For our sixth episode, we're joined by Eric Raymond, Senior Manager of Business Applications at Castlight Health. Castlight Health transforms employee benefits into a deeply personalized, simple, and guided experience, empowering better-informed patient decisions to unlock healthcare outcomes and maximize return on healthcare investments. 

In this episode, we discuss the realities of contemporary American healthcare, how it affects industries and individuals, and what the future holds for medicine, health and well-being. We also talk about the challenges of building a nationwide directory of the COVID-19 testing sites, working with tech giants like Google, and saving the world, one app at a time.

Host: Christian Lane
Co-host: Garrett Dutton (aka G. Love)
Guest: Eric Raymond

With over 20 years of experience in IT, Eric has worked across many industries, building and managing better systems, processes, and tools for organizations ranging from startups to billion-dollar enterprises. As a certified SAFe Program Consultant, he’s helped architect and lead digital transformations, managed multi-million dollar software implementations, and led agile teams on the cutting edge of information systems and technology. In his spare time, Eric enjoys the outdoors with his wife and kids. Whether it be dirt or mountain biking, peak bagging, or good, old-fashioned camping, you’ll find him blazing new trails in the mountains or deserts of the western US on any given weekend.  

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

healthcare, people, employee, health, test, data, app, company, atlassian, integrating, technology, exciting, health care, work, provider, process, system

SPEAKERS

Eric Raymond, Christian Lane, Katie Thomas, Garrett Dutton

 

Katie Thomas  00:03

Welcome to the Digital Transformation(ists) Podcast. This episode's guest is Eric Raymond, Senior Manager of business applications at Castlight Health. Castlight Health transforms Employee Benefits into a deeply personalized, simple and guided experience empowering better informed patient decisions to unlock healthcare outcomes and maximize return on healthcare investments. In this episode, we discuss the realities of contemporary American healthcare, how it affects industries and individuals, and what the future holds for medicine, health and wellbeing. We also talk about the challenges of building a nationwide directory of COVID-19 testing sites, working with tech giants like Google, and saving the world one app at a time. 

 

Eric Raymond is the Senior Manager of Business Applications at castlight health. With over 20 years of experience in IT, Eric has worked across many industries, building and managing better systems, processes and tools, organizations ranging from startups to billion dollar enterprises. As a certified SAFe program consultant, he's helped architect and lead digital transformations, manage multimillion dollar software implementations, and lead Agile teams on the cutting edge of information systems and technology. In his spare time, Eric enjoys the outdoors with his wife and kids, whether it be dirt or mountain biking, peakbagging, or good old-fashioned camping, you'll find him blazing new trails in the mountains or deserts of Western US on any given weekend.

 

Christian Lane  01:46

So Garrett, I'm curious how many run-ins do you have with health care? Is it easy for you?

 

Garrett Dutton  01:55

Well, you know, it's interesting that healthcare's our topic today. Because it's actually been a big issue in our kind of small mom and pop business within the music industry right now. And the reason is, because of COVID, we had to recently like furlough, or layoff, our only like full time employee, because all the other band and crew are like, kind of gig workers that work when we have gigs, but we have my assistant manager. So our PP loan had run out, and we're looking right now, like you have the next six months with no gigs on the books. So we were kind of trying to figure out some way to figure it out. 

But long story short, our employee was worried about his health care, but also needed to collect unemployment benefits. So the question came up, well, could we float the healthcare? Well, healthcare is crazy expensive. So, the short end of the story was that we weren't able to cover the health care, because we have no money coming in. Okay, so this is just something that's come up right now. And, to just have one employee covered for the years like $36,000. So healthcare has been on our mind big time? You know what I mean?

 

Christian Lane  03:30

As an employer, you don't have a ton of employees. So it's hard to get some of the benefits of bigger pools right. Now as an individual navigating the healthcare system, it's really hard, right? And it's very hard as an employer as well. I've had to go through and evaluate which plan to take. And then once I do have a plan as it is actually a recent example, I had to go to the COVID test, I think it was just kind of a procedural thing, where we're going to get a few folks together and make sure we're all tested. It was really hard to find an actual test center. And yeah, there's insurance things and like all these things that I asked my network of friends, but there was still a very time consuming effort. And I think there's a lot of great resources out there. But, you know, one of which is Castlight Health, which I'm looking forward to talking to Eric about some things they've done, but they've been pretty innovative in that regard, as well. Have you gone through that process?

