When people ask me what I like about Zus, well — there’s a lot to explore.
The work we’re doing has so much potential in this moment when digital health is expanding and gaining momentum as a market. There’s evidence all around us of what it looks like when excellent care is delivered using modern technology, raising the bar on what’s possible when it comes to outcomes and patient experience. The opportunity to work alongside a visionary leader like Jonathan Bush is not something I take for granted, and each day I’m amazed by the talented, passionate team we’re building.
Before I was a digital health person, I was a product person. I find it endlessly engaging to try and solve peoples’ problems by putting myself in their positions and really understanding what they’re experiencing. Over the years in different product roles, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a range of users and personas. For example, there were the third-graders learning multiplication for the first time. I had to figure out how to get the technology to fade into the background so their eight-year-old brains could focus on grasping this challenging new concept. Then, there were the medical assistants working prior authorizations — their monitors were covered in sticky notes with CPT codes and payer phone numbers. They needed help getting off the phone and returning to patient care.
In instances like these, I had to convince folks to give me an unfiltered view of their reality so that I could try to address their problems. The challenge is finding the right questions to ask, just so you might gain that nugget of insight that could help you build a product that would truly solve their problems. It’s a puzzle, this process of teasing out details, testing hypotheses, and eventually seeing a path to lessening the pain, and it’s why I love this craft and what I do.
What makes Zus unique is our incredible builder community of vibrant digital health innovators. We’re living in this corner of the space where our direct users — the product managers and engineers that are hired to work alongside clinicians and care teams to help serve patients — are also masters in needs discovery and problem solving. And while they’re busy creating the technology their care teams need, these builders also have the opportunity to represent their organizations’ needs as we’re creating the Zus platform. This makes for a unique dynamic and allows us to work together in a very special way.
(A quick note about the folks in our early builder community: They’re amazing. They truly represent what the next generation of what tech-enabled care can look like. They’re pushing boundaries on where and how care is delivered, elevating the quality of experience and outcomes, and often innovating the incentive structures that have limited what is possible for so long. I feel so fortunate to get to work with them and learn from them each day).
The chance to work side by side with your potential customers is awesome. There’s a general sense of shared purpose — people are eager to let us in on what they’ve learned as we build out the Zus toolkit. Of course, it’s exciting to hear that the market believes in our vision. (“Where was this 6 months ago?”) But the moments I love most are when people are willing to share what they’re building and learning. Sometimes, this could be a demo of the current state of their product. Other times, it could be very crisp and pointed feedback on our functionality, roadmap and specs — more like a conversation with a teammate than a user. At the extreme, we’ve even heard, “We built this thing but wish we didn’t have to because it’s not core to our differentiators. Would you ever think about taking it over?” This is all to say that I really, really appreciate the open, brilliant, and mission-driven nature of our builder community. Each day I’m able to work alongside them is a gift.
The Zus journey has been an incredible one so far. We’re out to redefine what it means to be a digital health innovator and, by way of that, raise the bar on the healthcare experiences we all encounter. These are bold ambitions, undoubtedly. But from figuring out where to start and bringing on a talented (and growing!) team, to building the initial product itself, we’re fully underway on what we hope to be a long and successful adventure. And I feel so thankful to be doing it alongside such an inspiring community.