Rx for health-care communications
by Irene Kim
When you think about health-care customer service, what comes to mind? “Press 1 for billing inquiries. Press 2 for plan information. Your wait time may exceed ten minutes.”?
Now, imagine applying the power of online advertising to health-care services: integrated communications and services delivered via conventional and social media focused on the information you want, including preventive services, test results, billing, prescriptions, and cutting-edge procedures.
In 2010, while working as an online advertising executive, Neng Bing Doh hit upon the idea of providing such communications services to health-care providers. “Why not apply the proven techniques I knew — for engagement, persuasion, and behavior change — to health care, not to encourage clicks and conversions, but to motivate healthy actions?” she asked.
A health insurer typically uses different vendors for print, e-mail, and phone communications, and for social work, explains Doh. The result: confused, sometimes conflicting or duplicate information. “There were no solutions that could engage large patient populations in an automated way,” says Doh.
HealthCrowd, launched by Doh and her co-founders in mid-2011, helps health-care organizations consolidate, automate, and optimize communications for patients at the individual level. Doh says that HealthCrowd aims to reach 100 million individuals, largely among underserved populations (including Medicaid recipients), and save the health-care system $10 billion by 2020.
Doh, who had worked as a software engineer before beginning her Johnson MBA, credits her Johnson experience with helping her realize her vision. “In many ways, it was a holistic experience that gave me the business exposure I needed to take the path I had my sights set on,” she says. “Jennifer Dulski ’93, MBA ’99, is a dear mentor as well.”