AVIA expert spotlight: Sonia Singh, Vice President, Center for Consumerism


sonia singh headshot

At AVIA, we’re proud to work alongside healthcare’s top thought leaders in digital transformation. We sat down with Sonia Singh, Vice President at AVIA’s Center for Consumerism to learn about digital care challenges, trends, and what she loves about her work.

“Consumerism” is a large field. How do you define this space as it relates to digital transformation?

Consumerism addresses how health systems can provide care in a way that centers around the consumer, prioritizing the patient’s needs and their goals in a way that’s convenient and accessible. 

At AVIA, we’ve highlighted around 70 different digital capabilities that health systems should incorporate to improve their consumer experience. These capabilities work together to offer a completely frictionless consumer experience, whether patients are searching for a care provider, booking an appointment, checking in, or working through the billing process. We also examine capabilities that help health systems develop a long-term relationship with patients, like CRM software that can help with personalization. 

You talk with AVIA Members every day about healthcare consumerism. What are their biggest digital challenges?

Access: Historically, healthcare has been designed around health systems’ and providers’ needs, not the patients’ needs. Many health systems have started coming to us with questions around access – how can they meet the consumer where they are and address their needs to improve their access to the health system? 

Data: To create a convenient, personalized experience for the consumer, you need to have a deep understanding of each individual patient. Health systems already have a significant amount of clinical and financial data about their patients, but it is rarely compiled to provide in-depth insights about the consumer. Health systems are now asking how to harness the data they already have to provide a better, richer experience for the consumer. 

Structure: For many large health systems, the operational structure doesn’t lend itself to seamless consumer experiences. Patients may have vastly different experiences at each location or clinic, or even within different service lines. Health systems are starting to question what operational or business changes can help reduce the friction between their individual locations to create a better consumer experience across the system. 

What are two things that you’re working on with Members that you’re excited about?

Many of our clients are excited about the 4 Big Moves, specifically hyper-personal care and owning the onramp.

Hyper-personal care: We’re examining what hyper-personal care will look like from a service line and enterprise level. For example, we’re working on enterprise CRM strategies with some of our Members. This work enables a hyper-personal care strategy, as we’re looking at how the data we collect through the enterprise CRM can lead to a more personalized, seamless and proactive consumer experience. 

Owning the onramp: We know that expectations around access to care are changing, especially given the rapid shift to digital during COVID-19. We’ve been working with Members to explore what access will look like in the future, specifically within the lens of a virtual-first model.

What consumerism trends are you most excited about?

Due to COVID-19, I think a lot of consumers are going to be seeking out care in a different way. There’s a new breed of healthcare providers that are virtual-first, direct-to-consumer, cost-effective, transparent options, like Hims/Hers, Walmart, and Forward. I foresee them shifting the ecosystem and moving healthcare away from the status quo. 

I also think the younger generations – Millennials and Gen Z – are going to contribute to a major shift in how care is delivered. These generations generally don’t have a primary care provider (PCP) and highly value convenience, so they’re going to choose the cheapest and most convenient option. For health systems to attract younger consumers, they must focus beyond the PCP office as an onramp. Instead, health systems need to explore partnerships with direct-to-consumer companies where those companies handle low-acuity care and funnel high-acuity patients into the health system. 

What do you enjoy most about working for AVIA and the Center for Consumerism? 

With AVIA, we have such an incredible opportunity to inform and influence what’s happening in the broader digital world relating to consumerism. I love working with 50+ health systems on a weekly basis to understand their problems, unearth opportunities, and think through the art of the possible. I love learning, and every day I’m learning more about what’s happening in the digital health world and what consumers want, and exploring how health systems can bring these learnings to life. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Sonia’s work at the Center for Consumerism and how AVIA can help you reach your digital goals, contact us today.