Why HealthSparq Puts People First With What’s The Fix?

I often get asked why HealthSparq puts on the What’s the Fix? conference. We’re a B2B technology company that, unless you work for a health insurance plan, you’ve probably never heard of. So why would we organize a conference centering around people-focused change, storytelling and unconventional ways to change the health care system? The answer is simple: We care about people.

At HealthSparq, we are very focused on helping people make smarter health care choices. The operative word for us is people. Health care is a mess – we all know it. People don’t understand a lot of the language, most don’t understand their benefits (let alone their deductibles, co-insurance rates, etc.) and most people still think a “network” is something they watch on TV (at least us baby boomers!).

Our mission in action

It’s one thing to have “people” at the center of your mission statement, and it’s another to live and breathe putting people at the center of everything you do. One of the things I love about my job is that HealthSparq truly does focus on how to make health care experiences better for people. How? By giving health plan members personalized data that helps them to make choices, while gaining an understanding of how those choices will impact them. Each product we build and improvement we make is then tested with real people to make sure we are helping them achieve their tasks.

But health care as an industry isn’t as focused on improving the experience for people as it should be. The industry has become an echo chamber. I’m thrilled to see some recent shifts, but the majority of conferences are still just a chance for health care industry people to talk to health care industry people without input from others. At the end of the day, the health care industry is supposed to be helping people, but it tends to be more focused on itself. Hence the reason why movements like #nothingaboutmewithoutme have come into being. 

Making our mark with What’s the Fix?

Seeing that the voice of the people is missing from health care is the primary reason why we started What’s the Fix? Our goal was to create an event where the industry would learn from amazing (and normal) people who’d figured out how to overcome health care challenges despite the industry. People like a type 1 diabetic (@danamlewis) who hacked her own artificial pancreas and built it open source so others could do it too. Or @doug_lind_say who was bedridden for 11 years and invented the surgery that his doctors would perform on him to save him.

We believe that stories of people can have a huge impact on driving change – and that will make health and life overall better for all of us. At HealthSparq, we are making an investment in improving health care for everyone and if the stories we help highlight through What’s the Fix? can change the way a med student interacts with his/her patients in the future, or change the way a health system, hospital or health plan interacts with its members, we will be a success.

So why does HealthSparq care about and put on What’s the Fix? Because we believe listening to people is key to changing health care – and there isn’t enough of it.