It’s probably not too early to call 2020 the Year of Healthcare. With the world rocked to its core by the COVID-19 pandemic, the planet’s population is talking about serology tests, vaccine development, clinical trials, medical capacity, and the role of governments in protecting or advancing public health.
Even before the crisis, however, healthcare has sat at the beating heart of innovation, tech, and policy. Billions of investment dollars pour into med tech startups and industry giants, racing to implement cutting-edge technologies to revolutionize the healthcare industry.
The appetite for healthcare thought leadership has never been more ravenous, and thought leaders and aspiring thought leaders have rushed to fill that demand through podcasts, a low-tech and inexpensive way to talk to vast global audiences. And the audiences are vast. Over 90% of Americans have listened to a podcast in the last 12 months, and few subjects touch so widespread a nerve like healthcare.
Readily available through free listening services like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, listeners can immerse themselves in hours and hours of content, putting your average binge watch to shame, adding education to their commute, and becoming a more informed populace with an attention span for long-form content that have generations’ worth of sitcom producers scratching their heads.
Representing the perspective of laypeople, marketers, doctors and nurses, academics, policy makers, investors, inventors, innovators, and many more, the conversation about healthcare thrives over RSS feeds. Here are the 19 healthcare podcasts you should be listening to in 2021.
1- Healthcare Weekly: At the Forefront of Healthcare Innovation
Technology and healthcare are intimately related. Arguably the most important function of technology is to safeguard human health and quality of life. From the detection of diseases to the treatment of conditions to improving the wellbeing of entire populations, what happens in technology definitely is close to the heart, among other organ systems.
Healthcare Weekly puts technology at the center of a conversation about the healthcare industry—its successes and blind spots, what the past has taught us, and what promising innovations loom on the horizon. The hosts, digital entrepreneurs and consultants Codrin Arsene and Michael Reddy, interview leading innovators in health tech to discover how technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality are changing the face of medicine.
2- Medtech Talk
Every year the leading minds in medical technology, from investors to inventors to tech company executives, descend on the Medtech Conference to see panels, hear keynote addresses, and to network on the cutting edge of healthcare technology.
When the conference isn’t in session, however, Medtech continues the conversation with the podcast Medtech Talk. It returns from a several-month hiatus (and in the wake of the 2020 conference being cancelled due to coronavirus) with a new host, Gilde Healthcare partner Geoff Pardo, to resume what we anticipate will continue to be the podcast’s strength—probing discussion about the human consequences with leaders in medical technology.
3- The #HCBiz Show!
As fascinating as cutting-edge med tech can be, Don Lee and Shahid Shaw, hosts of The#HCBiz Show, are less interested in the sparkly what of healthcare innovation. Instead, they focus on the less-sexy but arguably more important how and why. With technological advances changing our lives by the day, why is healthcare so slow to adapt? What stands between the lifesaving breakthroughs themselves and their actual implementation in real-world healthcare situations?
Healthcare-tech entrepreneurs Lee and Shaw dig into the nitty-gritty of what it takes to bring healthcare tech to market—something they know intimately from their personal experience launching numerous healthcare products. They examine everything from regulatory hurdles to the market for healthcare real estate to hospital corporate culture.
4- Bright Spots in Healthcare Podcast
Who says there’s never any good news in the headlines? Well, maybe you don’t consider a podcast RSS feed “headlines,” but if you need a reason to feel good about where human ingenuity is taking us, Teledoc Health VP Eric Glazer has your monthly spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.
Glazer focuses a relentlessly sunny gaze on the success stories of healthcare tech, grilling industry leaders for repeatable patterns that could lead to compounding successes. His credentials in telemedicine and mental health provide a substantive foundation for one of the most optimistic podcasts in the healthcare space.
5- Data Book
Big Data may play a big role in the democratization of health care, supercharging diagnosis and treatment, but at what cost to security and privacy? Inside Digital Health digs into these and other concerns found at the intersection of healthcare and technology through Data Book, a weekly, pithy podcast hosted by Associate Editor Samara Rosenfeld.
Rosenfeld and her guests delve into oft-overlooked issues like medical school culture, physician burnout, and interoperability, as well as the impact of tech breakthroughs on these issues.
