The Future of Communication Technology: Jen Butler of Medisafe On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up How We Connect and Communicate With Each Other
Take risks — It’s so important to not settle for complacency but rather always advance oneself and those around you to evolve. Taking risks keeps us all fresh and invigorated.
The telephone totally revolutionized the way we could communicate with people all over the world. But then came email and took it to the next level. And then came text messaging. And then came video calls. And so on…What’s next? What’s just around the corner?
In this interview series, called ‘The Future Of Communication Technology’ we are interviewing leaders of tech or telecom companies who are helping to develop emerging communication technologies and the next generation of how we communicate and connect with each other.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Butler, Chief Marketing Officer for Medisafe.
Jennifer Butler joined Medisafe in January 2019 as the company’s first Chief Marketing Officer bringing more than 20 years of marketing and consulting experience to the organization. Prior to joining Medisafe, she served as vice president of marketing at New Century Health and Eliza, an HMS company engaging Medicare and Medicaid members in health programs. Jennifer also led Tufts Health Plan’s Commercial Marketing which included member engagement initiatives from benefit education to healthcare consumption tools. Jennifer’s experience also includes marketing strategy work at Deloitte Consulting in addition to mergers and acquisitions at BankBoston and Chase Securities. Jennifer earned her MBA from Boston University and A.B. from Bowdoin College.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I took a rather uncommon path in my career, starting in investment banking and consulting. Through that experience, I learned how the combination of strategy and marketing can help to grow a company. After spending six years at Deloitte I made the move to focus on strategic marketing, largely because I was well versed in industries are led by complex regulations and need effective communication to help its consumers access the system. With the advancement of digital technologies, I see how new digital means can advance patient communication and support behavior change.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
When I first started in the healthcare sector with a regional health plan, we took an unconventional approach to engage members in their health plans. We applied a “magic of Disney” approach that helped members “unlock” the power of their membership in their health. We created an emotional connection to something that is actually intangible and uninspiring and drove patient engagement through new communication strategies.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I have always believed that whatever the problem, there’s a solution. I understand that challenges will occur, and problems arise, but finding a solution is where you create success. Not only does this lead to several options in responding to challenges, but it can also generate new opportunities.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
If I had to name a particular person then I’d call out David Morris who was the Chief Revenue Officer at Eliza and encouraged me to join his team. Under his direction, I was able to see the potential of using technology advancements to bring consumerism into healthcare. This experience opened my eyes to the possibilities of technology revolutionizing healthcare from access to delivery to consumption.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
At our company, we receive countless stories of how our digital platform has helped patients manage their health, their medications, and provide hope in living with chronic conditions. Even parents and caregivers turn to Medisafe to help turn the complex into a simple daily task. We have been able to provide peace of mind and reassurance to 7M patients throughout their treatment journey.
Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us your digital patient communication? How do you think it helps people?
Medisafe is a consumer proven application and platform. From the patient reviews to the measurable outcomes to the cost savings of medications, we’ve been able to make a qualitative and quantitative impact on the industry. Our digital platform expands simple communication to create digital relationships that help patients manage their health and their lives.
How do you think this might change the world?
Amidst the backdrop of a global pandemic, providing digital communication and support to patients is paramount to any return to normal and helping patients navigate their health. Digital patient communication helps to ensure ongoing support in helping patients manage the most personal elements of their lives — their health.
Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any side effects about this technology?
With our platform, we are a companion to medication and enhance support to therapy. We aim to enhance something that is already existing, not replace it altogether. Given that a person’s health enables them to do anything in life, I can envision our technology becoming a more relied-upon resource for numerous aspects of their lives and health.
What was the “tipping point” that drove this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?
We started as a B2C company, but the ability to demonstrate the value we offer to the pharma industry served as a tipping point for our company. Our digital communication platform enables pharma to provide guided and supportive engagement to patients throughout their treatment journey. Once pharma leaders saw how we can create digital coordination and connectivity within the treatment cycle, we moved from a novelty to an essential element in medication management.
What will lead this technology to wider adoption in the next five years?
I believe digital patient communications will move further upstream, become more commonplace as part of both acute and chronic care treatments. I envision a time in the near future where digital drug companions are launched at the point of a prescription, and the opportunity to bring physicians directly into the patient medication journey.
The pandemic has changed so many things about the way we behave. One of them of course, is how we work and how we communicate in our work. How is digital patient communication helping to address the new needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic?
The pandemic has changed the traditional patient care model, leading to more digital and virtual based tools to help physicians and patients remain connected. Through digital communication channels, patients are able to connect with their medication needs, as well as connecting care givers and providers through a unified digital format. As a result of the pandemic we’ve seen that digital patient communication has accelerated its use, and has created a central role in evolving the healthcare eco system.
Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Knew When I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Speak Up (trust your gut) — Nobody wants a “yes-man”. Value is in the ideas, experience and perspective that you bring to a team or situation.
- Take risks — It’s so important to not settle for complacency but rather always advance oneself and those around you to evolve. Taking risks keeps us all fresh and invigorated.
- Be open to mentors and to mentees –Finding someone that has the experience to run ideas by and talk through situations helps you to think outside your immediate lenses to assess business and career decisions.
- Proactively Listen –I see proactive listening as acknowledging ideas or challenges that might provide insight into other vantage points. It’s being able to recognize the insight and even pivot plans where needed.
- Balance — While we try to achieve a work/life balance as “level”, in fact it’s not the case at all. They are never at an equilibrium and are in constant motion like a see-saw as work is demanding, life is impacted and vice versa. This helped me tremendously as a working mom managing the ups and downs.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would like to see greater attention paid to the mind-body connection, and how through digital communications, we could create a connected healthcare ecosystem that puts patients in the center of their own health. Mental health and physical health are often separate entities, yet they work together to impact patient’s overall health. Through digital means, we can start viewing patients as whole beings instead of simply focusing on the segmented areas.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
You can follow me on LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-butler-9870274/
Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.