Jul 9, 2024
Introducing Joel Haugen, Chief Product Officer for DaVita
For Joel Haugen, DaVita’s first chief product officer, human-centered technology holds the key to further defragmenting care delivery, helping reduce health care costs and supporting better patient outcomes. Haugen started with DaVita in June 2024 and will lead the strategic vision and execution of its product roadmap with the ultimate goal of enabling a frictionless kidney care platform for patients, clinicians and the broader health care community. Get to know him below. 
What motivated your choice to dedicate your career to health care technology innovation?
I started my career in the retail product space but was drawn to health care because of its complexity and the broad impact it has on society. Twenty years ago, technology adoption in health care was far behind most industries, which presented unique opportunities to impact nearly every facet of the clinician and patient experience. Despite progress, many would argue that health care lags in technology sophistication, which fuels my sustained energy. It’s a thrilling journey to be part of, with a ton in development that will become visible to a broader consumer population with time. 
What challenge is the healthcare community navigating that you think could be solved for with the right technology?
Interoperability continues to be a challenge for most health care organizations. Presenting the right quantity of data at the right time and in the right location requires rigor and tremendous partnership from the end-user—brilliant clinicians who strive to do more for their patients. Kidney care is extremely data-heavy, and patients with chronic kidney disease are some of the most medically complex patients in our communities. Between lab data, visit frequency, and a wide variety of care information, there’s a myriad of inputs that can all paint a picture of care patterns. This picture can be leveraged if presented at the right time and place in the clinical workflow. The capabilities and technology exist today, and the correct implementation in kidney care could help accelerate activity for other disease states.
This is a major focus for DaVita's product and clinical IT teams as we’re building software that aggregates and presents data using human-centered design. This type of technology sets the stage for truly personalized whole-person care.
What trends or industry changes are most energizing to you as a product leader?
Artificial intelligence (AI) has redefined the way we think about nearly everything. One passion area for me is discovering what AI can help uncover about patient behavior. For example, if we can support positive behavior changes like medication adherence, improved diet and lifestyle habits through technology, we’re better positioned to help countless individuals improve their health. 
What factors led to your decision to join DaVita?
Two things have been clear to me from the start: 1) people care, and 2) the ‘how’ matters. DaVita is full of purpose-driven teammates who want to work together to make a difference for our patients and each other. And for them, it’s not just about getting the job done but how you get the job done. High-need, complex patients raise the bar on the types of solutions required to positively impact their quality of life.
Beyond the culture, DaVita’s commitment to investing in its technology platforms is evident. DaVita has built and established several industry-leading products like Center Without Walls™ (CWOW) and OneView that address the unique needs of patients, physicians and teammates far better than most tools I’ve seen. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to build upon this strong technological foundation and create one seamless kidney care platform.