American Well Engineers Seamlessly Advance Telehealth
American Well has recently appointed Jon Freshman as its new CTO, who has been with the company since its early days. It is the leading provider of telemedicine services through Amwell, the No. 1 most downloaded telehealth app. Through the years, Freshman watched the engineering team evolve and a helped develop a culture. Freshman joined American Well in 2007, tackling web and mobile development. In 2013, he became the company's first SVP of its R&D division.
We caught up with Freshman to hear about the exciting things the engineering team is up to. Read more in the interview below.
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Jillian Gregoriou: Congratulations on your new role as CTO, Jon! You’ve been with American Well since almost the very beginning. How have you seen the team evolve?
Jon Freshman: Originally, our team was focused on how to provide on-demand healthcare services to patients over web browsers. As our platform adoption grew, so too has the need for the team’s expertise to evolve into iOS and Android development, biometric device integration, analytics and monitoring.
JG: What has kept you at American Well for almost a decade? What’s in the Kool-Aid?
JF: It’s a combination of many things, really – knowing that our products and services offer simple and affordable access to healthcare, working with our talented team of engineers, and of course, investing in the latest technologies.
JG: What’s unique about the engineering team’s culture?
JF: We’ve always strived not only to make the day-to-day work experience great, but just as important is our aim to foster individual career growth. Whatever the person’s goals, we always strive to fulfill them - whether it is the opportunity to work on different teams, technologies or gain leadership experience.
JG: Can you highlight some of your engineering team?
JF: We have so many people in engineering that have been long-term contributors to the success of the company! Just to name a few of our more senior, longtime team members:
- Tom Baker, VP of Mobile Development – In addition to his daytime job, Tom spends his free time as the singer and songwriter in several local bands, including The Dirty Truckers and Tom Baker and the Snakes.
- Austin Sand, Senior Director of Web Development – An avid outdoorsman, Austin spends much of his free time hiking and biking throughout New England. Austin is originally from New Hampshire, but is a recent transplant to Chinatown and loves exploring the city with his wife Krista.
- Wayne Mahon, Director of Release Engineering – Wayne loves spending time with his family, traveling, scuba diving and photography. Wayne’s passions also include purchasing the latest tech toys, and you can always be sure that Wayne is up to speed on the latest tech gadgets.
JG: What are some of the cool / interesting problems that they are solving?
JF: Much of the complexity in delivering a great telehealth - or virtual care - experience comes from making the interface experience and workflow as simple as possible for the consumer (patients and doctors), while being able to integrate seamlessly with a world of complex systems that touch health and business data.
For example, our technology must integrate with systems that allow for e-prescribing, real-time insurance eligibility and claims submissions, and exchange of information with electronic medical records systems, just to name a few.
JG: American Well has helped revolutionize the way we access clinical services. What has been the biggest accomplishment in the last 10 years?
JF: For me, the biggest achievement to-date was building the team that took the original American Well business plan and converted it into a scalable platform in our first year.
Since then, it has been so rewarding to see platform adoption (through consumer registrations and visits) grow each year by leaps and bounds. It’s inspiring to know that we are having a real impact on the quality and simplicity of care delivery.