In just a few years, Upfront has grown from an emerging health tech startup into a thriving organization transforming the future of healthcare. Yet, we couldn’t possibly achieve innovation without the passion and vision of our team members. Read our employee spotlight series “Upfront & Personal” to meet Upfront employees, gain insights into the healthcare landscape, and learn about the incredible work our team is doing — inside and outside of the company.
Andreo Sebastiani has always thrived on challenges. Growing up in Pittsburgh, his early ambitions were fueled by sports and PC gaming, and soon evolved into an exciting career in tech. Today, as the Product Manager for Platform and Interoperability at Upfront, Andreo tackles complex integrations for health systems, improving the user experience and protecting data security for enterprises. Here’s how he’s navigating a career in health tech in an era of rapid transformation.
What are your responsibilities as a Product Manager?
As a Product Manager, I’m mainly focused on integrations, not only with health systems and hospitals but with any third-party applications we’re using to send communication. It can look like one-off projects, but it’s all about how our applications are secured to communicate and exchange information securely.
Many people are unfamiliar with interoperability. Do you mind breaking it down for us?
Interoperability is the exchange of information between applications. In healthcare, this refers to the ability for health systems and technologies to interact and transfer data securely and efficiently. This context is not only important for healthcare providers to deliver care safely and effectively to patients, but it reduces costs for the patient and improves health outcomes for populations.
Upfront’s approach to interoperability is very unique. We have a team of clinical and technical experts that are mission driven to not only think about how we integrate systems, but how we deliver value to the patient in partnership with their providers.
How did you get your start in healthcare technology?
I’ve been in the healthcare segment for about 10 years, managing engineering teams. I happened to know a chief technology officer and started my career in the health tech space building applications focused on health systems. At Upfront, I helped build applications that were directly used by patients, which gave me great experience around how patients were using our applications and incorporating user input. It was critical that our applications were always up and running. It made it more meaningful to scale and perform.
You started at Upfront as a software engineer four years ago. How is your role as Product Manager different from your role before?
I’m a lot closer to the customer than the engineering team now. Before, a lot of input from customers was filtered and traveling through multiple channels, so sometimes I was lacking context. Previously, my role was a lot more reactive; We’re being asked to build or fix something immediately. Now, I’m able to tell the story about what the customer needs and deliver that information to our engineering leads. I’ve always been involved in integrations to build the pipelines, but now here’s a lot more meaning than just getting a request.
What conversations are taking place around interoperability in healthcare?
The main conversations are all about access and security of information, as well as how hospitals should share this information to vendors. There are government mandates that [require] hospitals to follow a certain set of standardization and expose how data is secured and stored. It used to be Ma and Pop’s writing claims on paper, but these standards have evolved over time. Now that tech has evolved so rapidly, these regulations are updated more frequently, such as with FHIR.
What are the challenges that come with facilitating interoperability?
I would say access to information. To be successful in this role, it takes having connections and a strong network. Because we can’t go to the EHR and see everything they have behind the curtain. It’s very secure. It takes knowing people to gain that insight. Ideally, the technology you want to integrate with is highly regulated, and how you interact with that system takes cross-collaboration. Everyone has to come together at both organizations to make an integration work.
What motivates you in your work?
There are a lot of interesting challenges in healthcare, and a lot of room to innovate with the rapid pace of healthcare. It allows companies like Upfront innovate in this lane.
Working more closely with the clients as a Product Manager makes this stage of my career more impactful for me. I get to truly understand what the customer is looking for, and use the opportunity to explain what technical capabilities that Upfront has early on. That’s why I love coming into the conversation; A lot of people aren’t technical, and I find they appreciate that. There’s a level of mutual respect built in those conversations.
Personally, I think the people around me motivate me, and the leadership around me, especially Carrie and Ben. We want to see them succeed, and they want to see you succeed. That’s why I love the opportunity to jump around in my career a bit, such as starting in engineering and moving into Product Manager. I like to see all aspects of the business, and the company has been very gracious in supporting that for me.
What inspires you to continue building your career at Upfront?
One big reason I’m at Upfront is because the people are the best people I’ve ever worked with. I love working with such solutions-focused and goal-oriented people. I 100% believe that’s why Upfront is such a successful company. We share the same values around our mission, which makes collaboration and working together to solve a goal so much more meaningful. I think a lot of startups innovate in a space and drop off. But our ability to work together and solve problems sets us apart. There is a camaraderie behind our team to arrive at solutions quickly and celebrate those wins together.
Outside of solving one of healthcare’s greatest technology challenges, how do you like to wind down outside of the office?
I love a good Happy Hour with friends on the West Loop or on Randolph Street. I’m big into sports like basketball, tennis and golf. I enjoy listening to music — mostly Hip-Hop and R&B and visiting with family who are pretty spread out.