Fast Five with Warner Roberts
What is the top challenge or obstacle facing health care today?
The top challenge is democratizing access to care. There are so many barriers to receiving care – provider shortages and burnout, months-long waitlists, distance to get to a provider, lack of transportation, insurance – and the list goes on, and the problem is only getting bigger.
For example, 1 in 2 adults in the US living with a musculoskeletal (MSK) issue like back, hip and neck pain, yet only 10% of people with MSK issues will see a physical therapist. This is due to the many barriers stated above.
health plans are providing more options to receive care virtually. And the consumer now expects this as an option. This really does open the door to ensure that more people receive the care they need and deserve.
What are the top priorities for your organization this year?
Kaia Health, the world’s largest digital therapeutics company, has been the innovation leader in MSK, developing the industry’s first computer vision-based technology for exercise feedback and functional assessments while pioneering a highly efficient digital-first, technology-driven care approach. We continue to be at the forefront of innovation.
We recently announced the launch of Angela, the first AI-powered voice-based digital care assistant, to better help patients get more value and fun out of their therapy. Angela provides patients with the personalized support they need at the time and place that is most convenient for them, creating a richer, more human-like experience. Angela makes it easy for patients to engage in physical therapy, as she assists patients directly after their session. Patients speak to Angela just like they’d speak to a health coach. She checks for patient satisfaction, explores any concerns and summarizes them for the care team, and helps the patient with adherence by discussing when they’ll next perform their therapy.
Other priorities include:
- An improved therapy experience with new physical exercises, enhanced support for mental health, and fall prevention and balance content for senior health
- New objective assessments using motion analysis to increase patient engagement and adherence while deepening our care team’s insight
- Spanish program availability to improve care access for millions of Americans around the country
- More natural engagement with digital care through an AI virtual assistant and stronger care team loops
What technological advancements make you most excited in health care today?
All the recent advancements in voice AI and large language modules. While regulations are needed around this, there is tremendous opportunity, as leveraging this appropriately can help scale care and overcome barriers to care.
We’ve developed Angela to act as a medical assistant, where she can collect appropriate patient information, summarize that information for care teams, and assist patients with general understanding of their therapy. We’ve received some great feedback from our early adopters. They feel Angela has improved their daily experience, and feel that Angela coupled with their existing care team really gives them the best of both worlds.
What do you feel are the key drivers of health care transformation?
I feel one of the key drivers of transformation is the power of the patient. Patients are demanding high-quality, accessible care. This coupled with the pandemic forced health care to provide care in a way that was new and different. We learned that telehealth does work for both the provider and the patient, and that demand continues after the pandemic. Providers relied more heavily on digital health and remote patient monitoring.
How do you think health care stakeholders can bring care closer to consumers/patients?
There really needs to be an increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). All stakeholders need to double down on solutions that increase access to care for everyone, everywhere. We need to address social determinants of health. Health care delivery and digital solutions need to be designed around improving the social, economic, and environmental wellbeing of all communities. Kaia Health has focused on making sure our solution is accessible anytime, anywhere through the user’s own device, helping ensure equal outcomes for participants of all demographics and backgrounds.
Senior Vice President