 

Garrett Dutton  04:29

Yeah, we had the same. So right now for the small amount of gigs that we do have, you know, if people request to have a COVID test… We had a wedding, we played it up in Maine earlier this summer with the whole band, and the host wanted us to everyone get a test, but sure he was unwilling. He didn't want to pay for everyone to get tested. So we didn't want to pay because it costs like $160. We said, Oh, well, there's, you know, the band's not gonna pay for the test you guys want to throw in there $1,000 or whatever it is to get everyone says, Well, no, we're not gonna do it, there's plenty of free places to get tested. Well, where are they? And then the band's freaking out? Well, we don't know where to go to get it. So yeah, no one, no one knows where to go lucky. My wife kinda. She's pretty on point with that stuff, but not for everybody living

 

Christian Lane  05:26

Sure, sure. Well, employers are trying to do what they can to make healthcare easy for employees. And as a whole there's a lot you have to think about as an employer to be competitive and provide your employees a really good experience when it comes to health care. Obviously, the employer wants to keep costs down. The employer wants to keep employees healthy, and give a good experience to the employees. And this is a space where Castlight has done a phenomenal job. And with that, I'm so excited to introduce Eric Raymond of Castlight Health. Eric, thanks for joining us, man. By way of introduction, please. I'm happy to introduce you to Garrett Dutton, G. Love. G, Eric Raymond.

 

Garrett Dutton  06:07

Hey, Eric, thanks for joining us, man. We're excited to hear your take on all this.

 

Eric Raymond  06:12

Yeah, it's great to meet you and Christian, thanks for having me on the show. This is exciting. And you know, you just hit the nail on the head with some of the challenges we're facing in today's healthcare environment. And I think it continues to get more and more complex with each passing day. So it's not a problem that's going away anytime soon.

 

Christian Lane  06:31

Well when we think about health and wellness, environment, just all the kinds of challenges that are out in the world, social… We like to think that technology and innovation is going to help us through it. And I think there's definitely, obviously, very, very important our success, and now we've got FDA approved vaccines. Now the question is, how do you roll these things out? You got some complexities on the vaccine, everything from the temperature and how they're distributed. We got FedEx going to the West Coast, UPS on the East Coast. And, at least with a Pfizer vaccine, you have to have 2 shots. So you also have to be sure that you're not taking a mix of different vaccines. But if you take the first one, take the second one, it needs to be the same vaccine from Pfizer,

 

Garrett Dutton  07:17

You can't mix the moderna with the Pfizer to make a little COVID cocktail?

 

Eric Raymond  07:21

That sounds exciting!

 

Christian Lane  07:23

Yeah. But those are the topics that we want to talk about. But to set things up: Tell us a little bit about Castlight Health.

 

Eric Raymond  07:32

Great question. So I'm fairly new to Castlight Health actually, just nine months in, coincidentally, I started in March, we're a Bay Area Company, and we got locked down in the very week I started. And so I haven't even been to the office yet. Yeah. But it's gone really well. And I've really been impressed with the way that Castlight has literally transformed the healthcare industry. And it's really exciting. I've been involved in technology now for 20, 22 years -ish. But this is my first foray into the healthcare side of things. And I don't have a ton of healthcare experience. But I've learned a lot over the last nine months. And I think from an end-user, or an employee or a small business person, we know the challenges that healthcare provides each one of us, and some of the hurdles that we have to jump to make sense of all of this and how expensive it's getting and how confusing it can be. 

 

And so one thing that I've really appreciated about Castlight is that I believe they've transformed healthcare by creating the leading healthcare navigation platform for some of America's largest employers. And our health navigation platform connects hundreds of health vendors and benefits, resources and other things like health plans into one comprehensive health and well being experience. And one thing that we really strive to do is try to make it deeply personalized, and guided for each individual user. And that allows greater empowerment for the employee, or the person that has access to Castlight to make better decisions, which ultimately unlock better health care outcomes for each one of us and helps us maximize our healthcare investments. Because as we all know, it's extremely expensive.

 

Christian Lane  09:28

Yeah. Well, as you move a very complex thing, and you move the complexity out of the hands of the individual, you're trying to simplify their life, simplify the way that they address and navigate healthcare, you then take on a lot of that complexity, and I'm sure you're building very robust complex systems. The way you personalize health for any one individual, to me seems very complicated, let alone doing that across however many people in any one business and having many businesses that you're actually enabling this for? What is your role in product management? What kind of projects are you working on?

