David Rhew_Samsung

I had a chance to chat with Dr. David Rhew at the 2014 mHealth Summit in Washington DC. We talked about his journey from Infectious Disease (ID) doctor to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Samsung. Here’s a link to the video interview.

It should not be a surprise that he said that the reason he joined Samsung really had nothing to do with his ID training. Rather, it was because of the research he had been doing both while in training and after training at UCLA that focused on how to change physician behavior to improve outcomes. That work led him to feel strongly that the support needed for behavior change had to be automated.

So, David became involved with the development of electronic health records (EHRs) and clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) that are now being used by many hospitals across the country. Almost all of the technologies he helped create were provider-centric because they had been designed specifically to better inform providers. But, he realized, because the patient and consumer is an integral part of the overall solution, particularly as more and more healthcare moves outside of the hospital and into clinics and the home, he knew he had to focus his attention on technologies that engage not only physicians, but also patients and consumers.


Joining Samsung

About a year and a half ago, David had the chance to join Samsung. Initially, his role was as an advisor on issues related to some of the technology the company was looking at in the medical space, but it very quickly transformed into an opportunity to help guide some of Samsung’s digital health strategies.

When I asked David to tell me one or two things he has been able to accomplish since he has been at Samsung in terms products actually getting into the hands of consumers, he demurred, saying:

“I try not to take credit for anything. Samsung does amazing things all by itself. What I try to do is help better communicate both internally and externally what we need to do and also help align where does Samsung need to head. I think I have been able to do a pretty good job communicating a message that resonates with both the external world as well as our internal teams that want understand how this leads not only to better outcomes, but also to a sustainable business.”

What I loved about this conversation with David is that it is another example of docs popping up in organizations that, in the past, we would not have associated with the need to have physician leaders. Way to go, David!



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