Dr. John Showalter
Chief product officer, Jvion
Showalter led efforts at the company to create predictive analytics tools, initially after the H1N1 scare, that pulls in social determinant information. During the coronavirus pandemic, the tool pulls social determinant and clinical data from 30 million patients to create a COVID Community Vulnerability Map. By spotlighting such factors as air pollution, access to transportation and employment, map helps community health workers target populations at need. The AI system behind the mapping program has been deployed across about 50 hospital systems and over 300 hospitals, which report average reductions of 30% for admissions, 20% for readmissions and average annual cost savings of $13.7 million.
How do you identify opportunities for innovation?
Opportunities for innovation are frequently overlooked because individuals often focus on invention instead of innovation. Invention focuses on creating new solutions for new problems. I focus on pinpointing what our people and products are doing well and then identifying how these existing solutions apply to novel problems. By using existing methods and technologies in new ways to solve challenging problems, the number and effectiveness of innovations can be greatly increased.
What advice do you have for people who know how to get an idea in front of managers but may be afraid of failing?
Presenting a novel idea always carries the risk that others won’t see your vision or that the idea might fail. Still, it is important to know that you’re seen as a problem solver and contributing to solutions whether the idea takes off or not. It is OK to be afraid of failure or afraid of rejection, but leading in innovation means facing those fears and believing you and your ideas are worth the risk. And a few power poses before the presentation never hurt.
How do you stay focused on innovation during a crisis?
In challenging times, it is necessary to purposely take time to focus on problem-solving. At Jvion, we formed a core group that meets three times a week for 30 minutes to track and bring accountability to our innovation efforts. The team maintains a RAID (risk, actions, issues and decisions) log, and we hold each other accountable even though we are all very busy on day-to-day challenges. Carving out time and using a standard for logging items definitely helps us stay on track.