Community//

Dr. Waqaas Al-Siddiq: “Flatten the administration layer in our healthcare”

Flatten the administration layer in our healthcare. We have a National Coverage Determinant plus a Local Coverage Determinant (the local reinterprets the national). I would remove the local level completely, saving millions in administration overhead and reducing the non-uniform coverage issue. As a part of my interview series with leaders in healthcare, I had the pleasure […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Flatten the administration layer in our healthcare. We have a National Coverage Determinant plus a Local Coverage Determinant (the local reinterprets the national). I would remove the local level completely, saving millions in administration overhead and reducing the non-uniform coverage issue.


As a part of my interview series with leaders in healthcare, I had the pleasure to interview Dr. Waqaas Al-Siddiq, the founder of Biotricity, a serial entrepreneur, a former investment advisor and an expert in wireless communication technology. Academically, he was distinguished for his various innovative designs in digital, analog, embedded, and micro-electro-mechanical products. His work was published in various conferences such as IEEE and the National Communication Council. Waqaas has held several high-level design positions in IBM, AMD, and Intel. His achievements have been numerous in both the technical and academic world. Coupled with this, Waqaas has vast experience in leading various groups through his board experience and executive roles within start-ups, mid-sized companies, and non-profits. Waqaas has a dual Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and Economics, a Master’s in Computer Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Henley Business School. He also holds a Doctorate in Business with a specialty in Transformative Innovations and Billion Dollar Markets.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I became interested in remote monitoring through graduate work in remote sensor networks. I worked in high-end CPU, server architectures and cloud computing. That led me to work with companies wanting to harness cloud technology to create lifestyle gamification. Which convinced me the key problem to solve is clinical monitoring.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

I think the most interesting story for me is the first time our technology saved a life. It does not get any better and more interesting than that. To be a part of something that can save someone’s life is humbling, interesting, and exciting.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Everyone knows that I am a fan of dressing up as opposed to dressing down. So, for fun and to be different, I came up with the idea of “Formal Friday’s” for the company. Bear in mind we are in Silicon Valley. Total failure. The lesson: be different, but not that different?

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Sense of urgency! Healthcare is highly regulated, which slows you down. We ask, “What tasks can be done in parallel and/or sequentially. With our Bioflux device, they said it would take 6 months to do regulatory testing. We asked, “What tests can be done in parallel/sequentially?” It took 3 months to complete testing.

What advice would you give to other healthcare leaders to help their team to thrive?

In healthcare, there are different paths to go to market. Some are ROI based others are based on outcomes and reimbursement. The team must be clear on the business model, the product, and GTM strategy. At times, this is looked at after the fact, creating delays and disheartening the team.

According to this study cited by Newsweek, the US healthcare system is ranked as the worst among high income nations. This seems shocking. Can you share with us 3–5 reasons why you think the US is ranked so poorly?

The US ranks poorly because of general outcomes. We spend more with worse outcomes. This is due to:

  1. Flatten the administration layer in our healthcare. We have a National Coverage Determinant plus a Local Coverage Determinant (the local reinterprets the national). I would remove the local level completely, saving millions in administration overhead and reducing the non-uniform coverage issue.
  2. Require insurance, private or public, to adhere to national guidelines. No reinterpretation of what is set out as coverage. Saving millions and further reducing the non-uniform coverage issues.
  3. Ensure basic coverage is a requirement. Use the savings from removing the administration layer to provide basic coverage, which would be yearly physicals, generic meds, etc., costing the system nothing, and saving millions through reduced urgent care and ER usage.
  4. Ensure coverage is the same nationally, so you don’t have Medicare patients or private insurance patients with the same plan in different states having different coverage.
  5. Remove barriers to telemedicine and remote monitoring making it cheaper and more accessible.

You are a “healthcare insider”. If you had the power to make a change, can you share 5 changes that need to be made to improve the overall US healthcare system? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Flatten the administration layer in our healthcare. We have a National Coverage Determinant plus a Local Coverage Determinant (the local reinterprets the national). I would remove the local level completely, saving millions in administration overhead and reducing the non-uniform coverage issue.
  2. Require insurance, private or public, to adhere to national guidelines. No reinterpretation of what is set out as coverage. Saving millions and further reducing the non-uniform coverage issue.
  3. Ensure basic coverage is a requirement. Use the savings from removing the administration layer to provide basic coverage, which would be yearly physicals, generic meds, etc., costing the system nothing, and saving millions through reduced urgent care and ER usage.
  4. Ensure coverage is the same nationally, so you don’t have Medicare patients or private insurance patients with the same plan in different states having different coverage.

Remove barriers to telemedicine and remote monitoring making it cheaper and more accessible.

Ok, it’s very nice to suggest changes, but what concrete steps would have to be done to actually manifest these changes? What can a) individuals, b) corporations, c) communities and d) leaders do to help?

  1. Individuals need to talk to government officials and educate one another on gaps in care.
  2. Corporations should work with local/national government to facilitate uniform coverage
  3. Communities need to educate individuals on the importance of yearly visits

Leaders need to talk about the administration challenges and the differing interpretations of national guidelines leading to different coverage in healthcare as opposed to uniform coverage and the private/public system debate.

I’m interested in the interplay between the general healthcare system and the mental health system. Right now, we have two parallel tracks, mental/behavioral health and general health. What are your thoughts about this status quo? What would you suggest to improve this?

Mental/behavioral health is a long-term health issue — like any chronic illness i.e., diabetes. Both require long term treatment and management. We need pathways to identify long and short-term conditions and approach them differently. Long term is about management, short term should focus on fast recovery.

How would you define an “excellent healthcare provider”?

A group that focuses on preventative care and long-term care management.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Edison. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” This quote is what drives my idea of parallelism and I’m always looking for another approach to get things done.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I’m excited about our new consumer product for chronic heart patients or those concerned about their heart. Cardiac disease is the#1 killer and has no way to be managed by individuals. Personalized cardiac devices lack long term, clinical-grade data that physicians can rely on. Our new product the first of its kind is a long-term clinical-grade monitor for individuals at risk or diagnosed with cardiac disease to manage their lifestyle/condition.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better healthcare leader? Can you explain why you like them?

I enjoy reading the Economist as it is always covering broader health topics internationally and provides me with insights from other regions. I also enjoy reading books about scaling an organization, in particular, books by Clayton Christensen on disruption.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Health & nutrition starts with what we eat. Millions around the world lack nutrition & access to healthy food. Toms created a one for one business model for shoes. With the advent of so many food delivery/meal companies, we need to create a similar model for food.

More About Dr. Waqaas Al Siddiq can be found at the following social tags

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-waqaas-al-siddiq-dba-

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

How Medical Wearable Technology Is Improving Patient Care

by Jilea Hemmings
Community//

The Future of Healthcare: “We must expand the training for healthcare practitioners that addresses social determinants of health” with Dr. Romilla Batra, the chief medical officer at SCAN Health Plan

by Christina D. Warner, MBA
Community//

The Future of Healthcare With Dr. Joseph Menzin of Boston Health Economics

by Christina D. Warner, MBA
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.