November 4, 2022

People Post: Mike Aswell, Head of Data Products

Written by

Steph Conrad

1) Why did you choose to lead Data Products at Osmind?

As a founding member of the data strategy team at Foundation Medicine, I've seen the real value data can have on impacting health care. With a quality set of data, you can derive a number of different insights—and these insights may have value to researchers, clinicians, or directly to patients. While at FMI we partnered with Flatiron Health. We had extensive genomic data, and Flatiron had extensive clinical data like treatment history and outcomes. Together we were able to create tools for clinicians to better treat patients, tools for researchers to find new opportunities for therapies, and tools that helped drugs come to market that may not have been able to otherwise. The impact we had was palpable.

Here at Osmind we have that same opportunity in the mental health space. In fact, we have a jump on where FMI and Flatiron started because we're thinking of data opportunities from the start. Being the operating system for mental health means that we'll have access to data that we can leverage for our own insights—and these will create unique opportunities to help patients across the spectrum of health care delivery. It's tremendously exciting, and I'm thrilled to watch us change how people look at approaching mental health care.

2) What excites you most about the intersection of technology and healthcare?

Technology has progressed to a point where computers can detect trends and patterns in different data sources better than people can. Given the right set of data and the right set of problems, we can derive insights that were just not possible even 5 years ago. This paired with the fact that technology is also present at the point of care today (in the form of EHRs, PACS imaging, and other medical systems) means we have an unprecedented ability to collect data and share insights back to the clinical staff caring for a patient, in real-time. For most of history, the practice of medicine has been a set of very tightly controlled processes and behaviors that require significant effort to change. To some extent, that's still true today, but technology gives us the ability to impact those behaviors in a way that wasn't possible in the past. Technology becoming part of medicine has been—and will continue to be—the largest driving force in delivering better outcomes.

3) How do you see the future of healthcare technology evolving?

I think healthcare will become more and more like ordering something on Amazon—where the decision on what to buy is driven by the system's understanding of you, your history, and what other people like you did (and liked). Likewise, healthcare data will be used to better characterize a patient's disease, specifically looking at current and historical data so that the systems can have a better idea of what therapies generated the best outcomes for that type of patient. These insights will create more informed choices that clinicians will leverage to generate better outcomes for their patients.

4) What does Osmind’s mission mean to you?

I worked as an EMT in an emergency department for 3 years. I've seen the state of mental health care in our country—people who need help, but end up in the ER over and over again. The first person I ever did CPR on was a 15-year-old girl who decided to take her own life—and as you can imagine, that's something that has stuck with me. But then I think about how in the last 10 years oncology has gone from literally poisoning everyone as standard-of-care to where it is today, delivering precision medicines that treat a specific patient's cancer. I can't help but imagine a future where Osmind is a driving force in transforming mental health into precision medicine as well, where each patient gets the treatment most appropriate for their disease.

5) Where do you see Osmind in the near future?

The state of mental health care in this country is reflected in the state of software for mental health. We will leverage this opportunity to transform how people think about EHRs in mental health as we take over the general psychiatry market with insightful and delightful software that really helps practices get their jobs done efficiently. They'll wonder how they were ever able to do things before they had Osmind and the Osmind team there to help.

6) What challenges in healthcare technology do you hope to address through your role at Osmind?

Capturing data and capturing the right data are difficult challenges. It's even more difficult to do that without making a user's job harder. One major challenge I'd like to accomplish would be ensuring that we're creating a tremendously valuable set of data that will not make clinicians' jobs harder, but rather make their jobs easier through those data insights.

7) What experiences prepared you most for shaping you into a health IT leader at Osmind?

Having worked on three other EHRs at AthenaHealth, PracticeFusion, and CareCloud, I've gone through my share of healthcare application challenges and helped grow them from the ground up. I've worked on every aspect of practice workflows and worked closely with customer service teams, account management, and implementation teams. These experiences gave me the opportunity to be very close to customers and helped me understand the needs and unique aspects that come with every practice.

At FMI I worked closely with oncologists, pathologists, and scientists. I got first-hand experince in the challenges of discovering new insights from messy data sets, as well as what it means to try and teach very smart people new things. Behavior change in medicine is extraordinarily hard, and that's before you even start dealing with insurance reimbursement and FDA regulations. At Firefly, I learned how important high-quality, value-based care is—and what it means to try and optimize care delivery through technology. In all of these roles I've had the opportunity to also influence larger, organizational efforts—scaling processes, ensuring compliance, uncovering and addressing opportunities for optimization. All of these things are pertinent to what we do here at Osmind, and are challenges we'll need to work together on to conquer.

8) What is something people don’t know about you?

I'm a maker—I love building things. I dabble in electronics, have a 3D printer, love woodworking, have a Glowforge, etc. Most recently I made built-in bookshelves in our basement that we recently finished. How do I have time with twins and a 5-year-old, you ask? One nap time at a time.

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