 

Eric Raymond  10:05

A good question! I'm primarily involved with a lot of the internal applications of Castlight. But we do some really big initiatives, that definitely involve my team, for example, my team is responsible for Salesforce at Castlight. And that's a big component. For this, this is something new that we just brought on board in the last year or so. But it's, we call them our care guides. And it's adding to the digital component and bringing a human component in because sometimes when we're navigating healthcare, we have our app, which is either mobile app, Android or, Apple, or desktop, sometimes somebody wants a human touch, an actual person on the other end of the line. So we just instituted last year, our care guides and our care guides are a group of really talented people, they have average, each one of them over 15 years of clinical experience, a lot of them are nurses, or you can call a toll free number and get support. And these people are very amazing, they can walk you through, for example, where to find the best doctor or specialist if you don't want to do it via the app, they can actually help you negotiate your health care costs. Like if you get a bill, and it's not matching up with what you think it should be, they can actually negotiate on your behalf. And so that's really exciting. So it's a very nice concierge service for helping our users get the most out of healthcare.

 

Christian Lane  11:54

Nice. So that's a value to bring in the company, the employer and the employee, because otherwise they're taking on these questions anyways. Right? So you're gonna bring that level of experience to extend that to those employees as well. That's awesome.

 

Eric Raymond  12:06

Yep. Yep. And then there's a whole host of other applications that we use, and on the engineering teams, there's all kinds of exciting projects, I'm sure we'll get into talking about some of those a little bit later in the show. But there's some really, really awesome, fun things that we're building, and that really help improve healthcare, and really make it, digitally transform the healthcare experience across the board. So I'm sure we'll get into some of those.

 

Garrett Dutton  12:39

So the app is user based, and kind of helps all the people that are getting healthcare, what about on the other side of the fence, like how's it navigating for Castlight, working with everybody in the hospitals, the researchers, the doctors, nurses, receptionists, insurance agents, government employees, etc. Like it's such a diverse group of people you got to work with on the other side as well.

 

Eric Raymond  13:09

It is, it's huge. I mean, healthcare alone last year, I believe the spend in the US was $3.8 trillion dollars. So it's a massive industry. And when you look at it, I think that's roughly about the size of Germany's GDP. And so we spend a lot on health care as a country.  And there's so many different players. I'm just barely scratching the surface and getting to know what some of these players are. But like you said, you have health plans, and you have so many different points of contact in the healthcare industry. And what I think Castlight has done a really good job of, I'm not gonna say it's been easy, but it's integrating all of these hundreds of different points of contact in the healthcare industry, whether they're providers of digital data, or their their insurance plans, or their wearable devices where we're tapping into wellness. You know, different metrics, like for example, walking number of steps per day, for our wellness program. It's a massive undertaking, and we have a lot of different teams across Castlight. And it takes a lot of coordination and effort and I think it just takes a lot of communication with these different vendors and partners, but we have a huge group of vendors and partners that we work with and our ecosystem continues to grow day by day. It's pretty exciting.

 

Garrett Dutton  14:45

Now, the name of the company just makes more sense! I was casting light. Yes, the dark, hoping to show you: Let there be light!

 

Eric Raymond  14:57

I think that's exactly why it was named that it was Yeah. created back in 2008, to cast light or provide transparency on healthcare pricing. Because as you mentioned up in Maine, it was about $160 to go get a health care test. But if you had gone to perhaps a different doctor, or you were in a different state, it could cost as much as a couple $1,000. And so we want to be able to show how much these things cost so that the employee can make a wise decision and choose the best option.

 

Christian Lane  15:26

So cool. So in order to make all this happen, obviously, we have to be very digital. The way you're talking about integrating all these folks, it's all API's. Right? And behind those API's, obviously, those companies, those partners have to be very digital on how they conduct in the business. Now, you mentioned you do work with Salesforce, but I also know that you work with the Atlassian products. And those are the tools that also support the software dev teams, can you tell us about some of the practices in the tooling that your organization's using to build and bring value via technology?

 

Eric Raymond  16:01

Yeah, great question! Atlassian is one of my favorite products, actually. And I have many, many years of experience with Atlassian. And Praecipio Consulting has just been a huge partner with us in this endeavor as well, when we recently migrated from Server to Cloud, that's a whole 'nother story in and of itself. One of the things that I'm really passionate about, that I've been involved with, with many for many years is in order to be able to do any type of digital transformation, as a company, I think you need to change your mindset because you have to be able to absolutely have it and adapt on a moment's notice. And so I'm a huge believer of the Agile framework. And some of the old school ways of doing things, some of those old waterfall processes, for example, that were invented after World War Two, are really no longer viable if you want to remain at the forefront. 

