Providence's next step in 'consumer-centric vision'

In October, Renton, Wash.-based Providence's Digital Innovation Group incubated its fourth technology, Praia Health, a platform-as-a-service technology for health systems to engage and re-engage consumers for a more personalized care journey.


Providence has been using the technology and already sees a return on investment; in year two, the health system realized $20 million of benefit. Providence has also incubated technology companies including Xealth, Wildflower Health and DexCare.

"We've gotten really good at surfacing up the opportunity areas and then acting on them and building enterprise grade technology," said Sara Vaezy, chief strategy and digital officer at Providence. "We've gotten better at the overall company development as well."

Providence brought on Justin Dearborn, a tech startup veteran, to serve as Praia Health's executive-in-residence. Under his leadership, the team has conducted voice to customer research and received feedback from large systems to improve upon the platform. Mr. Dearborn noted in the future nearly half of people will change providers based on the digital experience, so health systems are looking for ways to make digital access points easy.

"Now with every other aspect of your life and any other vertical or sector of commerce, you're used to an elegant experience with single sign on. That has to happen in healthcare," said Mr. Dearborn. "That's going to be the common thread for all customers. Then the use cases diverge quite a bit."

The single sign-on approach reduces friction and then provides a more personalized approach to care. The team at Providence's Digital Innovation Group designed the platform to keep patients engaged. If people don't see the benefit fairly quickly after beginning, the engagement drops off.

"You need folks using the tools for them to work," said Ms. Vaezy. "We think Praia Health will be able to do that."

Providence plans to spin out the company in the first quarter of 2024 and then will take a measured approach to growth. The technology has been commercialized and is in early stages of adoption with clients. Mr. Dearborn and his team are tracking the return on investment and making sure the company can deliver value to customers.

"We want to make sure we're very measured about how we roll out new customers and deliver to them," said Mr. Dearborn. "If we can have 50 to 60 clients over the next five years, that's a home run."

When Praia Health spins out next year, the 40 to 50 DIG team members focused on the project will have the opportunity to go with the startup or stay at DIG.

"Many of the folks that have been working on the platform will continue to work on Praia. It's this really nice ecosystem of innovation that we're able to foster and when we've done this in the past, over half of the folks that were working on the platform chose to go," said Ms. Vaezy.

Consumerism is one of the big themes for healthcare in the last few years, and Praia Health could support that transition especially for large health systems.

"Praia is the first step into actualizing the consumer-centric vision," Ms. Vaezy said. "We've been as an industry nibbling around the edges, paying it lip service. But this is an actual technology that gets us going in that direction and it's extremely foundation. It helps you know your user, make sure things are relevant for them, and makes it easy for them to connect the dots across the healthcare ecosystem."

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars