Use our updated search function to find exactly what you want to learn about!
  • Type to search or press enter for full results.
Type to search or press enter for full results.

 

 

Next Generation Patient Support – Fostering Community
Episode 683

Jeff Wandzura, Chief Growth Officer at Curatio.me

Next Generation Patient Support – Fostering Community

Studies have shown the importance of peer to peer support in improving the health and well-being of individuals with chronic disease. In this episode, we are excited to host Jeff Wandzura, the Chief Growth Officer at Curatio networks. Curatio is the world’s first social health prescription company. 

Jeff discusses how his company hopes to improve patients’ health by providing a social networking platform for patients looking to connect with each other and with trusted health information. He shares the impact of peer to peer support in a holistic and organic way, ensuring that the platform is highly compliant with the different regulations and intricacies of healthcare, and how the company leverages data to create personalizations. Jeff also shared stats around engagement, incentivizing members, and more. 

We’ve really enjoyed our interview with Jeff and we hope you do, too!

Want to start your own podcast or have someone else manage yours professionally?

Don’t let technical busy work hold you back from sharing your genius!

Learn Now

Get The Latest In Your Inbox

SUBSCRIBE

Next Generation Patient Support – Fostering Community

Episode 683

About Guest

Jeff Wandzura is the Chief Growth Officer at Curatio. Jeff is a pharmacist by trade, a digital health geek at heart, and an angel investor and health care executive. Prior to Curatio, he was the Vice President of Innovation at BioScript Solutions, a national provider of specialty pharmacy and infusion clinic services, payer solutions, patient support programs and drug wholesale offerings. He was also a Co-Founder and CEO at PatientPrep and MobiCare Health. Jeff was selected as one of Canada’s Next 36 and CBC Future 40 award winners.

Next Generation Patient Support – Fostering Community with Jeff Wandzura, Chief Growth Officer at Curatio.me transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Next Generation Patient Support – Fostering Community with Jeff Wandzura, Chief Growth Officer at Curatio.me 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 2021. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, Outcomes Rocket listeners, Saul Marquez here. I get what a phenomenal asset a podcast could be for your business and also how frustrating it is to navigate editing and production, monetization, and achieving the ROI you’re looking for. Technical busywork shouldn’t stop you from getting your genius into the world, though. You should be able to build your brand easily with a professional podcast that gets attention. A patched-up podcast could ruin your business. Let us do the technical busy work behind the scenes while you share your genius on the mic and take the industry stage. Visit smooth podcasting.com to learn more. That’s smoothpodcasting.com to learn more.

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket, Saul Marquez here. Today, I have the privilege of hosting Mr. Jeff Wandzura. He is the Chief Growth Officer at Curatio. Jeff is a pharmacist by trade, digital health geek at heart, and an angel investor and health care executive. After two successful exits with his previous digital health ventures and tenure as an executive at one of the largest specialty pharmacy infusion clinic and patients program networks, he currently serves as the Chief Growth Officer of Curatio networks. I’m excited to host him today. He’s going to talk to us about how they’re providing next-generation patient support on their platform. Jeff, such a pleasure to have you here.

Jeff Wandzura:
First of all, thanks for having me, Saul. I’ve been listening to your podcast for some time, and it’s humbling to be included with some of the pioneers in the digital health care space.

Saul Marquez:
Thank you, man. I appreciate that. And you guys are doing some fascinating work. So before we dive into Curatio and how you guys are making a difference, tell us a little bit more about you and your health care journey. What keeps you in the game?

Jeff Wandzura:
I was exposed to the health care space fairly early on in my journey as we own a family pharmacy. And over the years more acutely during my time in pharmacy school, I came to realize that patient outcomes are less defined by the episodic interactions by health care professionals and more so by the small nudges that drive incremental behavior change on a day to day basis. So throughout that time, again, I’ve been involved in a number of digital health ventures and I’ve seen the platform and I guess the ecosystem evolve over time. And now it’s really kind of putting the rubber to the road and seeing how we can further catalyze this digital transformation within the space.

