In July 2022, Amazon acquired One Medical in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $3.9 billion. According to an Amazon press release, One Medical is a national, human-centered, technology-enabled primary care organization whose mission is to make quality care more affordable, accessible and enjoyable through a seamless combination of in-person, digital and that are convenient where people work, shop and live. The principle is to reinvent the healthcare experience. Even before this acquisition, One Medical was focused on leveraging technology and AI to deliver a strong patient and provider experience and to optimally manage the health of the population.
Before One Medical made the news, Patina was 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 executive with an impressive set of experiences – Eden Health, Haven, Accolade and Optum. Patina’s mission is to profoundly improve the health care and aging experience of seniors and their loved ones. I spoke to Jack to better understand his thesis and motivations with Patina. Here are some takeaways:
Why focus on adults 65 and older?
Jack: Everyone deserves a better care experience led by a team that sees them; that understands their values, goals and preferences; and that creates a personalized plan that allows everyone to live life to the fullest. The current system is built with hospitals and clinics at the center and aligned with 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 people, who have unique clinical and psychosocial needs that affect their ability to live independently and enjoy the best quality of life. A model that achieves this goal does not exist in healthcare today, so we are building it.
Why primary care?
Jack: Primary care is the backbone of overall health. When done well, primary care reduces health expenditures and improves health outcomes. Primary care practitioners have the opportunity to understand patients holistically – their history, values, preferences, goals – and help them make informed decisions. There are many opportunities for innovation and growth in this market today. Primary care lends itself to new approaches, leveraging technologies such as digital and virtual channels.
It is a crowded space with many start-ups and many other established players. What are the critical elements of success for you?
Jack: We have the opportunity to build the care model of the future from scratch. We’re not stuck in legacy technology and workflows. By building something new, we can align people, process and technology to focus on creating value for seniors and their loved ones. We have aligned our business model with our model of care, enabling us to proactively provide coordinated whole-person care. This contrasts with many established players who serve multiple populations, have legacy technology and workflows, and have business models with misaligned incentives. It’s like trying to convert a combustion engine car into an electric car. It does not work. We are starting from scratch to reinvent primary care.
Something that’s unique about Patina is that you don’t have any clinics. Instead, you send a nurse or nurse practitioner to the patient’s home. Why is that?
Jack: Clinics were built to maximize clinician productivity in a fee-for-service healthcare world. When we defined our first principles for reinventing primary care for older people, we found in our research that older people 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 bring care to them, on their terms. We learn a lot about people when we visit them in their homes. Does the patient have sufficient social support? How do they manage their medications? Their meals? Are they alone? Often these factors determine outcomes even more than clinical interventions. When a patient comes to a clinic, we lose the opportunity to gain a comprehensive understanding of their health. Our whole model is based on the idea that our healthcare team comes to patients where they are and sees people, not as a data point but as dynamic individuals.
Much has been said about digital transformation and the pace of digital over the past three years. And the same can be said for using artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve health outcomes. Can you give me specific ways in which Patina takes advantage of new technologies and methods to improve results?
Jack: What sets Patina apart is how we combine our technology with in-person care to create a personalized, tactile experience for our patients and their loved ones. We bring technology home, allowing us to assess the health of our patients 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 measurement-based assessment we get from digital technology. For example, our champion 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. Additionally, the AI takes this information and compares the heart rate to a massive data set, flagging heart murmurs or other cardiac issues for the clinician in real time. Together, our app, virtual visits, and AI-powered technology help providers interact with their patients more frequently, build lasting relationships, and be proactive when additional care is needed.
Jack: Sixty million Americans are over the age of 65, and 90 million will reach that age by 2060. This population faces changes in function and mobility, and often develops chronic conditions, resulting in an increased need for high-quality health care and personalized support. Yet most older people face a fragmented and uncoordinated health system. They end up with several doctors who make short visits to solve problems rather than prevent them. Adults 65 and older often self-manage their care. Patina is here to reverse these challenges, allowing each person to age with dignity and be seen, respected and supported. We do this with a team of experienced and empathetic people who use modern technology to create a personalized care experience.
I wish you and Patina the best, Jack.
Jack: Thank you.