Baylor Scott and White’s The Hive is Buzzing with Healthcare Innovation

In the slow-moving, buttoned-up medical industry, tradition rules the day. With major disruption beginning to break into corners of the medical industry, how do large medical networks stay on the cutting edge and not become the next behemoth to wither away because it couldn’t keep up?

At Baylor Scott and White, part of their solution is The Hive, where engineers, programmers, and health practitioners come together to move healthcare forward in Dallas. Led by chief digital officer and senior vice president of information services for Baylor Scott & White Health Nick Reddy, the space is meant to foster innovation and make healthcare more accessible for the average consumer.

“It is a physical manifestation of an idea,” Reddy says. He wants it to be a place where people feel comfortable wearing skinny jeans and t-shirt. The Bryan Tower space is open, with pods of festively decorated computers, interactive technology areas, and of course a ping-pong table. “It is a quaint space that represents something unique.”

The Hive is not a slap-dash effort to provide a creative space with beanbags and ping pong just for the sake of having them, Reddy took time to learn about innovation, venture capitalism, and “understanding the art of the possible with technology,” Reddy says.

“We wanted to change our vision of what the future could be. I cant think of a more powerful force than American entrepreneurism.”

At The Hive, the focus is on consumers, who want simplicity and speed, Reddy says. They also spend a lot of time thinking about technology can make healthcare more affordable. “We think it is our responsibility, and have the position in the market to make healthcare affordable,” Reddy says. “We don’t think it’s the government’s job. The people that pay for our service today will hopefully pay less tomorrow.”

To that end, Reddy highlighted Baylor’s app, MyBSWHealth, which according to the Apple app store has 4.7 of 5 stars and is #63 in the Medical category. It is also the highest rated patient care application in the Apple app store. Reddy described the consumer focus of the app, which allows patients to book appointments, refill prescriptions, and pay bills. But he was more excited about the ability of the app to use patient’s own health information to engage with the platform differently. It can remind a patient to take their medicine, knows when the patient should be out, and provide pathways of care based on the patient’s diagnosis.

The app divides users into three categories: healthy, borderline, and disease management. For the healthy folks, it focuses on wellness statistics, calorie intake, getting steps in. For the borderline patients, it takes stress, age, blood pressure, and other measures. For those in the disease management phase, there are daily check-ins using internet of things devices to measure a person’s health more closely and even do e-visits.

We believe a patient is the quarterback of of their health,” Reddy says. “To make sure they are the quarterback, they have to be engaged.”

Baylor is on the verge of a merger with Memorial Hermann, but Reddy doesn’t see the deal impacting what they do at The Hive.  “I genuinely don’t believe our intention and ambition changes.” The jury is still out on whether mergers like the one proposed increase or reduce costs, which is one of the stated goals of the merger and the work done at The Hive.

While many health operators have a similar innovation space, Reddy sees the outcomes at the Hive being the difference. “The physical space is not that unique,” Reddy says. “The outcome and organization’s internal culture is unique. I like the cultural momentum and love the impact. Real problem solving happens here.”

Below, see some figures for the MyBSWHealth app.

Accounts: 1 million

Unique Weekly Logins: 158k (86k web/72k mobile)

Messages: 1.6 million in the last 12 months

Number of sessions:  +15 million in the last 12 months (mobile and web)

Number of online appointments scheduled: over 350k in the last 12 months

eVisits completed Jan – Aug 2018: over 5k Virtual Visits