Yesterday, one of Sherpaa’s members reached out and asked if we could help them find a health insurance plan. We said, “have you seen Stride Health? Go there and let them do that for you. They nail it.” The patient’s response was a simple “Wow! Thank you.” Over the last 5 years, there’s been an onslaught of new digital health companies, some good, some bad, and some absolutely great. Healthcare is one big complicated, messy process. It wasn’t designed around real, everyday people’s needs. While it’s gotten more complex, digital health companies have been working passionately on real solutions to transform healthcare and the patient experience.

My company, Sherpaa, tries to solve one real problem for our members: delivering the right care to each patient as accurately, easily, and affordably as possible. Sherpaa is “primary care in the cloud.” But we view ourselves as not only doctors but curators and partners in making our patients lives easier and healthcare more affordable for them. When members communicate with Sherpaa’s doctors, they get diagnosed and treated and/or guidance through online and local services available to them. We’re effectively a funnel that can point our members to a curated set of services that make healthcare easier, less confusing, and more affordable for them. From Sherpaa’s and the patient’s perspective, there are so many other steps involved in healthcare. Things like:

  • Choosing health insurance (Stride)
  • Purchasing health insurance
  • Understanding how to use your health insurance
  • Analyzing your healthcare spending
  • Ensuring medical bills are accurate (Remedy)
  • Financing large medical expenses
  • Understanding costs of care (Healthcare Bluebook and ClearHealthCosts, FairHealth or NewChoiceHealth)
  • Getting an FSA or HSA
  • Finding a PCP (ZocDoc, Amino)
  • Finding the most appropriate and effective specialist (ProPublica, Amino)
  • Treating chronic medical issues
  • Treating mental health issues (Lantern)
  • Planning a predictable procedure
  • Getting a second opinion (GrandRounds)
  • Getting in-person acute care (Concentra, CityMD)
  • Getting care at home (Honor)
  • Procuring medication at the lowest cost (GoodRx)
  • Receiving daily medications consistently and reliably (Pillpack)
  • Getting a lab test and results (STDCheck.com)
  • Getting an imaging test and results
  • Learning about your health conditions (SmartPatients)
  • Learning about your medication (Iodine)
  • Learning about the value of procedures
  • Learning about actions/therapies you can do at home to improve your health
  • Daily health coaching (Vida)

While Sherpaa is a healthcare service and communications and problem-solving platform between doctors and patients, we can’t solve every problem. Best-in-class, forward-thinking digital health companies, like the ones linked to above, must band together to offer a seamless solution that solves real problems that real patients have on a regular basis. And when you effectively solve a real need, people see value and businesses flourish. Most digital health companies have chosen one problem to solve. But that problem is just one of over 20 complicated problems that real patients have. We can’t leave it up to the patients to find these services. It’s too confusing and it’s too hard for them to vet the services. We must identify one another, treat each other as partners, and effectively solve these problems together. We shouldn’t be acting in silos. We should be partnering, using and recommending each other’s services, and coming together to define and design the optimal healthcare experience that puts the patient first. Luckily, we have a built-in test market…our own employees. Between all of us, we have thousands of engaged, super passionate employees, who are patients themselves, working hard to make healthcare great.

If this resonates with you, send me an email or tweet at me. From there, we can start the process of getting us all together and delivering an elegant experience as one comprehensive solution that solves real problems for real people.

Ideal criteria for inclusion:

  • The service must be accessible to consumers directly
  • The service must have elegant design at its core
  • The service must be scalable across America
  • The service must deliver a delightful experience
  • The company must have a mission to put the patient first
  • The company wants to collaborate for the good of the patient

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