Elation Health never misses a Hint Summit, and 2023 was no exception. Held in the beautiful coastal city of San Diego, California this year, the annual conference celebrates Direct Primary Care (DPC) and is hosted by Elation partner Hint Health. Surrounded by water on three sides in full view of the USS Midway aircraft carrier near the Port of San Diego, DPC champions gathered from across the nation to learn, share ideas, and network.
Discussing primary care innovations and the role of AI
I was honored to be included on the agenda as part of the “Tech Docs” panel, alongside my remarkable co-panelists Dr. Michael Docktor, co-founder and CEO of DockHealth, and Dr. S.V. Mahadevan, co-founder and CEO of Fold Health, moderated by Jason Barry, managing editor of Digital Health Wire. The panel delivered an opportunity for the audience to hear from physicians working in various areas of the health tech industry about the most meaningful innovations supporting primary care today and tomorrow.
Sitting in the audience, almost directly in front of my perch on the stage, was my very own DPC PCP, Dr. Monica Salas of Salveo Direct Care. Dr. Salas and her husband, Dr. Prisiliano Salas, own a successful DPC practice in my community, and Dr. M. Salas cares for my whole family, and I’m delighted that they also use Elation.
Naturally the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) was top of mind in our panel discussions, but Dr. Mahadeva was quick to address a concern from many about AI replacing physicians, stating confidently: “I don't think we want to lose our autonomy. So the way I see AI integrating into our practices in the future is as an adjunct to help us, as opposed to a replacement.”
I agree with him, and envision a (very near) future in which AI is offloading a tremendous amount of administrative burden in primary care, while also quickly gathering and summarizing large volumes of health data to help clinicians make more informed and timely decisions with their patients. AI is poised to reinvent the care delivery experience, but we must proceed carefully, with the patient experience, ethics, and clinical precision in mind.
“I think we haven't seen anything impact primary care like AI ever. Fast forward five years, and we’re going to look back on the days when doctors sat at a computer and typed their own notes like we were living in the Stone Age.” ~ Dr. Sara Pastoor
The possibilities with AI are so revolutionary that it’s hard to talk about anything else in tech these days, but we still have a lot of other problems to solve for primary care. Dr. Docktor mentioned that too much of healthcare still “operates on Excel files and email and Post-it notes,” later saying that, “such a lack of design and user experience and the sort of beautiful engaging experiences that we are used to on our consumer applications…that’s always been the disconnect between healthcare as we know it, and the consumer world,” making the point that incumbent health technology solutions have a lot of catching up to do to be relevant in the modern digital world. Both DockHealth and Fold Health offer sophisticated task management and care coordination platforms which integrate with Elation to help primary care distribute and track the complex work of primary care across their teams and ensure accountability of action.
Highlighting DPC Leaders and Award Winners
One of my favorite treats of the Hint Summit this year was the opportunity to—at last—meet in person a DPC legend, Dr. Garrison Bliss. Dr. Bliss is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of the DPC movement. Now retired, he shared with me his new obsession with pickleball, which I was delighted to hear and about which I was just a tiny bit envious. However, despite his retirement and busy pickleball schedule, Dr. Bliss is still very much committed to advancing the DPC movement, and I’m excited for his future contributions to the thought leadership fueling this essential innovation in primary care.
Dr. Garrison Bliss and Dr. Sara Pastoor
After two days of inspiring and informative speakers, covering the latest developments in DPC expansion and grounding the audience in poignant reminders about why DPC is both valuable and transformative to primary care providers and patients, the event was drawn to a close with an awards ceremony.
The Elation team was very proud to see many Elation customers receiving well-deserved recognition: Dr. Jonathan Bushman of Reliant Health took home the DPC of the Year Award; Dr. Phil Boucher of Frontier Pediatrics took home the DPC Growth Award; Dr. Prisiliano Salas of Salveo Direct Care and Dr. Margaret Towolawi of Nurture Well Center both took home DEI Scholarships. Congratulations to each of these worthy recipients!
Dr. Jonathan Bushman of Reliant Health receives DPC of the Year Award
Previewing the Future of Elation
Elation prides itself on being one of the most trusted EHR platforms for DPC practices across America, and given our dedication to the DPC movement, Hint is an important event for us to collaborate with the nation’s leading DPC enthusiasts. Our busy booth in the exhibit area was a fun place for me to hang out, where I met and forged new relationships with current Elation DPC customers, DPC pioneers considering Elation, and other vendors showcasing their innovations. Our sales team was eager to demo and preview our newest features coming to the market, like document annotation and patient e-signatures, and based on positive feedback received at the event, these new features will be a great fit for our customers.
Elation sales professionals Gabby Marquez, Morgan Befus, and Leisani Waqa at the Elation booth.
That wraps up a very fruitful Hint Summit 2023. Considering the accelerated pace of innovation created by AI, I anticipate next year’s summit will be accompanied by some exciting and groundbreaking developments for Elation and the DPC community, and we can’t wait.