August 15, 2022: -During his tenure at Oscar Health, Gaurang Choksi acknowledged a disconnect regarding the inclusive care that diverse patients required. He remembers customers looking for a health care clinician who represented them, but that wasn’t possible. Meanwhile, those patients sometimes had difficulty connecting with doctors from other backgrounds because their needs weren’t fully understood.
This experience led him to establish Violet, a digital platform that lets clinicians take courses to become proficient in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Recently, the company announced that it had raised $5.3M in seed funding. The seed round was conducted by SemperVirens Northwell Holdings, the venture arm of Northwell Health, HopeLab, The Venture Collective, and Naomi Allen ( Founder and CEO of digital health company Brightline.)
“Before Violet, what everybody would do is tell, ‘what communities do you belong to?’ And those patients will send your way,” Choksi demonstrates. “The truth is there isn’t sufficiently diverse clinicians in America because of other systematic losses. We don’t believe that lived knowledge is the only way to deliver inclusive healthcare.”
Violet works with healthcare providers to ensure they deliver the best care possible through data on the communities they serve, concentrating on care to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), LGBTQ, and gender non-conforming communities. From the accumulated data provided by healthcare institutions and their team of educators, Violet can build e-learning courses, equivalent to an online learning certificate program, that permit clinicians to become certified in serving different communities. “We systematically teach our physicians and associates what to do when a patient tells you they are dealing with trauma from racism. How do you be inclusive in recognizing that and giving action around next steps,” states Choksi talking to Ariyana Griffin, Forbes.
When a doctor is laboring with a patient with a different background, Choki presents empathy, and listening isn’t always adequate. Clients want to feel understood and comfortable giving their issues without feeling like they will be not looked at. “You could be an empathetic human but still not be an inclusive person because you do not know what tactic. We do, so you could be an compassionate clinician where you experience a lot of empathy and sympathy, and you want to connect, but you may still not know from an action standpoint,” he says. Violet dives deeper into the core of the problem, past the facts and figures. Choksi says this permits his company’s clients to think, learn, self-reflect on themselves, and connect in empathy, understanding, and growth.
Another advantage of more inclusive care? Patients will want to stick with their doctor. As per Violet, its data shows that healthcare providers who have acquired the company’s training show patient retention levels at day 60 that are three times more elevated than the industry standard.
Brightline CEO Naomi Allen is not only an investor in the seed round, but her business is also using Violet to train its workforce. “We have gone through about 90% of them through Violet’s benchmarking process. And then collectively across Brightline therapists, we accomplished about 900 hours of education around furnishing inclusive and affirming care,” she says. Through Violet, Brightline has also observed proficiency in their coaches and therapist studies. Allen expresses her team has noticed more confidence in their team and customers after the Violet training. She says her establishment has also encountered higher compliance between members and staff, which she attributes to a magnified level of trust and understanding.