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Mike McSherryMike McSherry, CEO and co-founder of Xealth

After taking a few days to recharge post-HLTH, I am struck by the energy level at this event. With on-site business meetings still down, conferences like this one have become the place to meet, catch up and get stuff done. The optimism and conviction here were at unprecedented levels.

It was great listening to David Feinberg, MD, chairman of Oracle, talk with Heather Landi, senior editor of FierceHealthcare, about the company’s continued focus on interoperability and his plans for an open, connected ecosystem, along with his desire to leverage partners to see that vision through. This collaborative environment will positively impact care.

A few additional themes struck me while at the conference – health equity and the financial landscape.

Health equity held a refreshingly prominent place at HLTH. Healthcare is a right that should be accessible to everyone – improving that equity requires removing obstacles that have hindered access to safe, quality and affordable healthcare. We enjoyed hearing Greg Adams, chair and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, discuss how the health system is leveraging its integrated model and historical commitment to health equity to personalize care for its members, patients, and communities.

Xealth works with health systems to roll out programs that address access, including remote patient monitoring for maternity patients so they are not burdened to take time off work, find transportation or childcare to make an in-person appointment each month during a healthy pregnancy. These programs help patients receive more consistent prenatal care than previously maintained. Additional initiatives bring food to people with specific diagnoses-based dietary restrictions who also have food scarcity concerns.

Several of our health system clients work with payers to remove any cost barriers to adoption. Froedtert teamed up with insurance partner Network Health to get Glooko into the hands of diabetes patients and Babyscripts to pregnant patients. Baystate Health works with Health New England to maternity patients to receive Babyscripts. These programs are providing more consistent care across the patient populations each health system serves.

Another theme throughout the conference was the financial pressure digital health companies and hospital systems are facing. Rising interest rates, labor shortages and less venture capital funding available have most organizations sharpening their pencils to be as lean as possible.

While rolling out new initiatives may seem counterintuitive, it is important to strategically examine how digital programs, including those leveraging automation, extend care teams and map pack to clinical and operational goals. These digital programs can save clinician time, keep patients engaged with treatment plans in between in-person appointments, reduce no shows and improve the rate of patients ready for scheduled procedures.

What HLTH demonstrated this year is that healthcare can not be addressed from only one side. It takes true determination and collaboration from across the ecosystem – vendors, payers, pharma, health systems, government and patients – to create lasting change. It is with that spirit that we enter the holiday season, continually looking for opportunities to innovate and advance care.

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