September 13, 2021
A letter from Olive CEO Sean Lane. Originally published in our magazine, Olive Quarterly.
I want to put an Olive …
in every health system
in every health insurance company
in every practice
in every department
on every healthcare desktop
with every human healthcare worker
and in every patient’s pocket.
Technology at scale leads to equity. In 1984, Apple Computer launched the first Macintosh with incredible fanfare. In 1984, hardly anyone had a personal computer. Prior to the personal computer revolution, computer technology was reserved for cash-rich enterprises, endowed academic institutions and wealthy individuals. A computer in every home seemed radical and unlikely. But the technology industry continued to innovate, and competition created the urgency to invent new components and manufacturing processes to make computers more and more accessible. Today, 5.3 billion people have a computer in their pocket — orders of magnitude more powerful than the first Macintosh.
Technology equity is critically important in healthcare. Tech equity has changed the way ordinary people shop, travel, watch movies, go to school and even visit their doctors. However, huge inequities still exist in the broader healthcare industry. Small- and medium-sized hospitals and practices don’t have access to the same tech as their larger counterparts. Local and regional hospitals and health systems are often the No. 1 employer in the small towns they occupy. They provide the healthcare people turn to when they are sick, when they introduce a new family member and when they say goodbye to a loved one. Yet, these institutions are missing out on the huge automation boom happening right now in the industry. They aren’t getting the benefits of the intelligence, the AI, the cost savings or the knowledge sharing. Now is the time to embrace these opportunities, and we are working hard to deliver them.
The greatest hope to close the equity gap in healthcare is scale. Scale comes from constant innovation and commoditization of existing technologies. It comes from vibrant marketplaces that enable an entire ecosystem of new companies and products. It comes from competition. The mega-health systems in our country have a huge role to play too. They invest in new ideas and new technologies. They are the early adopters that set into motion a path to scalability. Without their investments into the future, health tech equity would be difficult to achieve. The good news is: They are ready to make the investments necessary to transform our industry. They have proven this time and time again.
We are just getting started when it comes to scaling our technology to close the tech equity gap in healthcare. Here’s what we have done:
While we have made great progress, there is still so much more to do. Our team will continue working tirelessly to close the tech equity gap in healthcare. We will not stop innovating. We will not stop competing. We will not stop expanding our market.
Chairman and CEO