This is the second part of a recent interview by Eastwick PR with Zipari CEO, Mark Nathan and his take on the future of the healthcare system, the role of technology in this future, and how he sees the space evolving.

What’s your vision for the future of health and how is Zipari making that a reality?

The healthcare industry must transition to a consumer-directed market where consumers define the success and failure of insurance companies. With the shift to consumerism, it’s crucial that carriers understand how to communicate with their members as humans instead of “risks” or “costs.” The carriers that make this transition to a consumer-oriented brand, are the ones that will win.

“The Zipari team’s background at consumer-oriented companies such as Apple and Disney, combined with deep healthcare institutional knowledge provides Zipari with a distinct differentiator from existing solutions. We understand consumers as well as carriers, and we help bridge the communication gap by providing intelligent recommendations that benefit both the consumer and carrier.”

What technologies do you think are going to change healthcare the most?

It’s the same technologies that are currently changing other industries: mobile, data analytics, personalization, and cloud technology. But I truly believe it won’t be the technology that has the most dramatic influence. Technology is great for enabling change, but those companies that understand all the inner operations of insurance carriers will drive the most change. First, you must see the problem. Second, you must be able to pose solutions that can fundamentally solve the real problems. And then lastly, you need the technology talent to make that change a reality.

What areas of healthcare are going to be changed the most by technology?

This is a loaded question. There is an unprecedented amount of funding going into the healthcare space. This funding is fueling incredible solutions from managing personal health, through provider care and into the traditional payer insurance space. At Zipari, we’re primarily focused on the latter. We believe that technology can dramatically change the cost footprint for carriers. We want to reduce and free up administrative costs at health plans so that they can invest in innovation.

“For the successful carriers, this innovation will result in building meaningful relationships with consumers that provide mutual benefit. Note, mutual benefit for consumers and carriers simply means better health for all. Better health will ultimately be the most important factor in lowering cost. So, if I had to choose a single overall area of healthcare that will be most changed by technology, it would be improving the relationships between consumers and carriers resulting in both health and financial improvements, one household at a time”.

Is healthcare at an inflection point? Is technology causing this inflection?

Yes, healthcare is at an inflection point. Hopefully, this inflection point will result in a significant and positive turning point in this country. It’s not technology that is causing this inflection. It’s the human environment and the change that is being pushed by thought leaders and government. Hopefully, all parties will continue to be focused on the wellbeing of citizens, and make intelligent decisions that will benefit each and every family. If the road is paved to make changes, and the funding is in place, then technology innovation will lead to rapid change.

Technology is so powerful, and if used properly, it’s been proven since the beginning of time to have the capacity to create paradigm shifts that result in massive change. But it’s humans who created the inflection point, and its humans who will come up with the ideas to solve complicated problems. The ever-increasing capabilities of technology will simply be used to create change that was not possible in the past.

What’s the next big thing for health tech? The next big thing for Zipari?

There are so many advances happening in health tech, but Zipari’s focus is understanding consumer experience and applying that to improving relationships between consumers and carriers.

“So, I can tell you the next big thing for Zipari is to leverage consumer analytics to develop algorithms that make automated and intelligent recommendations for carriers that result in benefits for individual consumers and groups of consumers. In technical terms, this is persona segmentation and machine learning.”

In human terms, this is simply understanding the mechanics of how insurance carriers work, identifying problems that have traditionally been solved by hiring expensive consultants, and replacing those consultant-based solutions with cloud-based products that continually mature over time.