AVIA’s Journey into Tech: Fostering a Growing Healthcare Community

Eric Flyckt, Senior Vice President, Digital Products, AVIA

"Today is an important milestone for AVIA: Our platform, AVIA Connect, has taken a giant step forward. What started as a way for our Members to learn about digital health has blossomed into an engaging and collaborative platform that brings the healthcare industry closer together."

Today I’m celebrating how far we’ve come, and looking back at my personal journey, too. 

I moved to America from Sweden because I wanted to be a snowboarder. Much to my parents’ delight, I ended up not on the slopes but in medical school. Instead of practicing medicine, I went into consulting after interning with McKinsey. I loved the idea of improving health and care at scale rather than at the 1:1 level. After spending six years in consulting, I moved into product management for largely the same reason. The healthcare system has so many things that are broken, and digital solutions have the potential to change it all.

I joined AVIA specifically to create the Connect platform. At the time, AVIA was a pure services company, but our founders recognized there was an opportunity to leverage our Network and expertise to create a powerful knowledge and collaboration product. The goal: bring various stakeholders with different experiences and insights together into one place to move the industry forward faster. We serve leaders across the industry:

  1. Health systems that are looking to solve problems with digital
  2. Solution companies with products that address healthcare problems
  3. Industry partners, like the American Hospital Association and Deloitte, that serve and support health systems and vendors

I joined the team to oversee product management, design, and development. Our first step was making sure the platform could capture all the relevant information. We created a map of the digital health world, centered on the most important topics for healthcare leaders. From there, we could layer on additional information, including companies and products, content and events, and health systems and individuals. This foundation allows us to understand the marketplace in unique ways, and to bring people together who are working on the same challenges. 

Over the past few months, with that foundation largely in place, we’ve shifted our focus to making our platform more user-friendly and engaging, so information and conversations about topics, challenges, and vendors can happen with greater ease. Our latest releases featured updates to navigation and a Q&A feature that lets users engage directly with peers and solution companies to get answers. Our platform is thrumming with real-time conversations and bringing our product to life. 

And the best part is the more  people contribute, the more the knowledge base continues to grow. For example, if you have a question about COVID-19 chatbots, I can see the answers to your question and learn from you. 

"This is global knowledge sharing at a time when it’s never been more important." 

We’re changing the way healthcare learns and connects. Imagine you’re a healthcare leader who’s trying to figure out the best virtual triage solutions. A few Google searches aren’t going to get you the validated and vetted products you need to consider. It can also be really hard for people at the director level to find others who are tackling the same problems and ask questions in an open forum. In AVIA Connect, we’ve created a narrow social network to talk about digital strategy, find rigorously vetted solutions, and access industry resources. 

The reason we can do this, and do it well, is because the platform is so tightly linked to our work at AVIA, where we’ve built a trusted, collaborative network and cultivated deep subject matter expertise of the digital health marketplace. In AVIA Connect, you get the expertise of our SMEs and the shared wisdom and experience of other health systems, all at your fingertips and on your own time. 

The growth and development of AVIA Connect is an achievement not just for our team, but for all of AVIA. It’s an evolution of our business and we’re excited for you to experience it. I’m so proud of the work that we’ve done, and looking forward to all we still have to do. There are some days when I think about what it would have been like to be a professional snowboarder, but not today. Today I’m grateful that my journey led me here to this work.