Jay Parkinson spoke to IxD about how Sherpaa is transforming the experience of accessing primary healthcare by leveraging technology for easier and more effective communication between doctors and their patients. Learn a little more from student blogger Olivia Greco.
Jay Parkinson MD, MPH has long obsessed over the idea of making healthcare better. Trained as a pediatrician and preventive medicine and public health specialist, Jay has always designed his practice around accessibility. In his own experience managing patients primarily online, he knew this model could work at a larger scale and provide an answer to a primary care system that always seems to be stuck two to three decades in the past. In an increasingly mobile society, people need healthcare delivered to them in an easy, fast, and accurate way. With a simple structure, it’s possible to treat most health issues online with effective communication between the patient and doctor.
Patients use doctors about 2.7 times per year, which comes to a total of about twenty minutes per year. In those twenty minutes, doctors ask the patient questions, form a diagnosis, provide a treatment strategy and the patient leaves, possibly without any clear idea of what’s wrong, what their treatment means or if the treatment is the best possible solution. These synchronous meetings that are completed in limited time can be inefficient and expensive for the patient. With Sherpaa, experienced doctors can evaluate patients online no matter where the patient is located and understand exactly what’s wrong with the patient by communicating through messaging, images, phone call or even video chat if necessary. Sherpaa’s doctors are always accessible and direct the patient to next steps if the problem persists or requires any special testing or lab work. Their doctors create personal treatment plans for their patients through highly thorough evaluations. By communicating online in these asynchronous episodes, doctors can respond with their best opinion for a treatment plan that is personalized, accurate, safe, and high quality.
Jay Parkinson looks at his life as one big design project. In creating Sherpaa, he has taken something really complex and started to make it extremely simple for users, regardless of factors like where they live, work, or where they get their insurance. Sherpaa engages communities around their health and builds more meaningful relationships between doctors and their patients by leveraging simple technology and a simplified user experience.