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If You Build It, Will They Come?
Episode

Julie Kosteas Baker, Vice President of Access Mobile International

If You Build It, Will They Come?

In this podcast, Julie Kosteas Baker, Vice President of Access Mobile International, discusses what her company is doing to drive patient engagement through optimized mobile communication.

Julie highlights Access Mobile’s focus and why the company is driving change through the mobile communication platform. She shares insights on SMS communication and how race, ethnicity, and health literacy all play roles in an effective message. This is a great conversation so please tune in!

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If You Build It, Will They Come?

About Julie Baker

Julie is the Vice President of Business Development for Access Mobile’s US business. She is a Healthcare Business Development Professional with 15 years of experience scaling evidence-based programs across all sectors.

Before joining Access Mobile, Julie was Vice President of Health Solutions at Cecelia Health, a clinician-led and tech-enabled diabetes management solution. Before Cecelia Health, Julie worked at the National Council on Aging for nearly 10 years, directing their healthy aging initiatives in partnership with multiple departments under Health and Human Services, Stanford University, and numerous philanthropies. Julie holds an MBA from Yale School of Public Health and both a BA with honors in Psychology and Certification in Gerontology from the College of the Holy Cross.

If You Build It, Will They Come? with Julie Kosteas Baker, Vice President of Access Mobile International transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

If You Build It, Will They Come? with Julie Kosteas Baker, Vice President of Access Mobile International was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket, Saul Marquez is here and today I have the privilege of hosting Julie Kosteas Baker. She is the Vice President of Business Development for Access Mobile’s US business. She is a Healthcare Business Development Professional with 15 years of experience scaling evidence-based programs across all sectors. She excels at forming strategic partnerships that embed innovative health care solutions into standardized practice. As the VP of Business Development for Access Mobile Julie is responsible for developing best practices across the sales continuum, from identifying key stakeholders to progressing opportunities through the pipeline and expanding solution offerings for existing customers. Prior to joining Access Mobile, Julie was Vice President of Health Solutions at Cecelia Health, a clinician-led and tech enabled diabetes management solution. She led the company and sales to health plans, employers and providers. Prior to Cecelia Health, Julie worked at the National Council on Aging for nearly 10 years, directing their healthy aging initiatives in partnership with multiple departments under Health and Human Services, Stanford University and numerous philanthropies. Julie holds an MBA from Yale School of Public Health and both a BA with honours in Psychology and Certification in Gerontology from the College of the Holy Cross. Julie, excited to to chat with you today and learn more about what you guys are up to and Access Mobile. But before we do, I want to welcome you. Thank you for being here.

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, me too. And so you guys are doing some really neat things around mobile engagement. Before we dive into those and how they’re making a difference in health care, I’d love to learn more about what got you into health care.

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Great. Great question. So health care is ubiquitous, and yet it’s not. And what I mean by that is, as you’ve seen, especially in the 21st century, there’s so many applications, mobile devices, and yet obviously still so many brick and mortar institutions to support patients and consumers and their health care journey. But with that, there are also so many challenges and barriers. And so while it feels like it’s an ever present and available, it’s not. And so what really inspires me is figuring out how to break those silos, those challenges and the barriers, both in the in-person setting but also in the digital and remote setting.

Saul Marquez:
And there’s a lot of work to be done there. So it’s crucial that we have minds like yours on this. So tell us a little bit more, Julie, about what you guys are doing at Access Mobile to add value to the health care ecosystem.

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Sure. So I think we all recognize and appreciate that behavior change is so hard. Otherwise, I think most anyone that will be listening to this wouldn’t even have a job. Right. We’re all here to to help support patients and end users to improve their health behaviors and sustain those over time. But it is difficult and it’s difficult for, again, that some of the challenges and barriers that I mentioned, but just having access to health care that we live in an infodemic right? Right now, we’re being bombarded with information where we’re unclear as to what is accurate and just even being able to digest that information. And so Access Mobile really adds such tremendous value and that we’re making information not only available through the ways we reach. And I’ll talk a little bit more about that in just a second, but also digestible. And we really focus on making services accessible, whether you live in a rural or frontier area or you live in a very diverse urban setting. So we lead actually our communication strategy through mobile messaging or SMS.

