Bridging the Gap Between Academia and Entrepreneurship in Evidence-Based Digital Health w/Dr. Kate Wolin

"If you can succeed with the hard-to-reach, that’s the place to start and build up from." -Dr. Kate Wolin

Many healthcare innovators build amazing technology but struggle with adoption and engagement. What can healthcare entrepreneurs learn from academia to solve this problem? Why is it so important to understand the business models in healthcare innovation?

On today’s show, we’re talking to Dr. Kate Wolin, the CEO and co-founder of ScaleDown, the one-of-a-kind digital behavioral health innovation that successfully eliminated the “graveyard” drawer of digital fitness devices, attracted around 145,000 users to the platform, and was acquired by Anthem Health - Blue Shield in November 2018.

Dr. Wolin shares the lessons she’s learned while switching lanes from academia to entrepreneurship, and the power of starting with an underserved demographic.


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3 Things You'll Learn

1. How to cut through the noise and competition in healthcare innovation

The best way to rise above all the noise and competition in healthcare innovation is evidence and published work. This de-risks the investment for potential partners which makes it easier to go to market.

2. The unique strategy Dr. Wolin and her team implemented

ScaleDown managed to reach people no one else was reaching and people who hadn’t had success with existing models. Nothing makes a stronger business case than starting from the underserved, hard-to-reach markets. It helps the idea of going to the easy-to-reach markets make more sense to investors and partners.

3. The value of building relationships with academics

As a healthcare innovator, you don’t have to become a world-class scientist, you just need to find one and work with them. Invest in building relationships with academics. They can offer the insight and evidence you need to make commercialization easier.

95% of innovations brought to market fail to reach an adequate level of customer acceptance and profitability, but there are steps innovators can take to increase the chances of success. Working with scientists to build evidence for your innovation is key, along with paying attention to the innovations that have found success in academic science, and understanding the business model and product-market fit in healthcare. Ultimately, it’s all about reducing risk for investors and perfecting the user experience around ease of use.

If you want to maximize ROI and avoid market failure when launching and commercializing your healthcare innovation, let’s talk! Click to book your free 30-minute strategy session.

Guest Bio

Dr. Kate Wolin is a behavioral scientist, epidemiologist, and entrepreneur. She was the CEO and co-founder of Scale Down, a digital behavioral health innovation. Go to to connect with her and follow @DrKateWolin on Twitter.