We’ve all seen the intentional, albeit sluggish, progression of the healthcare industry from a product-centric model to one that’s customer-centric. We still find ourselves in a fragmented customer experience, one that ping-pongs between customer expectations and realized capabilities. This divide became more apparent during CES, where the headwinds and tailwinds of healthcare change came to life in a big way.

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When we think about meaning customers where they are with the needs that they have at any given moment we start to think about patients as consumers and thinking much beyond what we could potentially deliver in a specific moment of time of treatment and think more holistically about them as individuals seeking wellness and I think that’s exciting because it means possibilities are endless right and so we can start to create sort of these unexpected collaborations.

It’s the annual Las Vegas show bill there’s all things tech spread out across multiple venues and lasting several days the convention boasts enough consumer gadgetry to fill several football fields and then some there’s a sea of new products some of whose potentials more obvious than others but they’re in life and very promising advances for patients the trick is saying through the haze of marketing. Hi I’m Marc Iskowitz editor at large for mmm and welcome to the sponsored podcast with bgb group today. We’re going to look beyond the blitz and glamour of CES to uncover whether any of that consumer tech can help Healthcare better meet patients / consumer expectations and here to guide us through that endeavour is my special guest Anna Gaudio, SVP of CX innovation at BGB Group.

Hi Anna and welcome to the MM+M podcast Stoke to be here Mark thank you absolutely great to welcome you so Healthcare is in the midst of this push and pull between a product centric model and one that’s more patient or customer-centric. We still find ourselves in a fragmented customer experience one that ping pong between sort of meeting customer expectations and unrealized capabilities and this divide became more apparent during CES whereas you put it and the headwinds and tailwinds of health care change came to life in a big way, so before delving into these deeper questions for the benefit of those who haven’t been which you mind giving some background on CES yeah, absolutely and up until really 2020. I was new to CES I had never attended before didn’t have expectations and actually my arrival in 2020 to CES was very well timed that was when I felt digital health started to have this really large presence and became one of the more exciting Industries to watch at CES so we really saw.

Proliferation of digital health meaning everything from remote monitoring all the way through to telehealth and any sort of at home or even aging systems anything that could help you make your life better through technology and so when we then moved into the pandemic world which was fascinating for all of us right we became very relying on technology so we saw this really big sort of deluge of Materials Technology Solutions in that 2020 2022 timeframe and then I actually took a pause for attending until this year, so it was neat to be back to see how some of those themes and trends started to mature and develop where we saw also other sort of players come to the forefront as well. So CES is across Industries digital health has a larger and growing presence and it’s one where I think this year. They had 130,000 attendees so Vegas absolutely becomes the geekcentral of the world for a week and we all get to really nerd out on all.

It’s a newest technologies and capabilities across Industries well 130,000. That’s amazing that makes the 50,000 or so who are in San Francisco for a jpm. You know look small and comparison, but you know you mentioned. You know kind of sharing the space all these kind of different you know verticals. You know you have you know a lot of digital out of home an advertising formats that kind of make their debut there, but side by side with that is digital health which is not really obviously an ad of home advertising format, but you know these technologies kind of really do have the potential to help the individual understand more about themselves and perhaps you know Foster you know better health and so we’ll get into that in a second just one more you know sort of background question, what’s the city like during CES

You know I’m not a huge Vegas attendee. Generally I don’t live too far from it now, but it is nice to just be able to follow everyone with the CES tags really Vegas became part of the exhibit this year. We really saw this spirit of energy and lights and glam really infused within different exhibits whether that be small startups all the way through to the larger tech Giants in the world so Vegas really becomes the supporter of technology and it feels like the spirit in the energy is absolutely transported through everything you see from the sphere right. So everyone was in love with watching the spirit and what it was going to do next all the way through to the conversations that you overheard at the the Watering Hole afterwards around the latest technology so CES is kind of has its heartbeat and definitely changes to be one energized by technology right as you mentioned this fear obviously for those who don’t know that’s this you know basically digital out of home if you will.

Tower you know that looms over 18,000 seats Las Vegas Auditorium and itself. You know can show you know advertising and I think it takes it the ads that show on that take advantage of kind of immersive and types of technologies, so there’s a lot of straight ahead kind of advertising plays there as well, which kind of adds to the glitz and the glam and the hype so let’s delve into you know our earlier questions. How did we see customer expectations reflected in the latest technology? Yeah? I think there were a few areas in particular where I was mesmerized by how technology let customers lead the next Development so if we think back to when Google Glass right first emerged however many years ago that was it was pretty quickly rejected by consumers. Didn’t know how to use it it was too far fetched whereas what we saw this year at CES was a lot of evolution and extended reality including things like ar glasses become the norm so it.