Julie Kosteas Baker:
And the reason we lead with text is because we know that ninety eight percent of folks are using text as the primary application on their phones. And I think we even forget that texting is an application because it’s just so ever present and kind of in your face. It’s really hard to avoid a text. We live in a very notification based world, so much so that I think you’ll notice that every time you download an app, the first thing it does is ask you if you would like to receive push notifications because otherwise you wouldn’t open the app or return to the app. So we see text as kind of what I like to call the path of least resistance. Most everyone has a mobile phone and whether it’s a smartphone or not, you’re able text, you’re opening text within three minutes of receiving them and reading them. So we know that the reach and kind of what I like to refer to is that dose response is, is there and it’s very high. But it’s not so simple, it’s just sending a text that we like to keep it simple for the end user, the patient that’s receiving these texts, there’s a lot that goes into it. And so this probably leads to maybe ask some more questions about how we do what we do best.

Saul Marquez:
But yeah. Yeah, Julie. So for sure. And then the one the one question that I had before going there is so there’s text right. and then there’s the other text Eco-Systems like and depending on the culture community, Right., there’s WeChat, there’s WhatsApp, there’s all these other sub texting areas where there is concentration and attention. Are you guys focused mainly on cellular texting or are you also branching into these other platforms?

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Yeah, great question. So actually, the company was founded, Access Mobile was found in Africa 10 years ago. And so we do leverage in developing countries, Africa included. What we saw was they actually leapfrog technologies. And so but still recognizing that broadband is an ever present. And all countries we do have Usst we do use WhatsApp and other means to be texting, not just as SMS as we would do primarily in the US. And yeah, and just a little history as to why, too.

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Ironically, and I’m first generation Greek American and I think our our founder Kepi was noticing the same thing when he’s first generation Ghanaian American and when he was visiting his family in the early 2000s and I was doing the same, we both noticed this juxtaposition of having high mobile penetration and yet poor access to quality care. And so thinking through how can we leverage the mobile device, something that everyone, almost everyone had in their hands to provide them better information, more timely information and drive them to access health care in their communities. And so we it’s always important to us to continue to make sure whether you have a smartphone or a simple cell phone, no matter who your cell carrier is or what the service is that you’re able to access text,

Saul Marquez:
That’s great. I always found that interesting Right. the whole leapfrog in Africa. They completely circumvented the wired telecommunications and went straight to mobile. Fascinating how that happened. And so what would you say makes Access Mobile different or better than what’s available today as far as engagement?

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Sure. So I think there’s two things we do best. The one, again, because I reference we’re not a texting company. While texting is one of our leading communication channels, for the reasons I mentioned, it’s not so simple as just sending a text or sending text at scale, which which we do. But really what goes into one hundred and sixty character text that can actually allow the end user to slowly change their behavior. And I think the two things we excel at are precision. So using our behavior science expertise to know exactly what each message should entail based on the demographics of the end user. So anything from social determinants of health to any personal determinants of health at play, but also our cultural competency and so really understanding by segment and cohort we’re talking to and then framing that message appropriately.

Julie Kosteas Baker:
So, for example, we could have a message for poorly controlled diabetics and yet it will be framed three or four different ways, depending on the cohort or the demographic we’re speaking to based on cultural competencies such as race, ethnicity, knowing their their health literacy. And so the framing is really important because the way you frame a message while mane and tail the same content will really help trigger a response from that end user. So knowing if it needs to be a loskarn framework or one with peer pressure or social persuasion,

Saul Marquez:
It’s these little things that can make a big difference in response rate.

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Definitely. So, yeah, we have tremendous response rates and even more so more recently, when we started deploying covid specific messaging, it just speaks to one how hungry individuals are for information, but information that speaks to them. And they know it’s coming from a trusted source, too, because we take the time and use the science to make sure it’s precise.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, that’s that’s interesting. And so as you reflect on what Access Mobile does. Is there anything you could point to that says we’ve improved outcomes or we’ve made business better? Can you tell me about something there?

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Sure. So we primarily work, at least on the US side with large payers or insurers and health systems. And I think, you know, on the payer side, what we see is that and I’ve seen this throughout my career, is the incentives are aligned or when you’re improving clinical and quality outcomes, you’re ultimately bettering the business. Because when you improve clinical outcomes, whether it be medication, adherence, diet, exercise or quality outcomes like closing gaps in care, you’re going to reduce costs and increase revenue, respectively. We also see this, though, on the provider health system side. When you’re supporting appropriate service utilization and increasing patient satisfaction, you’re ultimately again going to reduce costs or increase revenues. So it’s important for me just given my background in public health, but I think also my moral compass, that the incentives align. If we’re going to improve both the patient and provider experience and make them healthier, then ultimately those should align with also improving the bottom line for businesses, decreasing costs, increasing revenue. So that’s a win win. We’re doing good and we’re doing well at the same time.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. That’s great. And it’s it’s not easy. I’m sure you guys have made tweaks and and improvements to how you do things and how you approach the market or how you approach patients. Is there one particular setback that you could point us to that you’ve learned the most from or the companies learn the most from to make you guys better?

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Yes. So I think the company came stateside about two and a half years ago and spent up until that point, about eight years of really doing intensive R&D in Africa and learning a lot in terms of reaching for rural and frontier populations and disparate populations and bringing that to the US. I think you’ll have your partners who it really resonates with them all the learnings and insights we’ve drawn from our Africa business. And then you’ll have others that will push back and maybe be very ethnocentric and say that doesn’t apply to us. And so we have to be careful with how we frame things for certain US clients and partners. But I think now, more than ever, the US is appreciating just how much disparities are ever present and that the work we learned abroad is very applicable to what we do in the US. And so just I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a setback, but it’s been a bit of a learning curve both for us and some of our partners to get kind of on board.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, yeah. It’s it’s more of you guys have been pitching in and you’ve had different reception around the message of what you guys have learned in Africa. And there’s been a shift there’s a shift in applications of and belief that social determinants of health is actually going to make an impact, positive impact to my patients. And my bottom line, if I do something about it, what else are they doing over there? So there’s a it’s been a good shift in people’s openness, I think, to.

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Definitely.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. And, you know, you guys have stuck with it, which is which is a big deal. It’s easy to give up. So as you as you think about some of the strides you guys are making, what would you say you’re most excited about?

Julie Kosteas Baker:
I think to piggyback on what we were just discussing is really bridging the equality gap. There’s you know, unfortunately, this pandemic has caused the entire nation to really look head on at just the inequalities that have been in health care forever. And it’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic. But I also see so many opportunities and that everyone’s really getting behind looking beyond the traditional health care institution and looking at how do we make health ubiquitous, not health care. And so looking at social determinants of health more strategically, recognizing that you can’t do it alone, it really does take a village. It’s not going to just take having quality providers and quality institutions. It is going to take community organizations and local businesses to help support individuals and recognize that there’s a myriad of factors at play that help keep people healthy or turn them into more healthy behaviors and appropriate services. And so I’m excited that we have this widespread adoption now of not just telehealth and remote monitoring, but also really appreciate the power of community and insurers and providers looking on how to partner more strategically with those local organizations.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, it’s definitely exciting. And access matters how we do it matters. And there’s there’s certainly a lot of energy and a lot of efforts post covid. So I’m excited for you guys. Julie, as you think about how we wrap up today, what closing thought would you give our listeners and what would you say the best place they could reach out if they want to continue the conversation is.

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Sure. I think a big challenge. The status quo. We know that what we were doing wasn’t working or it wasn’t ideal or optimal. And so, you know, let’s think outside the box. Let’s again, let’s figure out how do you make health ubiquitous, not health care. And I think we’re hearing this a lot, too, from from national and local organizations that are moving more towards health and not health care. And so don’t don’t ever displayed any idea. I see lots of folks even suggesting using barbershops or hairdressers as a means to start building community support and being the kind of the voice to help consumers and patients navigate health care. So continue to challenge yourself, question the millions of apps and devices out there on health and health care. Are they reaching those that they’re supposed to reach? If they are great, are they effective? If not, why not? So let’s continue to challenge ourselves in terms of reaching me. You can email me at Julie.baker@accessmobileinc.com. I’d love to hear from folks.

Saul Marquez:
This is great, Julie. And yeah, you got to be open minded. I mean, there’s a lot of people I mean, I’ll tell you what, I go to the barbershop more than I do to the doctor and I and I and I’m like, proud of going to the doctor once a year just for my head. But I still go to the barber shop once every month and a half or two months Right.. So there’s something there. You what can we do? Be open to ideas. And I think that’s the the inspiration Julie’s leaving us with. If you want to learn more about Access Mobile, just go to Access Mobile dot io and if you go to Outcomes Rocket, that health type in Julie Baker or Julie Costar’s Baker in the search bar, you’ll find her email address there. You could connect with her and learn more about the company and what they’re up to and how they can help you engage with your patients. So, Julie, I just want to say thank you for joining us. This was a ton of fun.

Julie Kosteas Baker:
Awesome. Thank you so much.

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Things You’ll Learn

How Access Mobile is helping support patients and end-users to improve health behavior.

Access Mobile differentiator from other communication platforms

When incentives are aligned, you also improve clinical outcomes.

To improve health, it takes not just quality providers and quality institutions but also community organizations and local businesses.

Reference

https://www.accessmobile.io/