepreneurs, stressing the importance of working collaboratively towards a common goal.

The original Google Announcement is posted here.

We’re announcing 46 new U.S. recipients of the Google for Startups Black and Latino Founders Funds.

Today, we’re announcing 46 U.S. recipients of this year’s Google for Startups Black Founders Fund and Latino Founders Fund. Beyond $150,000 in equity-free cash to help fuel their business, participants in our Founders Fund program receive sales and fundraising training, technical support from Google mentors, up to $100,000 in Google Cloud credits, mental health coaching from a team of Black and Latino therapists, and participation in an amazing community.

These founders are solving some of our most pressing problems. For example, three weeks ago, I had the chance to meet with and award Mariza Hardin participation in our Founders Fund program for her startup, Zócalo HealthZócalo’s AI-powered telemedicine app is helping increase access to affordable healthcare for the Latino community in the U.S.

Mariza joins founders like Carlos Gaitan of Benchmark Labs, a startup using Google’s AI tools to help farmers better predict weather patterns to improve their crop yields; Erika Hairston of EdLyft, a platform that prepares college students for careers in computer science; and Zara Perumal of Overwatch Data, a cybersecurity startup that protects companies by detecting and analyzing business risks.

The Google for Startups Founders Fund community continues to grow around the world. Over the past month, we've welcomed a total of 99 Black Founders Fund recipients in the US, AfricaEurope and Brazil. Since 2020 we’ve provided more than $45 million in cash funding to 547 Black and Latino founders. We’ve seen our Founders Funds have a catalytic effect for founders, helping them raise further capital. Past recipients have gone on to raise over $400 million in investment after being selected and they’ve used these funds to create jobs and grow their revenues.

We’re looking forward to working with these businesses to help them reach their full potential. Hear from recipients of our U.S. Black and Latino Founders Funds in their own words, and learn more about all of the 2023 recipients on startup.google.com. 

Omaiven set to empower Allscripts customers with intelligent automation.

Addressing health equity and disparities has become increasingly important within the healthcare technology industry. Health disparities are rapidly becoming more and more identifiable by social, environmental and economic inequities that can put under-represented populations at a severe disadvantage, and often lead to a higher risk of poor health outcomes.

In 2021, the Allscripts Developer Program (ADP) launched ADP Empower, a corporate diversity, equity and inclusion initiative. This initiative promotes diversity industry-wide and cultivates a community of innovators that represent the perspectives and needs of our clients and their patients.

A goal of ADP Empower is to plant the S.E.E.D. for entrepreneurs by providing resources and opportunities that will contribute to their ongoing successes.

At its core, ADP Empower helps these companies navigate the health IT industry through sharing insights and resources as well as collaborating on efforts to seamlessly deliver innovation to Allscripts clients. This initiative has already effectively responded to individual and communal health challenges by partnering with developers for better development support, marketing and connections to potential users.

Source: https://www.allscripts.com/2022/03/diversity-equity-and-innovation-adp-empower

Omaiven Health and Lucia Health Guidelines Peer-Selected for Investments During Village Capital’s Building A Culturally Competent Healthcare System Accelerator Program

Each startup will receive $100,000 in grant funding from Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures

Washington, DC [September 1, 2021] — Village Capital, in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures, an impact investment vehicle of Johnson & Johnson Foundation, today announced that Omaiven Health and Lucia Health Guidelines were peer-selected to receive investment as a part of Building A Culturally Competent Healthcare System, an accelerator program for tech-enabled startups focused on providing culturally competent care to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), low-income, or other underserved communities.

“The pandemic has shed light on the stark reality that the US healthcare system is still plagued with inequity, making culturally competent care absolutely necessary as we innovate in healthcare,” said Matt Zieger, Chief Program Officer-Americas at Village Capital. “We are thrilled to support companies like Omaiven Health and Lucia Health Guidelines that are creating tangible solutions that directly advance health equity." 

Omaiven Health and Lucia Health Guidelines were selected for investment by a group of peer entrepreneurs on the final day of Building A Culturally Competent Healthcare System, a four week long accelerator program managed by Village Capital in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Impact Ventures. The ten entrepreneurs in the program evaluated each other through an investor lens, using eight specific investment criteria that leverage Village Capital’s Abaca Pathway. Omaiven Health and Lucia Health Guidelines were ranked “most investment ready.” The two companies are focused on the following:

The remaining companies in the Building A Culturally Competent Healthcare System cohort were:

For more information, contact Rustin Finkler at Village Capital (rustin.finkler@vilcap.com). 

About Village Capital

Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 100 program graduates.

Source: https://newsandviews.vilcap.com/press-releases/jnj-culturally-competent-healthcare-omaiven-luciahealth

Omaiven is the automation & intelligence solution built specifically to overcome the unique challenges of healthcare, from the safety net and beyond.
@2023 Omaiven Health
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