Healthcare technology has come a long way in recent years. From virtual and augmented reality tools for non-invasive medical training, to systems that keep a human heart beating while awaiting transplant, to the effective use of electronic medical records, we’ve seen some impressive advances in the way we deliver care.
For most consumers, however, the healthcare industry still lags far behind other areas of their lives, with information stuck in silos that make navigating the system cumbersome. A consumer may have one mobile app or website for her pediatrician’s office, another for her health plan, a third for her local hospital and perhaps one more to keep track of the benefits offered by her employer. Why can’t all of these healthcare assets be readily available in one place?
The answer is, they can. Imagine a consumer dialing her employer’s nurse advice line to find out if she should take her son to the doctor’s office, then making an appointment for the doctor visit, and following up with a telemedicine video call available through her health plan, all from one application. It is possible, and I’m pleased to announce that today we are one step closer to making it a reality.
We recently announced that St. Vincent’s Medical Center, an Ascension hospital in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is partnering with Wildflower Health to offer Grow, our mobile app that connects families directly with care from their smartphones. Using this powerful patient engagement tool, the St. Vincent’s community can find local doctors, schedule urgent care visits and tap into virtual care, all with the same smartphone they use to check the local weather, get driving directions and buy movie tickets.
Our partnership with St. Vincent’s evolved from last year’s initiative to expand Wildflower Health solutions beyond payers to large health systems and hospitals. With our payer contracts making more than 35 million Americans eligible for our digital programs, we now have great potential to leverage that significant payer footprint to create differentiated consumer experiences. What’s personally exciting to me, beyond the sheer numbers, is the opportunity to offer providers our unique architecture so they can break down the silos of information and bridge that gap very soon.
This is becoming even more necessary as providers and payers begin to collaborate on new payment models. We are working with our network of clients on versions of our pregnancy and family health applications that enable a consumer’s health plan, her doctor and her hospital to work together to identify the information and tools they can collectively provide under one technology experience to support a healthy pregnancy and a thriving family.
Watch for more announcements on provider partnerships in the coming months!
Leah Sparks is Co-founder and CEO of Wildflower Health.