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May 10, 2018

5 Technologies That Inspire Our Home Healthcare Recruitment Engine

Healthcare is undergoing a modern reformation. Just look at the latest headlines from JPMorgan, Amazon, Walmart, and Berkshire Hathaway. Times they are a changin.

After years of staving of tech disruption, healthcare as an industry, collectively set itself apart from the gold rush of big data, engagement, and cloud computing. The time of tech reckoning has come for healthcare, and although the barriers seem big and the pathways grossly unpaved, many of the technologies that are so desperately needed, have already been developed, fine-tuned, and rolled out for many other industries.

The same smart tech that is empowering a $30 billion digital ad industry, can use fine-grained targeting to connect healthcare providers and caregivers. The constantly-optimizing recommendation engines, helping us fill our online carts with products we love, can connect patients with clinicians and doctors who offer relevant services. The smart location-based apps powering shared ride services, could lend their learnings to health tech companies looking to extinguish unnecessary inconveniences from nomadic health care professionals, in the trenches daily, delivering care to those who need it the most.

Our team at Swift Shift is constantly looking at the tech giants who have gone before us for inspiration. The lessons already learned and best practices that have been refined over trial and error support us as we pioneer an industry that is in need of a touch of tech. We have the privilege of improving the lives of nurses and caregivers, and ultimately helping the most vulnerable sections of our society.

Here is our homage to the tech disruptors who have gone before us.


Lesson: How to induce demand

UberCab, as it was called five years ago, allowed San Franciscans to do something revolutionary – order a ride from their smartphones. Uber has fought regulations and new barriers with each new geography it has conquered. Now operating in 58 countries, Uber has made it, but the road wasn’t easy. Learn more about that here.

Uber helped induce demand for an industry that wasn’t broken but had an abundance of untapped potential. Taxis worked perfectly fine before Uber came along. However, the vision was much bigger and now this pioneering company is working hard to bring driverless calls into fruition.

Why it matters to Health Tech:

As healthcare faces a nurse shortage that is reaching crisis level, there is much we can learn from Uber and it’s persistence to create convenience and ease. By breaking down barriers for nurses and caregivers to join the industry, and injecting the same digital efficiency to their jobs that other careers enjoy, we can attract, hire, and keep greater numbers in this valuable workforce.


Lesson: Taking a Risk While Building Trust

Pre-2014, if you suggested that over 640,000 people would be earning additional income by hosting strangers in their homes, apartments, or extra bedrooms – most people would scoff. That’s exactly what Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of AirBnB encountered for years as he pedaled his vision. Now valuated at $31 billion dollars, Airbnb’s success can be attributed to stubbornness and ambition. AirBnb had a willingness to borrow lessons from various online rental businesses such as car, bike, and clothing.

Early on, safety concerns plagued this fledgling startup. With a willingness to address each issue aggressively, AirBnb created a platform that even technologically-conservative consumers were open to exploring. This was perhaps best supported by the social aspect of their platform, which includes reviews and references, and a brilliant application of Facebook Social Graph. Trust is imperative when convincing people to open their homes to strangers.

Why it matters to Health Tech:

HIPAA compliance and security are top priorities for any technology in the healthcare sector. There is no room for mistakes. Health-tech would benefit from a few lessons from AirBnB, and their readiness to address safety concerns in a meaningful way, while not letting it deter their growth. Medicine is one of the last verticals to be touched by tech – it is digitally uncharted in many aspects and has many more barriers than ecommerce. Yet, just as AirBnB didn’t give up, we follow in their stubborn footsteps.


Lesson: The Power of Working Smarter

Asana was birthed out of the creative confines of Facebook’s offices, as Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein were helping to build Facebook and needed a tool that fostered effective collaboration for teams. Years later, Asana is a core communication infrastructure, empowering teams to spend time on work, and not “work about work.” In health care, there are so many superfluous processes that we are looking to breakdown. Brands who eloquently streamline processes are our hero. Asana has managed to create an enterprise application that is actually a pleasure to use, even for something seemingly as unsexy as task management.

Marrying efficiency and excellence is not easy. Things that work and things that “shine” don’t always go hand in hand. Yet to create a solution that can be effective over time, it must offer a user experience that looks and feels easy and attractive. Each time Asana releases a new product update, it feels a flawlessly wrapped gift that its users get to unwrap.

Why it matters to Health Tech:

We are all digital consumers, regardless of the application we are interacting with, the user expectation bar is set high and a less mature industry such as health tech can’t afford to create sub-par tools. As we develop a mobile workforce management tool, our competitors are not necessarily in our field, but every mobile application our targeted users interact with daily. Elegance is just as imperative as efficiency to create a successful, sticky application.

Hotel Tonight

Lesson: If you build it smart, you still must hustle

Hotel tonight is a brilliant app allowing travelers to book a hotel stay no more than 7 days out from their reservation date. Sam Shank’s entrepreneurial drive took “a good idea” to having secured $35 million in funding and hired 100 employees. Shank’s small scrappy team built their app in only ten short weeks, but it was all hands on deck until they improved user acquisition and faced rejection from 10 VCs. Shank even manned customer service calls, sometimes answering calls at 3 am until the organization scaled.

Why it matters to health tech:

With so many added intricacies in health tech because of compliance, existing infrastructure and maturity of the industry, hustle is one of the main ingredients for startup companies to truly succeed. Not only is Hotel Tonight a genius business model,  offering a comfortable user experience, it’s also an organization built with the blood, sweat, and tears of their team – which is often the difference between a good idea, and a great company.

Zoc Doc

Lesson: Paving the way for meaningful marketplaces

Oliver Kharraz has built a billion dollar marketplace that equally serves providers’ and patients’ needs. Kharraz, a doctor himself, taught himself how to code, sold a business and paid for Medical School with the profit. After many years getting to know the Medical field intimately at McKinsey, he forged out his own opportunity in this space given that patients were taking an average of 3-4 weeks to see a doctor, but doctors were only being utilized 60% of the time.

He faced down the adoption issue head on and quickly deciphered the key stakeholders for creating a liquid marketplace and overcoming friction in adoption. Understanding that emotional connections are sometimes what it takes to really make an impact, his team would swing by doctor’s office with lattes and a big smile to build relationships that echoed the trust built into his product.

Why it matters to health tech:

Zoc Doc was one of the first health tech pioneers. Their solution seems so effortless and obvious, but anyone scything through this digital virgin land, can fully grasp the determination and wherewithal it must’ve taken to get where they are now. Hat’s off to Zoc Doc, thanks for doing what you’ve done.

About The Author:

Assaf Shalvi, CEO and Founder of Swift Shift, is an entrepreneur passionate about creating infrastructure to empower labor force sectors on the low end of the earning scale. Prior to launching Swift Shift, Shalvi built, an employee marketplace platform, and worked for MAXIMUS, where he assisted governments in upgrading and streamlining workforce participation programs and policies.