Saul Marquez:
It is exciting. And the opportunity to provide value has never been greater. We’re becoming more consumer-focused in health care. And it’s an exciting time, as you and I were connecting here before the podcast. Jeff, talk to us a little bit about what you guys are up to at Curatio and how exactly you’re adding value to the health care ecosystem.

Jeff Wandzura:
No, it’s a good question. So I say maybe to kick things off. One of the fundamental problems facing digital platforms and health care more broadly is a consistent engagement and longtail retention of their users. So those users representing patients, family members, caregivers. So a number of different user roles. Other industries have leveraged social and peer to peer support in a very compelling way, which has a high engagement and retention factor. So really, the question is, how can we responsibly blend these two in a way that makes sense for the health care setting and create a dedicated platform in which we can start to again scale this in a regulatory and privacy-compliant way. And this is what’s really inhibited the growth in the trajectory of peer to peer support in these settings. So how can we start to, again, take into account the intricacies of the health care environment and drive that different types of behavioral nudges along the way. Because when you saw that engagement retention challenge, you have the best opportunity to drive behavior and positive behavior change on a day to day basis. So what we do at Curation is create regulatory and privacy compliant peer to peer networks and we go to work with our customers. So this represents the life sciences space to providers, to payers, to government agencies on how they can create customized, brandable and configurable platforms that represent the brand and their offerings, again, to provide peer to peer support in a way that makes sense for the health care ecosystem.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, that’s really interesting because, I mean, as we said today, things are fragmented. There’s been kind of like gravitation toward Facebook and Facebook communities. Obviously, all the issues with Facebook that we know of prove that that’s not really maybe not the best place to do this type of work. So so you guys are offering something with high security and an opportunity to collaborate securely. So talk to us a little bit about how you’re making a difference.

Jeff Wandzura:
Yeah, it’s a good question. So what we do and again, just to go and pass the privacy and regulatory concerns and really just to unpack that a little bit as to why that’s been inhibitor blocker for the full utilization within the health care ecosystem. And as you mentioned, these groups are organically forming, proliferating within these traditional social contexts. But all these stakeholders are saying I have an inability to connect with my patients and support them in a different way, just give them the channel that we’re interacting with. So when it comes to how we’re making an impact again and say there are three core levers that we’re leveraging. So one is matching peer to peer is in a very intelligent and holistic way. So this is bringing in demographic, clinical and psychographic information to say how can we identify patients in the community who are going through similar challenges as you? And our thesis is the more points of intersection and overlap you have with an individual, the more likely you are to form a long-lasting relationship and bond that drives those disease management behaviors. When you have that high engagement, that higher attention factor with the peer to peer support that’s offered, this is allowing us again to personalize the content. And it sounds like a bit of a misnomer, oxymoron, but mass personalization.

Jeff Wandzura:
So how can you start to meet patients where they are? And we have high engagement factors with the peer to peer support. This opens up a new leaf or a new opportunity to interact, whether it be content programming or interventions. And then as well as coming full circle on the types of health trackers that are applicable to that particular community disease state or the particular molecule or therapy that we’re helping to support as a digital companion type of app. So what patients are looking for is that anonymity tied to the condition. So obviously personal health information comes with it, a number of complexities on how to maintain, again, full control over and having that type of buy-in from the patient community, as well as from the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector to say, OK, there’s a number of hoops we have to jump through from pharmacovigilance or an adverse event reporting. And that’s something that we baked in from the ground up on making this specific for the health care landscape. And again, having all the privacy and ensuring all the information within the platform is evidence-based. So, again, it’s safe, convenient, and it’s also compliant that allows your legal or regulatory teams to sleep at night.

Saul Marquez:
Now, that’s really interesting. And I love how well you’ve considered all of the stakeholders. I mean, you’re able to serve patients, providers, companies providing life sciences companies. I find that the companies making the biggest difference do a really great job of considering the multi-level stakeholder kind of ecosystem that health care provides. So talk to us about maybe an example of how you guys have been able to improve outcomes or make business better.

