George Samuel, Co-Founder and CEO
The Healthcare industry is going through a paradigm shift. A valuebased reimbursement structure today is becoming more commonplace than traditional volume-based care. Under a valuebased healthcare agreement, a provider—a hospital or a physician—is rewarded based on the quality of care and patient satisfaction. While this model has proven to be beneficial for patients, it has intensified the need for seamless provider-patient communication for the improvement of patient health outcomes. However, the task of managing the growing number of patient relationships on a regular basis adds to the organizational complexity and often requires healthcare entities to implement multiple software solutions by making a significant investment. That’s why it has become essential for entities to implement the right patient relationship management software that can streamline the entire process of communication through various channels—without the need to sign into multiple portals. Also, with the increasing consumerism in the healthcare sector, patients today demand transparency and timely information, showing interest in managing their own health. Healthcare providers need to cater to this growing aspect of consumerism and provide all the necessary information to patients on time.
Catering to these needs is Health Companion. The company has become a game-changer by offering a single unified multichannel patient relationship management software for providers and patients to communicate.
In an interview with MD Tech Review, George Samuel, Co-Founder and CEO of Health Companion, shares his insights on how their platform helps providers create a better experience for patients and improve health outcomes.
Could you give us an overview of the Health Companion?
I, along with three physicians, laid the founding stone of Health Companion in 2012. Focusing on patient engagement, we developed a platform to help healthcare providers securely collaborate with patients, lower healthcare costs, promote population wellness, and enhance patient satisfaction. Our platform democratizes healthcare data and enables information flow between the patients and the providers.
Our platform democratizes healthcare data and enables information flow between the patients and the providers
More importantly, the platform is highly secure and HIPAA compliant, so healthcare providers need not worry about the integrity of sensitive patient information. Our platform is also a consumer tool that allows patients to keep all their medical records in one place and helps them communicate with different providers or entities at the same time without sifting through multiple systems.
Could you elaborate on the benefits of the platform?
Most of the patient engagement tools available in the market are part of the EMR solution and designed to operate within the enterprise. However, not every patient has access to the patient portal and often they are not comprehensive; they use different communication tools such as apps, emails, and SMS to connect with care providers. This adversely impacts the patient experience.
Our platform enables Secondly, the way patient information flows today in the healthcare sector has changed. Earlier, it was one-way communication where patient information moved from provider to patient. Today, about 10 percent of the data is generated outside a physician’s office or a hospital, and in a few years, it will rise to 50 percent. Meaning, healthcare providers would expect massive data from the patients as well.
This patient-supplied data would increase almost exponentially in the coming years. Our platform allows patients to send data back to the providers. For instance, a diabetic or BP patient can send the last seven days of blood sugar or blood pressure reading to its care provider. providers to communicate with patients on multiple channels such as app, internet portals, emails, or SMS based on a patient’s preference.
We automate a wide variety of patient engagement activities through our platform. It allows patients to book appointments and also enables providers to notify patients of their appointments, request confirmation, and send reminders. Using Health Companion, providers can send clinical summaries, lab results, and care transition documents to every patient.
Moreover, we also have a prevention and wellness module that compiles all the directives from various organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, and the United States Preventive Services Task Force.
We have many algorithms based on which we evaluate each patient. We assess the gathered patient data from the providers and patient supplied data to identify if a patient is due for any particular checkup, vaccination, or procedure. Then, we notify both the provider and the patient to set up an appointment to get the vaccination or procedure done. We use our robust machine-learning algorithm to compute the data and add value to providers and patients. Our platform is also utilized as a workflow management and telehealth platform by physicians, whereas a personal health record by patients.
Please give us a case study where a client is benefitted from your platform
A client from south eastern US was struggling to engage and communicate with their patients efficiently. They had appointed ten full-time employees to manage thousands of appointments daily and handle patient engagement, including taking calls, getting their insurance information, and ensuring their paperwork is ready. Using our platform, they automated the appointment process and substantially reduced the phone calls and the number of people managing it. Patients, including older people, could communicate through Health Companion. This saved a significant amount of time, resources, and money for the provider.
What is the key differentiating factor that keeps you ahead in the competition?
What keeps us at the top of the game is our machine learning and integration capabilities. It helps providers identify patients who might miss the appointment. Based on the previous appointment history, engagement with the provider, patient age, and many other factors, we predict which patient would not show for the appointment.
This helps providers to follow up with only those patients who have a low probability of showing up. This way, they can assign appointment slots to patients on their waiting lists. Secondly, we have invested time and efforts in building system interoperability, making collaboration amongst various systems easier.
What does the future hold for Health Companion?
We are continually investing significant resources to enhance patient engagement and artificial intelligence capabilities to add value to providers and patients. It is not only about pushing data from one person to the other but also managing the workflow and adding value to the data. Many systems transfer data, but we want to provide value-added offerings to both patients and providers through intelligent data discovery. That’s why we are investing heavily in our machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms while moving forward.