Being a Virtual-First Primary Care Doc

A Conversation with Dr. Matthew Sakumoto, Virtualist & Chief Medical Information Officer at Sutter West Bay Region

Dr. Sakumoto is an Internal Medicine-trained primary care physician with board certification in Clinical Informatics. In his current role with Sutter Health, Dr. Sakumoto serves as a Virtual-First Primary Care Physician & Chief Medical Informatics Officer for Sutter West Bay Region.

Hosts Alan Sardana & Dr. Joshua Liu speak with Dr. Sakumoto about being a virtual-first primary care doc, tips to improve digital empathy, and working as a team to reduce clinician burnout.

Listen to the Conversation

Episode Takeaways:

  1. Explore Dr. Sakumoto’s transformative journey from engineering and medicine to informatics, including how he operates today as a virtual-first primary care physician.
  2. Learn why “Digital Empathy” is crucial in telehealth and discover Dr. Sakumoto’s advice for improving empathy in chat-based telehealth.
  3. Find out how the skills required for telehealth and chat-based communication differ from traditional bedside manner, and how to enhance your “Web-side” manner.
  4. Understand the current and future states of generative AI for enhanced clinician-patient communication.
  5. Explore how virtual-first patient care can reduce the myriad clinician burdens present today.


Alan Sardana

For nearly a decade, Alan Sardana has combined a unique blend of curiosity and community-advocacy to uncover and disseminate best practices in healthcare innovation. He is an award-winning filmmaker, science advocate and startup enthusiast, having played an instrumental role in supporting multiple startups advance from seed financing through multiple funding rounds.

Alan is currently the Marketing Lead at SeamlessMD—the leading Digital Patient Engagement platform for health systems to engage, monitor and stay connected with patients across healthcare journeys. In his role, Alan is responsible for developing and advancing SeamlessMD’s positioning and partnerships.

Dr. Joshua Liu, Co-founder & CEO, SeamlessMD
Twitter: @joshuapliu

Dr. Joshua Liu is a physician turned entrepreneur. He is currently the co-founder/CEO of SeamlessMD, which provides the leading Digital Patient Engagement platform for health systems to engage, monitor and stay connected with patients across healthcare journeys.

Joshua graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Toronto. During his medical training, he co-led a research project at UHN on hospital readmissions and sat on UHN’s physician advisory group for post-hospital discharge follow up. As a result, Joshua was inspired to develop technology to better support patients and prevent adverse outcomes such as a readmission – which ultimately led to him co-founding SeamlessMD.

About the Show

Rated one of the top 30 Best Digital Health Podcasts by FeedSpot, The Digital Patient takes an “edu-taining” approach to all things digital patient care. On this show hosts Dr. Joshua Liu, and Alan Sardana talk with healthcare, technology, and innovation leaders about the latest advancements in digital health, trends in digital transformation, and strategies for optimizing the patient experience. Guests include Dr. Becket Mahnke, CMIO, Confluence Health, Dr. Denise Basow, Chief Digital Officer, Ochsner, Dr. Michael Radtke, CMIO, Intermountain Health, Duska Kennedy, Chief Digital Officer, North York General Hospital, Dr. David Putrino, Director of Rehabilitation Innovation, The Mount Sinai Health System, Dr. Jay B. Shah, Chief of Staff, Stanford Health Care, and many more.

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