David Kerwar, Chief Product Officer & Health of Consumer Digital Innovations at Mount Sinai Health System invited by Credit Suisse, shared his views with a virtual group of investors. Mount Sinai is an integrated health system structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school with an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services.
Mount Sinai launched their Consumer Digital Business in 2018, with the primary objective to offer a more consumer-centric experience in healthcare and focus on transforming how consumers access, navigate, and pay for healthcare.
As part of Mount Sinai’s COVID-19 response, the health system was able to quickly develop a text-to-chat platform allowing patients to have live chats with clinicians for care guidance. The platform is based on a modular component-based architecture powered by scalable microservices. The agile technology stack sits on AWS with some capabilities from Google Cloud.
As for text-to-chat, Mount Sinai has a strong relationship with Twilio which has been a huge add to the health system’s infrastructure as Twilio powers the health system’s SMS and video communication services. Mr. Kerwar noted that a lot of the technology stack is self-developed, and Mount Sinai will sparingly use the partnership with Twilio to supplement its capabilities.
With respect to telehealth trends, Mount Sinai is doing over 3K video visits per day vs 10-50 video visits per day in early March. While the number of virtual video visits have been trending down recently, continuing use of virtual care modalities is being used for more immediate needs.
Mr. Kerwar notes that most virtual care visits (over 80%) are scheduled visits but that is somewhat a misleading number because the health system has not done as much outbound marketing around Mount Sinai’s on-demand virtual care.
Post COVID, Mr. Kerwar noted that the health system will continue to push for more virtual care visits. Within some of the employer health clinics where Mount Sinai has done more marketing, there has been a more balanced breakdown of scheduled bs unscheduled visits.
Mount Sinai is also focused on remote patient monitoring since providers can be reimbursed for monitoring patients at home typically by sending a device into the home. Mr. Kerwar reports that the activation process for the native mobile app of Epic’s consumer-facing app, “MyChart” is not consumer-centric. As a result, the health system is working with EPIC to create integration points via APIs to create a digital front-end. Mount Sinai has similar plans for on-demand urgent care visits and hybrid visits that might start virtual but end up being done in-person.
Mr. Kerwar notes that every business in healthcare is in a mad rush to own the consumer experience. In general, insurance companies probably are better capitalized and can invest more in digital than providers, however, he believes providers are better positioned to truly guide patient care and their experience.