Violet is a platform that helps the healthcare industry deliver more inclusive services
Steven Loeb and Bambi Francisco Roizen speak with Gaurang Choksi, Founder and CEO of Violet, a platform that helps the healthcare industry deliver more inclusive services.
Our goal is to understand the technological breakthroughs that are radically changing healthcare: the way we screen, diagnose and treat disease and measure outcomes. And whether technology helps or hurts our physical and mental well-being.
- Violet was born from personal experiences. Choksi is a gay man, he grew up on Medicaid, and he’s an Indian immigrant, so he’s seen so much inequity in the healthcare system. This includes ending up with doctors who didn’t know how to work with gay men, or personally translating for your parents and constantly seeing prejudice and stigma towards non-English speakers. He has also spent many years working at Oscar and has seen many patients call in and share the same complaints and grievances as him. One in two Americans are in the LGBT or BIPOC communities, but they’re all really struggling to find the inclusive care they deserve.
- Clinicians are human and when they don’t feel comfortable or confident talking about identities, whether it’s mentioning the word Black and bringing race into a caregiving interaction, or talking about gender identity or sexual orientation, they just avoid the topic of health disparities. that disproportionately affect this community. What Violet finds is that if healthcare professionals can’t talk about identities, they just don’t talk about them. This is something the company fundamentally wants to change with education.
- Even within communities, there will be parts that have health benefits and other parts that have really huge health downsides. So what Violet is focusing on is how to continue to educate all of the healthcare professionals that are out there, so they at least know what disparities they need to be able to talk about.
- Violet works with organizations and gets to know all of their care delivery teams, using her framework to assess how inclusive a physician is. It looks at what they have studied, the communities they have worked with, the communities they want to work with, or the communities they feel confident with. He uses this data to rank them against other peers, and then he provides CE and CME training to help his learners be more inclusive. It also feeds data back to its partners on included clinicians so a patient can reference Violet’s data when they want an inclusive physician.
- Violet doesn’t see cultural competency as a destination. The company believes that there are health disparities for every identity and that every community will continue to evolve, so what it cares about is building the infrastructure and systems so people can keep going. to come back and invest in their own development. On average, people spend one to two hours a month per clinician learning about inclusivity.
- The company focuses on primary care and behavioral health care, specialties where the relationship is at the heart of success. A subset of his education includes knowledge of how culture affects biomarkers; for example, in a culture where the diet is very high in rice, there is a resource that actually explains why it might not be as simple as a diabetic patient not eating rice. It provides other resources that this clinician could refer to.
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