A much more consumer technology focused on enabling more immersive and engaging experiences on the go which is exactly what you know something like Google Glass may have set out to do years ago, but now that’s becoming more of an accepted reality and so we saw this sort of shift and how customers engage with technology being the lead and then from a Strictly health standpoint. We saw companies like withings or Vivo or neurologics really start to redefine. How they develop their technology with things obviously with remote care. They have a plethora of at-home smart devices that allow you better insights on your health. Vivo isn’t at home you’re in test that allows you to track your wellness over time neurologics is a scanning technology. They have a few different products, but they’re scanning technology for different health factors. So you start to see customer insights leaving the way so if I as a consumer and demanding to understand my

Personal health data the technology isn’t just about telling me that information. It’s doing it in a really human way so things that I’m already doing in my daily life are becoming smarter and so I love to see that human behavior be the lead to technology adoption and so from a CX standpoint that was certainly a breath of fresh air this year at CES interesting yeah and also we saw with Apple which is refusing to use any other term for its soon to be released division pro headset other than spatial computing you know that’s what they’re calling it where they’re not calling it ar you know VR or mixed reality anymore, so would you say that you know that’s a kind of a similar reflection of this kind of relevancy imperative you know these other terms are taking a step back and apples are just kind to trying to make this more relevant to people’s lives absolutely I think that that infusion and the blurring of lines between when I use technology and when I’m doing non-technological things right. It’s just becoming trans.

Area and so we as customers expect that the way the technology in sort of intervenes in our life doesn’t feel like an Intervention it feels additive and it’s improving our experience and so it’s nice to see that technop companies are understanding that that empathetic delivery of technology and the experience that it creates is something that’s imperative for adoption and actually creating change and when you think about Healthcare that’s what we’re all after right is better outcomes better health and so the more that we start to blur those lines tear down those walls between when I’m engaging with technology and when I’m not really the better. We can kind of nudge the right direction of behavior absolutely tearing down those walls right one of the sort of symptoms of you know the Healthcare system not meeting customer expectations. Is this whole kind of inability to kind of integrate with people’s lives you know and enforce forcing people to put everything aside in order to.

Say take their diabetes. You know shot or you know test themselves. You know or the whole sick care the whole Healthcare system is oriented towards sick care versus wellcare, so I think as those walls Come Down it’ll be easier you know there’ll be less friction for people to get and maintain their health. That’s the idea where we solving deep human needs or simply making things because we can you know so it’s that depth versus breath push and pull what you take there and this is something. I think we always as individuals who work in this industry have to ask ourselves all the time right are we creating something that actually solves a human need or are we creating something because we can and because now you know what can be imagined can be created and I I’m still struggling when I look at the list of what was exhibited at CES how to answer this question because I saw some really beautifully created and delivered technology that allows us more in-depth insight into our own health and even pushes us in the direction of advice which.

Four has been sort of an area that hasn’t been chartered when it comes to non Healthcare professional related advice, so I like seeing that direction other items though. I do think that there’s this deep concern around privacy and are we considering whether the information we’re providing to patients or us as consumers. Generally is going to lead to improved outcomes or is it going to create this information without context and action and for a lot of people that can create fear and it can cause worry where it might not be needed and so those are the types of questions around trust and access and am I able going to be am I able to do anything with this information to improve my outcome knowing when it’s best to bring in a professional and so that’s something that it’s a it’s a question. I love it’s a question. We all need to ask and it’s one that I think as we continue to think about what 2024 and beyond looks like in health care engagement one that all of us.

Professionals need to be asking is are we creating something because it intrinsically addresses a human need when we saw that kind of with the mirror. I think there was like a smart mirror that you know was great in terms of being able to track and detect all these vital Signs but it doesn’t have any connectivity you know besides the individual beyond the individual but I’d like your point that all of these different types of in-home tech are trying to meet the patient where they’re at you know in terms of things that are easy to measure that the patient has passively doing anyway. You know like there was I think you know you can tell me better than I can but a there was a laptop camera right that was able to kind of track all these you know meaningful diagnostic criteria. Had connectivity to the Healthcare provider which can inform and telehealth visit so we see that tech companies are making an effort to meet patients where they are. How our company is evolving their products services marketing and sales experiences to customers context and needs yeah, and I think this is so depend.

