Over the past two years, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual health care at an unprecedented rate. Virtual care offers a lifeline to many who would otherwise be unable to receive appropriate care, and the bounds of what virtual care can accomplish are just starting to be explored. Omada Health is a company at the forefront of this exploration.
Omada was named one of Fast Company’s “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World” and is the first fully-virtual healthcare provider to earn an NCQA population health program accreditation. We chatted with Wei-Li Shao, President of Omada Health, to learn more about what makes Omada’s virtual-first care programs successful, including the data-driven insights coming out of their Insights Lab.
Omada’s Approach to Health Care
Omada is all about bringing together data science, behavior science, protocols, product design, and care delivery to create the best care experience possible. When a member starts using Omada, they immediately get set up on the app so they can get care insights right away. From there, the Omada care team works with members to understand their lives, identify changes they could make, and get buy-in on those changes. It’s all about creating mutual accountability. That engagement leads to health outcomes and better cost of care for chronic conditions.
The average Omada member engages with the mobile platform 33 times per week. That kind of engagement is almost unheard of in the health care space, but it is exactly this engagement that leads to behavior change and positive results. Genuine relationships are being built on the Omada platform, and these relationships are powerful motivators for members to work toward their health goals. Scaling those relationships for thousands of members is one of the many things that sets Omada’s virtual care services apart.
Treating Chronic Conditions with Omada Health
The team at Omada believes that virtual-first care is a fundamentally better way to deliver care for chronic conditions, particularly diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension, musculoskeletal conditions, and behavioral health conditions. Despite all the innovations in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, the health of many Americans, and those around the world, is not getting better. We are getting beat by our lifestyles and social determinants of health. Omada firmly believes that the battle against chronic conditions is not something that can be done two or three times a year in a doctor’s office; it is something that needs to happen every day. That daily management of chronic conditions is the key to success for Omada members and the virtual format makes daily interactions feasible.
Learnings from the Insights Lab
In April 2021 Omada Health launched the Omada Insights Lab to study and share learnings from the health journeys of over 500k+ members, 13 million messages, and 1 billion data points across their customer base.
The lab released their first report in October 2021, finding that patient-doctor relationships are the most important drivers of change, and apps and technology alone aren’t enough to be successful in managing chronic conditions. Additionally, Omada members who engage with the care team through the technology platform in the first week of their program are 94% more likely to achieve their targeted outcome goals.
Proactive care is an essential part of chronic condition management, and using only reactive messaging won’t cut it. Omada found that proactive feedback from coaches and care team members about meal tracking increased adherence to a particular meal program by 10-15%, which caused 0.5% more weight reduction over the course of four months. Proactive care cannot be overlooked when thinking about creating meaningful outcomes.
What’s Next for Omada Health
Wei-Li tells us that there are a couple of really big ideas that are driving the market right now, which will be very important as Omada plans for the future. The first is mental health treatment. Everyone understands the importance of mental health, but what many don’t understand is that there is clear evidence that if you don’t address behavioral health aspects of chronic conditions, you can’t make progress in treating those conditions. Mental health doesn't exist in a vacuum, and mental health treatment is a clinical imperative.
The second idea is ecosystem integration. Digital health has been operating outside of mainstream health systems up until now. There are many virtual companies dedicated to certain conditions, but they aren’t communicating and they aren’t integrated. These point solutions are repeating problems that exist in the brick and mortar world. Multi-condition care in one platform is imperative, as it fosters continuity of care and a holistic approach to wellbeing.
To hear more insights from Wei-Li, including what led him to his current role at Omada, listen to Episode 34 of Better Benefits now. If you enjoy the episode, don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform.
Wei-Li’s Recommended Resource
On every episode of Better Benefits, we ask our expert guests for a book or resource they’d recommend to others working in the benefits space. This week, Wei-Li recommended
The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter Drucker. First published in 1967, this is a book that has withstood the test of time, continuing to provide value to leaders today. Drucker’s core message is that the greatest asset you have is time. There will always be a limited amount of time, which makes time the greatest gift you can give. As a leader, executive, parent, spouse, and human being, you must be deliberate with how you use your time.
If you’d like to connect with Wei-Li and the team at Omada you can visit their website at OmadaHealth.com.
Note, this episode is for informational and educational purposes only. Wei-Li Shao and Omada Health are not endorsed, affiliated with, nor compensated by Brella Insurance Inc. To learn more about Brella, check out our plan and get in touch.