A creative, high energy entrepreneur, strategic marketer, enthusiastic environmentalist, avid outdoorsman and a dedicated dad, West Shell III is a well-known name in the healthcare industry. He is the Co–Founder CEO and Chairman of Conversa Health, a personalized patient engagement service that helps healthcare providers educate and empower their patients between visits.
The Conversa Journey
Aptly named Conversa Health, the company enables conversation with purpose, enabling a better care experience for patients and their providers. The Conversa Conversation Platform delivers scalable, flexible and fully automated virtual care that helps monitor, manage and engage patient populations at scale. The company builds a robust patient profile based on numerous data sources (biometric wearables, patient wellness applications, a patient’s electronic medical record, etc.) to inform and deliver automated, clinically intelligent and personalized conversations, creating a continuous and collaborative dialogue between care teams and patients.
Underlining the importance of conversations, West noted that all healthy relationships depend on conversations and the same is the case within the healthcare system. These conversations lead to more informed and meaningful relationships and ultimately better clinical and financial outcomes. “Our conversational experiences employ behavioral science methodology to activate deeper motivation in the patients that need it most, helping them to become equal and informed partners in their care. It’s all about finding relevant, personalized chunks of information that matters to patients. These conversations and exchange of ideas between care teams and patients should always be two-ways” he insisted.
A Healthcare Patron
West added that the driving motivation to build Conversa came as three of his sisters (including one deceased) suffered from chronic and acute problems. “I realized that the healthcare system did not really engage and monitor the problems of patients. The system was just broken. My mission was to build a technology that enhanced doctor-patient relationship. We realized there was no continuous and personalized relationship in healthcare and with Conversa, we intended to use relevant patient information to drive a new, deeper level of doctor-patient relationship.”
Pondering over the challenges faced by the healthcare industry, West noted that business model within healthcare system need to be better aligned. “The fragmentation and dysfunctionality within the system lies in its business model. There should be a convergence between the payers, the providers and the pharma. They need to work in collaboration to reap the benefits of the innovation and transformation the system has been witnessing. Only this can lead to lesser costs and patients receiving better quality of healthcare.”
Digitization of Healthcare
Digitization has helped healthcare system scale to new heights. “Digitization is driving a significant scale change in industry business models and providing data-driven scenarios that are more effective. Its improving.” But empowerment of human resources is the keys to success. West stressed on the need to leverage digital technology to scale human resources, not hinder them.
The Success Story
“I have been very proud of the partnership Conversa has developed with Northwell Health – the sixth largest health system within the country. Their innovative leadership was quick to understand what we were doing, and they were able to commit to a major early partnership with us. As we expand across their health system, they are using our expertise to address major issues in terms of emergency medical system, Chronic care management, radiation oncology and beyond.”
A Visionary Leader
An inspired, visionary leader with a proven track record of attracting world class talent and capital to early stage start-ups, West advised startups and entrepreneurs to dream big. “Build great teams, have a mission and a vision, possess a strong gut feeling, learn quickly from your mistakes and make adjustments to drive business.”