LifeWallet today announced its new HealthFluence ecosystem designed to help healthcare providers, insurance carriers, retailers, and others engage consumers and allow them to easily and quickly assess their health. The Miami, Florida-based healthcare technology company is partnering with West Kendall Baptist Hospital to demonstrate HealthFuence at the 2016 eMerge Americas technology conference. HealthFluence apps communicate over the air and employ Apple’s ResearchKit to present assessments and questionnaires that are localizable and accessible. Using HealthFluence, an organization can deploy a ‘healthy hub’ to engage consumers in health risk assessments. We caught up with Edwin Rivera, LifeWallet’s Healthcare Evangelist, to find out more about the startup’s plans:
Oliver Wyman Health: What is the mission of your company and team? How did you get started?
Edwin Rivera: LifeWallet’s mission is to lower the cost of healthcare via connectivity and interoperability. We will improve health outcomes by making electronic health information portable in order to make more informed decisions and support proactive medicine. Our vision is to empower our users - both consumers and providers alike - with a modern day, easy to use platform that promotes engagement, connectivity and convenience. We got started looking at the state of technology in healthcare and insurance, two industries that affect almost everyone and currently lag far behind in innovation, technology and simplicity. We noticed that companies like Apple, Google, and others were focused on developing wallet-like functionality for smartphones, specifically as payment platforms. However, they had left other items behind, like insurance cards. We realized that there was still a huge unmet need to digitize other key areas of personal information in an innovative and useful way, and we saw an opportunity to leverage the momentum of the tech giants in establishing the smartphone as the ubiquitous platform for consumers.
We saw an opportunity to leverage the momentum of the tech giants.
OWH: What problem are you working to solve? What is your solution and how does it work?
ER: We are focused on creating easy to use, modern engagement platforms for our users. Healthcare providers, insurance carriers, and consumers will enjoy simple to use digital tools that promote connectivity and engagement. We’re intent on doing to health tech what the iPhone and iOS did to smartphones. We are building LifeOS for healthcare. We’re making it simple, we’re making it friendly - the hardest thing to do - and we’re making it universal for everyone who uses it. Despite all the money that has been pumped into healthcare IT, mobility of health information is still a major problem - it cannot be shared or received easily. We’re solving this by having patients be their own repository for their health information, inherently allowing it to travel with them anywhere. Our platform is based on patient-owned, patient-centric health records, which means that they can share it with whomever they want, on demand. Realizing how complex the healthcare industry is, we’ve worked hard to design the LifeWallet platform to benefit all stakeholders: patients, families, care providers, health organizations, and even insurers. We believe that the best way to improve healthcare - and to make it more affordable - is by creating value for everyone.
OWH: Where are you based? How has the area supported your development?
ER: Miami, Florida. The area has a wide variety of benefits ranging from the weather to Cuban coffee, no state taxes, and lower costs of living than California. However, the type of talent we look for is not so readily available in South Florida, so we’ve worked diligently to assemble a best of breed team that includes folks from leading consumer technology companies, including Apple in California. It’s about time that health technology is brought up to the iPhone standards. We’re focused on creating a culture like that of the best technology leaders in Silicon Valley and bringing in the same type of talent. Today, we have an incredible team that is as good as any of the tops teams in Silicon Valley. As we continue to grow our team, we hope that state and local officials will realize the importance of creating a new critical industry for Florida - a Miami-based Silicon Valley - and support us in those efforts. It is not easy to bring in people from the top technology companies in Silicon Valley to Florida, yet we have been able to make it happen.
OWH: Where are you in the development process? What are your immediate goals and challenges?
