On the 12th Day of #HITChristmas we’re excited to feature, Nirav Modi and Carium.
Tell us about Carium and how you help enable individualized care.
Our mission is to be a trusted partner for people on their health and wellness journeys. Our platform, including a smartphone app, is used by consumers and their care teams. Through our product, we genuinely get to know people. We inspire and support them in reaching their health goals, together with members of their care teams, which might include healthcare providers, coaches or nutritionists, friends, and family members.
We have all experienced challenges with healthcare — whether they are serious (like having trouble getting medical records in an emergency) or just inconvenient and confusing (like trying to figure out what diet or exercise changes will have the biggest payoff for you). Our team has lived these stories and experienced the challenge of navigating the healthcare system.
Our motivation to start Carium was the realization that something had to change. People lack the information, support, and encouragement they need to seek healthcare services, and to make healthy, informed decisions every day. We built Carium for ourselves, our friends, frustrated health professionals, community organizations, and everyone else out there who believes we can use technology to support and empower people for better health.
What are some examples of the value of individualized care?
Today, healthcare services and even wellness guidance is largely one-size-fits-all. But each of us is unique. It’s not just that our bodies are different. Existing or previous health conditions, metabolic rates, or allergies make a huge difference — or should — in how we treat individuals. In addition, we each have our own unique goals, motivations, and preferences, and these are too often overlooked or not factored into care plans.
This is a really big deal since so much of each person’s overall health status is determined by everyday choices they make outside of the healthcare system. It’s about eating the apple instead of the doughnut, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Most people know which of these options is better for them, but it takes insight into what motivates them personally to give them the edge required to do the harder thing — which ultimately aligns with their goals — at the moment of choice that can make the biggest difference. For some people, maybe it’s fitting into a favorite outfit again. For others, it may be playing with their grandkids.
At Carium we are working to really get to know the individual so we can tailor just-in-time guidance and support to them and their needs. If someone needs motivation to remember to schedule a follow-up appointment, it’s not only helpful to give them a reminder and a link and a number to call, it’s also helpful to send them information that helps them learn and feel in control. We are in the midst of developing ways to give each individual a bespoke and supportive experience along with his or her own health and wellness journey.
By getting to know the individual, the solution more comprehensively represents each person to their care teams and support networks. With this complete view, the team helping that person can better tailor their care to what that person specifically needs.
Can individualized care be done at scale?
Absolutely. Carium’s mobile and web apps are built on a cloud-based platform which is easily scalable and configurable. Our approach integrates artificial intelligence to make it easier to serve large numbers of people according to their individual needs. Our platform enables the flexible integration of third-party data-sources and allows for the configuration of a variety of interactive, evidence-based health programs and workflows customizable for diverse use-cases. We have programs tailored to diabetes management, weight loss management, and other conditions that are better managed on a continual basis versus the current episodic approach to care. It is straightforward for us to build new programs and platform components, as well as to address the unique preferences and needs of an individual user. Our use of digital technologies enables a care-continuum that would be very costly to scale in a human-capital model approach.
How do you pay for all of this?
The customers and partners in our pipeline include healthcare providers and community-based organizations. Over time we envision partnering with employers, health plans, and any kind of organization that is ultimately invested in improving people’s health and experience of healthcare. We are particularly seeking partners that are supportive of value-based care. We believe real improvements in health outcomes require that the individual consumer be involved and empowered in shaping his or her own health journey.
Carium helps people make smart healthcare decisions so they can get good value out of the healthcare system, empowering them for value that is defined on their own terms, not forced upon them by an enterprise that is driven primarily by economics or any other motivation.
Health outcomes are impacted by a lot of circumstances outside of a provider’s control and visibility and these factors are like a black box today. Carium helps manage and make sense of the growing volume of patient-generated health data (PGHD) while expanding the efficacy of the value-based care model, extending its impact beyond the walls of a provider’s facility into patients’ communities and every day lives.
In addition to lost-productivity, health-related costs are also becoming an increasing burden on employers. Carium offers insights about employee populations so companies can adjust policies and programs to maximize their value.
You recently went live with your first partner, what have been some of the early results?
Our first partner is a health center in our local region of Petaluma, California. They have a strong patient-first orientation and an appreciation for the extent to which health depends on what happens outside the clinic or doctor’s office as people live their lives every day. Finding common ground with them allowed us to engage very quickly.
Though it’s only been a few weeks, we’re getting positive feedback such as, “Carium has really helped reduce my stress around managing my health,” “I have much more visibility into my specialist appointments,” and “it has been a useful tool to keep me organized and store my health and medication information.”
One thing we’ve learned is the power of co-development. Through solicited input and joint discovery sessions on specific operational challenges for both patients and the care team, we explored how our partner could use Carium’s digital solution to help alleviate friction points, enhance their ability to provide care, and drive better outcomes.
Our team has also been excited about our ability to help people engage and collaborate with different members of their care team, including parents, their children, and even an elderly neighbor. At Carium, we remember and respect that everyone is different and, we are developing our solution with this in mind every day.
What can the healthcare IT community do to help Carium?
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