A special interview: February 2022
Pothik Chatterjee serves as the AVP at LifeBridge Health, overseeing the Innovation & Operations Support, which has received multiple awards including Becker’s Top 40 programs and Corporate Innovation of the Year from Technical.Ly Baltimore. His scope includes oversight of operations in digital health, patient access and biomedical research. His team manages digital health and research partnerships with payers, pharmaceuticals and biotech companies. He also manages the LifeBridge Health & CareFirst Innovation Fund and the upcoming Innovation Center in Baltimore.
Before LifeBridge, Pothik co-founded Brigham Innovation Hub at Partners Healthcare where he also supported ambulatory growth and network development for the Brigham Physicians’ Organization in Boston. Pothik completed his MBA at Harvard Business School, his MA from Johns Hopkins University and graduated from Georgetown University with honors. Pothik was selected to the Baltimore Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list in 2019.
How is LifeBridge leading innovation in healthcare?
LifeBridge Health has an illustrious history of innovation, dating back to 1969 when Dr. Morton Mower met Dr. Michel Mirowski at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. Together, they co-invented the Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, now implanted in well over 300,000 patients. The ICD monitors and corrects abnormal heart rhythms and is 99% effective in treating sudden cardiac interest.
Today, LifeBridge is leading innovation in healthcare in several areas – including health technology (with our 1501 Health incubator and investment program for early stage digital health startups), biomedical innovation (our LifeBridge Health BioIncubator at Sinai Hospital) and community health programs like our Community Mobile Clinic that provides Covid vaccines for vulnerable communities in West Baltimore.
How do you think technology is changing the relationship between patients and providers?
Technology has progressed at a remarkably rapid pace, with the rise of automation, AI and machine learning, and those developments are transforming healthcare delivery and how patients access care and monitor their healthcare symptoms, medications and treatment plans. The pandemic led to a historic acceleration in telemedicine and in our “new normal” we are seeing a hybrid of in-person and virtual visits, particular for lower acuity and chronic conditions. Patients expect digital services in healthcare, whether it’s for online scheduling, finding providers or communication post-discharge through a mobile app for follow-up appointments and automated reminders.
Now that our electronic medical records are digitized, I see tremendous opportunities through harnessing automation and predictive analytics on data to deliver insights that can lead to earlier detection and diagnosis. At LifeBridge Health, we used RAPID technology to use AI to quickly analyze the CT and MRI scans of patients having acute strokes to optimize patient selection for transfer and thrombectomy, reducing “speed to decision” time to generally less than two minutes.
How are you inspiring the next generation of healthcare advocates and front line workers?
Sometimes the best ideas and inspiration for healthcare innovation come from other industries! One example is Even Health, a mental wellness startup in our 1501 Health program, that initially focused on the U.S. military. They developed Cabana, a digital counseling platform designed for anonymous group support in a virtual reality (VR) setting. Over time, they found that mental health and wellness were also major needs for providers on the front lines, particularly as we enter the third year of the global Covid pandemic and increasing levels of provider burnout and mental stress. Cabana was introduced to LifeBridge Health employees in January 2022 and it is truly inspiring to see how Cabana is helping to reduce the stigma of therapy and mental health for providers at a crucial time.
What life experience has most shaped who you are as a leader?
The intersection of several life experiences have shaped me as a leader. As an immigrant son of an Indian family that lived across three continents before settling in the United States, I have learned to be adaptable, adventurous and appreciate both cultural differences and the common values that bind us together as human beings like integrity, honesty and teamwork. As a proud member of the LGBTQ community, I learned about leadership from my early days at Georgetown University undergrad, marching with the Human Rights Campaign for Pride in Washington D.C. and advocating for equality for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities in a Catholic setting.
I am passionate about healthcare innovation and adopting a mindset where we strive to understand and incorporate the perspective of diverse patients and vulnerable populations that have been underserved historically. The pandemic brought to light some of these longstanding inequities here in the United States, and my hope is that we can help to reduce the digital divide and promote healthcare access and care for all members of our communities.
In your opinion, what personal trait is most important to being a good leader and why?
Humility – the wiliness to learn and grow from each experience. I am a strong proponent of the Servant Leader philosophy and I am indebted to our fantastic Innovation team at LifeBridge Health and all our collaborators within the health system and the Baltimore ecosystem that help us tackle complex challenges with a creative mindset, and stay true to our mission to improve care for our patients.