Digital health company Accolade made headlines recently when it announced it raised $70 million in new funding. The Philadelphia-based company provides healthcare concierge services to employers, health plans, and health systems. It marries highly personalized service with high-tech analytics and data mining to help consumers navigate their health benefits and healthcare experience. Tom Spann, Accolade’s Co-Founder, Vice Chairman, and COO, is a featured speaker at the upcoming Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Summit. He will join a Main Stage discussion on how to convert a fundamental understanding of human behavior into high-impact relationships and sustained value. A preview:
Oliver Wyman Health: Accolade is built on its consumer engagement platform, which (in turn) is built on “influence science.” Can you explain the concept of influence science?
Tom Spann: According to Accolade advisor Robert Cialdini, author of the book Influence, influence science integrates neurosciences and social sciences to help us understand how our knowledge of an individual, and how we relate and interact with that individual (and other influencers), can influence decisions and behavior. At its simplest, it allows us to use science, which applies across all cultures, to highly personalize each interaction – regardless of channel – and optimize our ability to help each consumer make and act on better decisions.
OWH: How have you been able to strike the right balance or combination of human touch and high-tech tools for behavior change?
TS: We started with the consumer and studied what they needed. From there, we determined where we could apply a human touch and technology. Since consumers wanted and needed one trusted place to go, our initial focus was on humans as the “presentation layer,” with each interaction supported by strong technology that integrated a broad set of clinical and benefits content, data, and workflow. Only by harnessing the power of intelligent technologies could we create a product that could so completely meet such a broad set of needs while also delivering an exceptional experience.
Consumers need help with the complexities and fragmentation of healthcare. To do that, they need a single engagement platform that can handle any condition at any point on the care continuum by addressing each person as the unique individual they are – someone with not only clinical needs, but life context, emotions, and aspirations. These consumer challenges are the key driver behind the 40 percent of healthcare spend that is either unproductive or unnecessary. This is unsustainable, particularly for employers struggling to manage skyrocketing employee healthcare costs. Consumer healthcare engagement must be an enterprise priority.