Ask three medical experts what the major problems in healthcare are, and you may encounter three very different answers.

“You’re likely to get a different answer depending on if you’re speaking to a patient, a provider, or a payer — which is part of the problem,” Maven Clinic Chief Product Officer Jason Lee said. “I’ll add another ‘P’ and speak to it as a product leader: one of the biggest problems in healthcare is a lack of patient engagement.”

At Maven, a virtual clinic for women’s and family health that focuses on on-demand fertility, pregnancy, parenting and menopause services, Lee leads a team of designers, product managers, marketers, content creators, ops specialists and data analysts that are well attuned to this and other such problems in healthcare. It’s Maven’s express mission to change the health of the world — one woman; one family at a time. And according to Lee, patient engagement is an area in which the company is positioned to effect the biggest impact. 

Why is this engagement so important? 

“Because the U.S. is really good at taking care of people when they’re sick, but we’re actually quite bad at preventing them from getting sick in the first place,” Lee said. “Patients tend to go to the doctor only when it’s a last resort — because it’s inconvenient, expensive or they don’t trust the system to put their interests first.”

Read on to learn more about Maven’s mission, how the company is positioned to better engage patients and address the needs of women and families, and why a role at Maven might be the logical next step in your tech career. 

How does the problem of a lack of patient engagement play out at Maven Clinic?

One of the places where we see this phenomenon at work is in fertility. This space has become synonymous with in vitro fertilization, or IVF, which is an expensive, intensive course of treatment that helps some people achieve pregnancy. One of the problems that Maven is helping to solve is ensuring that patients aren’t being driven into this treatment too soon. We’re connecting with our members earlier in their journeys, educating them about what can impact their fertility and supporting them with clinical, emotional and financial resources to help them have the best outcomes. 

If it turns out that’s IVF, we steer members to the world’s best clinics and make payment simple and transparent. If it’s something else, we can support that, too. We have both breadth and depth to make sure that every member receives the right care for their specific situation.

What does Maven Clinic’s mission mean to you on a personal level?

While I’m not a parent, growing up I had a special needs sibling and saw the challenges my parents faced balancing work and family. All parents, but working parents in particular, often don’t have the support they need to build and raise a family while showing up as their best self at work every day.

Healthcare as a whole is challenged, but family building is particularly fraught and has impacts that go beyond the individual. Maven’s mission means we have the ability to uplift families with better care. Knowing how much Maven could have supported my parents during my formative years makes me excited to be part of a mission that can support families going through similar challenges, and I love that we have the ability to deliver generational impact. 

Why did you take the job at Maven, and why have you stayed?

I came to Maven because we make a difference to the members we serve. We share a Maven Moment every Monday at our team meeting. It’s a wonderful reminder that the products we deliver actually change peoples’ lives for the better. 

“Maven’s mission means we have the ability to uplift families with better care.”

I stay because I feel that we’re in the early innings. While we’re already having a meaningful, positive impact, I see so much that we can do to bring our platform to support women and families through ongoing life stages and needs. Healthcare is deep, complex, and not to be underestimated. But I come to work every day with confidence that we have the right people and culture to tackle the toughest challenges. 

How can employees working in product and engineering feel this impact in their work? 

Healthcare is full of stories; women’s and family health especially. At Maven, the member is our North Star, and we make a point of hearing from our members every week, either directly or through stories shared by our colleagues on the care team. 

“At Maven, the member is our North Star, and we make a point of hearing from our members every week.”

I’ll also emphasize the close relationship between product and engineering and our internal care team. You can’t deliver excellent patient care if providers don’t have the proper tools to do it, and we devote a lot of organizational resources to building for our providers and care teams. 

Our users are also our colleagues, and we get to observe workflows and get quick feedback on the work we deliver. Setting up repeatable processes with these teams has been wonderful in helping us quickly iterate and see the impact of our work.

Why is it critical for Maven’s clinical and engineering teams to collaborate on the product roadmap?

The collaboration between Maven’s clinical teams and product and engineering is something I think sets Maven apart from other digital health companies. We are fortunate to have some exceptionally talented researchers and care designers at Maven and a chief medical officer in Dr. Neel Shah who is himself an entrepreneur multiple times over. We work closely with the clinical team to design and build products backed by scientific evidence. 

Because digital health is such a new space, we also have an opportunity to uncover novel solutions and create new knowledge ourselves. Recently, we designed a lightweight, easy-to-use screen to determine our members’ social needs. We researched how comfortable members would be to share this information with their healthcare provider, built a simple and easy-to-follow set of questions that we could deliver virtually and then launched it on the platform. 

“Because digital health is such a new space, we also have an opportunity to uncover novel solutions and create new knowledge ourselves.”

We published this work in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, one of the leading peer-reviewed journals in our field, so that other health systems and digital health companies could make use of it.

How are you thinking about scaling Maven's product team? 

I am excited to build a product organization that helps connect patient experience with the business, enabling us to drive the health outcomes we know are so important at scale. In particular, I want to create safe spaces for deep dialogue across organizations. Health-tech brings together experts from different cultures and experiences with the healthcare system that are united by the goal of making an impact on patient lives. Developing a healthy respect for each others’ expertise while also being open to challenge is what drives innovation. 

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