Category Archive: Industry News

What’s ContextMedia working on? Ask my 8-year-old son.

Posted on November 5th, 2015

Lee Ebreo
VP of Engineering




A few weeks ago, I brought my eight year old son, Lucas, up to the ContextMedia office. We walked around, said hi to the team, and as usual, Lucas wandered off. When I caught up to him (I’m getting very good at this), I found him standing in front of our Digital Exam Room Wallboard, intrigued. I went through a few 3D anatomical diagrams, and explained to him how the doctor can use it to teach her patients. After interacting with the Digital Wallboard, we walked over to the Exam Room Tablet, where he spent a few minutes clicking through the UI.  I explained to him how patients at the doctor’s office use it to learn about their health.

Lucas is into Transformers, loves Minecraft, and is rapidly developing skills in using the Internet and Things of the Internet. He has a fantastical sense of what the future could be and takes for granted technology that I’ve lived without. So it was a bit surprising when, Lucas looked up from the Exam Room Tablet and asked, solemnly, “Dad, do you build things from the future?”

I looked at him, and with all seriousness said, “Yes, Lucas. Everyone that I work with here on this floor, we build things from the future.”

I have worked with some amazing organizations in my career, and in my year at ContextMedia, this has been what has set us apart: a commitment to innovation, day in, and day out. This is the opportunity that working on the product team at ContextMedia presents. We’re hitting our stride right now, and have set up a team that is fine-tuned to build amazing things fast.

When I joined ContextMedia as the VP of Engineering, I made it my goal to ensure that our team had a singular focus on execution. Everyone has fun and there is certainly plenty of witty banter on the Slack channels. At the same time, everyone knows that their work is important. Everyone is passionate about our mission. Everyone is here to build products that improve patients’ lives.

We nurture and channel that passion with a few consistently applied tactics. At 9:30am it is stand up time; we discuss what happened yesterday, what will happen today, call out the blockers, and have a laugh. Stand up is never more than 15 minutes. Sprint planning sessions with the entire team never last longer than one hour. I do not believe in multitasking. So we work in a system of singular focus for each individual, which means we spend more time sleeves rolled-up executing. While doing this, I trust my team to prioritize, fix, and build at their discretion. As the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.” This level of ownership can be challenging, but, we hire people who thrive in this environment – people who not only point out the problem, but take it upon themselves to own the solution.

For us, improving outcomes through these solutions is the ultimate challenge: how can we build something that will change the way physicians and patients interact? They will be using our tools in incredibly important interactions: from sharing articles to reviewing x-rays and MRIs.

The potential impact of anyone who joins our team is remarkable. Currently, our tablets alone are tracking ~200M events (e.g. video plays, touch interactions) and ~45M device diagnostic checks each month. We’re looking for a DevOps Systems Engineer, who will work closely with our devs and myself to build the infrastructure to scale to 500M+ events next year, and to help us manage the updates that we are deploying to our devices every few weeks.

“Sure, Lee,” you might say. “Every product team wants to build cool stuff fast. What makes ContextMedia any different?” In response, I’ll leave you with this.

ContextMedia has, what I like to refer to, as a communal checking account. There isn’t cash in this, nor is there time. Instead, this checking account has support, positivity, and ambition.

Working in tech, especially in a role when you have so much ownership and autonomy, can be both exhilarating and challenging. Some days you can breeze through the challenges. Other days, you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. On the tough days at ContextMedia, you can withdraw from the communal account, and receive the support and positive energy of everyone on your team. Similarly, on the good days, everyone here is depositing into the checking account for themselves and for the rest of the company. Our team gives and receives support and passion in a way that I’ve never experienced in my career.

With this kind of support, I’ve never been more excited to build out this special product team. If you want to see what I mean, I’m happy to have you over to the office and show you.  Lucas had it right – at ContextMedia, we have the unique opportunity to look forward and build things from the future.

How to Change Patient Behavior for the Better

Posted on September 24th, 2015

Changing patient behavior is one of the most difficult, yet important tasks within healthcare. Most of us grew up sitting on exam tables surrounded by outdated collateral and irrelevant posters, none of which effectively convinced us that a change in behavior was necessary. However, the landscape has changed. Starting in the waiting room and continuing through the exam room, comprehensive digital point-of-care messaging has become a necessary part of patient education. Patients are increasingly incentivized to utilize these tools to manage their treatment, and healthcare providers are finding ways to apply them towards a more efficient workflow and better care coordination. Ultimately, this can help change patient behaviors for the better.

