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Virtual Think IT Event: Digital Front Door

On Friday, we hosted a Virtual Think IT Event to discuss The Digital Front Door: Building a seamless customer journey through a unified digital business, with our panelists Manisha Sharma, Senior Director of Product Management at NantHealth, Heather Mickman, Former Chief Information Officer at GAP Inc., Manisha Datye, Head of Engineering, In transition, and Sara Zywicki, Chief Product Officer at Onco Health. Thank you to everyone who joined the event and participated in the discussion!

Below you will find a summary of a few topics that were discussed.


Introduction to our Panel

Manisha Dayte, Former Head of Engineering at Casey’s, has had experiences in both retail and financial services. She spent 17 years at Target and 6 years at TCF Bank, also known as Huntington Bank, prior to her time at Casey’s.

Heather Mickman, Former CIO at Gap Inc, has spent the last 25 years of her career working in technology across multiple industries. Most of her time was spent in retail working for Target and Gap, and in healthcare working for United Health Group.

Manisha Sharma, Senior Director of Product Management at NantHealth, has worked for healthcare IT companies for over 20 years, working for various companies, such as CVS, both on the provider, payer, and medical device side.

Sara Zywicki, CPO at Onco Health, has been in the healthcare industry for over 25 years, working on everything from population health analytics, direct to consumer health. Her career early on began in public health and has seen the evolution and changes in technology within healthcare.


What limiting factors do you run into when creating a digital experience for your consumers and how do you move forward in providing a digital seamless experience?

When looking at creating a seamless digital experience for healthcare, it is important to recognize the consumer only “uses healthcare” when there is a need according to Manisha S. Very few consumers of healthcare are preventative or are constantly in touch with their providers and payers. As a result of this, the digital experience they are experiencing is very different. Privacy and security laws can often stand in the way and limit the way technologists can provide a digital experience. Consumers of retail stores expect the same type of digital experience with their healthcare provider but might not realize the differences in limitations. Another limiting factor Manisha faces in creating a digital experience is that the healthcare industry lags behind other industries which in turn limits their access to consumer/patient journey data and as a result the digital experience is fragmented.

In Sara’s experience, it all comes down to the data you are storing, how you protect it, and how you are sharing it. Navigating all the policies and laws can be one of the biggest challenges in providing a seamless digital experience for the end user. Another factor that can be limiting at times is trust with the patient or consumer. Most consumers are going to experience a different level of trust in their retail provider, such as Amazon, versus their healthcare provider. The more trust expected from your consumer, the better the digital experience they likely expect. In her business, they are working on creating a new trusted relationship with a human-powered digital service that is augmenting a person’s care that they are already receiving from their primary oncologists. They are not trying to replace in-person care but rather using digital as a tool to fill in the gaps.


When you create a digital experience for the customer, what challenges are you facing while 1) creating a channel using reusable applications or using headless architecture and 2) creating a composable experience across channels for the customer?

According to Heather, from a technology architecture perspective, we already know how to solve that problem, by using headless architecture to create an omnichannel experience. New companies often can begin their journey with new, amazing architecture that is cross-channel because we know how to build software now that is capable of that. However, for companies that have been around for decades, the challenge lies in having to look at the existing infrastructure and systems and figuring out a way to stitch that together with the new, modern architecture.

In Manisha D’s experience, what happens with a lot of legacy applications and the systems that are there is that the data is locked. The challenge becomes, how you unlock the data and make it readily available in a consistent fashion across the channels. Often when a company starts, they focus a lot on digital experience, and go on its own digital journey, without waiting for the back-end system. This can create fragmented experiences for people who prefer digital versus brick-and-mortar. To create a seamless experience across channels, you have to marry the digital with the backend systems to be consistent.