Each client receives more “attention” than they normally would from a physical in-person program. They receive a weekly Skype from their careteam, with a time length comparable to a regular in-person coach. They also receive about 3-5 interactions via text from their care team in response to the meals and exercise triggered by the client
Human accountability seems to be the primary psychological driver for their clients. As a result of the program, the workplace manager, the employee’s peer group and human coaches serve to manage accountability.
Review of their performance and comparable firms show a clinically significant weight loss with their protocols. This holds true in the field, and under peer review.
However, the cost of acquisition is high relative to lifetime value – thus causing the shift to B2B2C away from
B2C. As a result, the target segments have been older employees and senior citizens covered by employers and payouts. Time will tell for what millennials will adopt!
As a regular reader of the Onion, I was surprised to learn that StarWipe and ClickHole were sub-brands of the Onion. What is your point-of-view on their niche-targeting branding strategy?
Thanks Alice! The current behavior by self-insured companies is that they do evaluate broad-spectrum healthy living modifications, and execute a subset of them. However, research indicates that these employee perks seem to be primarily accessed or benefit those who are already healthy.
For companies such as Yum! Brands, they have a substantial segment of employees who are not of a healthy weight and require higher-intensity interventions. However, these companies also struggle to find a scalable intervention for these employees who tend to be spread out across multiple sites and also juggling work commitments. Tele-coaching thus serves as a complementary solution for these companies.
Omada Health currently seems to be more actively engaged in discussions with healthcare payors. Omada Health has also been more successful, as their pitch is more disease-centric – that they are able to stop prediabetes from progressing into diabetes through a similar weight and lifestyle digital intervention. Omada’s investment in clinical trials and endorsements by entities such as American Medical Association has thus led to partnerships with Humana and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana. Exciting times are ahead for digital health!
Thanks! There is definitely an advantage in increasing switching costs out of the platform. Omada Health, their key competitor, does use proprietary technology for their weighing scale and pedometer which are not currently interoperable with other platforms, e.g. Apple Healthkit.
However, I’m concerned that with the fitness hardware market rapidly improving in capabilities and cost-effectiveness, Omada is carrying unnecessarily excessive inventory capital in the form of hardware on hand, coupled with the risk that their proprietary hardware is becoming obsolete (especially since their target market is increasingly already having their own FitBits/ iPhone tracking apps.
As a state-owned enterprise, how effective is it in performance vs. private market solutions? Does it engage in anti-competitive practices that reduce value creation for farmers?
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You hit the nail on the head about the questions that surround the revenue-side of the business model.
Do they charge fees for value-added activities, like after-school classes/ materials? Do they have revenue-share partnerships with downstream institutions/ employers or referral income with partners such as children product companies? Or are they in effect subsidised/ contracted by local governments to serve as an alternative to the public school system, e.g. charter schools – funded by tax dollars but with independent management?
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Thanks for the very clear articulation of both the patient and doctor angles for the two-sided platform. How do you see ZocDoc growing as they scale? Would they be entering any adjacencies?
Great analysis! I really appreciate the flow diagram, it does give a great overview of how they minimize the actual and perceived wait time simultaneously. Are all these stores company owned? If yes, do you believe that they will be able to preserve this operational control if they choose to franchise?