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Emily Casey put her medical career dreams on hold to launch What the Health?!


Emily Casey was a bright young medical student with a passion for health care when she was struck by the devastating reality that the system was “screwed”.

But rather than throwing herself into her studies hoping that someone somewhere would do something about the ‘shit show’, she decided to take control and be part of the solution – starting with the industry. paralyzed from health technologies.

It meant turning his life and studies upside down and giving up on his dream of becoming a doctor, at least for now. But she is motivated and ready to shake things up, thanks to her new initiative What is health?!

“When I went further in the program [medical school]I’ve seen the reality of healthcare and how even as a clinician you’re really constrained by the system and the policies and the funding and where it’s going,” said What is health?! founder Mrs. Casey.

“I’m quite frustrated with these issues…because you can only help patients with what you have in front of you and within established rules. But if you’re not allowed to break those rules, or if you don’t have the resources, you’re basically screwed,” she said.

The biggest challenge facing the health technology industry is how to connect siled stakeholders in a way that fosters innovation and collaboration.

Lack of resources, coupled with strains on clinicians, meant Ms Casey was seeing patients deprived of the holistic care and long-term problem solving they needed.

“It was just really disheartening. It wasn’t the medicine I took to help people get better, it was more like temporary band-aid solutions.

“It’s all, to be frank, a shit show.”

Ms Casey was disturbed by her experiences on both sides – clinician and patient. After moving on the freeway several times and finding that her medical records never moved with her, leading to misdiagnoses and things being overlooked, her life as a patient began to feel “isolated and horrible.”

Ms Casey said it had become clear to her that true scalable change was only possible when the business and systemic aspects of healthcare were corrected. After an internship in finance and a leadership role at the Government Innovation Centre, Ms Casey saw huge potential when covid hit.

Health tech has become very hyped, and many people have reached out to me, both from my healthcare professional networks and from the start-up world, asking me questions about health tech. , and investors also started looking at the space, it became so obvious that there were few good resources,” Ms. Casey said.

“I was shocked by some of the questions I received. Healthcare professionals asking “where can I find the technology”, or start-ups and companies in the healthcare sector struggling with many systems or commercialization basics. »

Mrs. Casey decided to use this knowledge to start What is health ? !, a media brand and a community that aims to make health innovation more fun, accessible and connected. According to Ms. Casey, the biggest obstacle to these objectives is that the different stakeholders do not speak the same language.

“I think people try to [communicate better], but I don’t think there were the right spaces or forums. In true health care style, it’s been really, really siloed. Just closed doors and echo chambers.

Ms Casey hopes the day’s discussions will lead to practical steps we can take now, and what we want in the future – and how to get there.

Ms Casey said that embracing technology and new patterns of thinking was easier said than done, but that we needed to move away from thinking about short-term solutions for long-term infrastructure, both from a health only from a commercial point of view,

“It’s always easier said than done. But we’re trying to forge pathways and connections to create a better foundation for the future, instead of just fixing this crumbling structure that we already have.