Jay Parkinson, MD, Founder and CEO, Sherpaa, discussed how technology can drive collaboration between doctors and patients in his keynote presentation at the 2017 Technology Innovation in Healthcare Forum in New York City on April 25. In his presentation, Parkinson examined the evolution of mobile technologies and how healthcare providers can use mobile technologies to foster trust with patients.
According to Parkinson, Sherpaa launched its platform with the goal of simplifying healthcare for doctors and patients. To accomplish this goal, the company looked for ways to leverage the latest and greatest technologies to connect doctors and patients with one another.
In the past, patients typically needed to meet with doctors face-to-face. This would require patients to travel to hospitals and other healthcare facilities, discuss their issues with doctors and await medical advice.
Thanks to Sherpaa, doctors and patients can connect with one another instantly, Parkinson said. The company empowers users to leverage mobile devices to share medical details safely and securely – something that makes Sherpaa's mobile app exceedingly valuable to both doctors and patients.
"We want to take something that is ridiculously complex and annoying and make it simple," Parkinson said. "To me, it's about making doctors accessible and communicative and partners in problem-solving."
In some instances, Sherpaa has been able to eliminate the need for in-person patient visits at doctor's offices, Parkinson stated.
"Our process is pretty simple. We own the situation from beginning to end … and our system is designed so that we check in with you. And people like that."
By doing so, the company has successfully leveraged mobile technologies to help healthcare providers streamline the process of delivering outstanding patient care.
"Right now, we think that only place to consult with doctors in exam rooms," Parkinson stated. "What I like to think about is how can we bring that [mobile] behavior that's completely mainstream to healthcare."
Ultimately, Sherpaa helps doctors and patients solve problems, according to Parkinson. The Sherpaa platform is simple to use, Parkinson said, and offers doctors and patients the ability to connect with one another from any location, on any device and at any time.
"[We] offer a problem-solving platform for doctors," Parkinson noted. "It's asynchronous. It works like email … and you're always working with the same doctors."
The Sherpaa platform also highlights the ongoing need for innovation in healthcare.
Healthcare is a complex space, and as such, many problems persist across the segment.
For example, doctors and patients sometimes struggle to connect with one another. Doctors may treat a patient once and fail to follow-up with a patient as well.
With the Sherpaa platform, doctors and patients are able to work together to identify and address problems. The platform takes the guesswork out of doctor-patient collaboration, ensuring both parties can focus on problems and work together to resolve them consistently.
"Whenever I think about innovations in healthcare, I like to think of them in terms of capability and how many problems they can solve," Parkinson stated. "We're pretty capable in terms of our diagnostic ability."
In addition, the Sherpaa platform helps address the rising costs associated with healthcare.
"Starbucks outlines every customer touchpoint and tries to optimize it. We try to do that from a healthcare perspective."
The costs associated with healthcare can add up quickly and force patients to make financial sacrifices as they search for safe, effective treatments. Fortunately, the Sherpaa platform provides patients with an additional opportunity to connect with doctors at a fraction of the costs of an in-person doctor's office visit.
"Healthcare costs are spiraling out of control, and people have very limited options for controlling those costs," Parkinson indicated. "We're sort of like Netflix. We offer primary care in the cloud … and reinventing how healthcare problems will be treated in the future."
To leverage technology effectively, healthcare providers should establish processes that emphasize patient touchpoints. This will ensure a healthcare provider can find the best ways to connect with patients time and time again.
"Starbucks outlines every customer touchpoint and tries to optimize it," Parkinson said. "We try to do that from a healthcare perspective."
Moreover, healthcare providers should design processes based on patient feedback. This will ensure these processes meet or exceed patients' expectations.
"Our process is pretty simple," Parkinson noted. "We own the situation from beginning to end … and our system is designed so that we check in with you. And people like that."
At Sherpaa, the company offers a platform that drives both care coordination and referrals. Sherpaa provides an all-in-one healthcare platform for patients, and healthcare providers can learn from the Sherpaa example.
A healthcare provider that considers its patients' needs will be better equipped than others to consider innovative ways to support these patients. That way, this healthcare provider can find the best ways to save both time and money for patients and reduce the time it takes for doctors to successfully diagnose and treat patients.