6- Digital Health Today
Dan Kendall, the founder and managing editor of Digital Health Today, builds his podcast on 25 years on the front lines of med tech, a career that has taken him from the US to Europe to the Middle East and back to develop products for the pharmaceutical, medical device, and health tech industries.
Now in its eleventh season, the Digital Health Today podcast recruits insights and opinions from clinicians, patients, inventors, investors, and other thought leaders to present a balanced, thoughtful perspective on the state of healthcare on a global basis.
7- Faces of Digital Health
Former healthcare journalist and entrepreneur Tjasa Zajc created Faces of Digital Health to plumb the depths of her fascination with the speed of change and how the healthcare industry adapts. Educated in Ljubljana and active in the Slovenian health forum Healthday.si, Zajc also helped launch Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin and volunteered in Turkey and Uganda.
Her multi-part podcasts are thoughtful discussions with carefully selected experts and laypeople, and they cut through the hype and the noise to explore what is actually happening on the ground in healthcare—what systems are in place now, what innovators propose to replace them with, and how the industry reacts.
8- GeekWire Health Tech
Founded in 2011 in Seattle by journalists Todd Bishop and John Cook, GeekWire’s cheeky title is a billboard for its borderline-geeky obsession with the tech breakthroughs that will shape our lives for decades or more. They cover startups, established companies, anyone working on the cutting edge.
Bishop hosts most of the episodes of GeekWire’s Health Tech podcast, now in its third season. His conversations with innovators on topics like AI and objective tests for elusive conditions provide brief windows into the future of the health tech industry.
9- HealthCare Focus
Healthcare design specialist Corina Paraschiv has a knack for making even complex medical topics approachable to laypeople, making her long-running podcast, HealthCare Focus (tagline: “We follow Health Care news and industry research so you don’t have to”) required listening for anyone who wants to know how the innovations of today impact the healthcare decisions of tomorrow.
In addition to the brain, Paraschiv reaches for the heart in the discussion of red-blooded topics like end-of-life decisions, paternalistic vs. participative care, and informed consent.
10- Healthcare Information Security Podcast
The Information Security Media Group (ISMG) launched HealthcareInfoSecurity.com to cast a spotlight on the security risks inherent in aggregating medical data in an effort to facilitate diagnosis, disease tracking, and populational healthcare.
Various hosts contribute to the production of multiple podcasts per week, diving deep into healthcare-related cybersecurity concerns, including storage protocols for sensitive medical data, remote-work considerations, passwords and encryption, the risks posed by AI, and the race to stay ahead of cybercriminals. Guests include thought leaders in cybersecurity, risk management, and healthcare data tech.
11- Healthcare IT Today
Healthcare IT Today is a publication of the Healthcare Scene media network, with over 13,000 articles and counting, and along with short-form video content and Q&A and breaking news, provides independent, actionable analysis on trends and breakthroughs in healthcare information technology.
Healthcare Scene founder John Lynn and Twitter influencer Colin Hung are the kind of affable IT whiz kids you want as your tour guides through a dry subject, making it fun, approachable, and relevant in their discussions of subjects like telehealth, data security, insurance group structure, and the dynamics of patient demand. Lynn himself has authored over 5,500 pieces of content for the network, while Hung is the founder of the popular #hclrd (Healthcare Leadership) tweetchat.
12- Healthcare Rap
If you want an offbeat, against the grain take on the healthcare industry from a tech and marketing perspective, look no further than the unlikely duo of Jared Johnson and Peter Balistieri. Johnson is a #digitalhealth Top 100 influencer and a rapper. Balistieri has a long career in healthcare marketing and PR.
Together they make a dynamic duo, engaging and entertaining in their approach to topics like martech, digital health, and brand marketing as applied to healthcare. If you need a little showbiz and outsized personality with your facts, Balistieri and Johnson are your guys. They produce podcasts weekly and refer to their listeners as their “posse.”
13- The Heartwood Treehouse
With all eyes turned to technology, data science, and R&D, Heartwood Healing founder Jacquelyn Fletcher Johnson offers a refreshing look inward, redirecting the eyes and ears of her listeners to the topic of self-care. Her institute takes a clinical and scientific approach to behavioral therapy to combat burnout and achieve self-mastery.
