One of the biggest names in digital healthcare, consumer-driven healthcare and hospital administration is finding a new home at Google.
The fact that David Feinberg, the current CEO at Geisinger Health in Pennsylvania, is moving to a new post at Alphabet Inc., the parent of Google, also speaks volumes about the seriousness the largest search engine company has about making a big splash in digital healthcare.
Google has yet to formally acknowledge its hiring of Feinberg, who has headed up Geisinger, a major healthcare system serving northeastern and central Pennsylvania, since 2012.But Geisinger has confirmed that Steinberg is leaving in January “to assume a leadership role at Google.”
Several news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, also are reporting that Feinberg is leaving Geisinger to devise and coordinate a somewhat loose digital healthcare strategy at Google. CNBC is reporting that when he assumes his new duties at Google, Feinberg will report to Jeff Dean, senior fellow at Google and the architect of its emerging healthcare strategy.
Reportedly, Feinberg will be charged with building a centralized digital, mobile and consumer healthcare strategy, working to implement that strategy across diverse business lines at Google and further hiring a senior healthcare management staff.
Geisinger has confirmed that Steinberg is leaving in January “to assume a leadership role at Google.
Google already has made significant moves into different areas of digital and mobile healthcare. As the biggest search engine, Google has its fingers in a lot of healthcare pies.
But among the biggest priorities for Google in healthcare are measuring search results to better understand chronic disease and, from an advertiser standpoint, how to respond more immediately to changing consumer healthcare behavior.
For example, its life sciences and healthcare company, Verily, is working with Duke University School of Medicine and Stanford Medicine on Project Baseline study, which is collecting health data from approximately 10,000 participants, who will each be followed over the course of at least four years. The study will try to better understand the transition from health to disease and identify additional risk factors for disease. Beyond this initial study, Project Baseline will test and develop new tools and technologies to access, organize and activate health information.
For advertisers, especially for big drug makers, Google is working with pharmaceutical companies to create proactive versus reactive digital marketing programs by better understanding search patterns. For example, Google worked with one pharmaceutical company that makes acne medicine to develop an app with features that enabled teenagers with acne to take complexion “selfies,” post the images every couple of weeks on a timeline and compare how their appearance improves over time using the medication.
Google is hiring Feinberg to help make all of its healthcare initiatives relative to consumers and new ways of delivering virtual medicine.
At Geisinger, which provides care to more than 2.6 million people in 44 counties in Pennsylvania, Feinberg helped to build and run one of the country’s most consumer and digitally focused health systems.
For example If patients are mad, unhappy or just plain not satisfied with how they were treated by their doctor or hospital, Feinberg and Geisinger updated a mobile app that gives them at least some of their money back.
Launched in November 2015, Geisinger’s ProvenExperience app for Android or Apple devices lets a consumer rate a hospital stay or office visit.
The app features nine screens that asks users to detail their complaints. For example, it offers a drop-down menu to determine if the cause of a complaint was administrative, related to a doctor or nurse or if a recent episode of care “didn’t reduce or adequately adjust my pain.” Another series of screens lets patients request a refund and explain why they are asking for one.
Geisinger launched the app to bring more retail-like customer service to healthcare. “The way I see it, if you go into Starbucks and you’re not happy with your order, they don’t sip your latte and argue that they made it correctly. They just take care of you on the spot,” says Feinberg. “What matters to me is that every patient is satisfied with their treatment, and so I started thinking, ‘What is our guarantee? What is our refund?’ We need to be disruptive to move the practice of providing great patient experience forward and so the decision was made to give unsatisfied patients their money back.”
To replace Feinberg, Geisinger has named Jaewon Ryu as interim president and CEO. Ryu has served as executive vice president and chief medical officer since September 2016.
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