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Page 458 – Stanford Medicine X

If you build it, will they use it? How understanding context and motivators can exponentially amplify consumers use of healthcare technology-based services & tools

Jeff Rubin jeff.rubin@accolade.com
Shaundra Eichstadt shaundra.eichstadt@grandroundshealth.com
Alan Spiro alan.spiro@accolade.com


As healthcare continues to witness an exponential explosion of data, tools and technology, we run the risk of equating technology with patient engagement. But data and technology can only enable engagement, not ensure it. Engagement must start first and foremost with the individual.  Understanding the context in which a person is making a decision or taking an action is key, particularly when you are offering a technology service or tool that is unfamiliar. Contextual issues include competing responsibilities, finances, skills/abilities/knowledge and emotional state, among others.

Accolade, a healthcare consumer services company, was built upon the philosophy that when technology is seamlessly woven into a personal, one-to-one healthcare relationship, it can truly empower and engage patients, even in a fragmented system.  In developing its model, Accolade drew from psychology and social science principles to consider the role of trust, life context and behavioral economics – how to leverage external and internal motivations to influence behaviors.  

Technology-based services and applications play a valuable role in helping consumers get the right information at the right time to manage their health and to make smarter health decisions. Accolade curates “best in class” technology-based services and tools such as provider finders, second opinion consultation services and telemedicine providers. Because Accolade Health Assistants undergo rigorous training that teaches them to focus on the whole person and consider context and personal motivators, not just his or her medical need, they are able to tap into the right technology solutions at the right time for their clients. As a result, Accolade is a force multiplier for technology solutions, supporting more and better consumer reach. 

In this session, Accolade’s chief medical officer and chief health assistant, Alan Spiro, will lead a panel discussion that will explore:

  • What does the health care consumer really need?
  • Are technology services and tools adequately filling that need?
  • What’s the consumer experience around and apart from their use of technology and how does this impact their use of technology?
  • How can we apply behavioral economics to increase use of health care technology?
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