44: How Technology Is Helping HealthiestYou Change The Way We Access Healthcare
Recently I wasn’t feeling too good, so I called my doctor and was told that the doctor could see me in four days. It occurred to me that in this age of instant gratification we can pull a phone out of our pocket and have a hotel, restaurant or cab instantly and yet health care (quite possibly the most important aspect of our lives) is still stuck in the old way of doing things.
So I did a Google search to see if there was anyone out there attempting to disrupt the old way of doing things and bringing health care into the 21st century. I ran across a site called HealthiestYou, and it said “Everyone told us it couldn’t be done so we went ahead and did it anyway” which fascinated me. The whole idea is to place consumers in the center of their own health care all at the touch of their fingertips.
I invited CEO Jim Pendergast onto the show to tell us all about HealthiestYou and how they are looking at revolutionizing the entire health industry.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and HealthiestYou?
I am the CEO and co-founder of HealthiestYou. I’ve been an entrepreneur about 23 years now and really specialize in identifying industries that need to be updated in their technology and distribution. HealthiestYou is really about making innovation accessible to the average person and easy to understand and easy to use. The HealthiestYou mantra is “There’s no shortage of innovation in health care. The challenge is there’s a shortage of an educational process as well as the ability to make innovation easy to use and understand.”
Can you tell us about what TeleHealth is and how it’s redefining health insurance and health care?
TeleHealth is certainly one of the main services we provide. TeleHealth is 24 hour a day, seven days a week access to primary care physicians, pediatricians, internists and in some cases specialists by appointment only.
Telehealth provides care to people who simply don’t have the time or energy or money to do it. But also what we find is when people have access to TeleHealth they are so much more proactive about finding out what’s wrong and how to get well sooner. Rather than waiting days, missing work, missing school. The next thing you know they are very sick and may have to go to urgent care late at night or an ER even and spend thousands of dollars when they could have had a nice video chat with a doctor, been off to the pharmacy if necessary within 30 minutes and start to be on their way to feeling better.
School districts and businesses are also embracing this concept for their employees. Can you tell me why they are using TeleHealth and why so many businesses are getting on board? Is it saving them money for example?
The premise of TeleHealth that we’re excited about is it really helps everyone involved in the ecosystem of health. The employer has healthier employees, employees that are more proactive about getting well, employees that don’t have to leave work nearly as often. The employee doesn’t have to pay out of pocket for co-pays, they don’t have to spend a lot of money on deductibles, they get their questions answered quickly and efficiently, and they don’t have to wait in a germ infested waiting room anymore. The health plan wins to because anytime we can prevent a claim from entering the system we’re saving everybody money, and we’re saving them claim experience which ultimately turns into reduced premiums the following year.
I read something interesting about your new initiative called couch care. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
We believe the future of health care is going to be won on their couch. With technology, the only reason you should go sit in a germ infested waiting room is if you really need to because the doctor has to see you physically. We certainly understand there are lots of times they do. However for those initial meetings that can be very time-consuming, costly and in most cases unnecessary what we believe is Smart TV’s should be used for more than streaming Netflix. HealthiestYou has built apps on TV so you can access your health plan, check your deductibles and co-pays, talk to a doctor on video using your smart phone to send and view it from your TV, upload documents, and check on claims. We believe the best place to start the process of communicating with a health care provider should be on your couch in the comfort of your home.
What does the future have in store for HealthiestYou?
There are two paths that we’re on that are running parallel. One we talked a little bit about with couch care. We believe the more tools and devices we can be on the easier accessing a doctor and information is going to benefit everyone. We’re doing things like building into car navigation which is a great place to talk if you’re traveling or driving to work. We’re building into some smart home devices so we can walk into a home and say please have HealthiestYou call a doctor. We’re adding triage tools that will let you speak to our app, and the app will triage you.
What’s the best way to reach out to you guys and get more information?
Our website is www.healthiestyou.com. You can contact any of us and we do have a PR person listed on there as well.
Check Out Neil’s Column at INC. called Tomorrow’s Tech
Please also see check out the related article from my column:
Neil also wrote an article on Inc Magazine about HealthiestYou here.