Thursday, Nov 16, 2023 | 12:00 AM ET

S4 E4: Innovations in Oral Health for Improving Systemic Health

Oral health plays a pivotal role in shaping your overall well-being – a critical connection often underestimated in healthcare.

In this episode, Mariya Filipova, Chief Innovation Officer at CareQuest Innovation Partners, and Maria Ryan, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Colgate Palmolive discuss the importance of systemic health and the role of oral health in the overall well-being of individuals. Maria highlights the interconnection between oral health and overall well-being. She discusses the impact of oral conditions on systemic health, emphasizing the risks of infection and inflammation. She also talks about Colgate's approach to innovation and partnership to better understand the landscape and bring innovations to the dental profession and consumers. They focus on the prevention and early detection of oral diseases, which can significantly improve oral health. On the other hand, Mariya addresses the disparity in investments in oral-systemic health. She points out that while oral health spending is significant, early-stage startup investments in oral health are minimal compared to healthcare startup investments. CareQuest Innovation Partners aims to bridge this gap by emphasizing the established clinical connection between oral and systemic health and encouraging the healthcare community to recognize this untapped opportunity for investment and innovation.

Stay tuned for an inspiring discussion on the connection between oral health and systemic health, and how entrepreneurs and startups can contribute to this transformative movement. 

About Mariya Filipova:

Mariya Filipova, MBA Chief Innovation Officer, CareQuest Innovation Partners. Mariya is a member of the CareQuest Institute leadership team and serves as chief innovation officer of CareQuest Innovation Partners, the for-profit affiliate of CareQuest Institute. In her role, she oversees innovation, incubation, and investment activities aimed at developing solutions that advance oral health access, equity and integration for underserved populations. 

Formerly, Vice President of Innovation at Anthem Inc, Mariya led efforts in scaling emerging technologies and new business models to accelerate Anthem’s transformation to a digital-first enterprise. Mariya’s vision and leadership in these areas resulted in the development of several breakthrough solutions and programs including the $5 million XPRIZE Rapid COVID-19 Testing competition, in partnership with seven Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans, to identify and validate fast, frequent, cheap, and easy-to-use testing solutions for SARS-CoV-2 and Anthem’s Digital Data Sandbox —the largest, certified de-identified commercial data set

About Maria Ryan:

Maria Emanuel Ryan, DDS, Ph.D. is Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at the

Colgate-Palmolive Company where she provides oversight and leadership to dental and dermal

clinical organizations, knowledge management, and scientific communications teams. Dr. Ryan

previously served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Oral Biology and Pathology at

Stony Brook University where she was actively involved in teaching, clinical practice, and

research. She is the Past President of the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) and has served on many academic and foundation boards. Dr. Ryan has received numerous awards including NIH National Research Service Awards and a Physician Scientist Award. She received an achievement award from the American Dental Association and was the first recipient of the Victress Health Award to recognize her educational and research efforts in the area of women’s health. Dr. Ryan is a nationally and internationally known speaker and author who has appeared on multiple media outlets to discuss the importance of oral health to overall health and wellbeing as well as the role of the dental professional in the provision of optimal overall health care.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Oral health is an integral part of systemic health. 
  • What happens in our mouth can have a significant impact on our overall health and well-being. From gum disease to oral cancers, understanding these connections is crucial for improving outcomes.
  • The disparity between oral health spending and investment in oral health startups is striking. There's a huge opportunity for innovators and entrepreneurs to address this gap.
  • Collaboration and partnerships are key to driving innovation in oral health. Colgate Palmolive and Carequest Innovation Partners both emphasize the importance of working with external partners to bring new solutions to the market. 
  • If you're a startup looking to make a difference, reach out to these organizations for potential collaborations.


  • Connect with and follow Mariya Filipova on LinkedIn.
  • Visit CareQuest Innovation on their Website.
  • Email CareQuest Innovation Partners here.
  • Connect with and follow Maria Ryan on LinkedIn.
  • Visit the Colgate-Palmolive Website!


Maria RyanExecutive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Colgate-Palmolive

Mariya FilipovaChief Innovation Officer, FILIPOVA.HEALTH

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