 

And the reason why is that those old processes don't allow you to move fast enough to changing market conditions. We've seen that again, and again. And so I believe you need to be able to fail fast, prove that something is going to work or not work, and then iterate on that process and pivot if you need to. And so we use Atlassian, for that very reason. 

 

A lot of the tools that we use support the Agile framework, and we're a SAFe company. And for our listeners that aren't sure what SAFe is, it's Scaled Agile Framework. So it's taking that Agile, kind of that Scrum and expanding it to the portfolio level across the top of the company. That really is a powerful process that we use. And so we kind of plan on a quarterly basis, we use what's called program increments, we plan a quarter in advance, and we get all of our dev teams together and and all of our executives and we put together a game plan for the quarter. But that doesn't mean that we can't, that we don't have to pivot when something comes up, a perfect case example of that would be, look what happened in COVID. When you hit the beginning of the year, when COVID hit, our company was able to pivot and we partnered with Google to make the COVID test site Finder. And I bet you, Garrett, when you were looking at the COVID test that it was our system that you were using the COVID test site finder, because we've partnered with Google and it was directed, the search went right to it. And the Google Maps went right to the local location where you can get tested. 

 

And so what's funny about that whole thing, though, is I was starting just as that was taking place, and what precipitated it was an internal hackathon of our developers, at the end of every quarter, we get together. And so a lot of engineers got together and spent a lot of man hours and a lot of teams worked hard to be able to create this COVID test site finder and put together all the data in all 50 states for where to get tested. And it became a huge success. And it's what state governments use. It's what fortune 500 companies use. So it was a big partnership with Google. And it turned out really well. And that's an example of, of pivoting quickly and using Agile frameworks and tools such as Atlassian to make that happen.

 

Garrett Dutton  19:22

Was that the first collaboration with Google? for the for the code?

 

Eric Raymond  19:29

No, that's a good question. I don't have the answer because I'm fairly new. I don't know if we partnered with them in the past on other things, but I know it was a big collaboration with them this year. So we also worked with Apple as well.

 

Christian Lane  19:43

What's so smart, that Castlight carves out time, dedicated time to let people do what they think is good, and it's a good idea. Atlassian’s had a tremendous amount of success with what they call ship-it! Which was a very similar thing. I think it's quarterly. Everyone gets like two days to just Go off, come up with some crazy dream project and build something. And then see of all these projects, you know, what's feasible, what can go back to a project or a product and what can be carried forward.  Atlassian has done amazing things on innovation by just giving people that room to do things. So it really works

 

Eric Raymond  20:17

Yeah, it's amazing. Yeah.

 

Garrett Dutton  20:20

Eric, you kind of touched on the apps and stuff. So, of course. It's obvious and you touched on the 10,000 steps. Everyone's so into the Health app on your iPhone, and counting the steps and checking your heart rate, and it seems like, at least from my perspective, our society, our culture’s in kind of a pro health forward, hopefully, most of us. So that's a wonderful thing for the healthcare industry, for people to be doing more preventative health, and just being healthy. So how does some of those apps help make your job easier? What are you guys doing?

 

Eric Raymond  21:13

That's a great question. I think we all kind of started off however, many years ago, I don't remember exactly when, but we all got the Fitbit, right? And we had to fit that on our wrist. And it was exciting. And at first, it was kind of a little bit of a novelty, because it was like, it tracks my steps. That's nice, and your heart rate. But it's amazing to see how the technology and especially these wearable technologies have advanced over the past several years. And now, it's just, if you're into technology like we are, I think you're going to have one of these on your wrist, whether it's an Apple Watch, my wife loves hers, I have a Garmin, and not only can I track my sleep and my calories and my steps, but now I can track things like my V02 to even respiration and oxygen levels, which is really cool. It even shows me my stress levels. And at first when I got the watch six months ago...

 

Garrett Dutton  22:07

Let’s see it! Do you have this right now?

 

Eric Raymond  22:10

Yeah, yeah, right here. This is the Phoenix, it's asleep. But when I first got it, I thought, this has got to be some kind of marketing gimmick like how could it know my stress? And I don't know how it works, to be honest. But as I kind of monitored it and watched it, it does seem to do a pretty good job of identifying if my body's under stress, like if I had a poor night's sleep and you know, I'm I'm just running and gunning at work, you know, it kind of detects that. 

