SAI Group buys Get Well; aims to use AI for better patient engagement

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Investment firm SAI Group this week announced it has acquired Get Well, a 24-year-old company that provides digital patient engagement technology to 1,000 healthcare organizations.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SAI said the purchase of Get Well adds to its portfolio of AI healthcare companies. SAI plans to integrate its own generative AI (genAI) platform – GPT 4.0-powered RhythmX AI — “into the patient experience inside and outside the hospital.”

(RhythmX is also the name of SAIGroup’s subsidiary company.)

GetWell’s own digital patient engagement platform — Get Well 360 — already interacts with more than 10 million patients annually, offering them online point-of-care engagement and “guided care,” among other modules. The RhythmX platform offers patients prescriptive actions and recommendations doctors can drill into using a generative AI-enabled natural language interface and AI-native copilots.

“As part of SAIGroup, Get Well’s mission to enable the best patient experience will undergo a rapid transformation with AI to a full precision care platform for hospitals and ambulatory centers,” SAIGroup CEO Romesh Wadhwani said in a statement. “This strategic investment underscores SAIGroup’s commitment to innovative AI-driven solutions in healthcare and highlights our confidence in Get Well as a leader in the digital patient engagement space.” 

GetWell’s competitors in the Healthcare Management System arena include EPIC, Cerner, and eClinicalWorks.

Through mergers and acquisitions, SAIGroup has grown into a company with a massive trove of healthcare data from 300 million patients, 4.4 billion annual claims, and information on more than 1.8 million healthcare professionals, according to its own reports.

“Experience, which is often where engagement falls, continues to be the top outcome sought from digital investments,” but many organizations are still falling short of goals set by their executive leadership, according to Faith Adams, a Gartner senior director analyst.

As in most other industries, healthcare providers face a massive shortage of AI-skilled employees and IT pros needed to integrate new automation tools. Healthcare also faces a shortage of clinicians, which automated patient interactions could help address, according to Adams.

A 2024 survey by online education company Pluralsight showed more than 80% of IT pros think they can use AI, but just 12% have the skills and expertise to do so. That same survey showed 97% of firms that have deployed AI have benefited from it, citing increased productivity and efficiency, improved customer service, and reduced human error.

““The biggest part of the story is the shortage of AI tech experience, and patient engagement experience,” Adams said. “One of the bigger opportunities we see here is bringing together SAI’s AI expertise with GetWell’s patient engagement expertise.”

AI platforms can serve as digital tools to bolster patient access to personalized medicine and health literacy — the ability to obtain, read, understand, and use healthcare information to make appropriate health decisions and follow treatment instructions. AI tech can also help patients with their “digital literacy,” allowing them to better find, evaluate, and communicate information through digital media platforms.

In other words, instead of struggling to contact clinicians, online query and answer engines powered by AI can give patients answers based on their own health record information and clinical recommendations.

Gartner coined the phrase “Intelligent Health” last year to describe what it sees at the future of digital transformation in healthcare and the life science industries. Intelligent Health refers to the harnessing of the ever-growing volume and variety of patient and clinical data to offer providers and patients a better and more precise healthcare experience.

Gartner Inc.

“Given the complexity of healthcare patient journeys, there is really no one-size-fits-all, and this is where technology can help better support personalization [and] precision using data and insights,” Adams said. “Intelligent health is interoperable by default, relying on continuous data to deliver experience through the unification of digital and in-person care delivery that is precise, equitable and ethical.”

Every patient needs to be approached differently to drive behavioral changes, according to Adams. For example, if a patient needs to lose weight or eat healthier to lower their cholesterol and/or blood pressure levels, AI-based technology can assess their history and make recommendations.

“Patients continue to demand more from their experiences, and they have more choice now than ever. Each patient type needs to be approached differently to drive behavioral change.  This [AI tool] simplifies it,” Adams said.

“There are other factors that can influence it, too, but this is always a good starting point to show the no-one-size-fits-all approach will drive behavior change and engagement.”

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