Jeff Wandzura:
Yeah, and I think over the course of the pandemic that we’ve kind of intuitively known the value of community and how that cascading effect of loneliness and isolation has had on people’s health, both mental well-being as well as the wellness and even their primary indication, how that changes their disease management journey over that period of time. So one of our successful deployments is in partnership with the life sciences organization, 20 countries wide. And again, this is a companion to a specific therapy. So what we’re starting to see is these peer, peer to peer connections form and the type of dialogue that’s being had within the platform is really starting to showcase. Again, patients need more than a one-dimensional treatment option and they are looking for different types of avenues, whether they’re content at a specific point in time, different types of ways to track their health outcomes. And again, what we’re starting to see is going to work with our customers, allows us to reach that audience in a different way. So in historical terms, one thing that we did publish in a peer-reviewed study in the telemedicine e-health journal showed a significant uptick in the number of, again, what was known as the IQ framework. And these endpoints were things such as improved health behaviors, an interest in self-management, and social integration.

Jeff Wandzura:
And this was during that hospital, the home transition after an acute cardiac event. So what we’ve seen, again, 70, 80 percent of those patients identified and shared the fact that these types of attributes and endpoints saw positive uptake while using the Curatio platform. I’d say the truest test of all this is just on seeing the engagement factor and the different possibilities we have on engaging patients throughout that journey. We embed social in a responsible way. So we had individuals visiting the platform up to 10 times per day, which session lengths of four to 40 minutes. So if you think about that is again, how can we layer in more value and more opportunity for us to move the needle on how they manage their health outside of that monthly cadence of visiting their pharmacy or visiting again, that their providers in a different type of care are a different sequence of events. And lastly, maybe just on our growth. So we now have users in over one hundred countries in 15 languages, and some of the largest global organizations in the life sciences space, in particular, are starting to trust us to optimize how they support their patients. So I think that’s the truest test is when you see our customers and our partners expanding the reach in different therapeutic areas and different geographies.

Saul Marquez:
Jeff, that’s really great. And I mean, you shared some of the stats around engagement and the length and the quantity of times per day. I mean, that’s meaningful. If you have somebody engaging with the app that long, they’re obviously getting value from it.

Jeff Wandzura:
Yep, I couldn’t agree more. And when you have that type of engagement, what we describe as almost a digital data exhaust. So you can understand the type of experience of the type of milestone they might be at, which allows you to further personalize that content and have those behavioral nudges. So what we’re starting to drive that really the puzzle we’re starting to solve is engagement and retention because we don’t have that relationship. You don’t have that touchpoint. You don’t have the capability or the opportunity to engage in a more compelling way. That kind of mass personalization like I shared earlier.

Saul Marquez:
Amen. Amen to that. And I’ve been having a lot of conversations with other health leaders like yourself and with the idea that these communities, these apps, they’re more than just a static repository of information. And I think those days if you’re thinking about your assets as a static information repository, you’re going to get left in the dust. Talk to us a little bit about that, Jeff. How are you guys doing more than just that?

Jeff Wandzura:
Yeah, and it really comes back to how we engage in how we go to market with our customers. So in each of the particular deployments, the platform is configurable to our specific disease state in the therapy that we’re working in. And so we engage a patient advisory board or some type of counsel from individuals are going to be using the app on a day to day basis. And from there, we start to kind of peel back the onion or unpack on what those needs are and really start to drive OK, at different points in time, different types of personas. This is how individuals want to interact with and this is how we can provide the most value. So kind of in light of that, one thing that has evolved over the period of time is the concept of peer mentorship. So how can you share that lived experience? So someone who might be further along in their therapeutic journey, sharing that type of lived experience with someone who is newly diagnosed or initiating therapy for the first time? So this is kind of one of those ways in which that content and again, the snowball effect of a community setting on organically forming those types of bonds allows it to be fresh and consistent and again, allowing us to engage patients in different ways and in a very personalized basis. So something that we are very thoughtful of is upon launching a community is how can we start to again bring in the types of service, the right type of information that’s going to be very applicable to different personas, different geographies, and different types of individuals within the app might be managing different comorbidities. So this is something that we are very thoughtful with upfront, but also listening to what kind of conversations are happening in the community so we can better reflect the content that’s produced along the way. So it isn’t that static type of instance like you shared at the start.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, I love the idea of… I wouldn’t even call it requirement and if you’re not doing this, you’re not doing it right of getting your patient panel together to really gut check and level set what you’re going to put out there, because it’s certainly, you know, it could be lonely. And I see the value right, that it could be lonely when you have some sort of chronic condition or disease and you have a treatment that probably will be a long term treatment. How awesome is it to just be able to get from your drug company? Hey, you know, here’s a community you could talk to others like you. Talk about like a weight lifted off your shoulders.