 

So there's some interesting things that are coming out now. And, Castlight is integrating with all of these different tools. And we're collecting that data. And one thing you know, that we take seriously is privacy. So we de-identify the data. So no one person can be identified with whatever data we're collecting. But this kind of data can really help transform the healthcare industry as well, because it allows us to determine how people are doing. And I know that I remember my aunt, about 20 years ago, she was talking to me and I just got started in it at that point. And she said, Eric, someday they're going to have a device that you wear on your body that's going to tell you exactly what's wrong with you. She was a nurse, and that's coming to pass. It's really cool to see that. And we're just on the cutting edge of some of those technologies becoming available. And we've seen a lot transpire and it'll continue to grow. I think,

 

Garrett Dutton  23:42

Can I go real quick? Just to your point, what popped into my head while you're talking about that stuff. Eric and this is kind of almost creepy. But you know how like with your car insurance, what's the commercial right now, like, a safe driver's benefit? Is something on your app or something that? 

 

Garrett Dutton  24:02

Okay, so that's what is so is there something that exists like that through your health? So you have your you got your Garmin watch your wife has the iPhone, watch, you know, again, I got my health on my phone? What? Well, I don't know if people want their health insurance companies to have access to that. But what if there was a system like that where you're saying, Oh, well, you know, look, Katie Thomas's. She walked 1000 steps every week this week. So her her her premiums going down by $100 a month though,

 

Eric Raymond  24:37

That's a really interesting concept. I don't think it's kind of gotten to that level yet. But I could see something like that in the future. And one thing that companies are using it for the data for right now is for wellness programs. You mentioned earlier about the importance of preventative care. And healthcare companies in general can save billions of dollars a year if they get their employees taking care of their health, just walking 10,000 steps a day, for example. And so, one Castlight Health, our wellness portion of our app allows companies to create challenges, which are really fun. So you can join up with a team and they can, depending on how many steps you get in a week, or several weeks, you can cater it to whatever you need to, but I found it to be actually really fun and, and it really creates employee engagement. And what's neat about it is it actually drives employee behavior, they proved that when you do those kinds of challenges, and people start doing these hackathons or whatever they're doing, it develops really positive habits, and it can really help. So I don't know, you know, that's a great idea of some, some, at some point in the future integrated in with the, the health insurance, but for right now, at least at the corporate level, it does help save the company, potentially millions of dollars a year, depending on how large they are, by getting people out and walking and monitoring their calories and that kind of stuff. And our apps do all of that. So

 

Garrett Dutton  26:05

I mean, think about how many people will be out walking hardcore every day. If they knew that, like, “Well, hold on. If I just don't go to McDonald's right now and go have a salad and then walk around the block on my lunch, I'm gonna save $100 this month.” That's crazy.

 

Eric Raymond  26:25

Yeah, there's some fun incentives, like our company gives amazon gift cards once you get a certain number of points after walking. Like a $25 Amazon gift card. And so I think I've earned a couple 100 bucks this year. And I won't turn that down. So it's fine.

 

Christian Lane  26:41

Yeah, we have a similar program, so to speak. But you know, one thing is, people are afraid of big data and AI. And for good reason. Any technology has two edges, right? But I think, you know, if we can I'm not sorry, anonymize this data, and have that volume of information to understand our data. People in general, the larger population, I think we're obviously gonna pull some great information out of that, that'll benefit everyone, without having a specific data point, only one individual. Is there any big data kind of thing or AI kind of thing that you're working on? With regards to information? 

 

Eric Raymond  27:25

That's an awesome question. I didn't know if you were gonna ask that. But I pulled a couple examples just in case that came up. So let me let me share a couple of these. And I've got the data in front of me. So I'm going to read a little bit of it. But the first thing is, when we launched the nationwide directory of the COVID-19 testing sites, we used that data to build what's called a heat map. And it shows the spikes and infection or transmission rates in certain areas of the US. And so you could really drill down like if you were in Houston or Miami, it doesn't, Boston, you could see where this was, where it was getting hit. And this was all from this medical real time data. Of course, we de-identify and anonymize it so that we're not, you know, as part of HIPAA, we know that HIPAA right is a really serious thing. But what we did is we did another study that just recently got published in the Journal of American Medical Association, the JAMA network, it's a highly prestigious medical journal. And let me pull up the information here. So this is just last month, we published this data in this peer reviewed medical journal. And basically what we were in our study, and we were looking at, I believe, 3 billion records. Somewhere in that neighborhood. Yeah, a lot of big data, we found that there was nearly a 70% reduction of preventive care for top health conditions in the US such as colonoscopies and mammograms due to COVID.

