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Tadashi Funahashi, MD, recognized for health care innovation efforts

Headshot of Tadashi Funahashi, MD
Tadashi Funahashi, MD

Tadashi Funahashi, MD, chief innovation and transformation officer for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as a Top Innovator of 2023. The recognition honors those who are instituting health care innovation and leading transformative programs that achieve measurable results in improving care and contribute to clinical and financial goals.

Dr. Funahashi leads a team of physicians, consultants, designers, data scientists, and engineers​ who work together with teams and leaders across Kaiser Permanente ​to envision and build the health care system of the future at the Kaiser Permanente Innovations Studio.

“This honor pays tribute to the incredible work and vision of the team here and reinforces our mission of transforming health care ideas into real-world solutions for our patients,” said Dr. Funahashi.

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Dr. Funahashi and the Innovation Studio take a people-first approach to health care, enhancing member experience by improving care across the continuum, leveraging big data to provide personalized and improved quality of care, and exploring emerging opportunities that have transformative potential.

“If your environment is changing, creativity is crucial to staying ahead of the curve,” said Dr. Funahashi. “There are many opportunities to leverage new developments, including technology, to substantially improve the care experience for both patients and physicians.”

In his role, he spearheaded the development of an in-home cardiac rehab program that provided smartwatches to more than 2,300 patients in Southern California to remotely monitor their rehabilitation. A 2022 study found that program participants had lower rates of hospitalization when compared with those in center-based programs.

Dr. Funahashi founded and chairs the Kaiser Permanente National Implant Registries that currently tracks the safety and outcomes of over 3.8 million implants ranging from orthopedics and cardiology to vascular surgery.

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As Kaiser Permanente and Dr. Funahashi continue to explore opportunities for health care innovations, the relationship between patient and physician — and the face-to-face interactions that support it — remains at the forefront of the model.

Dr. Funahashi is also a practicing orthopedic surgeon with Southern California Permanente Medical Group and a Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at University of California Irvine College of Medicine.

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