Jeff Wandzura:
Yeah, yeah. And what we’re starting to see more and more of is just the value that people see on sharing their experience. And this is kind of that transitioning role within the community. So you might start as a, again, a patient new to the community for the first time and evolve ultimately to appear to mentor someone who starts to give back in different ways. And we start the game for that process a little bit more to drive, again, the positive behavior through someone, something known as Karma Points or Karmi score. So something as trivial as recognizing someone as a patient champion within the community based on the actions they take to support their own health as well as how they’re supporting others in the community has again shown a very positive uptake on how these users are interacting with the platform over that extended period of time.

Saul Marquez:
Brilliant. So so talk to us about setbacks, Jeff. What kind of setbacks have you guys had? Maybe one in particular? And what was the key learning that helped make you guys even better?

Jeff Wandzura:
Yeah, it’s a good question. I’d say early on, certainly, one thing that we started to realize is we want to go direct to customers and we wanted to go and I guess direct to patients building a community and then finding different ways to evolve it over time. Now, the thing we learned over this time horizon is going to market with your customers is a very powerful way to engage that patient audience and a way to, again, start to build and adapt over that period of time. So things that have allowed us to unlock that type of value, that type of go to market strategy, really, is that pharmacovigilance or that regulatory considerations as well as privacy. So when you have these big global life sciences companies, you have to pass through a number of different processes, cross all your T’s, dot all your i’s. And as we’ve gone through this process a number of times with global companies, we’ve started to really identify where those pain points are and how to make this a seamless as we can for them to roll out the platform on a broader scale.

Jeff Wandzura:
So things such as an easy to say, but tough to do is having privacy, I guess, abiding by privacy principles on a global basis. So this is HIPAA in the US, GDPR in Europe, and PIPEDA in Canada, for example, as well as all the intricacies that come with reporting adverse events. So again, making sure that patients, when they are sharing some type of information related to medication, that we’re properly monitoring and reporting it in many cases, and then the making sure the community is a safe and convenient place. So the community moderation is something that we’re very thoughtful of in making sure that all the information that’s posted within the community is evidence-based material that reflects, again, what patients are going through at that particular point in time. So this is the kind of safeguards we’ve put in place that allows our partner organizations to leverage the power of peer to peer support in a more compelling way. So I’d say one of the gaps that we feel that’s become one of our biggest differentiators over the last few years,

Saul Marquez:
That’s excellent. And I could see how something like misinformation can be less helpful. You get past the benefits of connection, then become hurtful. But you guys have managed to build in processes and just ways of making sure that everything is evidence-based. I think it’s it’s a powerful solution. Kudos, man.

Jeff Wandzura:
And you’re starting to see it in a real world setting. And if you don’t have the proper controls and balances in place, so as you start again with the pandemic and how the public opinion has been shaped over time, how. We ensure that, again, people are making informed decisions based on sound information, so I think in this day and age, it’s something that’s absolutely pivotal to make sure people are making the best decisions around their health.

Saul Marquez:
I agree, Jeff. So what are you most excited about today?