 

Christian Lane  29:02

Because men don't want to go see doctors they're afraid to. 

 

Eric Raymond  29:05

Yeah, they're probably afraid to because, you know, they

 

Christian Lane  29:09

will get infected at a hospital.

 

Eric Raymond  29:10

Exactly, yeah. And so, they're just holed up in their home waiting for this to pass. In the meantime, they're not getting these preventative care things done. And so we know, according to the CDC, chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes are the leading cause of death and disability in the US. And this highlights the need for people to be screened for and kind of receive some of these, these, this preventative care for chronic conditions. And so according to some of the research, the American College of oncology anticipates a dramatic increase in cancer over the next decade as a result of deferred cancer care. So that's another really sad thing that's happening as a result of it that we found from this big data.

 

 Another really cool thing that we were able to do was get some cost data on how much it was for COVID testing and treating COVID. And so what we used as the primary source of data for this analysis was a subset of 2.5 billion de identified medical claims for primary care, urgent care, emergency room, lab tests, etc. We had the provider directory data, we had the provider rate sheets, that's something that cast lights had for forever. We've had publicly and then publicly available data. And then what we were able to do is put together a cost spectrum really a range of what it costs in these different Metro regions to get treated for COVID. This is really interesting. I was going to show you here so what we do is we the procedures and services we included were the site of care. So whether it was a telehealth primary care visit, urgent care visit or an ER visit, we also looked at care for moderate COVID-19 says symptoms such as initial cost of provider visit, influenza test sputum culture and sensitivity, blood culture and sensitivity. 

 

I'm just reading off this document here, but it’s pretty cool stuff. And then we also looked at things like chest x rays, lab tests. So here's what's interesting analysis found that in Los Angeles, this is just one example of the study, the cost for a primary care visit and standard lab testing ranges from $304 to $4,447, roughly a 14 fold difference. So that's why you can see something like Castlight would be so helpful, because you can see on the app, how much it's gonna cost by going to, you know, if you go to the ER, it's going to be through the roof, if you just go to this clinic over here, it's only, you know, a couple $100 so that's, that's the big difference. 

 

Garrett Dutton  31:46

But who's paying for it? Because for instance, my guitar tech, his father in law, or stepfather? He had maybe mild COVID, they had him in the hospital for two weeks. That's kind of that's gonna be 10s of thousands...

 

Eric Raymond  32:04

Yeah, exactly. 10s of 1000s. Yeah, that's big bucks. So we know that the health insurance companies pay a big chunk of it, but where does that money come from? I mean, they've got to increase their costs. And that goes back into the consumers pockets, eventually,

 

Christian Lane  32:23

The disproportionate impact on minorities, and folks that have less income if you don't have the 4000 bucks, if you're low income, that's devastating, to some of us 4000 bucks sucks, my impact is more or less, but a lot of folks, that's a huge setback.

 

Eric Raymond  32:44

And that is one of the things that we found, too, is that low income areas of the country really do suffer. In this situation.

 

Christian Lane  32:54

This is really cool. You  alluded to some upcoming stuff that you wanted to chat about. Is there anything you're going to get involved with to help with just tracking what tests you've had? What immunization, you've had, you're gonna get the second one of the right one. Because this is a big technology solution waiting to happen there. Is it coming down the pipe and can you talk about that?

 

Eric Raymond  33:22

I know that we are doing some work on immunizations. And you know how attorneys can be sometimes I talk to our attorneys, and we can't quite divulge anything yet, but there is a lot of work going on in that arena and getting the vaccine out to the American people is a huge endeavor. I know Castlight will be involved in that process. And it's pretty exciting. But I think the biggest thing is we have a lot of this already, but just being able to. Castlight offers the ability to search for medical providers, which is so powerful and serves up those top rank providers. 

 

We have this proprietary smart match provider search, and it identifies and recommends the highest value care, which is really cool technology and it shows transparent costs and quality rankings, which is very, very powerful. Like we were mentioning earlier being able to determine “Am I going to spend $300 for COVID.” Or, obviously, if you're in the hospital, you're going to spend a lot more. The other thing that we're working on is what's going to become huge as telehealth and virtual care. And people are starting to get more used to the idea of just basic stuff, talking to a doctor or a nurse remotely. We're getting used to it in our day to day jobs now. I think that's becoming more and more a huge thing. Recently, we added a visual icon to all the providers that offer virtual care. So if you go into the Castlight app, you can say, Well, I don't really want to leave my house, I don’t feel comfortable going to the clinic, I'm going to talk to somebody remotely. And so that's that's kind of a fun thing. And I think that's going to continue to grow.

