Tuesday, Apr 4, 2023 | 12:00 AM ET

S3 Ep27: Connectivity for A Better Healthcare Experience—featuring Thom Bales and Patty Obermaier

We live in a world where connectivity is increasingly essential, and much so in healthcare.

In this episode, Thom Bales, Principal in PwC’s Strategy&, and Patty Obermaier, Vice President of Microsoft US Health and Life Sciences, discuss partnering between organizations to develop excellent digital infrastructure and access solutions for a connected care landscape. Patty and Thom believe technology can close health gaps when organizations work together to ensure equitable access to digital resources, thus improving care delivery and data management. They explain how the cloud is an excellent medium for these connectivity manners in healthcare, amongst other advantages that can be leveraged from it, and what it will take to have a massive adoption across the industry. They also mention how personalized care approaches can improve patient experiences and retention within systems thanks to data insights.

Tune in and learn more about how cloud and platform-based technologies can widely connect care! 

About Thom Bales:

Thom is a Principal in Strategy&, a part of the PwC network. He leads PwC’s Health Services Sector with responsibility for our payer-provider and digital health growth. He has over 20 years of management consulting experience, originally with Booz Allen Hamilton/ Booz & Company that merged with PwC to become Strategy&. He has expertise in health services growth, operations, technology strategy, and transformation. He has co-authored a number of articles including the industry-leading viewpoint “5 PMPM Healthplan”, “PwC’s Next In Health, 2022” and managing change and the investment bulge as well as a co-host of PwC’s Health 180 Forums.

Thom’s past work has included capabilities-based growth strategy, technology-enabled business, and cost transformations, payer-provider collaboration strategy, consumer engagement strategies, as well as assessment of merger, acquisition, and divestitures for his clients. He has led some of the largest business-led payer technology transformations and growth programs in the industry in the past 10 years.

Thom earned his M.B.A. with high distinction at the University of Michigan; MS, Chemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology; and BA Chemistry, BA Economics, Cornell University.

About Patty Obermaier:

As Vice President of Microsoft US Health and Life Sciences business, Patty is responsible for growing Microsoft's solutions, services, and support revenues across enterprise health customers in the United States. She leads a 950-person team and is accountable for a $5B P&L. Patty holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • During COVID, many people couldn't access virtual health because they didn't have broadband or the appropriate devices to do so.
  • Out of 8 billion people on Earth, 4 billion do not have access to healthcare, and a billion have disabilities, 70% of which can't be seen.
  • The average family in the United States has a family income of around $60,000 of which roughly half does to insurance, healthcare, and out-of-pocket costs.
  • Patients can now request their own information, which has to be made available and stored for them, and they have to be able to take it with them wherever they want.
  • Health equity is about understanding who we are as individuals, where we’re at, and what we need to get to our definition of health.
  • Most healthcare companies are now focusing on improving patient experience.


  • Connect with and follow Thom Bales on LinkedIn.
  • Connect with and follow Patty Obermaier on LinkedIn.
  • Follow Strategy& on LinkedIn.
  • Visit the Strategy& Website!
  • Follow PwC on LinkedIn!
  • Explore the PwC Website!
  • Follow Microsoft US Health and Life Sciences on LinkedIn.
  • Discover the Microsoft US Health and Life Sciences Website!


Thom BalesPrincipal, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Patty ObermaierVP, Health & Life Sciences, Microsoft

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