Hear from CEOs / execs of BetterHelp, JustAnswer, K Health, Bind Benefits weigh inRead more...
Not everyone at Invent Health agreed that seniors aren't tech savvy
The way that healthcare is being delivered is changing, with the rise of telehealth services and a generation that is much less inclined to actually go and see a doctor. But that might just be because they don't have to; what about those who actually do need go to the doctor, including seniors? Are they being left behind as the role of the doctor potentially becomes less important than it used to be?
That theme that was prevalent throughout the The Future of Clinics, the latest salon held by Vator and HP, in which a group of entrepreneurs from startups such as Heal, Solv, Crossover Health and Heal got together to discuss the changing way that care is being delivered, and what that means for the future of the doctor's office.
The panel, moderated by Bambi Francisco Roizen (Founder and CEO, Vator) and Archana Dubey (Global Medical Director, HP), featured Dr. Pat Carroll (Chief Medical Officer, HIMS/HERS), Jenni Vargas (Chief Strategy Officer, One Medical), Yumi Diangi Taylor (founder of TeraPractice at Sutter Health/ Palo Alto Medical Foundation), Karoline Hilu (Chief Strategy Officer, Crossover Health), Justin Zaghi (Chief Medical Director, Heal), Heather Fernandez, (co-founder and CEO, Solv Health) and Mona Chadha (Chief Strategy Officer Bay Area, Dignity Health).
The topic of seniors, and their role in the changing ecosystem, was first brought up by Chadha, in response to questions about whether or not the future of clinics meant that the role of the doctor was no longer necessary.
Her point was that, for seniors, doctors are still very much needed because they require different kinds of care than young people do.
"The thing that we will have to keep in mind is also the segmentation of the population. The younger generation really wants to go all digital and then if I want my physical I go to primary care and then I want to go to a clinic. But don’t forget the number of older people that we have and how long those people are living. How do you provide access for them? How do you manage their disease? And then things probably are a good solution where you can offer the right care at the right time and in a way that’s cost effective," she said.
"We are in Silicon Valley and I love technology, and when I try to think about it in the context of Dignity Health it’s a monumental thing to do, so our strategy is to partner. Partner in terms of how to provide better access. How do you provide cheaper access? We had to look into the segmentation of the population. We really try very hard to tell people who to ERs to go to urgent cares, and you will find that there’s this demographic of patients, no matter you do they will turn up in the ER."
Ultimately, said Chadha, "Changing that patient’s behavior is very, very hard. So I want you to keep that in mind as you think about your population."
The topic of seniors and healthcare technology came up again later, with a question from an audience member who asked about seniors not being tech savvy and how the companies on stage think about that.
Carroll responded that thinking that seniors aren't tech savvy is a "mythology."
"I’ll give you a statistic at Walgreens: when you can refill your scripts through your cellphone, 28 percent of the folks who used that were over the age of 65. So, don’t assume that seniors are not tech savvy, they may be a little behind Millennials but they’re catching up very quick," he said. "As we build these tech solutions we should not exclude seniors because they are very interested in tech in healthcare."
Taylor also responded that she didn't believe that seniors and healthtech don't mix, because if there's value for them in it, they will find a way to use it.
"Once someone who is otherwise not tech savvy, or not that person who normally would be using apps, if there’s value that allows them to have access to care, then what we see is that it’s used," she said.
"We make sure that the technologies that we’re building, we’re not just building for a certain segment of the population. We are building and thinking about other challenges and population, substance abuse support, mental health, so making sure that those chops and capabilities are built in, and those technologies are there when the payment model follows to be able to support that."
Dubey then made the point that technology should be "designed for the extreme user," calling it "the ideal model."
"You have to design everything for the most extreme user and everyone else can fall into that. What you’re saying is an assumption that they will adopt these technologies, but it could be building the right workflows and the right capacities," she said.
Chadha agreed with Carroll that seniors are more tech savvy than given credit for, and noted that "there’s really just a difference in how they want care delivered." For example, for seniors want to visit clinic more than the younger population because "as a senior you’re feeling that every problem you may have may lead to something much more drastic and dramatic."
"They’re savvy enough to use cellphones, they’re savvy enough to be on Facebook. Whereas the younger Millennials might be happy with just having a video call, and content with having their prescription sent over, as senior may say, ‘I really want to be seen,’ and then I want assurance, or a text message, that what I’m taking is right and my problem is not big enough to run. So, we can’t ignore them but the way we deliver care may be a little bit different."
Chadha also pivoted the conversation a bit to talking not only about seniors, but people who are too poor to afford medical care as a population that should be catered to.
"I came from the for-profit world into non-profit world, but I think this is really the social thing we should really carry as a burden. If you are making profit, you should also figure out how to serve a small set of the population that doesn't have insurance, that doesn’t have the ability to pay a lower amount. I think you can’t ignore that, and if we don’t take that as a social responsibility, then who will?" she said.
"Of course we want the commercial people, that’s what pays the bills, but if we start ignoring it, what will happen to those poor people? So, I think we really need to take more social responsibility and figure out, while 80 percent of your revenue may be coming through urgent cares, others may be commercial, how do you reserve that? It’s really important."
The next question from the audience came from Robin Figueroa of Freed Associates, a healthcare management consulting firm.
