The Emergence of “Clinical Response Marketing”

June 2, 2015

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Seasoned tech entrepreneurs Dr. Philip Marshall and West Shell III founded Conversa Health, headquartered in San Francisco, in 2013. Conversa’s platform delivers automated digital checkups, helping physicians manage relationships with patients between office visits.

A Shared Vision

Early in 2014, Marshall and Shell met with Dr. Danny Sands, a leading figure in patient engagement, to discuss the concept. A few months earlier, Sands had written an article for an academic publication about non-visit-based care. “The theme of the article was that we need to be thinking differently about healthcare,” Sands says. “In this age of consumers doing all kinds of things [digitally], wouldn’t frequent light touches in between visits be much more impactful than the way we’re practicing now?” The three found that they shared a common vision, focused on the need for more contact with patients between office visits. “Our visit-based system is just so flawed because we have no idea what’s going on between those visits, and health happens between visits,” Sands says. He joined Conversa Health as Chief Medical Officer soon thereafter.

Greenfield Health Pilots Conversa’s Platform

The initial pilot of the platform was conducted at Portland-based Greenfield Health, a primary care group practice founded by Dr. Charles Kilo in 2001. Kilo is currently Chief Medical Officer of Oregon Health and Science University.

According to Kilo, Greenfield Health had a long history of finding ways to interact with patients, and from the earliest days, the majority of contacts with patients were through email and phone and not physical visits. “Conversa came around [and was] interested in the concept of the digital checkup, a way of making checkups more automated, and also in a way that would engage the individual in their own care,” says Kilo.

Here we’ll share the results of that pilot and explore how Conversa Health’s approach to digital patient communications opens new roles for healthcare marketers.


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