- Healthcare giants are hiring chief digital officers to help the companies better use technology within their businesses.
- Business Insider recently spoke with Firdaus Bhathena, the chief digital officer of CVS Health, who joined the organization as part of its health insurer Aetna in 2016.
- Bhathena is working on finding ways to improve the consumer experience by better linking data between CVS’s different businesses.
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Firdaus Bhathena can think of a number of different projects that would keep him incredibly busy.
Technology is coming for healthcare, and the centuries-old companies in the industry are facing a steep learning curve.
So they’ve brought on experts liked Bhathena to helm up the companies digital strategies. Bhathena is the chief digital officer of CVS Health, first came into his role in 2016 as a part of Aetna, the massive health insurer CVS acquired in 2018.
Within the now combined company, Bhathena has to avoid being spread too thin.
Using technology for a simpler consumer experience
What’s driving Bhathena’s group, he said, is a focus on improving the consumer experience within the whole organization, rather than focusing on a particular part of the business.
That can be as basic as making sure the website is up and running or powering the technology that allows users to check if there’s a MinuteClinic appointment available.
Ideally, Bhathena said, it’d be a world in which CVS could have a comprehensive picture of a person so that when they come in for a visit, the organization understands that you’re an Aetna member who uses CVS Caremark to manage prescription benefits, and that you’ve been in for three clinic visits in the past month.
It could also mean getting more precise with messaging, such a prompting an Aetna member who hasn’t been to the doctor in years to go, rather than reaching out to all Aetna members, including those who have been in to see their doctors recently.
In particular, there are three areas of technology Bhathena is paying close attention to: AI for healthcare, connected devices, and virtual care. Ideally, those technologies combined could make getting care more connected and easy to use for consumers.
“I hope that in the next three years, when you join a health plan, you won’t just get a glossy brochure in the mail,” Bhathena said.
Instead, you’ll also get a box with connected devices that might be able to help you better triage health incidents with the help of AI, figuring out if you might need to have a virtual visit or come in for an urgent-care or emergency-room visit, and connecting all the way to a pharmacy if a prescription is needed that could be delivered to your door.