In the Heartwood Treehouse podcast, Fletcher Johnson offers actionable, research-based explorations into practices of sustainable wellbeing, with an eye toward promoting creativity, mindfulness, resilience, and self-control. She covers topics ranging from breathing exercises to emotional intelligence to accepting love.
14- Hidden Brain
NPR science editor Shankar Vedantam is your guide on a weekly voyage into the vagaries of human behavior. If you have ever wondered why humans do what we do, Vedantam can provide some reasons and uses science and sociology to dive deep into those questions and come up with answers.
Hidden Brain has been honored with the Edward R. Morrow Award and accolades from numerous institutes for psychology, psychiatry, and journalism for Vedantam’s incisive approach to the behavioral foundations of such topics as mass panic, gang loyalty, influence, infidelity, lying, and the quest to build the perfect sex doll.
15- HIT Like a Girl Pod
Hosts Joy Rios and Robin Roberts met working for a multibillion-dollar pathology lab that sent them around the country to help clinics implement compliance controls. They built a healthcare IT (“HIT”) consultancy from their professional relationship, and launched HIT Like A Girl as a key arm of their branding.
The podcast focuses on the critical role of women as “Chief Medical Officers” in families and seeks to highlight important female voices in healthcare IT, as well as healthcare law, insurance, and economics. Their guests are an eclectic mix of female doctors, influencers, thought leaders, and advocates.
16- Perspectives on Health and Tech
Perspectives on Health and Tech is a production of Cerner, the multibillion-dollar healthcare IT giant which has been a fixture in the healthcare landscape for decades. Cerner employs over 29,000 people across 26 countries, with contracts in 35 countries across 27,500 facilities. You could say that they know what they’re talking about and have for a while.
With over 170 episodes and counting, the weekly podcast addresses changes on the horizon as technology and medicine become increasingly intertwined, from the implementation of Agile methodology in healthcare solutions to retail healthcare, with an eye toward improving outcomes and patient experience. While their contracts are with clinics and hospitals, Perspectives on Health and Tech takes the perspective that Cerners’ true clients are the patients that clinics serve.
If you know anything about groundbreaking med tech company Revel, you know that to them, talk is cheap. “Isn’t that interesting?” or “Maybe someday” isn’t good enough for them. Their stock in trade is action, implementation, results. It’s how their products have delivered a 63% increase in wellness visits, a 30% reduction in admin costs, and a 337% increase in cancer screenings, and more.
RadioRev is their platform to host discussions on how groundbreaking medical tech advances can be put into place to save lives, improve outcomes, and make patients’ lives better. It’s not just a “pie in the sky” conversation about the future, but a present-tense discussion that gets into the nitty-gritty of quality of life now, including behavioral health and social determinants of health.
18- TEDTalks Health
Everyone loves a good TED Talk, whether or not they know what a TED Talk is. TED is an acronym for ‘Technology, Entertainment, and Design.” TED Conferences LLC holds its world-famous main conference annually in Vancouver, as well as satellite conferences around the world and smaller “TEDx” events at the grassroots level. At any given TED Conference, some of the greatest minds in the world are both on stage speaking and in the audience listening.
Many TED and TEDx talks are on critical topics of healthcare and health tech. TED aggregates these talks on TED Health, with over 130 podcasts and counting, covering topics from the health impact of loneliness to medical applications of psychedelics. If you want to have your mind blown, TED doesn’t disappoint.
19- The Healthcare Policy Podcast
The healthcare industry is many things, but it’s also one of the most heavily regulated and scrutinized industries in the world. It’s easy to see why—lives are at stake, as well as quality of life, and abuses do happen. On the other hand, legitimate breakthroughs often have significant red tape to wrangle, and we can probably expect healthcare to remain a political hot potato in the halls of congresses, parliaments, and presidential palaces for the foreseeable future.
Enter David Introcaso, PhD, a Washington insider whose career has taken him from DC General Hospital to roles advising the House Majority Leader, the Assistant Secretary of Planning and Evaluation, and numerous organizations and foundations, as well as professorships at George Washington University and the University of Chicago. In The Healthcare Policy Podcast, Dr. Introcaso delves into the policy side of healthcare, including issues relating to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, and tensions between the public and private sector in the advancement of healthcare policy.