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High Tech Meets High Touch

By Jeff Arnold, CEO and Chairman

Kaiser Permanente chairman and CEO Bernard Tyson recently wrote a blog addressing the delicate balancing act between technology and human interaction in healthcare, which is something we spend a lot of time contemplating at Sharecare. We believe the human element (“high touch”) bears equal if not greater importance to the innovation and automation enablement (“high tech”) when it comes to healthcare.  While most of our initial investment at Sharecare has been in technology, our belief in the necessity of high touch is one of the major reasons we recently acquired such a large part of Healthways, which includes the Ornish Reversal Program.

Created by nationally recognized physician, best-selling author and a good friend, Dr. Dean Ornish, the Program reverses the progression of heart disease and other chronic conditions through a proven integrative lifestyle program. The program is offered by a team of dedicated professionals that include a physician, nurse, exercise physiologist, registered dietitian, stress management specialist and group support facilitator, who all work directly with participants to provide the information and support needed to make and maintain lasting changes in lifestyle, focusing not only on nutrition and fitness, but on stress management and a having a network of love and support in their lives. It is the first lifestyle program that Medicare is covering under the specially created category of ‘Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation.’ By integrating tried and true protocols and methodologies like the Ornish Reversal Program into our digital health platform, Sharecare is incredibly well positioned to improve the health – and possibly even save the lives – of more people than we ever thought possible.

Coincidentally, today I learned that Tyson and Dr. Ornish are speaking together at the New York Times Food for Tomorrow conference later this month about the benefits of fostering a healthier workforce and how to encourage employees to stay on top of their health. It’s an incredible time to be a part of healthcare as we are all collaborating together to find different solutions to improve consumers’ healthcare experiences.