The Covid-19 pandemic put a never-seen-before spotlight on telehealth. Remote healthcare services stepped into a sudden reduction of in-person care created by fears and restrictions caused by the virus.
While the most intense days of the pandemic are fading into the past, remote healthcare isn’t going anywhere.
Much like remote work, the ability to provide safe and accessible healthcare without the need to be onsite will remain an essential part of the healthcare world moving forward.
One company continuing to champion telehealth — pandemic or not — is HealthTap. HealthTap is a remote-friendly, tech-forward healthcare service. It’s focused on the goal of continuing to offer improved and affordable healthcare access and outcomes through the growing remote healthcare channel.
How HealthTap is Putting Healthcare Into the Hands of Consumers
HealthTap’s mission is, in the words of the brand, “to give real-time access to high-quality, affordable healthcare to all.” Founded in 2010, the online enterprise has spent more than a decade working toward this goal.
Its industry-leading tech-based solutions are steadily pushing toward the company’s objective of putting a primary care doctor in the hands of everyone in the U.S. — regardless of whether or not consumers have insurance.
There are several ways that this innovative remote healthcare brand is shaking up the status quo and leading the way toward a healthier, telehealth-friendly future.
A Healthcare Reset: Same Healthcare — Different Approach
The most significant factor that sets HealthTap apart from other healthcare solutions is its unique approach to the problem.
Most similar companies work to improve a broken healthcare system. For the HealthTap team, though, the solution had to come through backing up and starting from a new, consumer-centric perspective.
With that in mind, the founders asked key questions.
- What do consumers need?
- What are patients looking for?
- Are they lacking specific services with current healthcare solutions? The costs and inconveniences are deeply embedded in the current system and were found throughout this process. As patients seek straightforward and direct answers to very solvable health problems, the inefficiencies often show up.
For instance, too often, insurance carriers influence the choice of doctors, procedures, medications, etc. Geographic limitations are also a factor that restricts patients from finding the best doctor to fit their needs.
No matter the circumstances, third-party entities with other goals and objectives should never make important, highly personal decisions like these.
Consumers control other areas of their lives. Logically, they should also be able to make detailed decisions about their healthcare. With this goal in mind, the HealthTap team has labored to create its innovative remote healthcare solutions.
Comprehensive Remote Healthcare: HealthTap’s End-to-End Experience
One of the things that has helped HealthTap stand out from other telehealth providers is its focus on virtual primary care.
The company has worked hard to develop a network of doctors that approach each virtual patient as a living, breathing human — not just a collection of symptoms.
Members can also choose the same doctors for each appointment. This allows them to develop trust over time.
HealthTap combines this personalized touch with a robust set of tech tools that help keep costs low and services accessible around the clock.
This end-to-end experience starts with AI that asks a member questions, providing a digital “interview,” so to speak. This helps HealthTap’s system triage each patient, classifying their issues and assigning a level of urgency to their care — e.g., a sore knee isn’t as urgent as a broken thumb.
From there, the company uses the information to set up a virtual consultation with a doctor. This can utilize a variety of remote healthcare communication channels. For example, text chat, audio, and a video, audio, and text combo offer patients multiple ways to contact a provider — although video is always recommended for maximum effectiveness.
This virtual communication facilitates the conversation as patients and doctors discuss symptoms. Doctors can provide treatment plans, as well, as they shepherd the patient from one end to the other of the telehealth experience.
Accessibility: Treatment Any Time, Any Place
One of the key factors that make HealthTap’s remote healthcare services different from traditional healthcare is the fact that they are available around the clock.
This ability to offer 24/7 care isn’t just convenient. It’s essential.
Illness occurs irrespective of manmade time structures. Traditional healthcare services are available 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, this happens to be right during the heaviest workday hours of every working business in the world.
This fact forces individuals to choose between their health and their work, school, and other responsibilities. If they cannot do this, they must opt for overloaded and costly after-hour urgent care centers and emergency rooms.
HealthTap gives consumers a fresh level of control by letting them access healthcare solutions on their schedules.
Affordability: Efficiency Translates to Lower Costs
It’s no secret that healthcare is expensive. The issue has been growing for years, and the recent pandemic only exacerbated the situation. In fact, in 2020, the first year of the crisis, healthcare costs rose by a staggering 10%.
The ongoing cost concern is making quality alternatives like HealthTap’s telehealth services attractive for another reason: they’re affordable.
Making quality alternatives available is thanks to the tech-focused format that HealthTap uses. Its AI and other tech elements automate many of the manual and mundane healthcare-related tasks. This benefits both members and doctors, saving time and rigmarole on both sides of the process.
When there is a reduction in time and effort, it equates to dramatically lowered costs. Moreover, it’s offered via a service that the company proudly explains is “less than our favorite video subscription.”
The Healthcare Bells and Whistles
This innovative approach to healthcare doesn’t just avoid many of the inconveniences and costs associated with the traditional healthcare system. The digitally-driven telehealth format has also opened up the doors for unique forms of innovation.
For instance, in HealthTap’s system, the developers streamlined and personalized the organization and presentation of personal information. All the information from HealthTap’s AI, notes from virtual doctor consultations, prescribed treatment plans, and all other sensitive member information is saved securely in one place.
Due to its digital nature, this information is easily accessible from any digital device at any time of the day or night.
At the same time, the HealthTap team’s venerable industry experience has enabled it to create a system that is safe and protected. In a study reported in 2018, nearly two out of every three individuals expressed concern over health information when it was electronically managed.
Protecting the Privacy of Sensitive Digital Data
HealthTap is able to overcome this concern. It’s poured more than a decade of work and investment into its network.
The development team did not rush to establish a telehealth infrastructure. Unfortunately, this is very often the case with so many other providers who shifted to this format during the pandemic.
For HealthTap, they were already well-established as a telehealth provider before the crisis even began. As a result, their tech tools are already safe and efficient. This allows the company’s R&D team to focus on other priorities, such as building out the company’s network of board-certified healthcare professionals.
Having board-certified healthcare professionals ensures that a credentialed doctor is always available for any call at any time. In addition, patients can reach a professional from any place within the HealthTap community.
Telehealth is here to stay. However, choosing the right remote healthcare provider can still feel intimidating. It’s essential for consumers to look for options like HealthTap, which offers targeted tech tools, a high-quality network of doctors, and ultimately safe, affordable, and accessible healthcare solutions.
Image Credit: Pexels; Thank you!
Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!