Latest innovations integrate human-centered design with AI and business strategy to deliver health and wellbeing solutions that meet users where they are today while generating actionable insights that drive sustainable health outcomes
PROVIDENCE, R.I., Oct. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Virgin Pulse, the leading global provider of corporate health and wellbeing solutions, today delivered its highly anticipated Winter ’20 launch, the latest and most significant innovation expansion in the company’s history. Available immediately, Winter ’20 is focused on unifying and simplifying a user’s health journey by integrating health, wellbeing, safety, benefits navigation and care guidance into a seamless, intelligently orchestrated user experience. Expanding the company’s Homebase for Health™ vision, Winter ’20 empowers organizations and health plans to reduce healthcare costs and benefits confusion by directing users to the care they need, when they need it.
Unveiled 18 months ago as the company’s long-term vision, Homebase for Health™ aims to drive user engagement with a goal of accelerating population health outcomes by reducing the friction and complexity inherent in today’s fragmented benefits ecosystems. This complexity is preventing employees, employers, health plans and members from understanding, utilizing and maximizing their health and wellbeing benefits – and costing organizations billions of dollars each year in medical costs, lost productivity and increased turnover.
While health plans and employers are continually working to optimize their benefits programs and deliver personalized health and wellbeing, individuals are challenged to stay apprised of the benefits and wellness offerings available to them. Many lack information and guidance on how to use them. Proactively directing them to high-value benefits – especially those focused on providing physical, mental and emotional support – has become a top priority for organizations and health plans during the pandemic. And, as COVID-19 continues, organizations are looking to extend their wellbeing programs and initiatives to address more urgent health issues, specifically chronic disease conditions.
“Empowering health plans and employers to take care of their members and employees, respectively, especially now, is our top priority. Prior to COVID, more than 60% of Americans had at least one chronic condition. That number has increased significantly in the past several months and we are seeing firsthand COVID’s devastating impact on those with chronic conditions like diabetes,” said Dave Osborne, CEO of Virgin Pulse. “At-risk populations need access to resources and benefits to help them mitigate and reverse chronic conditions, but those benefits quickly become expensive shelf-ware and their potential for driving positive outcomes goes unrealized if they aren’t delivered in a personalized, well-orchestrated and easily consumable way. A Homebase for HealthTM approach allows organizations to reap the benefits of healthier, happier employees and members, increased productivity and prospects of bending the long-term healthcare cost curve.”
User Experience Key to Engagement and Outcomes
Health plan members and employees today expect their health and wellbeing apps to reflect the same seamless, personalized experiences popular consumer technology brands like Apple, Amazon, Uber and Peloton. Like these and many other consumer app experiences, Winter ‘20 and Homebase for Health™ are heavily rooted in the concept of “design-thinking,” a human-centered, iterative process that focuses on empathy, engagement and motivation.
“Solving the complex health and wellbeing challenges organizations and users are facing today requires a deep understanding of the problems and realities of the people for whom we are designing solutions,” said Ron Hildebrandt, Virgin Pulse’s Chief Product Officer. “Delivering a personalized experience focused on helping users achieve specific health outcomes requires intelligent and continuous orchestration of data, including from third-party and partner programs, at every touchpoint of the user journey. Homebase for HealthTM facilitates this by merging the best consumer experience with longitudinal health and wellbeing data, AI-powered recommendations and behavior change expertise. The more users engage, the more personal their experience becomes, and that is the key to keeping them connected with care and wellbeing solutions throughout their health journey.”
Winter ’20 Highlights:
Virgin Pulse’s latest innovations reflect a member-centric approach, where every aspect of a member’s experience is focused on their specific circumstances – their challenges, resources, interests, patterns, personal goals and future needs. That information is further infused with AI, data and healthcare innovation to orchestrate hyper-personalized member experiences and interventions that deliver sustainable health outcomes, including chronic condition reversal.
According to Hildebrandt, “Daily engagement is at the core of everything we build. We know that providing the best user experience from the first touchpoint propels the engagement flywheel. That initial engagement is critical for driving health outcomes for members and financial results for clients.”
User Experience and Innovation
Designed to streamline and simplify the health journey, the new Homebase for Health™ User Experience (UX) intelligently guides users across the complete suite of wellbeing, social, health and benefit resources and integrated programs; improves discoverability and navigation so members better understand where to start or what to do the most relevant and meaningful offerings when they need them most.
- Live connections through Apple Health and Google Fit expand Virgin Pulse’s app and device footprint, connectivity and data personalization; with a growing number of health and fitness applications in the marketplace today, Apple Health and Google Fit integrations expand the ecosystem with more than 150+ new devices and apps and grow Virgin Pulse’s library of performance-related data and statistics including sleep, nutrition, mindful minutes and key biometrics like blood pressure, BMI, glucose and more.
- Expansion of our Rewards and Recognition capabilities include a new integrated recognition solution, Shoutouts, and greater flexibility in incentive design. Shoutouts support engaged and thriving workplace cultures and provide a critical tool for social connection in a time of distancing and isolation.
- Expanded investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)-enabled member interactions facilitate hyper–personalized health and wellbeing user experiences, including healthy nudges, proactive recommendations and predictive navigation.
- Utilizing an embedded AI-enabled recommendation engine that analyzes and correlates 12 billion data points each month, the Virgin Pulse platform proactively recommends next-best-actions for improving wellbeing and accelerating health outcomes for users and cost-savings for organizations.