 

Garrett Dutton  35:10

Yeah, if you just look at it from just an everyday person's perspective. Most of the time, when you need to see your doctor, you need a prescription. When I'm on tour , in the wintertime, I tend to get like a terrible chest cold, once a winter. And if I was home and didn't have to sing every night, I wouldn't take antibiotics. But I need to take antibiotics when I'm on tour because I got to perform. So I'm in Kansas, but my primary is in Boston. They're like, well go to urgent care. I'm like, No I'm touring, just call it into the CVS, you know? 

 

So televisits are going to be huge for everybody. Because most of the time, you don't really need to be sitting in your doctor's office, I’ve always had this other joke. If you have children, and you take your kid to the Children's Hospital, they're more likely to get injured in the waiting room of the children's hospital with like, you know, 40 sick kids running around going crazy waiting for their appointments. They're gonna get more stitches. So yeah, so this is gonna be huge to tell, televisits, you know?

 

Eric Raymond  36:32

Yeah, I think it's an exciting trend. And we'll continue to see it grow and grow. It's definitely the wave of the future.

 

Christian Lane  36:39

Well, I'm gonna go back to some of the Atlassian conversations we're having. You just did a migration, we just did a migration to cloud. What were some of the primary drivers for that? Because I think that decision and that project was before the big announcement on the server deputy deprecation effectively.

 

Eric Raymond  37:01

Yeah, well, when I got hired, I asked my, my boss, why are we not on cloud yet? Because I came from a company that was on Atlassian Cloud, and there's so many different moving pieces at Castlight. There's a million and one projects happening all at once that it's hard; Castlight had been using Jira since 2008, or 2009. So it's been around a long time, and our system was slowing down just because we hadn't, we hadn't taken good care of it, there weren't any specific stewards over that data to manage it, and just to make sure that we were keeping the latest update. 

 

So we were concerned, both from a data standpoint, performance standpoint, security standpoint, what can we do to mitigate this? And obviously, the answer is, go to the cloud. And Atlassian, and Praecipio Consulting provided great support in helping us do the migration. So they just needed somebody to come in and grab the bull by the horns, which I did, and kind of guide this process through with the rest of the business, but all in all it you know, it was a big project, a massive undertaking, but it went really well. And it was really smooth, all things considered, I thought it was a big success. So we were happy about that.

 

Christian Lane  38:20

Awesome. Well, thanks for trusting us with that. You take those things very seriously. Very cool. I'm glad that worked out. So well.

 

Eric Raymond  38:27

Yeah, it was great.

 

Christian Lane  38:29

Now, are y'all largely cloud centric? Are there more things to be done to move you from behind the firewall or on premise type situations? 

 

Eric Raymond  38:40

Yeah, I think Jira, or Atlassian, was one of the last ones on-prem things, but yeah, we're definitely a cloud based company, we’re a SaaS company, and so we understand the importance of that. And so, where we can we're definitely moving that direction. So I'm trying to think offhand, if there's any other things that are on-prem, and I can't, nothing comes to mind. So I think we're doing a pretty good job there.

 

Christian Lane  39:08

Very cool. That's awesome. So tell us what big plans did you have got interrupted because just like Castlight’s quarterly planning and having a pivot, the whole world overnight had to pivot right? All of us have these great plans for 2020. What kind of things were interrupted on your side?

 

Eric Raymond  39:28

From a professional standpoint?

 

Eric Raymond  39:34

So we I think we went to Hawaii in February before I got hired and I think we ended up getting COVID when we were there to be honest, we are you think safe and I yeah, we both got pretty sick and we lost our sense of taste and smell. So that was a pretty easy indicator that we probably had it. For a few days and the cough wasn't fun. I think we got it on the airplane over in February. 

 

Our big trip was to Hawaii this year. And what we ended up doing was, I love the mountains, actually live in Utah. We just would go up the canyon and the weekends to get away from the heat and up into the mountains. And so you know, it was kind of fun family time. And so we just, instead of doing big trips around the country, we just stayed local and still had an enjoyable time. So for us, we were pretty fortunate, you know. So hiking, mountain biking, dirt, biking. That's the kind of stuff we like doing.

 

Christian Lane  40:32

Very cool. Very lucky. It's a beautiful part of the country. So many beautiful mountains.

