Opinion: What Healthcare Can Learn From Other Consumer Tech Industries

George Kramb and Patrick Frank 2
"PatientPartner empowers patients through their surgical journey"

Consumer-centric technology has rapidly evolved consumer decision-making and changed the way we make purchasing decisions in almost every aspect of our lives. We feel more empowered through information and technology than ever before. We have a constant need for instant gratification as a result of our actions, and we demand as much information as possible prior to making any decision, but especially key decisions that possess the potential to impact our current and future health. This has allowed for more transparency from the companies and brands that provide us with technological and data-driven solutions. This is a great thing, but it has also forced traditional industries to move to platform-based solutions in order to reach larger audiences and keep up with the efficiencies brought about by this increase in demand.

The healthcare industry – particularly the privatized sector of healthcare in the United States – has a lot to learn from this. By providing transparency and group network effects through utilizing consumers of healthcare (i.e., patients), the healthcare industry can transform itself -from the sterile reputation that it has traditionally had into a system more driven by the personalized emotional experience of the patient that allows consumers to feel the same comfortability that they do with the other key decisions that they make in their lives.

“Even before they are wheeled into the surgical theater – there is a clear resounding fear that patients feel.”

My co-founder George, the CEO of PatientPartner, has seen this first-hand from the several thousand hours he has spent in the operating room as a medical professional. He found that in being a part of the patient journey – even before they are wheeled into the surgical theater – there is a clear resounding fear that patients feel. This makes total sense when you think about the life-changing process they are going through. There is an innate fear of the unknown possibilities that could potentially occur after surgery. Combine this with the decreasing amount of valuable facetime that patients are able to spend with surgeons to establish and build trust, and it’s no small wonder that these factors have led to a tumultuous storm of uncertainty. This can help explain why the number of overall surgeries has decreased.

Those factors are precisely why George and I founded PatientPartner, where our work allows for patients to connect with an engaged patient community and find the most relatable patient(s) as to what they are going through in their surgical journey. In creating a community of engaged patients who can share their similar experiences before, during, and after surgery, we can help mitigate the fear that patients feel throughout their surgical journey. In creating this network of relatability that grants patients the ability to ask the questions they want answers to, to someone who has already been through the same surgery, and possibly even with the same surgeon, we can also help to re-establish trust between the patient and their healthcare professionals. This process provides patients with a more personalized and emotional approach to the care they receive as it offers a more direct avenue to foster meaningful connections for the patient, allowing them to ultimately feel more confident, motivated, and certain about what is next in their life after their surgical journey.


Patients need more than just information to feel safe about their health choices while going through surgery; they need a true partner – someone aside from a healthcare professional to make the journey more personable to their own individual experience. Because our platform is built on the unbelievable level of altruism that our patient volunteers provide, you know the information you are getting is real, unbiased, and accurate.

Consumer technology is an amazing innovation that has led to modern-day breakthroughs in virtually every market in every industry across the globe. Platforms have been created for every possible use from networking, community engagement, delivery services, and even healthcare in more recent years. It has never been easier for consumers to make their own decisions because of the broadened access to information they now have, and it has allowed for a level of connectivity that, even only a few years ago, remained unprecedented.

And yet the healthcare industry remains positioned at the tip of the iceberg in consumer technology. The industry is poised to adopt and encapsulate all of these factors regarding consumer technology and engagement. We only need to remain a part of the consumer’s journey of bringing them further down the path where other industries have already paved the way.


George Kramb and Patrick Frank
“PatientPartner empowers patients through their surgical journey”

Patrick Frank is the Co-Founder & COO of PatientPartner, a platform that connects pre-surgical patients with fully recovered patients who went through the same surgery. Frank has worked in consumer technology across a variety of industries including oil and gas, retail banking, law, real estate and healthcare. He and his partner George Kramb are on the 2021 Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 list.