Scaling Empathy in Cancer Care with Adam Pellegrini, CEO & Co-Founder of Jasper Health
Jasper Health is a digital platform built to help individuals cope with the life-altering diagnosis of cancer, providing patients with support and guidance throughout their oncology journey, and connecting them to the broader healthcare system by unlocking additional services and resources. Whole-person, patient-reported data is used to optimize patient engagement, experience, and health outcomes, resulting in Jasper Health members reporting less stress, better medication adherence, and easier tracking and remembering of appointments.
1. What does redesigning health mean to you?
At its core, the process of redesigning health hinges on answering a question: how do we solve the fundamental mechanics of the problem with a solution that’s transformative? We then assemble the components that could answer that ailment, whether that involves process improvement, human and pathway improvements, or a summative digital solution.
I was drawn to Redesign Health’s philosophy of truly redesigning care in a way that ladders up to people’s needs — instead of creating a solution and retroactively finding a problem, our ideation process actually tries to identify and address the most prescient problems that are actively impeding people from achieving better health outcomes.
2. What role does curiosity play in innovation?
In every role I’ve ever held within the digital health space, curiosity has been the most important characteristic to cultivate.
It’s curiosity that allows us to accept that there are multiple pathways that lead towards a solution, many of which probably haven’t been considered. Jasper Health has an analytical approach to product design and strategy. We believe there are things that should surprise us, and we should be agile and adaptive enough to change our way of thinking when appropriate and then ask more questions.
For example, we added one question to the Jasper Health onboarding flow that asked users what stage they were in their cancer journey. This question allowed users to indicate if they were in remission, which revealed that 12% of our members are actually in remission, which we weren’t anticipating at all. As a result, we created an entire remission coaching product, which was completely outside the original construct of the product strategy.
3. What’s the most important feedback you’ve received from a patient? What role did it play in shaping your business?
In the last five to ten years in the digital health space, there’s been a significant investment in automation — including the creation of bots and other digital means to replace humans and gain efficiency within healthcare pathways. However, people need hope in the form of human connection. Our feedback has shown us that oftentimes, our members just need to talk to a human, and they don’t necessarily want to always talk about their cancer. Member testimonials have reinforced Jasper Health’s patient-first approach to hybrid care. We prioritize automating the most mundane tasks, and seek to use digital technology to enable empathy at scale.
4. What do you look for in Jasper Health team members?
Passion around our mission. Most people join Jasper Health because someone in their own life has been impacted by cancer, and they recognize how powerful support and coaching can be amidst a patient’s journey. Dedication drives team members to remember that we’re not just building a digital product — we’re creating something intrinsically linked to larger values and helping people who are getting through the worst time of their lives.
5. What’s a fact that others may not know about you?
I own a collection of 80’s vintage cars that I love working on. I own a replica of KITT, the car from the Knight Rider series, and a DeLorean from the film Back to the Future.
Adam Pellegrini is the Co-Founder and CEO of Jasper, an end-to-end care experience that navigates, connects, and provides actionable insights for individuals with cancer, caregivers, and providers throughout the cancer journey. Previous to Jasper, Adam was the Senior Vice President of Virtual Care and Consumer Health Innovations for CVS, Aetna, and Caremark leading new product ideation and execution across the portfolio. Before CVS, Adam was the SVP and General Manager of Fitbit Health Solutions, tasked with helping Fitbit connect its products, information, data, and insights in new and innovative ways into employers, health plans, and hospital systems. Pellegrini brings more than 21 years of experience across multiple sectors of the healthcare industry including consumers, providers, insurers, health technology, and nonprofits. Before Fitbit, Adam created the Digital Health strategy for Walgreens Boots Alliance as the Vice President of Digital Health, responsible for revolutionizing how the global chain approached omni-channel digital healthcare, including advancing the company’s integration with wearables, launching telemedicine and advancing their core digital pharmacy platforms. As part of his work with Walgreens, his team led the largest retail mHealth integration of more than 1M connected devices and launched the company’s first integration of wearables, including Fitbit devices, with its Balance Rewards program, which rewards customers for making healthy choices. Prior to WBA, Pellegrini led teams building the future of Digital Health including Microsoft HealthVault, HealthyCircles and the first online strategy leader for the American Cancer Society. Adam started his career in the U.S. Army as an Operating Room Technician also working in aviation medicine, as an emergency room technician and leading occupational medicine initiatives for major health systems.
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