Terrific conversation on the future of Telemedicine.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing yourself as well as eVisit to our audience.
Bret Larsen: I’m one of the founders and CEO of eVisit, a market-leading virtual care platform built for enterprise health systems. At this point in the pandemic, we’ve all experienced a telemedicine visit. We build the workflows and technology to enable some of the nation’s largest healthcare providers and health systems deliver their care and advance their care delivery strategy.
Sramana Mitra: Very interesting and very contemporary. Let’s talk a bit more about several clicks down in the depths of your activity. How do you do what you do? I assume you’re selling to the insurance companies.
Bret Larsen: Our target customers are health systems around the country.
Sramana Mitra: Talk to me about how your system is architected and how are you doing what you’re doing.
Bret Larsen: We’re based in the cloud. Our applications are built through various technologies. Backend is a Ruby framework and the frontend uses React Native. The platform itself is architected in a way that it’s highly-configurable. Healthcare is an interesting market. You have all these businesses that operate differently. We found early on that the need to provide a configurable experience was important.
When you think about what eVisit helps to deliver, most patients will never know they’re using our platform. A patient is invited to have a visit. Our workflow helps them walk through the intake process.
We collect medical information, insurance information, and credit card information. They get to the point where they can select a physician or be introduced to a physician and receive care. Prescription is sent to their pharmacy and they can go pick it up and be on their way to feeling better. A great way to think about it is that we’ve created the digital analog to the experience that we have when getting care physically.
Sramana Mitra: A question that comes to my mind is that every hospital system has an EMR system that takes care of the old workflow of people visiting their physicians and getting care. It sounds like the telemedicine angle or the electronic visit has required a whole new player like yourself to come into the picture. The EMRs were not able to make that transition. Am I observing this right or are the EMRs also playing in this market?
Bret Larsen: They’re trying to compete. There are a few meaningful points that make them a sub-par solution. If you look at what an EMR is intended to do, it’s a billing platform. It’s a way to document services that were provided so that it can be organized and submitted to payers to receive payment for services rendered.
The only reason EMRs have a business is because the people who buy it don’t have to use it. It’s handling such a complex need that the user experience is not great. When the pandemic hit, there was a lot of conversation around how the pandemic has accelerated telemedicine by 20 years and that we’d never go back. What I think the pandemic actually accelerated was the consumerization of care. We don’t want to be treated as patients anymore.
As consumers, we want to have a choice. Healthcare is not great at providing that experience. When was the last time you continued to bring your business into an experience where they don’t show up on time? It’s not consumer-oriented. What the pandemic accelerated was the consumerization of care. As a patient, I now know I have options. If I need care in Phoenix, I can go to one of three different health systems. Ultimately, I’m going to choose the experience that provides the best outcome and experience.
Some of us use Uber over Lyft. It’s all about the experience. Going back to your core question about what are the EMRs doing, and is that a competitive element; it is.