Creating a Healthcare Technology Company: A Path to Success Story, featuring Yan Liu-Johnson

Brief Biography:

Yale New Haven Hospital, Department of Psychiatry
National Medical Care

Strategy Healthcare Consultant
Accenture, AT Kearney, McKinsey,

CEO & Founder
AnyHealth Company Limited, China Health Link,

MBA, Yale University School of Management
MS, Applied Statistics, Southern Connecticut State Univ.

Married, mother of two
Hometown, Shanghai

Yan Liu Johnson, Chairman, CEO and Founder of Wuxi AnyHealth Technology Co. Ltd (‘AnyHealth’), created AnyHealth to provide health management and health services to employees and customers of corporations and government entities in China, based on its hardware and software technology platform which incorporates Internet of Things (IOT), mobile internet, cloud computing and Big Data. The company’s mission is to improve healthcare services and provide preventative care through use of data to support positive outcomes. Enabled by technology, AnyHealth produces data-driven information aimed at creating a more efficient and cost-effective healthcare delivery experience for people in China. Our CFO, Donna Lecky, met with Yan-Johnson in Shanghai to discuss the state of healthcare IT, women as entrepreneurs in this space and Liu-Johnson’s advice to those advancing in their careers.

Looking back at your early career choices – did you plan to become an entrepreneur, leading and operating the company you started?
I started working for Yale New Haven Hospital in the Department of Psychiatry as a Biostatistician, which is how I first became interested in the healthcare industry. I later took a position with Accenture and during the dotcom era interviewed with Ma Yun. He offered me a job doing business development. It was then I decided to start my own internet company to link the various players in the China healthcare market to improve its efficiency and information transparency. I wrote my own business plan and started China Health Link with Accenture back in 2000. So, in some respects, I formulated an entrepreneurial plan early on in my career.

Today, and with each passing day, we strive to do more—with less. How does AnyHealth leverage technology or improve processes to make healthcare work better, faster, smarter, more efficient, and/or less expensive?
Now I work in Shanghai, where we focus on the critical needs of the healthcare industry by using technology to improve health services and provide preventative care. This focus, driven by the strategic use of data, allows us to determine more efficient, cost effective and precise ways to improve the quality of healthcare services and delivery.

When discussing gender parity, specifically in health and tech industries, what do you think we should focus on?
The lessons learned in my journey is that it is too easy to give up because being an entrepreneur is not easy. You must be all-in and have a passion and belief in what you are doing. Gender parity will work itself out if you are committed and dedicated to your craft. There will be roadblocks and obstacles to overcome but my advice is to stay the course.

From your experience, what has changed the least yet still has major impact regarding gender equality within the industry?
The ability to attain a work/life balance has changed the least yet still has a major impact regarding gender equality in the industry. It remains difficult to manage children and a family. Options are to work from home or have a flexible work arrangement, but the challenge becomes managing your network and being positioned in meetings, conferences, introductions to clients etc. Women who are primary caregivers must navigate these types of challenges but should stay encouraged nonetheless.

What is your advice to women and what actionable steps can they take as leaders in the health & tech industries?
Get experience, create your own experiences and network. Identify resources and join health and technology organizations. Change is slow, but women are critical stakeholders in the healthcare industry as workers, caregivers and consumers

Lecky’s Final Thoughts

At HealthVenture, we echo Yan-Johnson’s advice and encourage women to CREATE!
If you would like to recommend a female entrepreneur in healthcare technology to be featured, we encourage you to contact us.

Contact information:
Sharon Mwale       Program Manager        [email protected]