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Violet is a platform that helps the healthcare industry deliver more inclusive services
Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco Roizen speak with Gaurang Choksi, founder and CEO of Violet, a platform that helps the healthcare industry deliver more inclusive services.
Our goal is to understand tech breakthroughs radically changing healthcare: the way we screen, diagnose and treat conditions and measure outcomes. And whether tech is helping or hurting our well-being physically and mentally.
Highlights from the interview:
- Violet grew out of personal experiences. Choksi is a gay man, he grew up on Medicaid, and he’s an Indian immigrant, so he has seen so many inequities in the healthcare system. That includes ending up with physicians that didn't know how to work with gay men, or personally being a translator for his parents and constantly seeing bias and stigma to non-English speakers. He also spent many years working at Oscar and saw many patients that would call in and share the same complaints and grievances that he was experiencing. One out of two Americans is part of the LGBT or BIPOC communities, but they are all really struggling to actually find inclusive care that they deserve.
- Clinicians are humans and when they don't feel comfortable or confident speaking to identities, whether it's mentioning the word Black and pulling in race into a care delivery interaction, or speaking to gender identity or sexual orientation, they simply avoid the topic of health disparities that disproportionately affect that community. What Violet is seeing is that, if healthcare professionals don't know how to speak to identities, they simply don't bring it up. That's something the company fundamentally wants to change with education.
- Even within communities, there will be some parts that have some healthcare advantages and other parts that have really huge healthcare disadvantages. So, what Violet focuses on is how to keep educating all of the health care professionals that are out there, so that they at least know what are the disparities they need to be able to speak to.
- Violet works with organizations and gets to know all of their care delivery teams, using its framework to benchmarks how inclusive a doctor is. It looks at what they've studied, the communities they’ve worked with, the communities they want to work with, or communities they feel confident about. It uses that data to rank them to other peers and then it provides a CE and CME earning education to help its learners be more inclusive. It also gives the data back to its partners about which clinicians are inclusive so that a patient can reference Violet’s data when they want an inclusive doctor.
- Violet doesn’t see cultural competence as a destination. The company believes is that there are health disparities for every single identity, and every single community will keep evolving, so what it cares about is building the infrastructure and the systems so that people can keep coming back and investing in their own upskilling. On average, people end up spending one to two hours a month per clinician learning about inclusivity.
- The company focuses on primary care and behavioral health care, so specialties where relationship are at the core of success. A subset of its education does include knowledge around how culture affects biomarkers; for example, in a culture where that's very rice heavy diet, there's a resource where it actually speak to why it may not be as simple as a patient with diabetes not eating rice. It provide other resources that that clinician could reference.
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