Within seconds of walking through the front door, it becomes pretty evident that your average hospital is a chaotic and complex environment. For anyone who’s sat anxiously in a waiting room, cringing as minutes tick away on a clock above the reception desk, a patient sign-in sheet seems woefully ill equipped to the task at hand. In navigating the admission and discharge process, jotting down data on clipboards and relaying information about a patient’s whereabouts over intercom systems feels similarly archaic.
These complicated workflow processes aren’t just inconvenient—according to the Institute of Medicine, over $100 billion is wasted each year in the United States due to inefficient delivery of care. How can we bring the processes that hospitals use to deliver clinical care, and the experiences of individual patients, into the modern age?
“We’re reimagining how hospitals deliver clinical care and patient experience,” said Jonathan Gips, CEO of SageHealth, whose digital platform uses high-accuracy sensors and mobile devices to capture data about care dynamics. “The dramatic increase in connected devices in the hospital has created an ecosystem ripe for innovation. We essentially ‘digitize’ the entire patient experience, as well as clinical care pathways.”
Gips sees SageHealth’s platform as the tether between two seemingly distinct—but ultimately related—worlds: mobile apps for improving the patient experience and clinical workforce data that can be leveraged to give providers actionable intelligence, from patterns of care delivery to opportunities for improvement.
“We really do believe that hospitals should be a modern experience—updated technological tools for providers and a cohesive digital experience for patients,” said Gips. “As sensors and mobile devices are being used to digitize and automate processes, we see intelligent automation and rich process-level data as key enabling tools for providers to benchmark and continuously improve how clinical and operational milestones are achieved.”
Ultimately, Gips’ mission is fueled by a desire for synchronicity and connectedness—the belief that a patient’s digital life in a hospital should mirror the ebb and flow of their daily lives as closely as possible. We all take advantage of the ease and convenience of mobile apps. Why should that be any different simply because a patient is inside a hospital?
“This is a big opportunity for us,” he added. “Not only to create contextually relevant mobile apps that help clinicians provide better, more effective care, but to give patients a modern, cohesive experience both inside and beyond the bounds of the hospital.”
While the competition for digital solution startups in health care can be daunting, Gips feels that the odds aren’t as stacked as they might appear. Think David versus Goliath: an agile, adept company that can take the time to invest in patient satisfaction might have the upper hand against established industry titans.
“Startups in our space face the struggle of getting a seat at the table, especially when the large, enterprise-wide software solutions seek to solve some similar problems,” said Gips. “Chipping away at the large incumbents is not impossible, however—they made have deeper or broader relationships with hospitals, but we’re able to be incredibly product-centric with a focus on customer success. There’s something to be said for being a nimble startup in a space where large incumbents cannot rely solely on scale.”
Gips anticipates that SageHelth will continue steadily gaining traction throughout the coming year, as their product offerings evolve in tandem with their users. While hospitals are still coming to terms with the value of technology platforms in improving satisfaction for provider and patient, the demand for a cohesive, digital experience isn’t something Gips sees going away anytime soon. In the meantime, at least they have each other.
“At our core, we’re all lovers of BBQ, Cape Cod, and gadgets,” said Gips. “Our team has deep connections to Boston and the founding technology spun out of the MIT Media Lab. Some schools of thought advise against starting a company with your friends, but we’ve found it’s given us the benefit of trust and respect for one another’s aspirations and talents. That’s not to say that we don’t fight over the last piece of brisket, though.”