Three Takeaways from HLTH 2019

Too often, people pay too much for healthcare, end up with poor outcomes, and have an entirely stressful and unpleasant experience interacting with the healthcare system. Last month, Castlight CEO Maeve O’Meara appeared on a panel at HLTH alongside other innovative leaders who are working to change that.

The session, entitled “Health’s Five Star Service”, discussed how technology can enable a white-glove approach to the healthcare experience for consumers. Other panelists included Dr. Oliver Kharraz, the CEO and founder of ZocDoc, Lynne Stockstad, Chief Marketing Officer at Optum, and Robbie Cape, CEO and Co-founder of 98point6.

All of these companies are working to make the healthcare experience more effective and feel more personal. In fact, the vast majority of HLTH participants attended due to their passion around improving healthcare. Based on the panel discussion and the conference at large, here are Castlight’s three HLTH takeaways on how the industry can best accomplish this going forward:

First, we still have too many administrative barriers to care. A lot of healthcare innovation has been focused on improving access to care. Telemedicine, for example, helps people avoid trips to urgent care centers or the ER by giving them access to video or telephonic visits with a provider, right from their smartphone. However, if that telemedicine visit requires burdensome forms to click through, it does not feel like five-star service at all. In fact, it may not even feel easier than visiting an urgent care center. We need powerful data platforms that can help fill out information ahead of time, and eliminate as much of the administrative work for both the patient and the provider as is possible, so the experience is easier and more efficient for all involved.

Second, technology can take us a long way, but we need a human in the loop. Health care is a series of complicated, interconnected, and ongoing decisions. While technology can leverage data and machine learning to help make those decisions easier most of the time, some situations are more complex and require a more high-touch solution. Castlight recently launched Castlight Care Guides to address this need. Castlight Care Guides leverages our technological foundation to enable human guides to identify people who need a human touch, proactively reach out, and help them take the next best step on their path to better health.

Finally, collaboration is the new innovation. In order to truly transform the healthcare experience, digital health tools need to integrate with each other and with the existing healthcare ecosystem. For example, something that seems as simple as streamlining appointment booking requires collaboration from the payer, the provider, and the vendor. We have seen an explosion in healthcare point solutions over the last decade, but this next phase of the digital health transformation will be about how they all come together to put the patient at the center.

When we can do that successfully, we will solve healthcare’s thorniest challenges and truly deliver five-star service to patients. At Castlight, that means meeting people wherever they are in their healthcare journey and guiding them to the best care options available to them.