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The term “patient engagement” has become a kind of catchall, encompassing everything from platforms intended to make scheduling more efficient to portal interfaces to access electronic health records. Many current healthcare IT offerings are not proving effective at engagement, nor do health delivery systems really have a clear idea of how to use them, experts assert.

San Francisco-based Wildflower Health, which recently closed a $5 million funding round, has reported success marketing its Due Date Plus mobile platform, which helps guide women through pregnancy with educational and clinical resources, such as click-to-call capabilities that enable patients to contact a nurse immediately with questions or concerns.

Wildflower CEO Leah Sparks says the underlying principle behind both its current product and future plans is to capture the “chief medical officer of the home” via platforms that encourage users to take action. At the same time, the product provides enterprise clients with ways to measure those actions, which also builds user loyalty.

“Our programs have some level of tools that are engaging from the perspective of helpful content and organizing tools, things that have nothing to do with healthcare ROI,” Sparks says. “But they make that user feel like ‘You are really helping me take care of my family,’ which is an important place for health plans to establish themselves, because it’s a gateway for gaining trust they never had.”

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