 

Garrett Dutton  40:37

Do you go up in Moab?

 

Eric Raymond  40:40

That's one of our favorite places to go. Yep, we love my Moab.

 

Garrett Dutton  40:43

I got to go there for the first for the first time this year and doing those those bike trails are unbelievable, aren't they?

 

Eric Raymond  40:52

Did you go biking?

 

Garrett Dutton  40:54

Yeah, we did. We went biking on you know, with the seat with the seat that goes up or down? Yeah, it was cool. We didn't do it, we didn't I mean, it was pretty tactical to get thrown into. But that's something else.

 

Eric Raymond  41:09

I'm glad you got to experience Moab.

 

Garrett Dutton  41:11

That's a good place to be quarantined. 

 

Christian Lane  41:17

So what are the things to come down the pipe? Eric, let's go professionally.

 

Eric Raymond  41:22

One of the big things for 2021 I think is working on continuously integrating our systems internally is light. And we just, were just bringing on Workato. And I know you guys are gonna be helping with that as well. 

 

Christian Lane  41:40

Workato! Great company.

 

Eric Raymond  41:41

Yeah, great company. And we're really excited to kind of streamline some of the processes that we use, like the onboarding process for IT, and HR, in building some integrations into our systems to be able to allow that and just take some of that tedious work, checklist, workout that has to happen. And automate, automate, automate. That's, that's a big push.

 

Christian Lane  42:05

Very cool. So for those listening, have Workato is a SaaS or PaaS platform for automation and integration. So you think of it as a middleware capability. But so much more beyond that. What's also really cool about their product is that it democratizes a lot of these capabilities as well, so that the interfaces are super clean and simple. And it's just a super powerful tool for automating and above all, I think orchestrating, so that when the employee gets hired, and the HR system acts, all the right activities get triggered into Jira, or Salesforce or wherever, or accounts that need to be created or provisioned. And then beyond that, great integration for other kinds of processes as well. Anything you want to integrate or automate, and orchestrate. It's a great solution. That's really exciting.

 

Eric Raymond  42:53

Yeah, that's a big push. We're super excited about that. And then just continual training. And Salesforce is a big platform. Atlassian. Workato will be big. We're using a lot of the Microsoft Office 365 stuff as well. So yeah, just onward and upward. But we have a lot of internal tools. That's one of the challenges with big companies as they start to grow. You get all these different siloed tools that start creeping up, Shadow IT, they call it. And we're trying to where we can consolidate some of those or integrate some of those to reduce some of those friction points between systems, though.

 

Christian Lane  43:38

You got a lot of good work ahead of you.

 

Garrett Dutton  43:39

You guys are saving the world. saving the world one day at a time, you know?

 

Eric Raymond  43:46

Well, that's cool. You mentioned Garrett, because that's what appealed to me when I got recruited, actually, I didn't seek Castlight out, and they sought me out. And the guy that hired me, told me about the mission that Castlight is doing, and we really are helping people. And I can get behind those kinds of things. I really, I really enjoy that side of it. And so that's been a huge, huge benefit.

 

Garrett Dutton  44:09

Right on well, keep up the good work!

 

Eric Raymond  44:13

Thank you!

 

Christian Lane  44:14

Eric: thanks for joining us, G. It was good to see you, man. Thank you.

 

Garrett Dutton  44:17

Thank you guys.

 

Eric Raymond  44:18

Thanks, guys. It's been a pleasure.

 

Katie Thomas  44:24

Today's episode was brought to you by Workato. Thanks for listening to the digital transformation(ists) Podcast, brought to you by Praecipio Consulting. Be sure to visit our webpage to check out our other episodes, access, show notes and links and listen to some great bonus content. Like what you heard? Subscribe rate and leave us a review and tell a friend! We love making new friends. I'm executive producer Katie Thomas. Victor Vargas is our engineer. Alejandro Caballero is our editor. Thanks for tuning in.

Christian Lane

Written by Christian Lane

With over 20 years of consulting, IT operations, integration, and software development experience, founder and managing partner Christian Lane drives the business strategy that has led to landmark company success. His experience in myriad industries including start-ups, utilities and commercial arts provided Christian a wide knowledge base of operational development. Prior to founding Praecipio Consulting, Christian gained respect in the technology field through his work with ERCOT and Tactica Technology Group (now Hitachi Consulting). Choosing a headquarter office moments from Lake Austin, Christian enjoys going out for "board meetings" (a.k.a. wake boarding) with our team.

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