In July 2022, Amazon acquired One Medical in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $3.9 billion. According to a press release from Amazon, One Medical is a people-centered, technology-driven national primary care organization that aims to make quality care more affordable, accessible and enjoyable through a seamless combination of in-person, digital and virtual care services that are convenient where people work, shop and live. The premise is to reinvent the health experience. Even before this acquisition, One Medical sought to leverage technology and AI to drive a strong patient and provider experience and to optimize population health.
Before One Medical broke the news, Patina launched with $57 million in funding from Andreesen Horowitz and GV (Google Ventures) in late October 2021. Patina is led by Jack Stoddard, a healthcare professional with an impressive set of experiences – Eden Health, Haven, Accolade and Optum. Patina’s mission is to improve the healthcare and aging experience for older adults and the loved ones who care for them. I spoke with Jack to better understand his mission and his motivation with Patina. Here are some key takeaways:
Why focus on adults 65 and over?
Jack: Everyone deserves a better care experience led by a team that sees them; who understands their values, goals and preferences; and who create a personal plan that enables each person to live their full life. The current system is built with hospitals and clinics in the center, and adapted to the needs of the average adult, resulting in one-size-fits-all care, delivered in the production model of short, episodic and transactional office visits. This model does not work for older adults, who have unique clinical and psychosocial needs that affect their ability to live independently and enjoy the highest quality of life. A model that achieves this goal does not exist in healthcare today, so we are building it.
Why primary healthcare?
Jack: Primary care is the backbone of overall health. When done right, primary care reduces healthcare costs and improves health outcomes. Primary care providers have the opportunity to understand patients holistically – their history, values, preferences, goals – and help them make informed decisions. There are many opportunities today for innovation and growth in this market. Primary care lends itself to new approaches, and utilizes technologies such as digital and virtual channels.
This is a crowded space with many start-ups and many other established players. What are some critical success factors for you?
Jack: We have the opportunity to build the care model of the future from the ground up. We are not stuck in older technology and workflows. By building something completely new, we can align people, processes and technology to focus on generating value for older adults and their loved ones. We have adapted our business model to our care model, which allows us to provide coordinated whole person care in a proactive way. This is in contrast to many established players who serve multiple populations, have older technology and workflows, and have business models with misaligned incentives. It’s like trying to convert an internal combustion engine car into an electric one. It doesn’t work. We are starting from scratch to reinvent primary healthcare.
Something unique about Patina is that there are no clinics. Instead, you send a nurse to the patient’s home. Why?
Jack: Clinics were built to optimize the productivity of clinicians in a fee-for-service healthcare world. When we defined our first principles for reinventing primary care for older adults, we found in our research that older adults want to be independent at home, especially when they are not feeling well. So we decided to bypass the drive-park-wait clinic model, and use technology and people to provide them with care, on their terms. We learn a lot about people when we visit them in their homes. Does the patient have enough social support? How do they handle their medications? Their meals? Are they lonely? Often these factors determine outcomes even more than clinical interventions. When a patient comes to a clinic, we lose the opportunity to get a holistic understanding of their health. Our entire model is built on the idea that our care team comes to patients where they are, seeing people, not as a single data point, but as dynamic individuals.
Much has been made about digital transformation and the pace of digital in the last three years. And the same can be said about leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve health outcomes. Can you give me some specific ways Patina is leveraging new technologies and methods to improve results?
Jack: What sets Patina apart is how we connect our technology with personalized care to create a personalized, high-touch experience for our patients and their loved ones. We bring technology into the home, so we can evaluate patients’ health as if they were in a clinic. Patients are less stressed and more comfortable when they are at home. In turn, we build relationships that inform care alongside the metrics-based assessment we get from digital technology. For example, our master nurses use digital stethoscopes to listen to a patient’s heart, and the remote PCP is able to receive the data in real time using telemetry. In addition, AI takes in this information and compares the heart rhythm to a massive data set, flagging murmurs or other heart problems for the clinician in real time. Together, our app, virtual visits, and AI-enabled technology help providers interact more frequently with their patients, build lasting relationships, and be proactive when extra care is needed.
Any closing thoughts?
Jack: Sixty million Americans are over 65, and 90 million will reach this age by 2060. This population faces changes in function and mobility, and often develops chronic conditions, leading to an increased need for high-quality health care and personal support . Yet most older adults encounter a healthcare system that is fragmented and uncoordinated. They end up with multiple doctors who make short visits to fix problems rather than prevent them. Adults 65+ often navigate alone. Patina is here to turn these challenges upside down, allow all people to age with dignity and be seen, respected and supported. We do it with a team of experienced, empathetic people who use modern technology to create a personalized care experience.
Wishing you and Patina the very best, Jack.
Jack: Thank you.