 In a recent edition of DTC Perspectives, ContextMedia EVP of Business Growth, Ashik Desai, published “A Holistic Way to Change Patient Behavior”, detailing the past, present and future of the point-of-care industry as it applies to changing patient behaviors. Read more here.

ContextMedia and the Path Ahead: Nothing but Opportunity

Posted on September 19th, 2015

In 2006, as college students, ContextMedia co-founders Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal borrowed Rishi’s mom’s car, filled the trunk with video equipment, and drove to doctors’ offices as they bootstrapped the company off the ground. ContextMedia has come a long way since then, and established itself as the fastest growing company in the industry.

In a recent feature in Crain’s, Rishi speaks to John Pletz about ContextMedia’s humble beginnings, rapid growth, and the exciting road ahead. Click here to read the full feature.

What You Need to Know About Point of Care

Posted on July 29th, 2015

When ContextMedia was founded, the term “point of care” was not yet a buzzword within healthcare – it was used to describe the doctor’s office, hospital or pharmacy. Nearly ten years later, companies like ContextMedia are using technology to transform the reach and impact of point of care, which has grown to encompass any patient interaction during treatment. In a recent article published in Medical Marketing & Media, “Point of Care: Point of Where?” Rebecca Knutsen speaks with ContextMedia EVP of Business Growth, Ashik Desai, about the past, present, and future of point of care. Click here to read more.

How to Join the Fastest Growing Sales Team in Chicago

Posted on July 23rd, 2015

ContextMedia has grown into the fastest growing sales team in the industry. Amidst this high growth, ContextMedia is committed to creating a family that is humble yet ambitious, and communal yet competitive. In a recent interview with Built In Chicago, Executive Business Liaison Philip de Guzman breaks down what ContextMedia looks for in candidates looking to join the sales team. “Our team isn’t just trying to hit their quotas every day; we want salespeople who get up in the morning motivated to improve the lives of the the millions of patients we impact.”

ContextMedia recently launched its sales recruitment site, and it’s never been easier to apply. To learn more about what it’s like to work on ContextMedia’s sales  team, visit us here.

The Value of Innovative Patient Education

Posted on July 7th, 2015

Originally Published in The Association for Dermatology Practice Management’s Executive Decisions in Dermatology, July/August 2015
By Brok Vandersteen, Healthcare Sales Manager at ContextMedia

We’ve all been there. With unexpected free time, you watch a daytime TV show that you hadn’t watched since you were home sick in grade school. You fidget in the chair, and pull your phone out to check the time. It’s been 15 minutes since you arrived at the doctor’s office, and you’re still in the waiting room. As a matter of fact, average wait across the waiting room and exam room is climbing upwards of 30 minutes. But what if this wait time was repurposed to educate your patients about dermatology?

As Pamela explained in last month’s newsletter, educating patients about skin protection is at the forefront of responsibilities for dermatologists. Still, according to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, most Americans are still not using sunscreen, despite the conversations they are having with their physicians. How can we help close that gap between conversation and adherence? The answer may be point of care education.

Imagine a TV network that delivers programming about the immediate benefits of sunscreen, or a tablet where the patient had access to programming about the impact of UV rays at their fingertips. Instead of flipping through a magazine or watching a game show, patients now have access to a growing number of innovative digital patient education tools in the waiting and exam rooms. For patients, a trip to the doctor is when their health is top of mind; it is when they have a dialogue about their condition and make choices about treatment. Point of care digital education gives patients contextual information during the moments right before patients meet with their physician to help them make more informed decisions about their health.

For healthcare providers, the impact of these innovations has been immediate and impressive. An independent study commissioned by ContextMedia found that over half of patients discussed educational content that they had seen in the waiting room. In La Quinta, California, Bhagwan Moorjani uses ContextMedia’s Waiting Room TVs and Exam Room Tablets to educate his patients. “They felt they had a better understanding,” he said, finding that patients were prepared with better questions after interacting with the content in the waiting room. Impressively, these tools are available at no cost to physicians.

