Founded in 2012, Ovia Health seeks to “support women, from preconception and pregnancy through postpartum and parenthood” . The company does so by leveraging the user’s data and machine learning capabilities. A product of the experience of one of the co-founders, Ovia Health currently provides users with three differentiated apps for each stage of the family planning process; fertility, pregnancy and parenting. Since inception, they have “helped over 8 million women and families” in this process .
For Ovia Health, data analysis and usage is a core capability and the base of their business model. Using data-driven algorithms enables the company to provide a more holistic solution to their users. As opposed to some competitors in the space such as Glow and Kindara, Ovia accompanies the users beyond fertility with Ovia pregnancy and Ovia Parenting. In addition, they use their own algorithms and aggregate data to include prediction capabilities in their offerings. Some examples of this include: predictions and support for irregular periods in Ovia fertility and real time alerts when symptoms can be dangerous in Ovia pregnancy .
Offered through a freemium model, the apps attracted users in different stages of family planning. The amount of users and their engagement in the platform was used to capture value initially by selling advertising. Currently, the company also captures the value created by their predictive capabilities by offering employers solutions to “reduce healthcare costs, recruit and retain top talent, and provide a meaningful benefit that appeals to millennials” . The company, thus, partners with companies to improve their maternity benefits through the use of data analytics and support programs, with a high touch and guided solution.
Ovia currently focuses on using their data analytics and predictive capabilities to “prevent healthcare costs and create a family-friendly workplace” while at the same time connecting brands to women at specific moments in their life . Given the amount of external factors that can influence the outcomes of family planning, getting sufficient reliable data is a key success factor of the company. The capacity to differentiate between good and bad data will be significant even when the number of data points is large, as there is great potential impact on an individual’s life. In addition, their capacity to distinguish between causation and correlation will be vital when working with companies to improve their internal processes and benefits. Finally, privacy and data protection are important concerns that cannot be overlooked.
Even when facing significant challenges, there are many opportunities for the use of data-driven applications in Human Resource areas of business. Ovia seeks to prove that using data can increase satisfaction and lower costs in maternity, but this could be further expanded beyond family planning. Data collection of employees’ health habits could allow for predictive or even prescriptive analysis that could potentially help mitigate the effect of downtime due to health issues and thus benefit the company. In addition, insurers could benefit from the same kind of analysis to identify and segment customers while at the same time promoting targeted activities for each segment.
The data-driven approach presented by Ovia Health is validated by their recent selection as the “preferred maternity and family benefit solution” for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts “new Emerging Solution platform” . The introduction of new members to the platform allows for more data points and therefore, an increase in their analysis capabilities and accuracy.