We recently sat down with Oscar Health CPO, Sara Wajnberg, to discuss what goes into building healthcare products. All great product leaders know the importance of focusing on the customer when building products, and that’s especially true when it comes to healthcare.
Building healthcare products comes with a need for building trust, battling against an antiquated industry and the need to make it accessible for everyone. Oscar Health CPO, Sara Wajnberg goes into great detail on all of that in her episode of Product Talk. The highlights are detailed below:
On what it means to build a great healthcare product
The customer has to be the focus for any product to truly be great.
“We serve as the primary champions and advocates for user experience throughout the company. Oscar is a health insurance company, but we say we are the first tech-driven health insurance company. In healthcare, technology is not something people are used to really embracing out of the gate. Dor us, it’s been in our DNA from the beginning.
Our core mission at Oscar is to have a good experience and drive engagement and build relationships with our members to then help guide them through the healthcare system in a smarter way so that they can ultimately receive higher quality care and reduce the cost of the healthcare system.”
On the importance of building trust when building healthcare products
Building a relationship and trust with your customers is important at any company, but it’s especially true when it comes to one’s healthcare.
“Trust for us is really essential, especially in something as deeply personal as healthcare. If you don’t have trust, we will not be able to do anything to help you make decisions. So we have been on this big quest to build that trust and to make people believe we have their best interests at heart. To convince them that they should come to us when they need something.
That is not an easy thing to do. Any product I see out there that has achieved that, I’m always in love.”
On the role of product management when building healthcare products
Being a great product manager is a little more complex when it comes to building healthcare products.
“Product Management has a couple of different roles that probably are not totally stereotypical at a normal tech company. One of them is pretty common, which is that we effectively are responsible for prioritizing and facilitating all of our technology investments. That’s pretty typical for a tech company. On the other side, we also are acting as champions for user experience and advocates for our members. In healthcare, the member experience and the user experience goes way beyond technology.
The product management team really serves as that team who’s looking holistically at what’s going on with our members. What are their pain points? They act as advocates internally within the company on how can we mitigate these issues and slowly improve these experiences.
Because of the nature of the healthcare industry being what it is, so regulatorily complex operationally complex, so heavily dependent on stitching together a bunch of third parties in this ecosystem. I think the role of Product Management at a company like Oscar is just much more complicated than it is at a typical tech company.
The product managers are doing so much cross-functional stakeholder management and alignment and so much legal and regulatory investigation and compliance investigation. There’s just a lot more work in the initial discovery process to figure out what is and is not doable than you might see at a typical tech company.”
About the speaker
I am the Chief Product Officer at Oscar Health, the first health insurance company built to make health care easy. I have 15+ years of startup product experience and have a passion for complex, creative problem-solving, and building/mentoring teams. My professional experience ranges with respect to industry (from e-commerce to health insurance!) and area of focus (from mobile apps to back-end/data infrastructure). At Oscar I use my background in technology and product management to help humanize and simplify the health care experience. Oscar's commitment to improving health care for its members is what drew me to the company in the first place and what keeps me passionate about the problems we are solving. The Oscar member experience includes a personalized concierge team, a free, 24/7 Doctor on Call service, and a tightly integrated, curated network of first-rate physicians and hospitals. Oscar has a presence in 14 states and currently offers individual, small group and Medicare Advantage. Say hi or learn more at https://hioscar.com or follow us at https://twitter.com/OscarHealth.
About the host
Samantha Scott has carved an active history in product management, starting with NexJ Systems and moving from AppNexus to Etsy. Samantha is currently pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School to further enhance her business acumen. Prior to that, she was the Director of Product Management at Capsule, a healthcare technology that provides clinical surveillance and medical device integration. Her career is backed by a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Before delving into products and product management, Samantha served as Toronto Hydro’s Compliance and Quality Analyst and TD’s Business Analyst.