Dr. Vidya Raman-Tangella
head of the UHC innovation center of excellence
In 2014, UnitedHealthcare set up its Innovation Center of Excellence and tapped Dr. Vidya Raman-Tangella to head it. The goal was — and is — to develop innovations to improve healthcare quality, access, and affordability. She and her team’s focus is on creating solutions for sometimes-underaddressed problems. As such, it logs extensive time with patient-customers in order to better understand their needs.
“First and foremost, we pause to bring in the outside perspective,” she explained to MM&M last year. “For innovation to have lasting value, you need to listen and spend time.”
During her UHC tenure, Raman-Tangella has been instrumental in devising solutions for new mothers and caregivers. A prime example is UHC’s Baby Blocks program, which offers new mothers rewards (such as baby gear and child-safety products) in exchange for attending doctor’s visits and other health-positive behavior. The Solutions for Caregivers program, on the other hand, provides caregivers resources — product information, discounts, and more — to encourage them to support their loved ones.
“We know that if [caregivers] are healthy … they can do a better job of taking care of their loved ones, very similar to when [a mother has] a child,” Raman-Tangella said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last year.