How Cambia Health Solutions is using the cloud to 'cut through the noise' of digital health tools

At Cambia Health Solutions, a key focus of the technology work is treating each member like an individual and acknowledging unique life experiences.

Technology executives at the Pacific Northwest-based insurer told Fierce Healthcare embracing cloud technology early on has been critical to this endeavor.

Cambia has partnered with Amazon Web Services since 2011, a time when others in the industry thought it was too "on the edge" with technology, said Kirk Anderson, vice president and chief technology officer.

"We cut our teeth as an organization in the different paradigms of cloud computing," Anderson said.

Now, the health plan offers a platform that aims to harness the cloud to cut through the noise of digital health solutions to provide members with access to a suite of tools that's personalized to them.

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Laurent Rotival, senior vice president of strategic technology solutions and chief information officer, said there are thousands of digital health apps on the market, and for individual patients to understand which to use while also navigating the other pitfalls of the healthcare system is a huge challenge.

So the team at Cambia built a cloud-based platform that uses artificial intelligence to match members with solutions that meet their personalized risk profiles. Those tools are then housed in a single place to allow members to easily access them, he said.

"We're integrating them on a platform so that the complexity across those platforms disappears," Rotival said. "It creates one seamless continuum that is convenient for them, that is in their pocket on a mobile app and powered on the cloud."

When it came to choosing the right partner for this work, Rotival said Cambia was looking at cloud solutions early enough that it wasn't just about finding the best partner, but finding one at all. 

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There weren't best practices for this work at the time in healthcare, he said, so instead the Cambia team examined what was working in industries like retail, travel or financial services, Rotival said.

Anderson said the insurer also had to step back and think about governance, cost utilization and privacy and security as the process went on to ensure the team could actually bring big ideas to fruition.

"We were so excited by some of the opportunities that we saw that we got out ahead of ourselves a little bit in some really important fundamentals that aren’t exciting but are really critical," he said.