DevStack, Messaging

ProviderTech takes a dose of Bandwidth’s direct-to-carrier Messaging API to enhance patient engagement

Lori Philbin
Lori Philbin
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ProviderTech is a mobility platform that allows health care organizations to safely and confidentially communicate with patients via text message.

ProviderTech gives health care and insurance providers the ability to engage patients with low-cost health care guidance and clinical support. ProviderTech’s CareSMS platform automates personalized SMS messaging to consumers. These individualized messages draw attention to specific health behaviors—around disease prevention, treatment awareness, and chronic disease management.

Situation: Rapidly growing startup is ready to scale

The founders of ProviderTech recognized a growing gap in patient engagement. As health care delivery systems increased in size, the ability to communicate effectively with patients suffered. At the same time, the rapid expansion and adoption of mobile technology created a unique opportunity to connect people with health care providers.

Armed with the knowledge that 99% of text messages are read (most in 90 seconds)1, ProviderTech knew that text messaging was the solution to reaching consumers.
Using a protocol-based messaging approach, ProviderTech developed a system that automatically creates and sends customized messages to patients to address individual health conditions. The
system initiates 1-way and 2-way communication with patients on an ongoing basis. These SMS communications allow health care providers to influence patients beyond the traditional office visits and phone calls.

Since its 2014 launch, ProviderTech has seen tremendous interest and a high level of user adoption. As its client base continued to grow, the team realized it needed a more robust and sustainable backend platform to power the core SMS communications. ProviderTech needed the ability to provision numbers instantly paired with sufficient flexibility with its telecommunications partners to service its clients and meet business requirements.

Solution: Go direct to carrier for greater volume and control

Before its direct-to-carrier relationship with Bandwidth, ProviderTech utilized several text message APIs from various vendors. Though core functionality among platforms was similar, Bandwidth offered more value and flexibility. “As we have many responsibilities under HIPAA, security was a top concern for our organization. Working directly with an established, licensed Tier 1 telephone carrier, and not through a reseller, has been a significant factor in our privacy and security reviews. There is clear visibility into the message chain of custody,” said Eric Stenson, ProviderTech’s Co-Founder and CTO.

ProviderTech built its application using Bandwidth’s App Platform. Developers were able to use Bandwidth’s network to send SMS messages with minimal programming efforts, and integrate with legacy providers, in a matter of days.

“There is a lot of encryption in mobile communications, including the use of cryptographic keys and algorithms between our mobile handsets and the cell phone towers,” said Stenson. “Working with Bandwidth has afforded ProviderTech the reliability, pricing, and scalability that is required for large-scale implementations in partnership with health care systems and insurance payers.”

Bandwidth has found that ProviderTech’s use of text messaging for secure communications is well echoed in market adoption. In fact, SMS (not email or a phone call) is today’s preferred method of sending confidential reminders when people forget their login information for apps and services.


Results: Total flexibility, better user experience

Since making the move to Bandwidth, ProviderTech has continued to grow its business and is well positioned, both technologically and financially, to continue to scale to the mass healthcare industry. The ProviderTech team and its end users are experiencing the practical benefits of a more flexible solution in day-to-day interactions as well as new efficiencies of service delivery.

“We have found the benefits of Bandwidth to be far-reaching in our product and platform development. Bandwidth allows us to provision numbers on the fly, which makes a huge difference in the way our providers communicate with their patients,” said Stenson. “For example, a dentist’s office can send a mom of three children separate text messages from three different local-area numbers confirming appointments for each child. If one needs to reschedule, the ProviderTech platform can determine which appointment needs to be rescheduled based on the telephone number combination.”

“Bandwidth’s post-paid account feature has helped us in maintaining a consistent and seamless experience for our customers. We never have to worry about ‘running out’ of numbers or account credits—a luxury not afforded with other platform providers,” Stenson added.