Great company by company, but there was one overarching trend that I was so encouraged by at CES and that was this focus on aging aging tech aging Solutions ARP historically has had a large presence at CES which has been again unexpected but delightful because you don’t necessarily think of ARP as being this provider of emerging technology, but they also understand their customer and so this is where when we think about how generations are going to continue to age and experience and define aging I love to see their collaborative where they brought together tons of different companies addressing different facets of aging whether it was around menopausal management right in different symptoms there fall prevention. They had tempo health which focused on care management for those experiencing dementia and support for caregivers, but they also had a company called artifacts that is essentially like a Pinterest for nostalgia. So you can create images of your favorite items and

And save those memories in a way. That’s really visual so we started to see this again meeting customers where they are thinking about the context and evolving needs of a customer and how we can go from health to health to health throughout the Decades and I love to see that and especially as we think about aging boomer population who are much more digitally savvy than the Generations before how do we use VR therapy to think about how they can age gracefully and engage and continue to relate to family members so that in particular that story around aging very much fostered by ARP was one that I love to see I think from a marketing standpoint. We’re seeing a lot of partnerships continue between the smaller startups and the larger Giants whether that be Pharma biotech. Whatever that might be within life sciences, and I think that that also speaks to understanding where your customer is right. So how can we pull in insights around different demograph?

It’s different customer types different disease States and really think about how we can meaningfully address their needs throughout their experience with a condition. Yeah, really really interesting. I hadn’t really explored those but the connections that are made are amazing like you know instacart. You know working with supermarkets to make ai-powered recommendations to people shopping carts much or how you know relevant those recommendations are or how well welcome. They are when people are already inundated with ads and the supermarket but like audible the podcast company you know doing a collaboration with Amazon and Mercedes-Benz you know to bring you know audio to the dashboard those are really exciting and interesting and you know Mark I think one one point too that absolutely brings home that idea right is that we don’t as consumers identify ourselves as patients and so we are not constantly in this state of identification by disease state or by treatment. We are living our lives and

The treatments that we undergo happen to be a part of that and so something like grocery shopping or you know we thought a lot of automotive technology those things that are lifestyle related all of a sudden become part of a wellness story and one that when we think about meaning customers where they are with the needs that they have at any given moment we start to think about patients as consumers and thinking much beyond what we could potentially deliver in a specific moment of time of treatment and think more holistically about them as individuals seeking wellness and I think that’s exciting because it means possibilities are endless right and so we can start to create sort of these unexpected collaborations absolutely I’ve been I’ve had a prescribed condition. I’m in the supermarket the shopping cart knows my shopping history and it sees what I’m tossing into the cart. It knows I need to you know have a sort of a diet maybe for whatever prescribed condition. I have and it can can help me to that end or it was kind of things lifestyle absolutely 100% It’s getting back to these digital health technologies that you.

Eloquently, you know told us about earlier. You could see the potential for helping people who have poor health care access. What are we seeing in the realm of improved access whether it’s addressing the digital divide Geographic barriers inclusivity mandates etc. Yeah, and this is a really important question because technology has this unique ability to create both chasms as well as Bridges right and so with every new technology. We create we really need to again consider that access barrier and what is inclusivity actually mean what does equity actually mean and so as much as technology has this potential we need to make sure we’re leveraging that potential and asking ourselves those critical questions and one thing I’m continuing to see although. I do think that their companies who are really striving to meaningfully address inclusivity, is this word democratizing access and I think that’s one of those phrases that I see overused and perhaps doesn’t mean what the company is think it means.

Around actual equitable access and so when we think like you said about that digital divide around access to technology smartphone ownership versus ability to use or Geographic barriers and thinking about Wi-Fi coverage. You know we make assumptions based off of an individual who might live in an urban setting but that doesn’t always apply to someone who lives in a rural setting and there are certain companies that I saw that were what I think starting to make meaningful strides one was called Galleon and frankly I don’t know much about population health management, but they had an offering that allowed larger population management at the government level around seeing trends and addressing those needs in real time and so more you know sort of sector-related as it comes to regulatory as opposed to a consumer facing technology, but something that could potentially meaningfully address that need for access and equity across health provision there was another called.

Proxy they actually pitch during a digital health startup innovation competition which I love to see and they’re really focused on adding visibility to data-driven intelligence meaning I as a consumer or my caregiver could see my health information and very easily share that with different providers so especially when you think about people who may have multiple conditions that information fall out and access to information could be detrimental to how they’re experiencing their health, but of course when you hear both of these potential Solutions in different realms. You’re still have to think like but does everyone actually have the potential to access and benefit from these Solutions and so that’s one where when we think of regulatory and Compliance and larger systemic level changes to the health industry. I’m excited to start to see some of the larger players like an Amazon or a Google come in and start to push the boundaries of how we can share information and create access.