Jeff Wandzura:
So for us, I think as we alluded to earlier, so on our presentation is, again, the digital transformation within the life sciences and health care space as a whole. Again, I think the stickiness is going to be there. And when you look at that patient journey, I think there are different types of ways that we can intervene in a more compelling way. So the data we’re able to capture provides us the grounds in which we can be more proactive in the type of interventions. And when I was working at the pharmacy in years past is what we started to see is when someone has an acute health issue, it’s kind of a wake-up call in a lot of ways where they change behavior. But is there an opportunity for us to start to engage these individuals before that acute event happens and change that behavior? And when that acute event does happen again, you see a sudden dramatic change in behavior for the weeks and maybe the month or two that follows. That long persistence in changing that behavior over a period of time is something that we put a lot of thought into. And I think with, again, that highly engaging in high retention factor, that when you embed social into that disease management journey, this is something that opens up a new door that hasn’t been fully explored and utilized today.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Yeah, that’s very exciting. And you guys are certainly providing a very interesting and unique approach to the opportunity of engaging communities around specialty pharma. And so love the work that you guys are up to. Folks, if you’re curious, it’s Curation.m to learn more. Go to outcomesrocket.health, use our new search bar. It works really well. Type in Jeff Curatio. You’ll find our entire transcript and show notes there and links. Jeff, why don’t you leave us with the closing thought and the best place where the listeners could connect with you or somebody on the team to learn more or participate.

Jeff Wandzura:
So I just want to thank you for having me on the show and on the podcast, Saul. So I’d say over the next few years it’s going to be pivotal for digital health and really understanding where different stakeholders in the health care ecosystem are going to line. You’re going to have those digital laggards. You’re going to have those leaders and pioneers. So, again, depending on what camp you fit, and I think it’s going to holistically define where, again, the value is accrued. As we start to gain more and more visibility, more and more traction into the lens of value-based outcomes and real-world evidence that supports these types of agreements, people are going to be more inclined to say, how can we shape that that patient experience and the narrative and ultimately the outcomes that are tied to supporting patients in new ways. So not necessarily looking at this as a one-dimensional treatment option, whether it be in a hospital, in the clinic, or a treatment option from a pharmacotherapy standpoint. But looking at that entire person to say how can we start to provide them with the behavioral nudges in the right direction? So we’re always excited to talk to other people in the health care ecosystem who are also innovating and doing things in a different way. So if folks do want to get a hold of me, you can reach me at . And you can also follow me on Twitter @jwandzy.

Saul Marquez:
Love it, Jeff. Well, hey, I really appreciate you coming on and sharing this very unique platform you guys are building and having success with. And we’re certainly rooting for your continued success and the continued support and health of the lives that you guys are impacting. So big thanks to you, Jeff.

Jeff Wandzura:
Awesome. Thanks again. Take care.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, everyone. Saul Marquez here. Have you launched your podcast already and discovered what a pain it can be to keep up with editing, production, show notes, transcripts, and operations? What if you could turn over the keys to your podcast busywork while you do the fun stuff like expanding your network and taking the industry stage? Let us edit your first episode for free so you can experience the freedom. Visit smoothpodcasting.com to learn more. That’s smoothpodcasting.com to learn more.

Automatically convert your audio files to text with Sonix. Sonix is the best online, automated transcription service.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Automated transcription is getting more accurate with each passing day. Do you have a podcast? Here’s how to automatically transcribe your podcasts with Sonix. Audio to text transcription just got more accurate. Automated transcription is better when you can easily collaborate and share the transcripts; our powerful permissioning system makes collaboration a breeze. Rapid advancements in speech-to-text technology has made transcription a whole lot easier. Lawyers need to transcribe their interviews, phone calls, and video recordings. Most choose Sonix as their speech-to-text technology.

Get the most out of your audio content with Sonix. Easily and quickly transcribe your lectures and research interviews; Sonix is made for and has generous student discounts. Automated algorithms have improved a lot over the past decade. Researchers better analyze their interviews by transcribing their video and audio recordings with Sonix.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Sonix is the best online audio transcription software in 2021—it’s fast, easy, and affordable.

If you are looking for a great way to convert your audio to text, try Sonix today.


Things You’ll Learn

  • Patient outcomes are less defined by the episodic interactions by health care professionals and more so by the small nudges that drive incremental behavior change on a day to day basis.
  • The more points of intersection and overlap you have with an individual, the more likely you are to form a long-lasting relationship and bond that drives those disease management behaviors.

 

Resources

https://curatio.me/

@jwandzy

Jeff@Curatio.me