6 things we've learned about staying on top of your health — and how Abridge helps.
At Abridge, our goal is to help people understand and follow through with every aspect of their health, so we continuously seek input on people’s needs to make sure we’re doing just that. Recently, we asked hundreds of people to tell us more about how they use Abridge and the impact it's had on their health. What really came through was that people have key challenges that Abridge solves for them — remembering the details, keeping people on the same page, and more. Here’s a summary of the six biggest things we learned.
1. The best care is holistic — and more and more people view every healthcare interaction as important.
Since our founding, people have been using Abridge regularly for what they deem to be a wide range of “important” conversations or visits. Typically, they tell us that having Abridge in the room helps give them confidence and more deeply engage in these critical care conversations. But our survey also surfaced how users perceive their care — and the importance of having a record of it — beyond those specialist visits, in more everyday health interactions.
Several people shared that while any individual visit may carry different weight, they’re actually all important simply because they’re each part of the larger healthcare picture. In that sense, each visit contributes to context, which Abridge helps stitch together.
2. It’s important to look back, in order to look forward.
People told us that they feel like they have more agency when they’re better positioned to reflect on what happened before to decide on next steps. They said this was important in two ways: to refresh their memories, but also to maintain a clear thread for follow-ups.
Many people acknowledged that their ordinary care is marked by long lapses in time between visits. This is by design: Annual exams happen each year, while other routine assessments like pap smears, colonoscopies, and more happen regularly but with even less frequency. This can make it harder to remember the details of what happened last time so you can be prepared for the next visit — and beyond.
“I feel like it is valuable at every appointment,” one person told us. “There’s no way we can remember everything anyone ever says to us — let alone our doctors. It’s nice to have it recorded even to look back what was said at the previous annual visit.”
3. We can’t always predict when routine visits will become not-so-routine.
Anyone who has gotten a difficult diagnosis knows the emotions involved in hearing that news — and that often, it’s surprising. That shock can impede people’s ability to remember everything, which in turn can be disempowering when it’s time to make decisions or take next steps.
So while these initial conversations aren’t easy, people told us in our survey that Abridge makes things much easier. Instead of reflecting on all the information they wished they’d remembered or questions they meant to ask, Abridge provides some peace of mind to support next steps.
"It made me understand my doctors more and be able to listen again to what he spoke about in a state where I'm not anxious or emotional,” one person told us. “That lets me make decisions based on what feels right in a neutral state instead of being impulsive out of fear or worry."
4. Follow through, without having to follow up.
Many people find that their initial — even routine — visits blossom into several follow-ups, either because they forget to ask something, have to call in to request more info or clarification, or else are just strapped for time. But people told us that they find they have fewer questions after the appointment as a result of using Abridge.
“The benefit is quite significant, [as] you’re able to follow everything the doctor suggests, go back and double check, not have to call in and request more information, etc.,” one person explained.
5. With understanding comes empowerment.
Some people tell us that they feel they lack agency in their health simply because they don’t understand a lot of what they’re being told, or need to take a beat to digest it. By having word-for-word recordings and transcriptions, people told us they feel better equipped to own their own care, because they can go back and listen, research, and make a better decision on next steps to take.
One person told us that they were better able to make treatment decisions thanks to Abridge: “Because I was able to review the conversation at a later time I could make better treatment decisions after reading up on the recommendations.” Another noted that they were better able to make use of and assess multiple opinions thanks to the records Abridge maintained.
“Abridge leaves no room for misunderstandings or ambiguity during discussion,” one user told us. “It allows a doctor to clarify and the patient to reflect on the conversations.”
6. Healthcare conversations — and decisions — are meant to be shared.
The people who care about us care about our health. For many people, health care isn’t just about the individual: Most described relaying information about their visits to talk through with loved ones, discussing general health topics with friends and family, and even acting as caregivers for others.
One family member told us that “our mom is dealing with life changing health issues. With COVID restrictions, only one of us — and sometimes none of us — can be with her at appointments. Abridge recordings have helped us all help her. We even used it when the doctor came out to give me her surgical results. I sent it to my brothers within 10 minutes.”
Many also noted that, absent Abridge, conversations were typically marked by imperfect or missing information, which made it hard to keep others on the same page even for routine care. In that way, many said they found Abridge helpful for “any doctor [appointments] where other family members can’t be there, but still want to know what all was said.”
Abridge strives to provide people with peace of mind and confidence in the next steps of their health, and hearing firsthand how we're able to support people directly informs how we continue to build our service! If you have any feedback for us, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.