SAN FRANCISCO – Conversa Health today announced the launch of its digital care platform that helps physicians manage their relationships with their patients. With Conversa, physicians are able to send personalized educational materials and gather structured feedback on patients’ progress and outcomes. When embedded in existing electronic health record (EHR) systems, the platform enables patient-generated data to seamlessly become part of their medical record. The company’s vision is to improve patients’ health outcomes through “digital checkups” – supporting patients and physicians to stay closely connected between visits.
Also today, in a separate release, Conversa announced the appointment of former Kaiser Permanente marketing executive Anna-Lisa Silvestre as Chief Marketing Officer reporting to Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder West Shell III.
Conversa’s launch comes at a time of sweeping change in the payment and delivery of health care. According to a recent survey by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), over two-thirds of physicians reported that preparing for these payment reforms is “a considerable or extreme challenge.” At the same time, consumers are taking an increasingly active role in managing their health, becoming highly informed and engaged, tracking health activities on personal devices and sharing important decisions with their physicians.
“We’re excited to have assembled such a talented team of seasoned executives with successful track records delivering solutions that uniquely intersect the two biggest trends transforming healthcare: the shift toward value-based payment models and data-driven patient engagement,” Shell said. “We believe that continuous, structured interactions between visits will improve patient outcomes and overall satisfaction while helping to address escalating health care costs.”
Conversa’s platform allows physicians to find out how patients are doing between office visits through automated digital checkups. Patients are asked simple but precise questions such as “Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms since your last visit?” or “Are you still taking your blood pressure medication as prescribed?” The New England Healthcare Institute, a policy research think tank, has calculated that non-adherence to prescribed care is an issue for up to half of all patients, costing nearly $300 billion in the United States alone. Conversa’s analysis of patient-generated data enables physicians to efficiently monitor and communicate with their patient population and identify patients requiring intervention.
Research shows that unnecessary doctor visits and related inefficiencies exert a massive financial toll on the health care industry. Juniper Research estimates that mobile health monitoring technologies could save the medical industry $36 billion over the next five years. Americans collectively make over 1 billion visits to doctors each year. In many of these cases, doctors are giving disproportionate attention to patients who could be taken care of with automated, clinically accurate, personalized information. It’s a problem that wastes over $125 billion a year, as reported in Inc. magazine (The Startups Saving Health Care, Feb. 2014).
“Now more than ever, there is an incentive for physicians to communicate wisely—having the right conversation, at the right time, with the right patients,” said Dr. Philip Marshall, Co-founder of Conversa and the architect behind the platform. “That means focusing on patients that need to be seen, rather than those who might routinely be seen without a compelling cause. Having patients and doctors check in and communicate effectively between visits will become as routine as the visit itself.”
The re-engineering of health care delivery and payment models brought Shell and Marshall together to build a company whose solutions address the needs of both physicians and patients in a market that demands a new approach to doctor-patient interactions and engagement. West Shell III is a visionary leader who has successfully built five companies over his 28 years of C-level experience. As chairman and CEO of Healthline Networks, he directed the company’s transformation from small start-up into a diversified, profitable health information services company that has ranked three times among the top 175 fastest-growing companies in the country (Deloitte Technology Fast 500).
Dr. Philip Marshall has a 15-year track record of building recognized healthcare information brands and solutions, including the creation and delivery of personalized health management, personal health record, and benefit, provider and treatment decision support services at WebMD, where he spent 11 years as part of the transformative team that grew the company from a startup in 1998 into a leading force in the online health industry. Recently, Marshall oversaw product strategy and product management as a senior vice president for Press Ganey Associates.
For more information about Conversa Health, please e-mail information@ConversaHealth.com or call 971.229.1942. Conversa will be exhibiting at HIMSS, booth number 5791, Feb. 23-27.
About Conversa Health (conversahealth.com)
Founded in 2013 by a team of technologists and healthcare professionals who are passionate about transforming the health care conversation through personalized patient engagement services, Conversa is privately held and based in San Francisco. The company is focused on automating digital conversations between physicians and their patients. Conversa’s distinguished advisory board consists of industry thought leaders and innovators, including Adam Bosworth (Google, Salesforce.com), Dr. Brad Bowman (WebMD, Healthgrades), Brad Lawson (StayWell Health Management), Dr. Chuck Kilo (Oregon Health & Science University), Ann Mond Johnson (ConnectedHealth) and Clare Martorana (WebMD).