In April 1999, Michael O'Neil was a cancer patient at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Following surgery and chemotherapy to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, O'Neil began his recovery and mission to improve patient care, based on his experience. Founded on the core premise that patient outcomes can be improved through engagement, O'Neil created GetWellNetwork, a company focused on improving patient experience and results through patient and family engagement.

On this Industry Focus episode, we see how this 15-year-old company -- still in its infancy -- has more to look forward to on the horizon, and how it's collaborating with doctors and hospitals across the country, and with major healthcare IT players so patients can receive better care.

On this video segment, O'Neil, CEO of GetWellNetwork, talks about what he sees as the macro-drivers shaping the healthcare industry.

The full interview can be heard here. A full transcript follows the video.


Kristine Harjes: You're in a really unique spot, being right at the head of this company that's changing the way that patient care works. I'd love to ask you: What sort of trends are you seeing in the industry that could really change things from your perspective, going forward?

Michael O'Neil: I would say two major ones. One of them is, as we get to the back end of the curve of EHRs being implemented, we now have this incredible data repository. Now the question is: What can you do with this data to actually improve the care? To me, we're actually at the dawn of an explosive opportunity for technology and providers, and companies to figure out how to leverage this data to really impact care in a measurable undeniable way for patients. That's one of the things we're seeing.

The other thing we're actually seeing is the shift to value-based care, for volume-based care, has actually driven providers to get people out of their hospitals and take care of them in less expensive, more dynamic, and more safe places. We're seeing a massive shift into what we would call "Cross Continuum Opportunities."

Urgent-care centers, home health, in the clinic, we're working on a lot of things that allow patients to take their care plans with them. Not in the form of a paper stack you get at discharge where you put it in your garbage can when you get home, but in the form of digital tools that we can actually live with every day of our lives. Those are the two places we think there are tons of opportunity.