ContextMedia uses this technology to to quantify the impact of the education on patient-physician interactions, and has gathered remarkable user engagement data. Based off data collected from the Exam Room Tablets, 80.7% of all member office patients interact with the tablets and patients are spending an average of 9.2 minutes engaging with the tablet per session. To increase the impact of the education, dermatology administrators can monitor exactly what types of content patients are engaging with, and work with ContextMedia to tailor the media based on those results.

So far the proof is in the numbers. According to data collected by Nielsen, 90% of patients who interacted with ContextMedia’s products have found them to be helpful. Over time, increased innovation at point-of-care will lead to better quality of education for patients, and ultimately, improved health outcomes. For now, the future looks bright. ContextMedia is currently building products that integrate with the recent improvements in Electronic Health Records in order to give patients a fully personalized, curated experience from before they enter the office until long after they leave. Patients will no longer leave with paper appointment summaries or have to worry about gaps in care, as they will have digital tools to help them manage their health around visits to the physician. For dermatology administrators and other healthcare providers, we are building resources that will incorporate Electronic Health Records into their interactions with patients so that they can provide the highest quality of care possible.

In addition to the immediate impact on patient engagement, these point of care tools can be tailored by dermatology administrators to address your practice’s needs. As you know, dermatology offices can vary in design – with some resembling the traditional waiting room, and others resembling the spa at a 4 star resort – but dermatology administrators can tailor the content to represent your office’s brand. Do you have an incredible skincare product that your patients need to use, or have summer UV tips specific to your geographic location? Do you want to display the effects of proper skin care by showing off beautiful headshots of your doctors? Whatever your goals, point of care media can be customized to develop an emotional connection between your office and its patients to develop loyalty.

Dermatology administrators know all too well that derm conditions are often preventable if proper care is taken. While gaps these in patient adherence can be frustrating, we can take enormous strides in the right direction as long as we remain committed to finding better ways to educate and engage our patients before we meet with them. As digital point of care education grows in popularity within dermatology, we are honored to take lead in finding innovative solutions to help your patients live healthier.

5 Reasons Selling in Healthcare is Fun Again

Posted on March 10th, 2015
In the past few years, healthcare sales has changed. Traditional sales tactics of wining and dining physicians have been replaced by an newfound appreciation of creating value and improving quality of care for patients. Member Outreach Sales Manager, Dave DiCosola, recently published a blog post explaining why this is the most impactful, innovative, and exciting time in healthcare sales. Click here to read the full article.

Ashik Desai on The Innovator’s Dilemma

Posted on February 18th, 2015

 In Pharma Marketing, tech innovation is frequently avoided because of the high risk and pushback that come from heavy regulation. Ashik Desai, EVP of Business Growth and Analytics of ContextMedia recently published an article, “The Pharma Marketers’ Innovator’s Dilemma” in DTC Perspectives. In his article, Ashik explains the need to strive for innovation in pharmaceutical marketing despite these difficulties, and describes a system of evaluation he employs to decide which innovations to pursue. Click here to read the full article.

Shradha Agarwal Featured in Article on Chicago Venture Summit

Posted on February 11th, 2015

Outside of ContextMedia, Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal are also investors. In 2012, the pair founded Jumpstart Ventures, a private angel fund that is invested in over 30 ambitious early-stage companies solving real world problems. In 2014, J.B. Pritzker hosted the first Chicago Venture Summit, where he aimed to make Chicago attractive to investors looking for opportunities beyond Silicon Valley. As both an entrepreneur and an investor, Shradha Agarwal was recently featured in a Blue Sky Innovation article detailing the return of Chicago Venture Summit in 2015.  Shradha is mentioned alongside other attendees from the 2014 Summit, including Padmasree Warrior, Peter Thiel and Travis Kalanick. Full article here.

ContextMedia Hosts Job Growth Press Conference with Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Posted on January 26th, 2015

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and ContextMedia CEO Rishi Shah announced today that the company plans to hire for an additional 200 jobs in Chicago this year including positions across all functional areas and skill levels. ContextMedia also expects to add 400 additional jobs in Chicago next year as it continues to expand. The company, which moved into its current 33,000 square foot headquarters at 330 North Wabash Avenue in April, has already outgrown its space and will be looking to expand in 2015. “ContextMedia is a great example of the tech economy we have in Chicago today and the even stronger tech economy we are building for tomorrow,” Mayor Emanuel said.

Click here to watch a full broadcast of the press conference. Additional coverage provided by Blue Sky Innovation and Chicago Inno.