We’re not quite there yet, but I’m starting to see sort of the glimmers of hope for how different companies are attacking those problems from different angles absolutely and you know speaking about you know sharing of patient data and they trust issues therein I wanted to that’s a perfect segue to our next question on the horizon. We definitely see that that’s the next step is you know sharing data in a compliant way and a privacy safe opt-in way, what role does Trust play it and moving the industry forward and who’s responsibility is it for Trust Building so the easy answer right is that it’s all of our responsibilities.

Trust Building and this applies to each and every one of our customers right so how we’re developing medical education and serving up content to Physicians how we’re providing cost saving models and population management for payers and of course from a patient standpoint. How are we allowing them to self-manage their own data? And I just heard a lot of the sessions so less so in the exhibits but in sessions. I heard a lot of talk about trust by Design and how are we actually developing materials Solutions that intrinsically build trust so privacy security being foundational to how all the technology is structured to how information is captured and you can see snippets at this throughout different exhibitors. There was technology that immediately upon taking a picture secured it through blockchain we saw secure patient medical information sharing so we saw little pieces of it and those are the types of companies that when you think about them from the foundational standpoint building Trust then once you have that trust. It’s imperative.

Don’t break it and so making sure that that constant communication back to your customers and doing so in a really literate way regardless of whether they are reading pages upon pages of update and security information really thinking about what does user experience look like when it comes to not just establishing Trust but maintaining it over time yeah, and I said that is the the next chasm to cross isn’t it trust Trust Building let’s talk about the future. You know but what our next steps are here. How does what we’re seeing at CES where we saw there and you know kind of converge with other 2024 predictions as you know companies strive to meet the patients where they are and you know integrate more with patients. Lifestyle. It has all that leg groundwork for progress and I think it’s funny because at c.

Is essentially a conglomeration of a bunch of futurists right so all of us hoping that we get a glimpse into the future that then gives us even more foresight into how we’re going to evolve and develop over time and you know going into CES 2020. I wasn’t expecting a month later to go into lockdown, but what we then saw in the next few years was absolute progress. So this year what I really noticed was that we were seeing incremental changes and Improvements to technology and capabilities that already existed right, so we’re thinking about how does artificial intelligence start to make a smarter and more efficient more accurate alleviating burden within the Healthcare system however, there’s also very little regulation around that that exist right now right. We’re all sort of catching up with the technology as we go and so sort of hinted this in the last question. I am hopeful that some of the larger Giants who are starting to get interested in a piece of the health pie like

Amazon Google even CVs Walgreens who have already been playing in the space then coming in and having meaningful interactions with regulators with decision makers to think about how the system as a whole can adapt to improve health. I wouldn’t be surprised if next year at CES we’re continuing to see incremental improvements right so nothing that might be a giant leap but instead thinking about that connectivity and how do we actually create that seamless experience that we’ve been talking about that our customers expect that when we think about lifestyle and health engagement it actually becomes much more interconnected and we’ve blurred those lines. So it might not be the sexiest idea right thinking about how regulation and requirements and quality assurance are revolutionized within health, but considering how big this ship is to steer it’s one that absolutely needs to occur so I am hopeful that the the future for this year and next year is actualization of a lot of these capabilities and therefore.

It’ll set the stage for really intrinsic what I would call infusion into how we engage with our health nice. Yeah, perfect word to some some of the conversation and you have to think that retail really is is part of the future of figuring out health you know given the fact that you know we might not all live within a short distance of a hospital or Medical Center but all of us live within a short distance of a CVs or a Walgreens or Rite Aid and that retail space we see Healthcare you know making inroads Primary Care making inroads into that space. You know the walmarts and the CVs is so sum up here. You know many of us. If not all at one time or another have experience to fragmentation that plagues our health system whether it’s literally a lack of connectivity or interoperability among various stakeholders poor customer experience with appointment booking lack of transparency in the drug supply chain the cold clinical nature of acute care. I could go on right on the flip side. We’ve got Amazon making in roads into Primary Care and the long awaited potential of the Amazon

Act we have Mark Cuban’s cost plus pharmacy promising transparency and drug pricing we have all these digital health startups targeting various points along the Healthcare journey and aiming to make them more human, so as you point out the progression of the Healthcare industry from a product-centric model to one that’s customer centric is an intentional albeits sluggish one and the glimmers of Hope as you put it you know whether those are women’s health tech companies or senior tech with ARP you know meeting patients where they are that’s that’s caused for optimism indeed those who have any questions can email Anna with their CX questions or contact her through mmm and to that end. I hope that we can have another one of these conversations as Healthcare gets better at meeting customer and patient to expectations Anna see you at CES

The 25 see you there.