ER: We have been working diligently on crafting solutions that are simple to use and introduce new user experience paradigms and sophistication levels to the industry. We are committed to crafting excellence, and we painstakingly analyze every component again and again to make sure that it is bringing convenience and value to the user. We are releasing HealthFluence in 2016, and will be rolling out several of our products over the next year. We are very pleased with the reception our initial products are getting. Our immediate goals include building strong partnerships with innovative health organizations that want to be at the forefront of the digital revolution that is only beginning to take place in healthcare. We are also intent on demonstrating our unique ability to create value for all stakeholders in healthcare through the strategy of our creative approach. We are very excited, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve created something unique and amazing in our LifeOS framework, a first of its kind - an OS for apps focused on ‘digital assistants’ for your life. We have built groundbreaking innovations in our labs that we are going to be bringing out over time.
Our immediate goals include building strong partnerships with innovative health organizations that want to be at the forefront of the digital revolution.
OWH: What projects and partnerships are you working on now? What is your most recent milestone achievement?
ER: With HealthFluence, we are opening a new “front door” to healthcare. Because of the increasing consumerization of healthcare, HealthFluence is designed to connect individuals, health organizations, insurance companies, and retailers through population health management initiatives. The feedback we have received from leading healthcare organizations has been overwhelmingly positive, which has been very rewarding for our team. LifeWallet has also recently partnered with West Kendall Baptist Hospital, one of the area’s premier hospitals, to present HealthFluence at the 2016 eMERGE Americas technology conference and to demonstrate health assessments based on the American Heart Association’s ‘Life’s Simple 7’. Michelle Mejia, assistant vice president of health promotion & strategic partnerships at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, has been a great partner and we appreciate all her efforts. LifeWallet is working with several health organizations on other fronts, but we cannot talk about many of these at this time. The American Heart Association took notice when they saw our implementation of their Life’s Simple 7 algorithms. We showed them what we did, and gave them feedback on our experience. They are doing amazing, lifesaving work with beautiful algorithms at the AHA. We are currently exploring ways to work together, and we hope to collaborate with them to bring those algorithms to life in unique ways. We have made groundbreaking progress in capturing moments in a person’s health history - we call them “HealthSnaps” because of the way they resemble a snapshot of a health encounter. You will be able to see your health record as a series of HealthSnaps identifying your health encounters. This is significant, because now you have a mechanism that helps consumers and healthcare providers alike to summarize health encounters and build complete, longitudinal health stories. This is an important step in simplifying health and effectively engaging people in their own care.
OWH: What are your next steps?
ER: We’re working on many innovations that we cannot discuss at this time, but we’ve built what we believe is a beautiful, scalable ecosystem that is intuitive, modern, and engaging. LifeWallet will be working with best-of-class partners, universities, and non-profits in partnerships that create synergies to advance healthcare technology for all stakeholders. We are excited to work with innovative organizations that share our vision of empowering patients, improving health outcomes, and reducing the costs of healthcare. We’re going to continue to build on our HealthSnaps technology to support many different types of health/medical encounters. We will also be expanding our HealthFluence products, which were designed from the ground up to be modern engagement platforms that are companions to, not replacements for, existing EHRs and EMRs. Encounter, for example, is an iPad-based app that helps healthcare providers perform and document complex medical encounters, which in turn, create HealthSnaps. Encounter facilitates and simplifies the process of interfacing with cumbersome EHRs and EMRs.
OWH: What does the future of healthcare look like to you?
ER: The future of healthcare will be in the hands of the consumer. People are ready to take control of their health, and they want to do it digitally with the tools they are most familiar with. In the future, when a person visits the doctor, they will have all their health information readily accessible - and it will be based on a patient-centric approach. The doctor’s office will extend outside of the traditional four walls and will exist digitally in the homes, workplaces, and other various locations from which people will engage with their caregivers. We have a bold vision of what the future of healthcare should be, and we are dedicated to bringing that vision to life. Our app-based platforms will bring individuals and healthcare providers together and enable them to bring about this seemingly distant future sooner than expected.
The future of healthcare will be in the hands of the consumer.
OWH: What advice do you have for other startup leaders?
ER: Make sure you’re creating meaning and value. Too many leaders and companies are just there to make money. Making money should be the result of putting passion and love into something that has meaning and creates value. Set aside the MBA and accountant attitudes that focus on numbers, and instead focus on quality, passion, and crafting something great.