Health& targets corporate wellness as platform launch nears
Melbourne-based digital health firm Health& is in the early stages of developing a product offering for the corporate market as it looks towards a full commercial launch of its integrated digital portal-personal health record platform at the end of the year.
Formerly known as Sonoa Health, Health& last month launched the first plank of its platform, an interactive content library covering hundreds of health topics that provides medically validated information aimed at consumers, accompanied by animations that can be used to improve health literacy.
Later this year, Health& plans to launch the second plank, adding a personal electronic health record, preventative health alerts and the capability to upload live data from fitness devices like Fitbits to the content library and health FAQ service. The company has registered as a healthcare provider organisations so will also have a link to the PCEHR in the future.
Consumers will have a personalised dashboard featuring their own EHR and access to what Health& is calling a 'dynamic digital doctor'. The plan is to have a free version and an inexpensive paid version that consumers can also use to manage their family's health affairs.
However, the long-term plan is much larger, with the aim of providing truly personalised information through the company's knowledge acquisition report development system (KARDS), which uses artificial intelligence to connect different pieces of data and has the capability to learn.
Health& has hugely ambitious plans for its technology, which it believes can do to personalised healthcare what Facebook has done to communication. The ultimate aim is to promote preventative action and improve consumer health on a global scale.
In the meantime, it is preparing a package for the corporate wellness sector that includes some elements familiar to those who have used Microsoft's HealthVault or the late Google Health offering.
Health& CEO John Stewart said the launch of the content library was successful, with over 20,000 people using the site in its first two weeks and significant chatter on social media.
“From a standing start there some pretty good statistics,” Mr Stewart said. “It validates that there is a big user demand for trusted, reliable health content on the internet.”
The marketing strategy for that launch was predominantly aimed at the general consumer, but Health& believes there are multiple different markets in which the platform will work, he said.
“From a consumer point of view, we think that the key elements of the platform that will get initial engagement from consumers are the preventative algorithms. From a corporate perspective, the concept would be to have a product that is of real benefit to their employees and their whole family unit.
“The actual product is designed to engage people in their healthcare, which is what a lot of corporate health and well-being initiatives are designed to do.”
Mr Stewart said Health& had taken the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners' (RACGP) 17 preventive health measure recommendations and created some smart algorithms around them that will be able to categorise an individual's risk factors.
Using the example of bowel cancer screening, rather than just have a system that just tells you to get screened when you turn 50, Health&'s system will be able to look at the individual's risk factors based on relevant questions and answers or by extracting data from the EHR, or a combination of both.
For the corporate market, it will also be able to provide statistical analysis and benchmarking of the health and well-being of employees on a de-identified basis, Mr Stewart said.
“The consumer gets the benefit of the dashboard and the consumer health record and the algorithms that drive them to improve their health on a preventative basis, and the corporates get the benefit of this detailed dashboard analytics that shows here's my employee base, how many of my employees have a chronic health condition, is there something endemic to the corporate environment that is creating a risk to the health and well-being of their employees?”
Mr Stewart said that while Health& shared some analytical similarities with the likes of Google Health, where those products fall down is in their lack of data gathering capability.
“That's why our linkages to consumer devices like Fitbits and Apple watches makes the process much more seamless for the consumer,” he said. “Eventually – this won't happen overnight – but eventually when the PCEHR is a really fulsome resource, then our linking to the health record will also make it seamless.
“Rather than just gather the information into a bucket, we analyse it and tell the user what that information means. That's where the combination of medicine and IT really comes into it and that’s what makes it unique.”
Mr Stewart said the full platform will be ready for commercial release at the end of the year and in the meantime, the start-up is aiming at registering potential subscribers before it goes live. Interested parties can register online.
Posted in Australian eHealth