We’re thrilled to share the news that Maven has been named the #1 Most Innovative Company in Health by Fast Company. Innovation is about more than just technology for us at Maven. It is at the heart of our mission to build a new healthcare model with women and families at the center.

Our Chief Product Officer Erik Lumer—a product leader who has focused on customer-centered and technology innovation, and serial entrepreneur with a PhD from Stanford University—shares what innovation means to us at Maven.

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It’s exciting to be recognized for innovation at Maven, because what we are building is entirely new. We’re creating and scaling a new healthcare model that puts women and families at the center. For us, it’s important that we take a broad approach to innovation: it’s not just about innovation in technology, but in care delivery and coordination, in design, in creating the best patient-centered approach, and more.

As Maven’s Chief Product Officer, I’m constantly speaking with Kate Ryder, our Founder and CEO, and many others on our team to think about and brainstorm around a key question: What do we need to innovate on in order to get to where we want to be?

Here are the three ideas that are core to how Maven defines and approaches innovation, which fuels our products, our care model, and helps us ultimately drive better healthcare outcomes.

1. Most importantly, it’s a patient-centered approach, and for us, that means putting women and families at the center of our model.

Healthcare was built as a fee-for-service, provider-centered model. It’s basic design thinking, but it really is an innovation in healthcare to instead put the needs of the user at the center of the model. We’re constantly considering how to remove friction for the consumer, in terms of their experience in the healthcare system as well as in terms of access to care. Our approach is grounded in understanding our members, the conversations we have with them, and the feedback and insights we get from them.

Designing for frictionless access to care and member satisfaction first is a seemingly obvious but truly transformative approach to driving healthcare outcomes. In doing so, we remove one of the biggest hurdles to preventive care, and that is the proactive participation of members in the monitoring and management of their own health. That engagement allows Maven providers to become aware of and assist members early on when warning signs of potential complications appear.

“Designing for frictionless access to care and member satisfaction first is a seemingly obvious but truly transformative approach to driving healthcare outcomes.”

For us at Maven, when we’re talking about patients, we’re talking specifically about women and families. And creating healthcare for women is innovative—we really wish that wasn't the case in 2020, but it is the reality of our existing system and care models. Women are overrepresented and underserved in healthcare, and Maven was founded to change that. There are many gaps in care and access for women and families because it has never been a priority, so we’re building products and solutions to fill these gaps and focus on catering to women’s unique needs. And given that women are the main decision makers when it comes to health for their family, improving healthcare for them is the cornerstone to improving healthcare in general.

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2. Creating a holistic care model across telehealth, content, and community.

The average person sees a doctor for just 13-16 minutes. And 1 out of every 20 Google searches are for health information.

At pivotal moments in life—like becoming pregnant for the first time, the first few days at home with a new baby, or navigating the high stakes of IVF—the current care model simply doesn’t cut it. Our approach is about designing personal care journeys that address the unique needs of women and families. One of our core questions: How do you connect the different types of providers and specialists that someone needs to see before, during, and after pregnancy (as just one example) so that they’re all coordinated and not in silos, when it comes to factoring the broader context and health history of the patient to provide her with the best possible care?

Building a care platform that empowers women and families with the right kind of medically-vetted, expert information and community support in order to enable virtuous behaviors and proactive provider engagement, while connecting them to a wide range of providers and specialists that operate in a coordinated fashion along personalized care journeys are at the core of what makes Maven uniquely suited to serve our specific member needs.

3. Our question, then, is how do you scale this? It’s human-centered and tech-powered.

We’re not only putting the patient at the center of our model, but also putting the relationship between the patient and our Care Advocates and providers at the center. You have to create a listening environment where members feel encouraged to share important information that will ultimately get them connected to better care. At Maven, our Care Advocates are the incredible humans creating this listening environment and unlocking personalized care innovation. They’re building relationships with patients that create a safe space for listening, plus sharing the information and asking the types of questions that empower our patients to self-report—which is actually a hurdle for women in particular, because of how the healthcare system has failed them in the past.

But there’s fundamental innovation in how you scale this listening environment and these relationships.

When you want to do that in an economic way for tens of millions of people as we do—that’s where tech-powered, human-centered innovation really plays a fundamental role. We’re scaling the relationship between our patients, our Care Advocates, and our providers through Maven’s telehealth platform, by marrying the human-guided approach with machine learning to optimize the workflows involved in patient outreach, proactively recommend resources, and guide members to the information, telemedicine providers, and in-person care that is tailored to their specific circumstances. That is how we can scale these guided journeys to drive better outcomes and satisfaction for millions of women and families.

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