“Automated Empathy” works surprisingly well in healthcare

Health care startup made a wild pitch to Cara Waller, CEO of the Newport Orthopedic Institute in Newport Beach. The company said it could get patients more engaged by “automating” physician empathy.

It “almost made me nauseous,” she said. How can you automate something as deeply personal as empathy?

But Waller needed help. Her physicians, who perform as many as 500 surgeries a year, manage large numbers of patients at various stages of treatment and recovery. They needed a better way to communicate with patients and track their progress.

BY BARBARA FEDER OSTROV