Innovation in Healthcare

By Corporate Communications
Wednesday, January 09, 2019
GeekWire podcast moderated by Todd Bishop

Season three of GeekWire’s Health Tech Podcast kicks off with a episode featuring special guests from VIM, 98point6 and Microsoft Healthcare NExT, all companies which are simplifying healthcare using technology.

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The discussion covers a wide range of topics that impact the healthcare industry:

  • What's the potential for artificial intelligence to replace some of the roles of a doctor?
  • How can smartphones provide better access to healthcare?
  • And what's the future of tech giants such as Amazon and Google in the world of health?

The conversation features Robbie Cape, CEO and co-founder of 98point6, Ranjani Ramamurthy, principal physician scientist at Microsoft’s Healthcare NExT, and Oron Afek, CEO of VIM. GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop moderates the lively discussion, with an acknowledgment that we are living in a time of massive change. "The pace of disruption in consumers' lives will only continue to accelerate," said Bishop.

Dr. John “Espi” Espinola, executive vice president of Healthcare Services at Premera, opens up the conversation by addressing the Four Customer Problems of Healthcare, and how Premera is building solutions to them:

  • "I pay too much for what I get."
  • "Too often, I don’t get what I need."
  • “Too often, I get what I don’t need."
  • "Most of the time, I don’t have the experience I want and deserve."

Themes of the conversation

Healthcare is not immune to the current disruption hitting all industries, and as consumers are increasingly on the hook for more expensive healthcare, they are more engaged with and have higher expectations of their healthcare experience.

Cape notes, "The underlying business model of fee-for-service is leading to the transactionalization of primary care. What 98point6 is trying to deliver is a relationship with primary care."

Consumers are expecting transparency in cost; access to medical records and physicians via their smart phones; and simple, retail-like experiences. This means cutting through the clutter and providing a simple and holistic view into healthcare will give organizations a competitive edge.

On the tech side, Afek, of VIM, gives insight into how health companies are proactively reaching out to consumers, rather than waiting for them to engage. "Many companies are building tools with great technology that lack engagement," Afek said. "Artificial Intelligence can help determine when the member needs us, instead of relying on them to come to us."

In addition to simpler access to on-demand healthcare, the group discusses the rise of subscription models, the enormous shortage of primary care physicians, data liberation and the democratic access to it, how technology can help address the skyrocketing costs in healthcare, and smartphones as diagnostic and monitoring devices.

How can technology help transform healthcare? "Take care of the providers, and enable them to take care of patients," Ramamurthy concludes.

Premera Blue Cross is proud to sponsor GeekWire's Health Tech.

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