The new user experience also includes an integrated Benefits-First Navigation Experience featuring:
- VP Navigate, launched earlier this year, simplifies benefits access and support within a trusted and personalized Homebase for HealthTM by addressing employee confusion, misused care and unnecessary costs resulting from fragmented and impersonal benefits ecosystems. In addition to an integrated and seamless experience, VP Navigate simplifies benefits engagement, delivering one connected and rewardable experience across an organization’s entire benefits ecosystem.
- Live Benefits Concierge Support, a dedicated team of experts to assist employees in finding the benefits information they need via real-time chat support.
- Program analytics, a customized performance dashboard summarizes benefit program utilization and trending history and optimizes value delivered to members.
Health Innovation: Addressing Urgent and Emerging Needs
Members can now access multi-modal condition management experiences beyond the physician’s office.
- Gaps in Care Solutions, Care Checklist and Claims Analytics and Insights now provide employers and health plans an integrated end-to-end solution to close care gaps. Employees don’t always know where care gaps exist, yet preventative health and managing healthcare costs depend on closing them. Action-oriented preventive and conditions-based screenings, exams and testing checklists deliver individual care guidance as a part of a comprehensive, whole-person approach to lifestyle and health. My Care Checklist, uses evidence-based guidelines and aggregates self-reported and claims data to provide organizations with actionable insights. They can use this data to target prevalent or emerging conditions where care gaps exist and deploy plan designs to impact key cost drivers.
- New Digital Therapeutics offer members the best of smart technology, consumer friendly tools and a specialized coaching team. Winter ’20 Launch expands VP Transform, released earlier this year, with more evidence-based interventions including VP Transform for Weight Management and partner-provided solutions, helping users prevent, manage, treat and reverse diabetes, overweight, obesity, high blood pressure and musculoskeletal disorders – all of which are leading risk factors for COVID-19 complications, hospitalizations and mortality. VP Transform for Prediabetes, recognized by the CDC for top engagement and best-in-class weight loss outcomes, achieved industry leading 16-week and 12-month weight loss, physical activity and absenteeism reduction. Complete results to be published later this year in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
- Deeper Clinically Backed Condition Management and Health–Specific Content features more than 30 new assets available in 20 languages, to empower members across the globe to build and maintain healthy daily routines. At-risk members, in particular, regardless of their unique social determinants of health, have access to simple and actionable condition management resources. New daily healthy habits, digital coaching journeys and digital and live coaching content served up through the member’s Homebase for HealthTM address condition-specific physical, mental and financial challenges, many of which are exacerbated by COVID-19.
Building Health Equity for a Diverse and Inclusive Culture
While the impact of social determinants on health has been widely acknowledged, COVID-19 has exposed widespread racial disparities, especially in healthcare. Due to systemic discrimination and long-standing institutional policies, a larger percentage of Black, Indigenous and Latinx communities have been disproportionately harmed by the virus. Organizations are increasingly recognizing that health and wellbeing are about more than just physical health and that diversity, equity and inclusion must be foundational to any health and any wellbeing program or initiative:
- As part of Winter ‘20 launch, refreshed and newly developed Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) content is available to help clients facilitate positive interactions in healthcare, the workplace and other settings across differences. This content is globally appropriate and regionally relevant for clients, employees and members around the world.
- In addition to expanding DE&I product and content capabilities, Dr. Jessica Isom, a practicing physician with extensive experience in racial health disparities and ethnic mental health issues, has recently joined the Virgin Pulse Science Advisory Board. As a strategic advisor, she will work with Virgin Pulse’s product team to elevate and expand the company’s diversity, equity, inclusion and mental health offerings and content library.
COVID-19 Innovation Updates
- Since June 2020, Virgin Pulse’s award-winning VP Passport solution has helped tens of thousands of members return safely to the workplace with confidence and even more preparing to return early next year leveraging Virgin Pulse technology.
- VP+ makes it easy – and fast – for clients to deploy sought after wellbeing programs from seven integrated partners to impact key cost drivers, improve member resiliency and support emerging needs.
- VP GO, a new turnkey solution purpose-built to advance employee health, safety, activity and engagement has taken thousands of members on life changing journeys. Harnessing the power of social networks and friendly, team-based competition, VP GO features in-app tools and resources specifically focused on helping members to stay active and engaged and build healthy habits as they navigate COVID-19 – whether they are on the frontlines or remote and dispersed right now.
- Live Webinar: Winter ’20 and Homebase for HealthTM
Join us on October 21, 2020 at 2pm ET for an exciting and informative webinar to learn more about Virgin Pulse’s latest Winter ’20 Launch and how to build Your Homebase for HealthTM, co- presented by Michael Melchior, Vice President of Product Strategy, and Paul Chae, Vice President of Product Marketing from Virgin Pulse. Save your spot today!
- Product Launch Site: Current Virgin Pulse clients can access additional Winter ’20 information, including demo and explainer videos, screenshots and product information at Virgin Pulse Launch site
About Virgin Pulse
Virgin Pulse is the world’s largest, most comprehensive digital health, wellbeing and engagement company. Founded as part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, the company is focused on motivating users to achieve better health outcomes. Fusing high-tech, high-touch, AI and data, Virgin Pulse delivers the industry’s only true Homebase for HealthTM that supports clients and members across the entire health, wellbeing and benefits lifecycle—from screening and assessment to activation, behavior change and the adoption of sustainable, healthy habits to benefits navigation, condition management, gaps in care closure and digital therapeutics. Today, 12 million+ users in more than 190 countries, spanning over 3,300 organizations rely on Virgin Pulse’s digital and live solutions to change their lives—and businesses—for good. To learn more, visit VirginPulse.com and follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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