"Even though we’re getting more towards a digital age, I’m not sure the digital age is capturing all that needs to happen to make sure that the patient is staying healthy. There’s a part of it where I go, ‘My mom can’t get into a car. It’s horrible to try to get her to go see her doctor. It takes a lot of effort, both me and my dad, to get her in the car and get see the doctor.' So, I love the fact that we can do the telephone visits and talk with her on the EHR and all, the messaging. But I also go, ‘There’s a lot of medical problems that aren’t being addressed because of that telehealth.’ How would you solve that?" she asked.
After probably half-joking that her mom needs to try Heal, Zaghi noted that "part of it is just using multiple modalities of care."
"So, initially she may need a house call or you might need to take her to any of these clinics, and then the follow up care, I think it’s important it’s with the same provider, or at least the same provider group, so they have that continuity of care," he said.
Dubey agreed, saying that, telehealth by itself "is not a great solution for somebody with disease management issues and the journey they’re going through with a condition. But it does become a great tool to extend a provider from their offices to a home."
Noting that 30 percent of her visits are done via the phone, she said, her patients "love that I can actually call and go over their lab results and their numbers and everything, and make a decision while they haven’t left their work, even though we are on site."
"For somebody, like your mom’s situation, the plan is created in person, so maybe Heal can do that, and then it’s a follow up with a tele solution. Now they’re more engaged into understanding but tele is not something that’s not changing the outcome. I think it is."
Vargas then brought up a common use case for One Medical, where they will give patients a blood pressure monitor so they can take their own readings and send them via email.
"The old fashioned way is you come in once a week, every other week, and have the doctor take your take blood pressure. The modern primary is you get a blood pressure cuff, and you go home and you take it and, this is very common for seniors, and you send an email and then our system if you do not send your email with two weeks as we asked you to, then we’ll ping you. We’ll reach out and say, ‘We’re waiting for your blood pressure results.’ And we’ll do patient-reported outcomes too," she said.
This type of care is especially helpful for seniors, "who have probably more chronic and more developed diseases."
Support VatorNews by Donating
Read more from our "Invent Health" series
In the age of holistic health, digital tools and medication can work together to help treat patients
A panel featuring Doctor On Demand, NeuroFlow, Hims & Hers, and Amwell discussed at Invent HealthRead more...
A panel of experts weigh in at the Future of Mental and Behavioral Health eventRead more...
Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs
Joined Vator on
Hello. We welcome the chance to help you feel your best. Excellent, affordable health care, delivered with compassion, is what we stand for. Since our founding in 1986, we've made it our goal to create environments that meet each patient's physical, mental, and spiritual needs. We also believe this healing philosophy promotes the wellbeing of our staff and the places they serve.
Dignity Health is made up of more than 60,000 caregivers and staff who deliver excellent care to diverse communities in 21 states. Headquartered in San Francisco, Dignity Health is the fifth largest health system in the nation and the largest hospital provider in California.
Through teamwork and innovation, faith and compassion, advocacy and action, we endeavor every day to keep you happy, healthy, and whole.
Joined Vator on
Something is working in healthcare today–convenient care. This year, roughly 170 million people in the U.S. will receive quality, same-day convenient care on their schedule and on their terms. They’ll visit an urgent care clinic in their neighborhood, walk into a retail clinic at the drugstore or speak with a doctor on a video call from the comfort of their homes.
What’s incredible is that convenient, high-quality healthcare is shifting consumer expectations–today, 3 out of 4 consumers will not choose a doctor who can’t see them within one week. This demand for a better day-to-day healthcare experience now accounts for nearly 20% of ambulatory visits per year. And, it’s causing much of the healthcare industry to take note.
Yet still, lack of transparent, clear information and common consumer technologies makes it nearly impossible for you to feel like you can make a simple or fully informed healthcare decision. Calling around to multiple offices, waiting months for an appointment, spending hours in a waiting room, and struggling to understand your insurance is still very much the norm.
That's where Solv comes in. We partner with high-quality providers across the country who share our goal of making access to high-quality convenient care simple, friendly and transparent for consumers, the way it should be. We equip them with technology that improves the quality of your service and the performance of their practice. For consumers, we get them in front of a provider in just a few taps, by helping them know where they can go, when they’ll be seen, and how much it will cost. We are building a world where we can all access healthcare that is convenient and affordable.
Joined Vator on
Going to the doctor these days can be confusing, inconvenient, and stressful.
We knew it could be better, so we created a new kind of primary care. It’s a place you can go not only when you’re sick, but also when you want to improve your long-term health and wellness. Where the experience is built around people — not paperwork.
One Medical is a membership-based practice focused on making quality care more accessible and enjoyable for all. No more waiting forever in stuffy waiting rooms, being rushed through appointments, or getting lost in the healthcare maze. Our offices have beautiful, calming waiting rooms — not that you’ll spend much time in them. Our appointments start on time, and are longer than average so providers have time to really listen. We’re driven by a shared mission to transform healthcare by designing it around people’s real lives.
Joined Vator on
Heal brings technology innovation to re-humanize the practice of medicine in a way that is fulfilling for doctors and patients alike.
Heal brings a licensed, background-checked pediatrician or family doctor to you, on-demand, on your schedule, for $99 or for an in-network co-pay with select insurance plans. Great doctors are available in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and San Diego from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.
Joined Vator onStarted career in DC - Capitol Hill, McCain2000 presidential. Cal undergrad. Start up life post Stanford business school. Built Trulia over 10 years. Founder/CEO Solv, working to make same day healthcare available. Mom of three (11, 8, 5).